This week for something different I have invited Stuart Barker along to Brush and Boltgun to write a guest post for us. Back in February, Stu’s gorgeous paint work on Khârn the Bloody was featured by Forge World themselves, and I though it would be an excellent opportunity for him to showcase the model and tell you a little bit about how he achieved those results. (Stu uses some old Citadel paints. Next to them, I’ve tried my best to suggest a modern Citadel alternative.) [Mike]
Well Brush and Boltgun readers, I am submitting my first blog entry of any kind here at the invitation of Mr. Mike Hollows, following a share of my completed Khârn the Bloody miniature by Forge World themselves (insert smug emoji here).
Now, please bear with me as I completed this guy a while ago, using mostly Vallejo paints and some of the older Citadel range, and the exact names may be slightly off. But without further ado I’ll get into the nitty, gritty and bloody!
As always with resin miniatures there is a certain amount of preparation that you have to do before you put a brush to the model. This is usually my least favourite part, so I’ll skip past all the boring details, beyond stripping off the resin blocks, removing mold lines and washing in warm soapy water with the help of a toothbrush, and rinsing.
Next up it’s time for assembly, or rather sub-assemblies. I have never really stick a full model together prior to painting (much to Mike’s dismay [it’s true – Mike]) as I like to paint the whole model. YES, even the bits you will most likely not even see. The fact I know they are there and not painted would drive me nuts!
As Forge World resin is pretty fragile stuff, I am in the habit of using pins where possible to strengthen joints. For Khârn I used 2 pins in the diorama base, drilled into the underside of his scenic footing through the circular gaming base, superglued the 2 sections together and folded the pins back to keep a really secure hold. I did this on both the small 25mm gaming base and larger display base. I also pinned Khârn’s foot into the 25mm base and the unfortunate Ultramarines’ foot into the display section.
The next piece of pinning was for Gorechild, his famous chain axe. This took a great amount of patience with a hand held pin vice, drilling up into the haft of the axe before fitting a small pin through his hand and securing with super glue. The rest of Khârn’s pieces are pretty small and light so don’t run much danger of breaking if they come off.
All that was left to do is use a little Citadel basing texture paint to fill the gaps where the display base doesn’t cover the large circular base.
With sub-assemblies complete it’s time for priming! Another part of the job I don’t particularly enjoy but is necessary. Before getting any paint down, I cover any of the areas that join the model together such as the base of the neck and the torso where head sits with a little Blu-tack. This is just so when priming is complete, I can remove the Blu-tack and when I finally glue the model together I am sticking resin to resin, not paint to paint. For priming I use an airbrush with Vallejo’s Black polyurethane airbrush primer. I was slightly anxious about doing a white model from a black primer, but it actually wasn’t so bad!
To make it easier I will go through each model section by section:
Khârn – White Armour (be sure to take time and layer these up with thin coats to avoid chalky paint and brush strokes. The white was all applied with brush).
- Basecoat – Vallejo Cold Grey.
- Shade – Citadel Devlan Mud into the recesses.
- Midtone – 50/50 Vallejo Cold Grey & Vallejo Stonewall Grey.
- Layer up pure Vallejo Stonewall Grey to all but the deepest areas. If you water down the paint and pull the paint towards your light source you can create a subtle transition on white.
- Layer up again 50/50 Vallejo Stonewall Grey & White (any white).
- Final highlight of pure White. Use very selectively or it will really look stark.
Khârn – Blue Armour.
- Basecoat Vallejo Imperial Blue.
- Shade – 50/50 mix of Vallejo Imperial Blue & Black – watered down and applied to recesses.
- Layer up with 50/50 mix of Vallejo Imperial & Citadel Ultramarine Blue.
- Highlight with Citadel Ultramarine Blue.
- Highlight with a 50/50 mix of Citadel Ultramarine Blue & Vallejo Wolf Grey.
- Final highlight of Pure Wolf Grey and sharpest upwards facing edges.
The image below shows Khârn after most of the basecoat stage – note the white armour has had its recesses shaded.
Khârn – Brass Areas:
- Basecoat with a 50/50 mix of Bronze & Black (I can’t recall which bronze I used now)
- Highlight the middle areas with bronze, but not the edges. Keep the edges the darker colour.
- Water down a little Citadel Devlan Mud [This would now be Citadel Agrax Earthshade] and shade all the Bronze.
- Highlight edges with a 50/50 mix of Bronze and Citadel Mithril Silver [Citadel Runefang Steel].
Khârn – Metallic Areas (This is the same across all metals on the model)
- Basecoat with GW Boltgun Metal [Citadel Leadbelcher].
