Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Mandrake Masquerade

Hi folks, something a little left field for you today:

These are three of Freebooter miniature's Brotherhood characters (Bonaccia; Apagado & Trucco). They are being used as Mandrakes - Dark Eldar shadow creatures who live for assassination and murder - in my client's Corsair Eldar army. The challenge for me was to paint these in a way that said "Mandrake" and helped them fit in with the existing Void Dragon's colour scheme. Turned out a greater challenge was making the camera resolve the very subtle differences between the black tones on the models!

While we're talking black, Each area of the model's clothing and leather is a different colour, doesn't look that way in these shots, they're much better in person! I used the principles I discussed way back in Paint a Ninja and used a different starting colour for each basecoat. Washing them down with successive layers of Nuln Oil and then rehighlighting with the base colour. This created the very dark, shadowy feel that I felt the Mandrakes needed. The weapons - to make them feel a bit more Eldar-y - were painted the same wraithbone as the weapons on the corsair tanks. In the same vein...

The masks were painted with the red-bronze mix that I'd used before. Indeed, these are the best pictures for showing the metallic character of the red. I was really worried that they would be too bright, too gaudy for the characters of the Mandrakes but the splash of red really made them.

This one just hated being photographed, imaging artifacts, poor contast differentiation. Grrr.
Where skin was visible, I painted it as black - as the Mandrakes are described in the Dark Eldar Codex - by mixing Cadian Flesh with black and adding more Cadian Flesh for the highlights. A thin glaze of Reikland Fleshtone gives a tiny breath of life to it. The eyes and carved sigils on the mandrakes are supposed to blaze with light and power so I went for very, very bright green for the eyes. Hopefully this has captured some Mandrake-y character to these Brotherhood models. I kinda pictured them as Mandrakes who had tagged along with Harlequins and picked up some of their theatricality and style.

I have to say a word about the models. They are stunning sculpts. Absolutely fantastic. To the extent that I want to get some of my own and paint them in a more "typical" rennaisance-ish fashion. Might have to see about some sort of Tiliean project some time... Until next time folks.



  1. Very nice. Good interpretation of a phenomenally vague brief.

  2. Nice work mate, and ditto your comment about the Freebooter's Fate models, they are beautiful models and a joy to paint. I have the Brotherhood boxed set on a shelf waiting 'til I'm in the right mood to do them justice.