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 Painting Skulltaker - the Herald of Khorne

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Lord Payne

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PostSubject: Painting Skulltaker - the Herald of Khorne   Fri 16 Aug - 12:26:00

Well it is no secret my love for painting every model I do to the best of my ability.  This of course does result in my armies taking an extremely long time to complete.  This "Masterclass" as it were, is on The Khorne Daemon, Skulltaker - The Herald of Khorne.

Games Workshops "Eavy Metal" Team boast some of the very best painters in the world, and so I decided to use quite possibly the best figure painter on the team for my guide - Joe Tomaszewski.  All of the colours in the following guide, as well as techniques, have followed Joe's method almost to the letter, so get your note pad out and scribble down the information that you may require to complete the model.

First of all before starting make sure you have some kind of plan.  I like to follow "Eavy Metal" Artist Anja Wettergren's method of paint from inside out.  This means painting areas like the skin first, followed up by cloth and armour so that you avoid accidentally covering areas that have already been painstakingly completed.  It also means that as you move outwards you will be able to cover up areas that may have caught the odd brush stroke.  It should be of no surprise that this is how Joe did Skulltaker too.

So having an idea of how I will go about painting the model, I then did a colour check, to make sure I had what I wanted and also a good work space with plenty of light (very important for the fine detail work) and then plenty of Medium.

The Skulltaker has a huge amount of blended detail on it so in order to get this I would need to use a lot of medium to thin the paint down.  The layers would then be applied in lots of thin coats building up a nice blend.  So "PUT AWAY" your dry brush and forget you know anything about it.  Patience is the key to this.

I have used previous citadel colours, however, after each colour I have listed the new colours in brackets.  Whichever you use, it is important that you follow the technique - i.e. add medium and thin the colour down.

Next up - Brushes.  Because of the detail on the model, if you can afford it you will be well served by buying yourself some Sable Hair Brushes.  "Eavy Metal" Brushes Standard and Large are both Sable.  The advantage of these brushes is that they are really soft, take a lot of paint and form a really good tip while painting.  They also clean nicely and are less likely to flick and get paint over your completed work.  Also for fine detail, the point they form makes that work so much easier.  Citadel brushes, while suitable for painting miniatures, are not particularly great quality for miniature painting - either that or I have had real bad luck when buying these brushes as I have yet to have one that has been up to the task.


Last edited by Lord Payne on Sun 18 Aug - 17:30:53; edited 2 times in total
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Lord Payne

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PostSubject: Re: Painting Skulltaker - the Herald of Khorne   Fri 16 Aug - 12:32:53

STAGE 1

Starting with the skin I thinned down Scab Red (Khorne Red) with medium - roughly 2 parts medium to 1 part red.  I applied lots of thin layers over a Chaos Black (Abaddon Black) undercoat.  Because of the black undercoat and the red being very thin, over several layers you get a lovely dark moody red with a black undertone showing through.

Also the deep recesses will be darker, but you will need to apply at least 3 or 4 very thin layers to get this basecoat.  Avoid the temptation of seeing black as soon as you apply the paint and trying to thicken the red up.  Just wash the colour over the whole model.  By the time you have covered all of the skin the areas you started on will be dry and you can start applying the second coat and so on.



You will notice from the image above and below that I have been indiscriminate on my application of the red and have managed to get it all over the armour and cloak. This is fine as you can tidy that up later.

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PostSubject: Re: Painting Skulltaker - the Herald of Khorne   Fri 16 Aug - 12:42:38

Highlighting the skin. I did this in 3 stages. First of all I mixed a 1:1 solution of Blood Red and Red Gore (Evil Sunz Scarlet and Wazdakka Red) with equal parts medium. I tested a dab on my pallet to make sure it was thin enough (it should be similar to a normal wash).

In several thin layers I applied the colour to the raised areas, starting fairly close to the depressions and with each layer gradually working my way further out, so that the last layer is on the very raised and exposed parts of the skin. This will take about 3 layers, possibly 4, providing you have thinned down the paint suitably.

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PostSubject: Re: Painting Skulltaker - the Herald of Khorne   Fri 16 Aug - 12:47:00

The next highlight was built up by mixing a 1:1 solution of Blood Red and Blazing Orange (Evil Sunz Scarlet and Troll Slayer Orange) with equal parts medium. Once again I did a quick test on my pallet to make sure it had a thin enough consistency. Over about 3 thin layers I blended this highlight onto the skin, this time starting much closer to the outer surfaces of the skin. You should now be starting to see a smooth blend in the tones come together.

