Tuesday, 14 October 2014

A Feast for Crows

"We found her there, shaving the hair from her head using blood as a lather. Around her were the wreckage - both material and flesh - of what we presume was her trading caravan. Beyond that were the dozens of Orcs someone had slain. With an axe matching hers. The air was teeming with crows whose feast she had provided. She's never once spoken of the life before the massacre, indeed, only seems alive when howling fury at her foes. Frankly, sir, she scares the hell out of me..."
Stromni Skystride, Chief Ranger of Karak Hoch about Badhbh Crow-Feast.

There's a chance that this model is NSFW, if it is, find a better workplace ;)
Hello folks! Yes, were I Frankestein's Monster someone would be dancing around me hooting "He's.... ALIIIIVE!", sorry for the best part of a month's absence. Largely due to a) looking for work rather than putting paint on little mans, still ongoing, b) being on holiday, c) not realising that three weeks had managed to pass since last update. I have been painting but it is a huge 30 strong unit of Longbeards with lots and lots of fiddly details so is taking a while. As a bit of light relief I thought I'd paint this lovely Hasslefree miniatures trollslayer to add to my army as a Dragonslayer hero. Something to address first. Yep, she is very nekkid from the waist up. So are all the Trollslayers behind their beards:

But I was aware that for a variety of reasons nudity in female models is freighted with rather more "creepiness" than males. Mercifully, not only does Kev sculpt real, actual physiques on his women but there are also a variety of clothes options from this one all the way through to practical adventuring type gear. While some of his poses are a bit fanservice-ey (fair enough), most of them are non-sexualised women at war. Compare and contrast with the Brother Vinni stuff... With all this in mind I knew I wanted to dispel any titillation from the bared boobs and instead give the same impression that a half-naked male barbarian would give. I.E. badass who is so contemptuous of your abilities that he doesn't need armour. Nothing better than blood for that right?

As far as painting goes, most of what is there to talk about is skin. In this case, because Dwarf, she needed to be ruddy and weather-beaten. This, I achieve by shifting my usual skin method down a tone. Start from Bugman's Glow, Wash with Reikland Fleshtone. Then highlight with increasing mixes of Bugman's Glow, Cadian Fleshtone and finally a little Kislev Flesh mixed in for the top highlights. These are gradual transitions. I think I must have used about a dozen thin layers. Essentially each transition is in three stages pure colour; 2:1 mix; 1:1 mix; 1:2 mix; pure next colour.

Once the skin was finished, the hair was painted. Hasslefree's model has lovely sculpted stubble, just drybrush with wanted hair colour. Remember, slayer orange not the natural colour so stubble won't be orange! Trousers, weapon etc got their colours then it was blood and mud o'clock. I used blasts of air from the airbrush over a paint-loaded 3/0 brush to create the spatters. Be very careful and practice first on the palette. You generally don't want the first load you blow off the brush, too heavy. The second time is more subtle so unload the brush before you start. Streaks and rivulets were added with the brush depending from the larger splashes. For the blood, I used my usual mix of 3:1 red to chestnut ink and a splash of Lahmian medium. To this black ink is added in order to create the darker, blood for the bigger/older areas.

You can see the black-er blood on the edge of the axe. The mud was spattered with AK Fresh Mud the same way as the blood. It's subtle - too subtle for my lighting I'm afraid - but can be seen on the left arm in the picture above. This model was a joy to paint - as have been all the #Hasslefree models I've painted. Seriously, if you enjoy painting: check them out. Kev's been on a real roll lately and lots of the more recent figures are becoming must-haves for me. Oh and they totally have a range of squats...

As normal, while painting I was telling the model's story in my head. I pictured her as an unknown revenant of furious revenge. Her past life wiped out by traumatic slaughter and only violent death remaining. Her name - Badhbh (pronounced Bay-v) - is one of the three names of the goddesses that make up the Morrigan, the crow goddess of death in battle and rebirth of ancient celt legend. The "Crow-Feast" surname is a reference to this and also what she provides in any battle she steps into. "But Jeff," you begin, "Don't you already have a character slayer that you waxed rhapsodic about not so long ago?" Well yes, he's been simultaneously promoted to Daemon Slayer in the Stormbornes and also earmarked for a future Karak Kadrin army (I have another 70 slayers lying around... because reasons, I don't have a problem, honest...).

More soon (not least 30 Longbeards) but for now


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