Friday, 14 February 2014

Slayers Might Fly

Hi folks, been a bit quiet hasn't it? I've been on a family-visit-o-thon with Mrs PVP for the last week, slightly extended due to seriously atrocious weather (for Britain). As is my wont, I tend to warm up on a personal model after an extended break - its incredible how stiff even a week off can make me feel. Stupid wrist, grump - and what a model I had to work on:

Yep, for anyone who knows me, it is not even a small surprise that I laid my hands on the new Slayer the day he came out. I knew he was waiting for me at the shop when I got back from hols and figured a reletively simple colour scheme like him was the perfect choice to warm up. Before I natter about paint, I really, really need to talk about this model. Caution, probable hyperbole ahead ;)

Firstly, take a look at that sprue. At the cutting. Just drink it in. Seriously, this sort of thing just wasn't possible before CAD/Hybrid sculpting came in. The way the sculptor (I wish they signed these things on the sprues) has divided the parts in order to create undercuts on the finished model is genius. Look at the way the head seperates from the body. Then there is the hair. Oh my god the hair. The hair is an absolute masterstroke. I've never seen crested hair done better. When the inevitable plastic slayers come, if citadel don't do this for the units they have missed a massive trick. Oh, and even with such a simple model there are full instructions with the parts numbered in the order you assemble it. Take note Forgeworld y'slackers. One final note for the rumour mongers and doomsayers out there - people have been talking about cancelled armies for 2014 because of 2013's financials - look at the date. 2012. GW do not work on this years armies this year. This model has been ready for a minimum of 13 months. More like eighteen. Can we all calm down on excusing made up rumours as "GW cancelling things". If things are cancelled then they are not for this year. It's for 2015-16.

So, back to painting! I've talked about the basics of slayer painting (oddly over at the Beard Bunker for once) so I won't worry too much about the essence. I'll talk about what is different. Well, first, I've finally found a reliable black wash. It's Black Ink in Lahmian Medium. That's all. Not as good as Badab Black but as good as we're going to get in this dreary Nuln Oil coloured world. Nuln Oil has it's uses but for pure black: stick to ink. I also warmed the hair with ink having taken it a little too light. A glaze of chestnut ink brought it back nicely. Sadly all the wash and glaze layers while providing a lovely tone and contrast in real life don't pick up the shadows on camera. Sigh. There is a reason for "studio style" after all. I also took the time to paint the shadow of his shaved head on the sides. I followed a modified method from the old white dwarf article "Painting Faces Redux". Pdfs float about out there, I urge you to look it up. Great article. Mix Cadian Fleshtone at a 2:1:1 ratio with Val German Camo Brown-Black and Administratum Grey and then really, really dilute it. Two-three thin glazed layers make a lovely realistic 5 O'clock shadow. Rehighlight with the skin colours and you're there.

I wanted to minimise the stone dragon on the base. I think it pulls attention away from the Slayer in the studio scheme. Instead I thought I'd really go for the ancient forgotten stones of Karak Hoch (my hold in our Beard Bunker campaign). My usual go to of Skavenblight Dinge, Stormvermin Fur and Terminatus Stone made the base colour of the stonework. I then glazed it over with streaks of AK Winter Streaking Grim to get a general dirty green tint (stronger in real life, you can see it on the left better) and applied a few stipples of Tyrant Skull as lichen. Then some undergrowth to further age it. First a few clumps of moss tufts from Antenocetis Workshop. These are like the normal grass tufts but are trimmed to about 1mm. They make cracking moss. Also from Antenoceti, the ivy strands help to make it disappear behind undergrowth. Hopefully this means you see the Slayer first. Then notice an ivy covered lump, then identify the ivy covered lump as a nifty stone dragon. That's the theory anyway.

I can safely say that this is one of my favourite figures, I just love the design, the pose, the cleverness of the cutting and use of the material, the dynamic sense, everything. I almost rushed this one, so excited was I to be painting him. Plus he needed to match my existing Slayers. I strongly expect to paint him again at some point. Maybe as part of a duel, because I think I have finally found an opponant to one of my other favourite plastic models of recent years, this chap...

Image from Games Workshop purely for illustrative purposes.

So yep... that's gonna happen! I've not done a diorama before, could be fun! Anyway, I'm back to work now, finished the Slayer this morning so you can expect more pretty Eldar any day now. Until next time


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