The State of the Hunt, Week 37/2017: Finally, paint!

Oh boy, I finally have something painted to share with you! Now, in all fairness, the model featuring in today’s update was actually painted a while back, andΒ  I merely took my sweet time to finally put the finishing touches to it, but it’s a project that is very close to my heart, indeed. So what is this about?

Juan Diaz’ model for Be’lakor, the Dark Master, is basically one of GW’s definitive Daemon Prince models (the other one would be the classic Chaos Space Marine Daemon Prince — also sculpted by Juan Diaz, as it happens). The more recent plastic version closely mirrors many design cues of those classic models, but for all its options, it really doesn’t come close to capturing what made them so cool. Be’lakor, in particular, is a model I have always wanted in my collection, but it somehow never quite happened.


Interestingly enough, it turned out my friend Annie had an old metal Be’lakor, originally bought to be used as a coach for her chaos Blood Bowl team, in her cupboard of shame — and when I learned of that fact, a couple of years ago, my quest to get my hands on that model began: I repeatedly tried to sweet-talk her into letting me have it, mostly because I liked the idea of owning a metal version of the model. Now most of the kinks of Finecast seem to be have been (literally, in some cases) straightened out, but I still preferred the more reliable, for lack of a better word, properties of metal.

But Annie wouldn’t be convinced, so I ultimately abandoned my devious scheme — I did still mention being interested in that model every so often, though…

Still, it was a very sweet surprise when Annie gave me her Be’lakor for my birthday back in June: I was really happy to finally have gotten my hands on the model, and I made her a promise to honour the gift by giving the model a cool paintjob.

Before I could do that, there were some very minor repairs to take care of, however: Annie had cut off the model’s sword, due to her plan of using it as a Blood Bowl coach, so that area needed some cleanup. Ultimately, this turned out to be a blessing in disguise, because it allowed me to replace Be’lakor’s somewhat Slaaneshi looking sword with the Hellblade from a herald of Khorne. While I was at it, I added some more, pretty subtle, Khornate touches, because I really wanted to turn the model into a servant of the War God, for obvious reasons. I had to take care not to mess with the model’s silhouette and purity of design to much, however, so I kept it fairly low key.

And then it was already time for painting, and what better venue to start this endeavour than one of Annie’s and my regular hobby sessions?

I knew that Be’lakor would look absolutely terrific in red, so I started by applying the same red skin recipe that had already served me really well on my Daemon-Primarch version of Angron and some other daemon models. Here’s the model after the first step of the recipe, a healthy drybrush with Mephiston Red:

Since most of the model’s surface is bare skin, it didn’t take long at all to get it mostly finished. Here’s Be’lakor just a short while later:


With most of the hard work out of the way, I was free to lavish some extra care on areas that I wanted to have some pop, such as the sword (painted in my usual, turquoise daemon weapon paintjob), the face or the chaos star on the model’s chest, highlighted to look almost like molten metal:


Most of this happened over the space of one evening, while Annie was sitting opposite me, cleaning about a dozen metal Slann models for yet another Blood Bowl team. Only some minor touches remained for the next day.

However, a bit of a setback happened when I knocked the almost finished model off my desk, thereby shattering it into almost all of its different parts. For a moment there, I was frustrated enough to just toss it all into a box and never look at the mess again, but that wouldn’t have been exactly fair to Annie, would it? So I grit my teeth and put it all back together.

In the end, repairing the damage turned out to be mercifully easy. So all that remained was to build a base for Be’lakor.

I ended up following an approach by my buddy Augustus b’Raass, building up a small mound for Be’lakor to stand on with Milliput, pressing some small stones into the putty when it was still soft. Then the whole thing was covered in a generous layer of Vallejo’s Sandy Earth Paste (I cannot recommend that stuff enough, by the way!), and then I selectively added some patches of my usual basing mix of tiny pieces of slate, cork chaff and modeling sand. So here’s what the base looked like before painting:


Of course the really important thing was to make sure again and again that the model would sit flush atop the base, so I checked and double-checked that by carefully putting Be’lakor on there in between all the different detailing steps:


As you can see, I decided to give Be’lakor a relatively big base, in spite of the model’s relatively small size. I made this choice both for gaming reasons (at least in theory…) and because I thought a larger base would make for a better canvas for the excellent sculpt, giving it the space it needed.

So I quickly painted the base last weekend, and so I finally ended up with a finished model. Take a look:






I am pretty happy with the outcome: Not only does the model look really cool in red, if you ask me, but Be’lakor also definitely works as a Khornate Daemon Prince: He basically looks like a massive modern Bloodletter anyway:


So while I can now use him as Be’lakor, I feel tempted to give him a new name and backstory: In fact, I have this half-formed concept in the back of my head about a daemonic legion created both to support and haunt the World Eaters’ 4th assault company: As I’ve said many times, Lorimar and his followers remain wary of the daemonic, as they fear giving in to the blessings of the pantheon too much will turn them into the same raving madmen as the rest of their legion. But what if Khorne keeps wanting to tempt – and punish – them and has created a daemonic legion for that exact purpose: One daemon born for every broken promise and forsaken oath, a constant reminder of the company’s inevitable doom…? Wouldn’t you agree that my new “Khornate Be’lakor” would be the perfect leader for such a Brazen Legion?

In any case, he fits in well enough with the small daemonic posse I already have…


But that’s a story for another day. For now, I am just really happy to finally have this guy in my collection — and very thankful to Annie for putting him there! So please let me know what you think in the comments! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

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18 Responses to “The State of the Hunt, Week 37/2017: Finally, paint!”

  1. A truly classic mini – nice job. Your converted skullreaper herald is badass too!

  2. Gorgeous!!!!

  3. Superb – that sword is a definite improvement, and he looks great in red!

    • Thanks, Alex! That sword turned out to be a bit of a happy accident. As for the red, I’ve been firmly socialised in GW’s red period, so I think almost any model looks great in bold red πŸ˜‰

  4. Never been tempted to start a Chaos army but have always had an eye on the Be’lakor miniature.

    Love what you have done with him and it is really striking in red.

    Glad you persisted after it’s initial destruction!

    • Cheers, Riot! I was really tempted to just throw it all away, to be honest, but I am so glad I persevered: Funnily enough, fixing the model barely took any time at all.

  5. Ah, Be’Lakor! My favorite daemon model ever released by GW. There is such malice and cunning depicted in the model. Even the new Bloodthirster doesn’t quite capture the personality that Be’Lakor does. I think swapping his sword out for a Hellblade is a brilliant idea, as the original does have that annoyingly Slaaneshi hilt. The little touches you’ve brought in to subtly change him into a Khorne-aligned Daemon Prince are all great. Keep it up!

    • Cheers, buddy! Yeah, Be’Lakor is one of those sculpts for the ages, isn’t he? I am so glad to have him in my collection now! Really happy to hear you like the paintjob, too! πŸ™‚

  6. #FriendshipGoals πŸ˜‰

    If anything I think the figure looks better in red than the original colour scheme, and the addition of the hellblade gives a nice visual consistency across the daemons you’ve got so far. Love the way you painted the chaos star in his chest, and I’m looking forward to see if you develop your daemon legion idea…!

    • Cheers, man! I do want a (small) detachment of daemons to complement my World Eaters, so it’s not so much a question of if, but rather a question of when… πŸ˜‰

  7. That’s one sweet piece of work! And I now know what I’ll be doing with the second Be’Lakor I picked up a few years ago…

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