This is certainly the biggest model I have painted for a while – the Skull Keep from the Chaos Dreadhold set…
A few things to note, to begin with…
- It is BIG!
- It does not take all that long to paint.
- It takes a lot of paint – a whole pot of Balthazar Gold and a pot and a half of Agrax Earthshade went into this…
I used the painting guide in White Dwarf and, assisted by Netflix, it turned out to be a doddle.
After a black undercoat (make sure you get good coverage!), all the metal work was painted in Balthazar Gold and washed with Agrax Earthshade – these stages take up, by far, the most paint in terms of quantity, but you will be using a really big brush. This was followed by a drybrushing of Necron Compound (one of their dry range, which I still have not really got used to).
The stonework was next – a base of Abaddon Black (because you will have gone over the lines with the metalwork – don’t even try to be neat with that, it is not worth the time), followed by a drybrush of Dark Reaper and a very light drybrush of Fenrisian Grey.
All that will be left then are the skulls – and there are a lot of them!
However, whereas you would normally do base/shade/highlight, White Dwarf suggested a different method – a heavy drybrush of each skull with Tyrant Skull (another from their dry range) and maybe a variety of washes – job done! Following this, I would say that, if you are lazy, the Tyrant Skull drybrush alone would do the job, but a quick coating of Agrax Earthshade smooths everything out. They suggest a variety of washes with a hint of Blood God here and there, and I think that may make it look perhaps 5% better. Your decision as to whether that was worth it, but my skulls were all obviously added at the same time.
And that was it. Job Done!
The Skull Keep looks really good on the battlefield, and was much quicker to both build and paint than I had thought. Best of all, it can easily act as a stand alone terrain piece and should get a lot of usage.
So, the big question: Am I going to add more to build this up into a proper castle?
Well, I guess I kind of have to! However, thanks to the (I really think) clever design of the Dreadhold pieces – I hear they are a Dave Andrews design – you can add things gradually, one at a time, and you won’t really be ‘waiting’ to use them. Everything piece and combination of pieces has a specific use, either in a Battleplan or Warscroll, so you can paint up what you think is cool, and start using it immediately.
For me, the next piece is either going to be the Bastion or Gate – either will give me new options in terms of Battleplans and be a convincing start on a larger fortress. However, I am in no rush to do so as there are plenty of other projects on the go, and the Skull Keep alone will get plenty of use. Perhaps they will form the basis of this year’s coming Christmas Project?