Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Death Korps first look

Greetings from a very, very soggy Cardiff and the first of what is going to be a quite, quite large project! The Death Korps of Krieg are some of my favourite miniatures so I am really keen with this latest commission, a whole army of them!

The brief was to fit in with an existing army of valhallan chaps. Now the first thing to say is that these have not photographed terribly well, I'm going to have another shot with some tweaked settings and will share results if they improve. It is often a problem of subtle schemes that there isn't a lot of contrast for the camera to catch. Ho hum. Anyway, here's a closer look at the scheme:

The main colour is Khemri Brown, shaded down with a Devlan Mud wash and then highlighted first with another layer of Khemri Brown and then a final edge highlight of Khemri Brown and Bleached Bone mix. This matched the existing Valhallan scheme - a kind of Soviet summer brown. Lots of the valhallans had olive drab greenish blankets and other cloths. To match this I decided to make the lining of the greatcoats and hence the cuffs and collars as well! A couple of thin layers of Catachan Green provided the base coat, this was then shaded down with a 3:1 mix of Thraka Green and Badab Black. Had I just used Thraka Green the effect would have lost its soldierly drab and become more vibrant. Any accents on the models (shoulder flashes on the epaulettes for example) are a much more vibrant Dark Angel Green, this will be much more evident on the officers. The green was then rehighlighted first with Catachan Green and then with a Catachan and Rotting Flesh mixture.

Pouches and webbing were all kept in the same colour as the greatcoat so as not to unbalance the colour scheme by adding too much leather. Speaking of which, the leather is a 2:1 mix of Scorched Brown and Chaos Black highlighted with Scorched Brown. While I had the brown-black mix I added some chips and dings to the armour plates and helmet. These were further chipped with chainmail to make deeper chips.

The gas mask of the model is a very prominant feature and holds the attention in the same way as the face should. In the past I have painted gas masks as modern rubberised versions but these figures have a much more "Great War" asthetic. Some research on the interwebs turned up predominantly canvas gas hoods and while the tan ones would have worked there is a particular greenish-bone colour that looked like it would leap out of the model. The mix is Dheneb Stone and Catachan Green with a mix of devlan mud and thraka green lightly washed over it. Note that this ties in to other posts I have written where I talk about the importance of tying a scheme together by using the same shade or highlight colours across a model. Here, the spot of catachan binds the mask to the lining and creates a more unified look. The lenses were base coated in Fenris Grey, "gemstone shaded" with a little black thrown in the mix and then flooded with badab black. This gives a nice convincing dark lens when gloss varnished.

The miniatures, by the way, are fantastic. The scupting is amazing - check out the hobnails on the chap above! - and the resin casting medium means that very fine details are cast. There are some problems of course. Distortions of the parts is common and can cause quite major issues like the bent lasgun barrels you see in the models above. I have tried using heat to straighten them but with the models already assembled I dare not apply too much heat to the affected part for fear of damaging others. Most of these models came to me assembled with basing material applied. Some are partially painted. This won't be a problem thankfully as the miracle of Fairy Power Spray is mine! This stuff strips paint off metal, plastic and resin without damaging any of them! Just squirt it on, leave it five minutes or so and brush off with a toothbrush. Simplicity itself, handily it also strips burnt on food off pans so fellas, this is a wargaming resource that your wife won't mind you buying as it will make it easier for you to wash up!

Now, as I said at the start, this is the start of quite a big project:

So I won't be posting every unit as I finish them (six identical lasgun posts would get kinda dull) so I will throw up posts on the Death Korps every time I hit something interesting, a new unit, an interesting effect etc. I am looking forward to turning this shot:

Into it's fully painted version! It'll look nine different flavours of awesome. The real candy for me though are the officer corps:

I love DKK officers, especially the commissars and creepy quartermaster so these are going to be an absolute treat. I'll try to get a method of shooting the models that shows up their true colours and subtlety and get them up on the blog soonest!



  1. I've just been looking at the pictures again and again and again. And I'm excited like a small kid at Christmas.


  2. Looking superb mate, they have a nice WW1 trench warfare feel to them.

    Yet another bunch of models I need to resist...

  3. Glad to be of service Zzzzzz! You'll be happy to know the next ten are being finished tonight. Ta Andy, I am so glad I have this commission as it will salve the urge to paint Death Korps I have had for some time!

  4. Loking good mate! Do you collect DKOK yourself? I have a large DKOK army, and they are by far my favorite army!!

  5. I really love the realism in your color choice. I subbed to your blog, i wanna see more. Good luck with your project mate. I feel your pain, i am collecting a Catachan footslogger army to.


  6. Sadly GunGrave I do not have DKK myself. My wife looks unkindly on husbands who spend the rent money on resin. I have however tutored someone through painting their own (lovely army, looked like WWI belgians by the end). Thanks Rasmus, realism is one of those things that I subscribe to heavily. I find that a healthy dose of reality helps the fantasy/sci fi go down. Contrast Battlestar Galactica and Star Trek for an excellent example of this in action.