Archive for speedpainting

State of the Hunt, Week 26/2019: First Contrast Paint impressions

Posted in paintjob, state of the hunt with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on June 24, 2019 by krautscientist

Something of an interlude for today, since I got the unplanned opportunity last week to get some hands-on experience with the new Contrast Paints and would like to share a couple of observations, as well as some photos of my two test models.

Be advised, however, that this post won’t be an in-depth review — if you are that way inclined, let me point you towards this excellent article over at Tale of Painters for an actual, thorough all-corners review. This is basically just me fooling around with a new toy 😉

I was, of course, interested Already seeing some intriguing stuff online and getting some encouraging pointers from fellow hobbyist-recently-turned-TeeVee-superstar Jeff Vader. So when the opportunity to test the paints arose at the local Warhammer store (now again crewed by a very decent store manager, I must add), I got straight to work.


Anyway, all the Space Marines were already taken, so I ended up with a female Stormcast Sequitor (one of my favourite easy to build models, though, so all was well) and a Poxwalker. Both of the models were already glued together and undercoated when I started working on them. Here’s what I came up with during my time in the store:

The Sequitor took me about 45 – 60 minutes of fairly neat painting (and of getting to grips with the new paints in the first place). Quite a bit of the time was also spent trying to wedge my brush into all the nooks and crannies behind the shield, as the model had already been glued together beforehand.

The Poxwalker, by contrast, was a crazy and fun 15-minute-romp of just letting rip with some of the pinks, purples and yellows.

Before we jump into the fray, let me just say up front that the freeflow, (water-)painterly way of painting these models was quite a wonderful change of pace! As was the freedom of simply painting something for the heck of it, with absolutely no danger of messing up whatsoever. So if nothing else, you should maybe give those paints a go at your local store, if only for the process to act as a wonderful little palate cleanser.

Anyway, let’s take a closer look at the two models and my experiences when painting them:

The Sequitor came undercoated with Grey Seer, the slightly greyer, colder undercoat from the recent release. I decided to go with a the main approach of black armour, red robes, as seen in N1SB’s Contrast Paint experiments here, because I really liked the look of the combination (plus it’s also a pretty fair approximation of a classic Sisters of Battle painting scheme, which was an added bonus).

Only a single coat of paint was applied on all parts of the model (except for the base, where I got a little more adventurous — more on that in a second). This should tell you how the new Contrast Paints really allow you to cover a lot of ground in a very short amount of time. In hindsight, I think I should have been a little more generous with the black, as the shading effect didn’t turn out quite as prominent as I would have liked. Even so, the Black Templar Black (for the armour) and Flesh Tearer Red (for the robes) were definitely the standout paints here, although the Fyreslayer Flesh skin tone came in at a close second (it’s really uncanny how the Contrast flesh tones actually allow you to paint a finished face in one painting step).

As for my initial observations:

  • I didn’t encounter any cases of splotchiness with the new paints, although I have to say the Sequitor was basically the perfect model to use these on, given the amount of surface texture, folds in the fabric etc. Everything dried fairly quickly and to a nice, matte finish.
  • not using metallic paints on the areas that are supposed to be metal was a very weird feeling, and I felt the need to break out the silver and gold on the Sequitor, in particular when it came to painting the weapon and shield.
  • Due to the fact that, as you have probably already heard elsewhere, Contrast Paints basically work like a heavy wash or a wood stain, you don’t simply get to paint over mistakes you have made, but may have to correct them by painting over any stray marks with Grey Seer or Wraithbone from the pot. Even though I only went back to correct one or two mistakes, I found this to be the least entertaining part of the whole exercise, especially since going back to the somewhat chalky undercoats after working with the free flowing Contrast Paints was such a stark, erm, contrast.
  • As I was warned by the store manager – and as I have discovered myself – models painted with Contrast Paints really, really need to be varnished, as it’s quite easy for the paint to get rubbed off. This happened to me once or twice during the painting process, although only on very small, sharp areas (such as the sharpest folds in the Sequitor’s robes).

So after spending about an hour neatly painting the Stormcast Sequitor, I simply wanted to have some quick fun and experiment a bit, and the Poxwalker model seemed like the perfect piece for that. Like I said, the painting process was just a wild 15 minute ride. The Poxwalker was undercoated with “Wraithbone”, the warmer of the two new undercoats, and it makes for a wonderfully vibrant overall look on the finished model. The “Darkoath Flesh” skin tone basically did about 70% of the work, and afterwards it was mainly a matter of painting on some pinks and purples while the skin tone was still wet:

If it’s Nurglite grossness you are going after, the Contrast Paints are just perfect, making for a very organic look. The augmetic arm was basecoated with Gryph Hound Orange, and then I slathered on one of the darker browns.

