Friday, 25 March 2011

Cygnar Cyclone

This is my first ever Warmachine figure! I'm starting a Cygnar army and thought I would roll the heavy metal off the production lines first:

It's a Cygnar Cyclone heavy warjack, it is in Privateer Press' odd plastic - closer to resin than normal plastic. Assembly is not overly problematic (although the usual superglue annoyances apply) I wound up pinning the arms as I didn't trust the joins too well. Now it is no secret that I am not fond of the style that Privateer use to paint their models. Its kinda nineties GW, lots of overly bright colours and clean armies. To say that this doesn't fit with my style is understating the issue a bit! I resolved to try and paint a recognisably "Cygnar" warjack but in my style.

I wanted a rich blue as a base and so brought up the colour from a basecoat of Regal Blue over Necron Abyss. Highlighting proceeded by gradually adding Enchanted Blue to Regal Blue until the colour was pure Enchanted Blue. Final highlights were added with Enchanted Blue and a spot of Space Wolves Grey. I used probably ten intermediate layers to get a smooth blend. Finally a Asurman Blue glaze bound the layers together and deepened the colour. I added chips and dings to the lower surfaces (that infantry can reach with swords and bayonettes) by first painting the chips in the final blue highlight, then in the centre of the bigger scratches I painted a Scorched Brown and Chaos Black mix. Finally I painted a tiny scratch of Boltgun Metal into the centre of the dark scratch. This gave a nice "deep" look to the scratches and dings. The face mask I wanted to paint as though lit by fires from within. The only way to do this is loads of highlighting up to yellow-white, shading back down to red with glazes and rehighlighting. Its a pain but it is the only way. Looks cool though.

The power plant on the back is one of my favourite parts of the model. I painted the same hot glow in the slits of the furnace door, used verdigrised copper for piping and generally made everything look dirty and sooty. This is a steam powered robot after all! To fit in with that image I checked out lots of steam locamotive reference and mixed a metallic shade to give that heavy worn iron look. It's basically Boltgun Metal and Black, drybrushed very lightly with Boltgun Metal and shaded back down with first Badab Black and then a thin glaze of Devlan Mud. This gives that nice "heavy" feel to the metal that I was after.

A better shot of the piping, copper is one of those colours that is flaming hard to mix. So I cheat and just buy Vallejo's Hammered Copper (essentially it is the old Citadel Beaten Copper). A basecoat of this gets highlighted by the addition of a little Mithril Silver. The verdigris is a new colour to me, Vallejo's Scurf Green. I used to use a mixture of Orkhide Shade and Skull White which sort of matched the old Scaley Green (I don't blame Citadel for canning it, I literally only used it for oxidising copper). The internet informed me that Scurf Green is basically the same thing and so I'm back in the oxidising business! Thin streaks were pulled down from joins and faded first with water and then with a glaze of Hammered Copper to reduce the impact.

Top down shot to show off a few things, first, the Cygnar swan (took me an embarrassingly long time to connect Cygnar and Swan to Cygnid... i.e. swans...) which was freehanded from a pdf sheet of icons that Privateer gave Bell of Lost Souls. Secondly the rust. I wanted some rain run-off rust streaks. Not rusted to hell, just subtly weathered. This was achieved in a similar way to the copper, a mix of Dark Flesh and Vermin Brown (two key constituents of Jeff Rust) was thinned and applied to the lower edges of anywhere I wanted to pull a rust streak, I then pulled thin streaks down from the reservoir of paint and feathered them out with a dampened brush. I finished the weathering with very selective washes of a mix of Bestial Brown and Graveyard Earth to show accumulated muck.

The final thing that the top-down shows nicely is the basing. I wanted to go to town on these. I am unfamiliar with the big rounded lip Privateer bases and felt that they leant themselves to a more "cabinet" than "tabletop" look than my usual style. Hence I resolved to put extra effort into basing the Cygnar army to make each a mini diorama. Deciding to base the army in the Thornwood Forest I figured a woodland theme would suit them nicely. I built up the contours of the base with layers of superglue and sand and painted this in a nice earthy leafmold brown (Bestial basecoat over Calthan, Devlan Mud wash, gentle drybrush of Vomit Brown). I then scoured the back yard for weeds and pulled them up until I had found a nice branch-like root. This got cleaned up, sealed in PVA and applied to the base. I then added the twisting sticks and weeds you can see. Believe it or not, this is actually pencil shavings from an electric sharpener we have. These were pva'd down and all the wood was basecoated Graveyard Earth. Layers of washes followed to define the colours, all the brown and green ones were used. Finally I added spots of PVA and applied two colours of static grass (Scorched Grass and Glade Grass) to add a little more realism. Believe it or not I am not done yet. Anetoceti do a lovely leaf litter flock that I am getting my hot little hands on soon and will be adding that to finish the woodland feel.

One last picture to show off the chipping and scoring around the arms of the warjack (it fights other 'Jacks by punching them after all).

All in all I was thoroughly pleased with my first Warmachine fig. I had been put off in the past by Privateer's painting style which I think does their figures no favours at all. Having finally seen some in the flesh ( at Firestorm Games in Cardiff ) I was impressed enough to give them a go! I don't think Warmachine will ever overtake Warhammer and 40k in my affections but it is nice to have another feel of models to paint and nicer still to be a complete novice at something! That hasn't happened for eighteen years or so. Nice feeling! Anyway, must return to the grindstone. I am churning out the last of the basic Death Korps (determined to have the bulk finished by the start of April so I can enjoy painting the characters and weird bits before the deadline of the end of April). Pics when they are done of course, till then:



  1. Very nice! I personally have no problems with PP studio style, but your vision is quite fascinating! P.S. I play Cygnar too, so I may steal a few tricks.

  2. Looks superb mate, I'm going to be pinching the "furnace glow" if you don't mind?

    I much prefer your blue to the brighter scheme used by their studio - great job!

  3. pinch away fella. Once we've both got an army each my proud Cygnarian host will have to vanquish your vile Khador horde!

  4. Are they vile? I don't know much about the background yet... :-P

    A game sounds good though!

  5. dunno, something about Cygnar just screams jingoistic propaganda!

  6. C'mon, Cygnar are basically Americans, depicted as warring everywhere, then getting overextended.