"...My name is Nathaniel Garro, and I am a Legion of One."
Oooh, this was a fun one folks. Garro is one of those models that I'd struggle to justify for my own collection so when one rocked up as part of a commission I was happy as a pig in muck. Garro is an interesting character from the Heresy, a former Death Guard commanding the Eisenstein and brought word of Horus' treachery to the Emperor. Eschewing his traitor legion, stripped the colours from his armour and demanded new purpose. He now serves Malcador the Sigillite, Regent of Terra directly and there are strong indicators that he was the inspiration for the formation of the Grey Knights. Nifty huh? I'll confess I haven't read any of his recent adventures, for me the Heresy series has rather lost it's way and I quit after Nemesis, but I believe this model is depicting his actions on Calth. How he got to Calth through the Chaos-called warp storms and all the rest is beyond me but I'm sure the author threw some macguffin or other at it so we'll take it as read. On to the exciting bit, painting!
I was a bit torn at first as to the exact method of the unpainted armour. There were three options: 1 - very shiny like modern grey knights; 2 - fairly plain metal like the forgeworld studio scheme; 3 - heavy, slightly weathered iron as though it's protective paint had been stripped. Having consulted with the client - and lets face it, knowing me - we went with option 3. Heavy and weathered. So the metal started from Ammo Old Rust which is a great mid rust brown. The whole model having received a brown basecoat I started the sequential drybrushing of four different steel colours (Gun Metal, Plate Mail Metal, Shining Silver, Model Air Steel) leaving the brown only in the recesses and peeking through to tone the darker steel. A quick wash of Nuln Oil finished the job and he looked great. The texture of the resin armour really worked for this technique. I thought the bronze areas were a little too bright on the forgeworld scheme, they drew too much attention. So I used some of the Nihilak Oxide over a basecoat of Bright Bronze (shaded with a little Agrax Earthshade) and then highlighted with increasing amounts of silver added to the bronze.
Aside from a few details most of the work was done by this point! I painted the weaponry a cleaner steel tone using blue in the wash to give them a slightly different tone to the armour. Liberatas - Garro's sword - also got a bling golden pommel and quillions rather than the bronze fittings everywhere else. Liberatas is supposed to be a very old blade won by Garro so I didn't want it to seem like it was made to order to fit his uniform. With this done I turned my attention to the base: most of this is just rocks and rubble but the interesting bits include some twisted metal wreckage - handled with Ammo's range of rust colours - and a discarded helmet. Given that it's Calth I figured an Ultramarine was in order. Oh, there is one other thing on the base...
...Yup a dismembered Gal Vorbak daemon hybrid of the Word Bearers legion. This was another colour challenge. Given that Garro is quire desaturated with all the metalwork, a bright red dude was going to draw a lot of attention. So given that the Word bearers are a dark red anyway I knocked it down another tone to diminish the impact (Khorne Red with black added). The grey shoulder went to dark steel instead prevent it blending too much with the rocks. This was all fairly straightforward. But the skin. Hoo boy that needed some thought. I considered a red tone but dismissed it as it would blend with the armour too much. Contrasting tones would start drawing attention again, basic flesh tones or a genestealer hybrid purple would stand out too much. Eventually I realised that burned black daemon flesh would be the right choice. Black mixed with Cadian Fleshtone as a basecoat adding more Cadian Fleshtone as the highlight. Worked nicely. One for the mental archives I feel! Some streaks and pools of blackish blood (I figured that the lack of other body parts meant Garro had killed him offscene and kicked the torso forward leaving trails of blood) finished the base off.
As the full base is somewhat large, forgeworld have cunningly included a drop in version of the scenic base. This leaves him with a still pretty but much more usable base for general gaming. The last thing to do was the face. There's not much to tell here, I painted him pale as that's how he's described in the books, made sure that the eye-sockets were dark and purplish as frankly, "he's seen some things, you weren't there man, you weren't there..." and that was that! This one was a lot of fun to paint, a great character with a really nice sculpt to represent him.