I think it would be really easy to knock out a rather massive hore of Poxwalkers in an afternoon with a recipe like this, which seems like a very interesting proposition.


But wait, I didn’t stop there, but rather took the models along to my painting session with my good friend Annie. I wanted to try and combine the base work done with the contrast paints with some of my usual techniques. So here are the models, once again, when I packed up at the Warhammer store:

And here’s how they look now:

For the Sequitor, I resisted to urge to break out the metal paints after all, and decided to keep her entirely “NMM”, for lack of a better word. I merely added some highlights here and there, especially where the red hadn’t “auto-shaded” quite as much as I had hoped:

Just to illustrate how easy it is to cover lots of ground with the new paints, however: The act of adding some highlights and finishing the paintjob took just as long, if not longer, than the entire stage of painting her with Contrast Paints (and getting her basically game-ready) beforehand!

One thing I only got to experiment with a bit was to use various browns and greens for a more natural, mossy look for the base. I only really tried a bit of this, but I think the use of Contrast Paints for painting really interesting looking bases definitely warrants some further experimentation!

The finished base was given a light drybrush of Screaming Skull and (of course) a tidied up black base rim 😉

In hindsight, I am not 100% sold on the look of the Iyanden Yellow: When it works, it really works, but it ended up looking slightly anaemic in several spots. But Nazdreg Yellow, seen here on a model painted by Annie, seems to be an interesting, slightly more golden-brownish alternative:

As for the Poxwalker, I ended up being a bit more adventurous, in an attempt to bring him closer to the rest of my collection. So I added just a dash of metallic paint, some thinned-down Blood for the Blood God, and repainted some small areas where the Contrast Paints looked a bit too water-colour-y to me, such as the boils, the loincloth and the leather belt and  pouches:

This guy could actually join the rest of my Nurglite models without a hitch — if anything, he only looks a bit more vibrant and infectious than my other models. Here’s a comparison picture with my “classic” Poxwalker scheme:

So yeah, this was a lot of fun! I really enjoyed the freeform, exploratory spirit of the whole session!

One thing that cannot be stressed enough – and this is relevant for my future treatment of Contrast Paints as a possible tool – is that the usefulness of the new paints really hinges on the colour of the undercoat: These really work best (or at all) when used over a very light undercoat. So if, like me, you favour black, grey or brown, you’ll find it harder to include them into your standard recipes. At the same time, it cannot be overstated how novel and original playing around with them feels, so they may just warrant a slight reshuffling of recipes and approaches. While I don’t think I’ll be abandoning “classic” paints (or dark undercoats, for that matter), the Contrast Paints are a ton of fun to play around with, and certainly a very promising new tool for painters. There are also armies that I think will be a blast to paint with these (I am looking at you, Tyranids, Eldar and Poxwalker hordes).

Two final observations before I wrap this up:

One, when seen at gaming distance, models that have been painted with nothing but Contrast Paints look completely painted — and pretty well painted, at that. If you look at them up close, especially when it’s an entire squad, Blood Bowl team or what have you, the paintjob still looks good, but maybe a bit basic. So an extra bit of highlighting here and there is where the models really go from good to great — you should keep this in mind!

Two, and this seems a slighly weird observation: If I didn’t know any better, I would say the new paints where designed to photograph well. Case in point, the picture towards the start of this post, after I had finished applying the Contrast Paints (but nothing else) actually make the models look just a wee bit cooler than they actually looked in real life at that point. Which, again, goes to show that you should probably still plan for an extra round of highlights and final tweaks.


Anyway, that’s all I can offer for now. I can safely say that this experience has been a blast, and that it’ll be very interesting to test the new paints further. And maybe, just maybe, you’ll find it helpful to get some firsthand observations from somebody who definitely isn’t a Golden Demon painter 😉 In any case, I would, of course, love to hear your thoughts — or learn what you think of the new paints!

As always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!


Butcher’s Boy

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, paintjob, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 30, 2014 by krautscientist

A warning in advance: I realise that today’s update quickly degenerates into rambling. Bear with me, though, there’ll be new stuff to look at partway down the page 😉 So what is this about?

