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Chris Tomlin

The Sunleth Annihilation - Beastclaw Raiders 1,000pts

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Afternoon all,

Today I am sharing some photos of my 1,000pt Beastclaw Raiders army which I recently painted up for a Doubles Tournament by @Theslowcentury.

Whilst some of you may have seen this stuff on Twitter or the TGA Gallery, I thought it would be nice to post some photos in the thread as well. I'd like to say in doing this I could explain my plans and thought process behind this pretty bizarre army, but I don't really know where it all came from!! Let’s see how I get on.

It started a few weeks back when me and @Forestreveries decided to reform the MegaBros and attend Kirton Games recently doubles event. Previously we've taken pretty filthy doubles armies together, but made the effort to paint up nice armies at least. With our former effort (a Tzeentch army) we actually agreed on a colour scheme and painted the armies identically, which was a really fun project.

For this event we mulled over a couple of different list ideas, but with Aaron working on a variety of Destruction stuff for a narrative event (He's made up a full army with allegiance abilities etc.) we settled on Beastclaw Raiders pretty quickly.
The models are lovely and we'd be giving something back to the community by way of three easy wins for our opponents - I won't get into the games here but they were actually all really good and we could've probably done better had we not been hammered!!

I originally was thinking about just borrowing some stuff but with the great value offered by the Start Collecting box and the small model count required, I thought it would be a fun little project. The list writing came together quick enough and we both took identical builds;

Huskard on Stonehorn
Thundertusk Beastriders
4 Mournfang Pack w/ Gargant Hackers

Some true power right there!
So I promptly ordered two Start Collecting boxes from Element Games and begun thinking of how I would paint them. I knew that for this project we wouldn't paint identical armies, but with Aaron's being more of a natural army based around the steppes I was initially inclined to go for something similar.
I was having ideas based around the savannah, with my creatures also being painted in a natural palette inspired by real world animals. The Ogors themselves could be dark skinned and I'd use lots of tall grasses on the bases. I still think this is a pretty cool concept that I'd really like to see.

It was whilst I was thinking of a giraffe pattern on one of the Beastclaw models that my mind starting moving towards the theme I ended up with. What if these usually drab, natural creatures were instead super bright and colourful?
I was then perusing a range of tufts and basing materials, looking for stuff to work in my savannah theme when I saw some brightly colour alien tufts. The combination of this with my above thoughts really had me sold - So I ordered about 5 packs of them (I knew that I wanted the bases of this army to be lushly pack with whatever plant life I decided upon).

In the couple of days before the stuff got delivered I had this weird idea to make the Ogors all blind. I honestly don’t know where this came from or why, but I liked the idea of it. As it came to pass everyone assumes the idea is that the army lives underground or whatever, but I think in my mind I must have initially decided because everything else was so bright, they'd be blind! I somewhat expanded on this concept (but not by much), that the army comes from an area of the Realms which has six incredibly bright suns and no night-time. This has caused all the fauna to evolve blind.
I had some spare Ogor heads so I played around with greenstuff a little, but eventually settled on just carving out their eyes and smoothing the area with plastic glue. I was happy with this look.

So....Saturday morning came around, everything got delivered nice and early, good start. Everything had to go to plan as the Tournament was precisely a week later, so it would need to go from delivery to tournament table in that time - scary even for a low model count army. I sat at my desk and began assembling everything - really fun kits to do and I spent most the day on this, including building the bases up with milliput and slate.
At some point along the way I decided that to further accentuate the blindness I would give them some antenna type things, presumably to help them find their way arounf. This would also add to the almost alien look I was going for with the army. So I simply rolled these out from greenstuff and stuck on at the end of the day.
I was able to finish the day by undercoating everything, ready to make a start on the painting Sunday.

I got up Sunday, sat at my desk again and suddenly wondered what on earth I was doing...I had no real plan in mind for how to paint the creatures, so promptly got out a bunch of bright colours and went to work laying down some basecoats. With the Ogors it was slightly easier as I'd already decided I wanted to try out the new Deepkin skin colour paints on them (using the recipe from the Citadel Paint app), so that was fine and worked exactly as I hoped.
By the end of the first day I had a bunch of basecoats down on everything but it just looked a mess. Have a look at this;

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Eurghhh. Awful. Anyway, I took on some advices from my painting group chat where it was pretty unanimously agreed that it was the bronze metal (which would've ended up bright and with oxide) that was one of the main problems, as well as the base colour I'd chosen for the bone, which would've been built up to almost red.
I went to work Monday morning (yeh I had a full working week so now just had 4 evenings to paint the army as I was out the Thursday night as well) and was constantly thinking about what I was going to do.
I spent a lot of time on the Citadel Paint app (it's actually really now IMO) looking at various recipes and combinations. I was also googling various things for inspiration. In the end I settled on what is basically one of the Idoneth Deepkin colour palettes for the Namarti - with silver armour and weapons (shaded different colours) and black cloth.