- Wash with Citadel Badab Black – can be quite liberal as this guy’s armour is not ever going to be clean! [Citadel Nuln Oil]
- Layer up with Citadel Boltgun Metal [Citadel Leadbelcher].
- Watered-down Citadel Devlan Mud [Citadel Agrax Earthshade] applied randomly to create a bit of a dirty look.
- Highlight with Citadel Mithril Silver [Citadel Runefang Steel]
Khârn – Unarmoured Arm:
- Basecoat with 50/50 mix of Vallejo Parasite Brown & Vallejo Charred Brown.
- The mix above was mixed with 2 parts of Citadel Dwarf Flesh [Citadel Ratskin Flesh] and layered up.
- Citadel Dwarf Flesh layered up again as the mid tone.
- Highlight with 50/50 mix of Citadel Dwarf Flesh & White.
- A Very selective highlight of 3/1 White to Citadel Dwarf Flesh [Citadel Ratskin Flesh] was applied – followed by a wash mixed with a Sepia colour & Citadel Devlan Mud [Citadel Agrax Earthshade] – watered down just to soften the last highlight and blend the colours together.
Khârn – Red Areas
The reds are very few and far between, but I used a pretty simple method.
- Basecoat Vallejo Scar Red.
- Shade with a mix of Citadel Black [Citadel Abaddon Black] & Citadel Devlan Mud [Citadel Nuln Oil] wash.
- Layer up with Vallejo Scar Red.
- Layer up with a mix of Vallejo Gory Red & Vallejo Scar Red.
- Highlight with Vallejo Bloody Red.
- Highlight with Vallejo Filthy Brown.
- Glaze with Citadel Baal Red [Citadel Carroburg Crimson].
Khârn – Red Leather (Axe handle & Tassels)
- Basecoat with 50/50 mix of Vallejo Scar Red & Black.
- Layer up with Scar Red.
- Layer up with 50/50 mix of Vallejo Scar Red & Vallejo Khaki.
- Highlight of Vallejo Khaki.
- Highlight with a 50/50 mix of White & Vallejo Khaki.
- Glaze with watered-down Vallejo Scar Red.
Ultramarine – Blue Armour
I used the exact same blue on the Ultramarine as I did for Khârn’s blue plates.
The below image shows the Ultramarine about halfway through the stages of both gold and blue.
Ultramarine – Gold Trim
- Base coat with 50/50 mix Vallejo Glorious Gold & Vallejo Charred Brown.
- Layer with Vallejo Glorious Gold.
- Layer mix with Vallejo Glorious Gold with a touch of Silver, and then again with a 50/50 mix.
- The gold was then shaded with a 50/50 mix of Black and Vallejo Charred Brown in the deepest areas.
- Highlight with pure Citadel Mithril Silver [Citadel Runefang Steel].
- Glaze randomly with purples and greens for some variety.
To finish off you really need to protect your paint job, so you really should varnish. I use a 2 step method here, each step using the airbrush. I first do a couple of very thin coats of Klear floor polish. This is a really tough shiny finish, so ideal to offer protection [This is no longer available as Klear have changed their products, but you may still be able to find it some places]. It goes through the airbrush without any hassle. Following this, to eliminate the shine, I apply a few thin coats of Windsor & Newton Galleria Matt varnish. (I really like this stuff!)
That just about covers all the painting sections. I wish I had taken more WIP photos but I really got into painting him and just didn’t really bother!
Here he is pre-weathering:
After the painting was done I decided I would do some weathering, which was very daunting seeing as I was perfectly happy with the paint job and was worried I would ruin it. (But nothing ventured nothing gained, right?)
The main chunk of the weathering was done using Forge World’s weathering powders.
I believe it was a mix of the dark and light earth mixed. I applied roughly in areas I thought would most likely collect dirt, mostly the bottoms of plates and greaves. They were applied in moderation until I was happy. This was then sealed with another couple of thin applications of the matt varnish.
Last, but not least, was the blood effect – created using Citadel’s Blood for the Blood God. (This is wonderful stuff.) Following the same principle as the weathering powders, I applied where I imagined there would be splatter. Adding more in impact zones such as the axe head. Again applied in moderation! The final touch was using a toothbrush to flick a little of the blood across random areas of the model. I didn’t use any matt varnish once this was applied so the blood kept its gloss finish.
Here is the finished model as it appears on Forge World’s social media feed [You can find the original post by clicking here.]
That’s all she wrote! Hope you all enjoyed and got something out of this!