While I virtually lack any sort of impulse control when it comes to buying new plastic crack, the one area where I have thus far exhibited an almost shocking amount of restraint is buying from Forgeworld: Sure, I’ll purchase some heads, shoulder pads and smaller doodads every now and then, but with the exception of Lord Zhufor, still possibly the best World Eaters model ever released, I haven’t bought any complete Forgeworld kits yet.

There’s a number of reasons for this, but lack of sculpting quality certainly isn’t a part of it: I love many of FW’s models as much as the next guy — if anything, the amount of detail alone is usually intimidating enough to prevent me from purchasing any models, for fear of being unable to do them justice with my painting.

Then there’s the fact that it sometimes seems to me like Forgeworld models are the easy, albeit expensive, way out of pretty much any modeling conundrum: Want a super awesome model? Just use a stock piece from Forgeworld! Want to own Marines in Pre Heresy armour — gee, Forgeworld is releasing an entire line of models for you!

Where Forgeworld models used to be a supremely rare sight, being used to add the most sublime amount of awesome to an army, it has all become a bit of a battle of materiel  nowadays, where some people just add  Forgeworld stuff to their armies until they suddenly become awesome by sheer resin saturation. And, by a strange twist of faith, armies making heavy use of FW models actually often end up looking more samey than the “standard” GW armies of old. Does that sound bitter?

Maybe, but here’s the thing: I think that having to work around the shortcomings of kits and the gaps in GW’s catalogue can sometimes be the best catalysts for creativity. And, for instance, before Forgeworld released more Horus Heresy Space Marines than you could ever shake a stick at, coming up with kitbashes and conversions to approximate your own version of Pre Heresy armour marks was huge fun.


Anyway, all of this is my rather roundabout way of explaining why my various projects use fairly little Forgeworld stuff. That said, there has to be an exception to the rule, of course, and when I first saw early pictures of Forgeworld’s World Eaters Red Butchers, it was instantly clear to me that some of these might find their way into my collection at some point:

I really love the way their Cataphractii armour is encrusted with stylised depictions of the World Eaters’ legion badge, for one.  At the same time, the brutal, spiky design of their armour is a nice fit for post heresy World Eaters as well. So when I recently had the chance of picking up some of the models as part of a bitz order, I jumped at the opportunity and purchased two Red Butcher bodies for experimentation purposes.

From my hands on experience as well as a bit of research, I have to say that these models are a bit of a mixed bag, their really cool overall design notwithstanding: The Red Butchers’  bodies are  single piece, with only the arms coming as separate parts. While this obviously makes them fairly easy to put together, it also severely limits their flexibility. Plus some of the poses seem a bit wonky — just check out the guy on the right, for instance.

What’s more, when prototypes for the Red Butchers were first shown at UK Games Day 2013, the models sported a set of individual, bare heads. While some of these may have seemed a little hokey, they perfectly communicated the sheer rage of these guys and worked really well with some of the poses. Alas, the finished models ditched most of these individual head sculpts, instead opting to use the same helmet for all the models in the squad except the champion, who retains one of the bare heads from the earlier versions. Now while I like the helmeted head well enough, this decision is rather hard to understand, because it really makes the finished models less cool than the prototypes. And while getting rid of the helmeted heads should still be possible with a bit of work – as the supremely talented poom has done on some of his Red Butchers , but the operation seems needlessly complicated, with a very real risk of ruining a rather expensive models in the process.

But even in their hobbled state, I still think the models still have lots of promise, and are a great addition to the World Eaters catalogue. And since I have honestly never seen them painted in the World Eaters’ post heresy colours yet (and FW’s own paintjob is, well, atrocious), it was clear to me that these guys would be drafted into my 40k World Eaters force.

Since I had only purchased the bodies, I needed to add some bitz in order to finish the models, and my first test model turned into a bit of a lucky coincidence right off the bat: I had picked up a two-handed weapon from the Deathwing Terminator kit as part of the same bitz order, and I realised that it worked pretty well with one of the Red Butchers. Here’s my test model:

Raas the Butcher WIP (2)
Raas the Butcher WIP (1)
Raas the Butcher WIP (3)
As you can see, I took some additional steps to make the additions to the model seem suitably chaotic: I added some Daemon Prince armour plates as shoulder pads, slightly converted the two handed weapon and added some Warp Talon “toenails” to the model’s gauntlets . To give credit where credit is due,exchanging the halberd’s blade happened courtesy of a pretty sweet model by AMaximus, while the clever use of  the toenails was originally an equally awesome idea of my fellow German hobbyist Lucutus.