Monday evening I decided that I really needed to get a proof of concept going here as I wasn't feeling overly positive. So I finished up one Mournfang and was really happy with it. I've rambled on enough here, so suffice to say on Tuesday I painted the other three Mournfang, Wednesday I did the Stonehorn, Thursday was out and Friday I finished up the Thundertusk (there's probably a Craig David remix in there somewhere!). So by the time Saturday morning rolled around, I had the army on the table at the event exactly one week after the postman delivered in BNIB, pretty cool huh?!

A lot of people say I paint really fast, but tbh it's more I binge paint - so I cram in many hours over a short space of time. 2am was the earliest I went to sleep each night that week (with no sleep on the Friday). So yeh, it's not really an advisable way of approaching the hobby, but I think I must get some kind of kick from it as I do it again and again!
I'm now moving into a bit of commission painting so it'll be interesting to see how I balance what I'm charging vs the time taken, as right now I really have no concept of how long stuff takes me.

In terms of this Beastclaw raider army, I'm actually really happy with it. I like it a lot and am very pleased the bizarre concept seems to work somewhat. My favourite comparisons have been those likening the army to something from the film Annihilation. It really does show the endless scope for uniqueness offered by the Mortal Realms in AoS - you couldn't do something like this in the Old World!

There are elements of the army that are an utter mess - the black bone for example is really poorly done across the big areas and tidying this would be the focus if I go back. I'd also spend a little time highlighting the fur of the creatures and it's mostly drybrushed (Mournfang are the worst for this - I did drop some targeted highlights on the big bois).
But yeh, that's it really. I could spend hours improving other areas of the models but honestly, I don't know that it would really help that much - people will either like or dislike the army for what it is regardless.

On the day myself and Aaron, who had similarly painted his army in a week (mostly), were fortunate enough to pick up the award for Best Painted Army, which was a really nice way to round off the week.

Anyway, here's some photos. I may revisit this topic if I expand to 2,000 points in the future.

Enjoy,
Chris

The Sunleth Annihilation

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Absolutely stunning, especially considering the amount of time you had on these dude!!! I love the out there theme, think it worked really well.

Edited by Tom Hewitt
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I've been binge painting for a narrative campaign I'm setting up for some friends. Even when I know I should go to sleep I'm so jacked up by the progress I'm making I know I won't be able to sleep anyway.

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15 hours ago, Tom Hewitt said:

Absolutely stunning, especially considering the amount of time you had on these dude!!! I love the out there theme, think it worked really well.

Cheers brother! I look forward to seeing you doing something similar across your RAW army this coming week. You can do it!!

14 hours ago, Cinncinnatus said:

I've been binge painting for a narrative campaign I'm setting up for some friends. Even when I know I should go to sleep I'm so jacked up by the progress I'm making I know I won't be able to sleep anyway.

Haha yeah there's definitely some kind of buzz to it. What strange folk us hobbyists are eh?! xD

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They look great! Going to be binge painting for Blood and Glory. Hopefully I can get my models a third as good as these! 

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Considering how quickly you got them done, they looked fantastic in the flesh!  Quite surprised you didn't go blind yourself whilst doing them in the early hours! #extremepainting

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3 hours ago, Theslowcentury said:

They look great! Going to be binge painting for Blood and Glory. Hopefully I can get my models a third as good as these! 

Cheers man! What have you got to paint for B&G? Fingers crossed you can get it done. I myself have a whole Stormcast army to paint for B&G (not my own - so the pressure is on!)

24 minutes ago, RuneBrush said:

Considering how quickly you got them done, they looked fantastic in the flesh!  Quite surprised you didn't go blind yourself whilst doing them in the early hours! #extremepainting

Thanks mate, glad you enjoyed them in person as well. Shame we didn't get to play!

I do feel like "Quickly" isn't necessarily the correct term though. Obviously 7 days is quick including assembly, but the hours I put in probably equates to the amount of hours other hobbyists may paint for in a month, if that makes sense.

Ha! My eyesight is atrociously and getting progressively worse...maybe you're onto some kind of explanation with #extremepainting ...either that or my second favourite pastime haha!:o

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I really like the schemes you went for, sometimes blindly feeling your way forward with painting can throw up some interesting results as your relying on your known painting techniques not the colours as much and leaving space for creativity as is clear you have. 

I must admit I am lucky if I get half a Thundertusk done in a week. As I am starting to paint up my BCR army I am in a pickle regarding what colour scheme or style I want and it just means that I am dithering.

I think everyone has found their own ways of painting (yours sounds exhausting), plus less sleep means easier to get drunk so a saving there.

Well done they are great! 

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