When it comes to the Age of Sigmar story campaigns currently appearing in the rulebooks, I am well served with miniatures for the Realm of Fire (in fact, once I get a Skull Keep done, I think I have everything I need for all of them) and the Realm of Life is well on its way. Models for the Realm of Metal campaign I have not really touched yet, not least because they are going to require a chuffing big Dreadhold at some point. However, I picked up some Chaos Knights very cheap on eBay and thought they would be ‘low hanging fruit’ – quick and easy to polish off between other projects, and a decent start on the Tzeentch-based Bleak Horde.
Predictably, they turned out not to be all that quick, but I think they have turned out rather nice for someone of my mediocre painting skills.
I used the Bleak Horde painting guide in the Ghal Maraz book as a starting point, though it is very brief compared to some of the others. The models started with a blanket of Leadbelcher, followed by Ironbreaker on all the flat plates – however, with future Chaos Warriors, I will probably skip the Leadbelcher and go straight to the brighter metal as the next stage, Guilliman Blue on all the flat plates inevitably meant I needed to touch up the remaining metal parts (principally the chainmail) with Leadbelcher again.
As it turned out, I needed two coats of Guilliman Blue before I got the effect I was looking for (a nice shiny blue sheen) , and then the chainmail was the usual Leadbelcher/Nuln Oil/Runefang Steel approach.
The next major job was the gold. Now, GW suggest about 57 different ways of doing gold in their painting guides – this was number 42. Start with Balthasar Gold, shade with Agrax Earthshade and then, rather than a Runefang Steel highlight as I have tended to do before, a Gehenna Gold one instead. Keeps things shiny but retains a nice, solid gold feel.
Though it appears fairly intricate, the gold did not take all that long and, up to this point, most of the time had gone into waiting for these things to dry.
After that, it was just the detailing – the leather boots and straps (Rhinox Hide with Mournfang highlights) and the horses (Abaddon Black with Skavenblight Dirge highlights), and that was it more or less done!
The stretched skin over a couple of the shields looked a might too pink in GW’s models in the Ghal Maraz book (I presume they have been skinning Horrors), so I went with the standard Kislev Flesh/Reikland Fleshshade/Cadian Fleshtone. One of the shields, carried by the unit leader, had eyes all over it and these have not turned out hugely awesome. However, my talent is limited and, at tabletop distance, they do the job just fine. But don’t look too closely at the photos.
The next thing this force really needs is a bunch of Chaos Warriors (I am thinking about 30 of them should do the job). However, I have already picked up a suitable Chaos Sorcerer to lead them (as per the novels and campaign) and, in an absolutely brilliant deal on eBay, a Chaos Lord on a Manticore – again, from the stories. This guy is normally £35 from GW, and when they (rarely) pop up on eBay, they can easily reach £30. My one… a tenner! He had been only half put together, which is why I think some people avoided him, but I glued the remaining bits on during the week, and he looks fit for the job!
I am not desperate to get him or the Sorcerer done at this point, as those games are a suitably far distance off and the next jobs are a) finishing the Skull Keep (hopefully this coming week, all going well!), b) a bunch of Khorne characters alongside Skarbrand (which will polish off everything I intend to do for the Bloodbound in the foreseeable future) and c) a proper start on the Rotbringers, starting with ten Blightkings, who I will be taking a crack at tomorrow.
Busy, busy, busy!