Since chains seem to be a recurring visual motif for the Red Butchers, I also added some chainy bitz to the arms holding the halberd as well. I also glued a brass etched Khorne rune to the model’s Cataphractii armour.

The pose was also slightly inspired by this screenshot I found online:


While painting this guy, I subjected myself to the challenge of trying to finish the model in 3 hours, as part of a small, friendly challenge between several like-minded hobbyists. So I tried to be fast.

Here’s the model at shortly before the two hour mark…

Raas the Butcher PIP (1)
…and, a while later, after precisely three hours:

Raas the Butcher PIP (2)
Not bad, but clearly not finished either. Just to give you an idea, Jeff Vader managed to completely paint an absolutely amazing Plague Bearer in the same amount of time. Nuts!

But while I had sort of failed the three hours challenge, the work I had managed to accomplish during those hours went a long way towards getting the model painted, so it was all good. I ended up putting in another hour or two, and here is the finished model. I give you Raas the Butcher:

Raas the Butcher (1)
Raas the Butcher (5)
Raas the Butcher (6)
Raas the Butcher (7)
Raas the Butcher (8)
Raas the Butcher (9)
Raas the Butcher (10)
Raas the Butcher (11)
Raas the Butcher (12)
Raas the Butcher (13)
As you can see, some of the additional touches really sell the model, at least in my opinion: The planet at the centre of the stylised legion badge on the model’s helmet was picked up in turquoise for that additional bit of pop. And I even added some blood to the halberd’s blade, because the Butcher really seems like that kinda guy:

Raas the Butcher (17)
A similarly bloodspattered Space Marine helmet and a skull were added as decoration to the model’s base:

Raas the Butcher (16)
Painting a whole Forgeworld model for the first time certainly has certainly been an interesting experience as well, although it made me realise that not only do I dislike converting resin models, but I am also not all that fond of painting them: The Forgeworld resin provides all those tiny nooks and crannies on the model that I remember (with dread!) from my past experiences with metal models, and all that scrubbing and soaking beforehand, in order to get rid of the mold release agent covering the model head to toe, also isn’t that much fun. So while I can see myself painting the odd FW model every now and then, assembling an entire army of models made from this material seems like a bit of a nightmare to me, to be honest…

Oh, and one more thing: While I am rather pleased with the finished model, it does look slightly puny when stood next to one of my plastic models in Terminator armour. Justs sayin’…

Raas the Butcher (15)
I’m happy enough with the result, though: One down, one to go! I suppose the second Red Butcher I purchased will end up looking more or less like this:

Second Red Butcher WIP (3)
Second Red Butcher WIP (2)
Second Red Butcher WIP (1)
I might just replace the right arm with an arm holding an axe or sword, though. Hmmm….

On a semi-related note, I realised that some of the Red Butchers’ design elements, especially the torso and helmet, are quite reminiscent of that old metal Terminator Lord I picked up used a while ago:

Metal Terminator Lord (1)
The resemblance is really quite uncanny, don’t you think? So maybe these guys will end up hanging out together in the end? In any case, it’s especially delicious to find visual consistency where you hadn’t even expected it, so yeah…
Oh, one more thing, by the way: My finished test model, Raas the Butcher, was named for fellow hobbyist Augustus B’Raass. This is a small thank you to him, both for providing lots of inspiration with his kick-ass Night Lords army (seriously, what is it whith all the amazing NL armies lately?) and for indulging me when I instigated a rather egg-headed (but nevertheless pretty fascinating, at least to me) discussion on his thread lately.

Thanks for taking it all in stride, mate! 😉

Anyway, here’s the model’s background:

Raas the Butcher (2)
Raas the Butcher

The warrior known as Raas the Butcher is one of the 4th assault company’s oldest veterans and serves in Lord Captain Lorimar’s personal guard, known as Lorimar’s Fist. Even among this band of ruthless killers, his thirst for blood excels, and his penchant for tearing his opponents limb from limb is well known and feared by those who have to stand against him: Watching Raas charging the enemy with surprising speed, a blood curdling howl on his lips, is terrifying to behold, and usually the last sight his victims are afforded before his mighty war halberd effortlessly shears through their armour and flesh. His bloodlust is so great that he spends most battles completely lost to the nails, as much of a danger to his friends as to his enemies. Chains decorate his ancient suit of modified Cataphractii armour as if to bind him, but it is clear that the Lord Captain’s abyssal growl is the only thing that will bring this wild hound to heel…

I’d love to hear any feedback you might have in the comments section! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!