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PostSubject: Re: Painting Skulltaker - the Herald of Khorne   Fri 16 Aug - 13:00:49

In order to get the final highlight to stand out I needed to deepen the recesses again.  I did both stages at the same time here.  Using a 1:1 mix of Chaos Black and Scorched Brown (Abaddon Black and Rhinox Hide) with equal parts water and medium, I added further shade to the recesses.  Because I wanted to be fairly precise I opted to use my "Eavy Metal" Standard Brush rather than the usual Wash Brush.

Next I mixed up a 1:1 solution of Blazing Orange and Iyanden Darksun (Troll Slayer Orange and Averland Sunset) with equal parts medium.  This final highlight should only be applied to the uppermost areas of the skin.  On the horns you will even get away with very light strokes over the texture (very similar to dry brushing but without the need to dry the brush off) and this will pick  out the edges.

The eyes were carefully painted using Blazing Orange (Troll Slayer Orange) and then highlighted Golden Yellow (Yriel Yellow).  Only use a little medium for this and also avoid using the find detail brush, it will blob and ruin your hard work.  I find holding the model up to a daylight lamp with my elbows locked into my hips makes it much easier for my hands to stabilise and stroke the paint onto the eyes.

You will also notice from the image below, that at this stage I have gone back and cleared up the black from all of my over-spillage.

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PostSubject: Re: Painting Skulltaker - the Herald of Khorne   Fri 16 Aug - 13:12:13

So, that's the skin completed. If you compare with the model painted by Joe, you will see how similar it is. To get the SUPERB fine detail and accuracy of the "Eavy Metal" Team takes a lot of practice and time. Remember, these artists spend several hours every day fine tuning their skill and have had many years experience. Our aim, like my attempt above is about aspiring to reach their highly skilled level of work. Next up - the Cloak
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PostSubject: Re: Painting Skulltaker - the Herald of Khorne   Sat 17 Aug - 17:05:52

The cloak to this model has 3 distinct features - The cloth, the Symbol of Khorne and the skulls. For the cloth I wanted to re-create the Waxed Leather look and the symbol would be painted in non-metallic colours giving it a bronze feel, but still fabric. The skulls would be given a very dirty and weathered look. Just like all of the previous stages, this would be made up of several layers of thinned down paint.

STAGE 1

The leather would be given a build up of layers so that it would look like waxed leather with a shine to it's finish. I started with a 1:1 mix of Charadon Granite and Fortress Grey. I then added a bit more Fortress Grey until I was satisfied the grey was what I wanted. I was looking for a dark grey somewhere in between the two colours I used. Once I was satisfied I then added and equal amount of Chaos Black and equal amount of medium. (The whole mix can be made of 1:1 Abaddon Black and Dawnstone). This was then applied in a few layers to the raised surfaces of the fabric.

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PostSubject: Re: Painting Skulltaker - the Herald of Khorne   Sat 17 Aug - 17:10:21

The next few layers were built up by adding more Fortress Grey (Dawnstone) to the mix closer to the very raised surfaces. Then using pure Fortress Grey (Dawnstone) I painted a careful streak down the raised fold. Once this dried I painted an even thinner straight line of pure skull white (White Scar) at the top end of the raised fold.

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PostSubject: Re: Painting Skulltaker - the Herald of Khorne   Sat 17 Aug - 17:13:44

The Symbol of Khorne and the trims are painted the same colour. Starting with a few layers of thinned down Scorched Earth (Rhinox Hide), I carefully covered the symbol so that I did not cover any of the rest of the cloak.

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PostSubject: Re: Painting Skulltaker - the Herald of Khorne   Sat 17 Aug - 17:17:43

The highlight for the symbol and trim was made up of 1:1 Bestial Brown and Snakebite Leather (Skrag Brown). I applied this to the raised areas and the edges of the trims. Again, expect to apply about 3 layers.



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PostSubject: Re: Painting Skulltaker - the Herald of Khorne   Sat 17 Aug - 17:20:44

The highlight was built up with a 1:1 mix of the previous colour and Skull White (Skrag Brown and White Scar). This was applied all along the edges and to the centre of the raised areas.



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PostSubject: Re: Painting Skulltaker - the Herald of Khorne   Sat 17 Aug - 17:23:03

The final highlight is to create the light effect.  This is done by layering on very thin Skull White (White Scar) to the extreme edges and raised surface.



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PostSubject: Re: Painting Skulltaker - the Herald of Khorne   Wed 11 Sep - 12:44:58

Not unsurprisingly there are a lot of skulls on this model. Take a good look over the model, because one or two of them are hidden, so make sure you find them all before starting.

I base-coated the skulls Charadon Granite (Stormvermin Fur). Once again, do this in several thin layers. Leave the black undercoat showing in the recesses and sockets - the thin layers will create a natural blended gradient for you.

