Thursday, 19 December 2013

Lord of the Corsairs

Ahoy me hearties! Set sail on the sea of stars and fall upon those worthless humans like the wolves we are, solar sails set and this guys hand on the tiller:

Yep, today's offering is Prince Yriel, recast as a Corsair Autarch complete with nifty wings, all the better to join his men. I've always loved this figure, right from the moment they released him. I worked for GW Oxford at the time and we even chose Iyanden as the store army just to better fit in with him. So the chance to paint one as part of the corsair force was a treat.

The first thing to fathom was which colours were going where. Initially I thought to make him stand out more from the pack and use red on the coat. I was worried that the shades of grey would blend together. Trust me, this didn't work. So instead I launched into plan B. The coat would be a darker shade, the armour plates lighter. The metallic red alternating feathers would provide enough bling for him. For reference, the wings and the main body of the model were painted seperately. It would have been madness to stick them on first. One more note on the coat before we move on. Yriel has lovely brocade-esque detailing around the garment, this created a problem as the dark and brooding thing was working. I didn't want to introduce another colour - the only options from the pallete being turquoise, bone or red - as it would have dramatically changed the tone of the model. Instead, I had a brainwave. I darkened the detailing to black and added a layer of gloss varnish. This created a contrast of texture rather than colour and while it looks ok in photos it is lovely in real life.

Speaking of turquoise, eagle eyed types will notice that the sash around his waist and the band around his arm are also a dark shade of turquoise (Stegadon Scale Green with a Coelia Greenshade wash and some highlighting if curious). This allowed me to subtly break up areas of detail without drawing the eye from the main foci - face, spear, wings, that gurt great gem on his chest. Using a darker shade of an existing colour from the pallete is a neat way of maintaining a colour scheme while minimising areas of detail that you don't want to pop out.

While there isn't a whole lot of painting to talk about on it I just had to post a picture of the spear tip. It's been my favourite part of the model for ages. Of course it's actually a halbard but then most GW spears are anyway ;)

Now, the picture above may look a bit mad but it illustrates something that I talk about from time to time, balancing colours across models. In this case the red and the bone were important. I knew I wanted the wings to alternate red and grey feathers so I needed some red low down on the model to balance that. The lining of the coat, darker, but the same hue took care of that. The outstreatched hand was also balanced by making the ribbons hanging from the weapon red. I thought of turquoise or grey but it needed that balance.

Simarily, the spear is huge and occupies a lot of the model. While I was pondering hair colours it occurred to me that I could balance the spear accross the model by using the tyranid bit on the base and his hair. You wouldn't think to look at it but the hair is the exact same colour as the spear. It has just been treated differently afterwards. In this case a wash of Agrax Earthshade rather than Seraphim Sepia changes it juuust enough. The tyranid bit is different, it's Karak Stone but the colours are close enough to work. This is the sort of process that your brain goes through automatically when you've been painting a while, you instinctively balance things or at least know when something is "wrong". But every now and again - like the hair - you stop for a moment trying to figure out what to do. It is then you shift from instinct to an active process and start mentally drawing triangles all over the place! Most colour decisions on my models are made using a mix of this process and a colour wheel.

Anyway, that's all for today folks, the guardians are nearly finished and will be up on the blog very soon. But for now.


1 comment:

  1. An eminently suitable leader for the Corsairs, I think. Nice work.