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PostSubject: Re: Painting Skulltaker - the Herald of Khorne   Wed 11 Sep - 12:50:30

Now we need to build up the highlights.  Make a mix of 1:1 Charadon Granite and Bleached Bone (Stormvermin Fur & Ushabti Bone).  Again in several thin layers (remember to add your medium) apply it over most of the surface of the skulls.

The photo quality is not particularly great but you should be able to see the lighter areas building up on the model.



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PostSubject: Re: Painting Skulltaker - the Herald of Khorne   Wed 11 Sep - 12:56:50

The next highlight is designed to pick out the sharp edges and upper most areas of the skulls (that is the direction of most light).  The original grey colour is kept in the depressions and lower areas to give a weathered appearance.

In several thinned layers carefully apply as described above pure Bleached Bone (Ushabti Bone)

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PostSubject: Re: Painting Skulltaker - the Herald of Khorne   Wed 11 Sep - 13:04:27

The final highlight is applied to the extreme edges and raised area using pure Skull White (White Scar).  It is possible that the deepest recesses and sockets have been lightened up by over spillage.  If so a quick wash of Devlan Mud (Agrax Earthshade) will give back the shadow again.

You should end up with quite a chalky blue/white appearance lending further to the aged and weathered look.   There are several other ways to paint skulls and these will all look equally impressive if you don't fancy using the above method.

Again, not a great quality photo, but you should be able to see the final effect.

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PostSubject: Re: Painting Skulltaker - the Herald of Khorne   Wed 11 Sep - 13:21:16

Owing to poor resolution I can only show the finished part of the steel armour, but will take you through my 4 stages all the same.

Start with a 1:1 mix of Chaos Black and Boltgun Metal (Abaddon Black and Leadbelcher) for all of the iron areas of armour.

Next a pure highlight of Chainmail is applied (Ironbreaker). Try to highlight all of the links in thin layers.

Then a wash of Devlan Mud (Agrax Earthshade) is used to darken the recesses and just dull off the shine from the highlight.

Finally a layer of pure Mithril Silver (Runefang Steel) is very lightly Drybrushed (yes Really) on the raised links.

In the image below I have also completed the basecoat for the Bronze which is a 1:1mix of Chaos Black and Dwarf Bronze (Abaddon Black & Hashut Copper)


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PostSubject: Re: Painting Skulltaker - the Herald of Khorne   Wed 11 Sep - 13:24:52

While doing the Bronze (basecoat explained in the post above) the Skull hooks are done in the same method.

The next layer is pure Dwarf Bronze (Hashut Copper) leaving the basecoat showing near the edge of the symbols.



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PostSubject: Re: Painting Skulltaker - the Herald of Khorne   Wed 11 Sep - 13:30:49

Finally a wash of Devlan Mud (Agrax Earthshade) is applied to dull the shine a bit followed by a edge layer and raised areas being painted 1:1 Dwarf Bronze and Mithril Silver (Hashut Copper & Runefang Steel)





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PostSubject: Re: Painting Skulltaker - the Herald of Khorne   Wed 11 Sep - 13:40:00

The finishing touches need only be completed and that's it.

The tongue was painted a 1:1 mix of Hormagaunt Purple & Liche Purple (Daemonette Hide & Xereus Purple) highlighted up to Fortress Grey (Administratum Grey)

The sword and claws were both done very similar. Chaos Black (Abaddon Black) for the basecoat and edge highlighted Codex Grey (Dawnstone) with the sharpest edges Skull White (White Scar).

The growth lines on the claws are just thinner lines of the highlights detailed above.

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PostSubject: Re: Painting Skulltaker - the Herald of Khorne   Wed 11 Sep - 13:45:40

The flaming skull is a bit more difficult as it is harder to blend going from light to dark.

Start with a base coat of pure Skull White (White Scar)

Then paint Sunburst Yellow (Flash Gitz Yellow) on all of the raised areas of the flame leaving white in the recesses.

The next step is quite difficult so use lots and lots of thin layers (I used 7) of Blazing Orange (Troll Slayer Orange).

This was then highlighted nearer the edges with Scab Red (Khorne Red) and a final highlight of Chaos Black (Abaddon Black). Again I did this in about 7 to 8 very thin layers.

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PostSubject: Re: Painting Skulltaker - the Herald of Khorne   Wed 11 Sep - 13:49:15

The finished model





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PostSubject: Re: Painting Skulltaker - the Herald of Khorne   Wed 11 Sep - 13:53:58

To see how the 'Eavy Metal team finished their Skulltaker follow the link below to Games Workshop. I am not 100% certain the model shown is the one painted by Joe Tomaszewski, but it does show you just how good a job can be done by the professionals.

http://www.games-workshop.com/gws/catalog/productDetail.jsp?catId=cat440166a&prodId=prod1160089a&rootCatGameStyle=
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