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Posted by Terarin

Since GenCon Indy 2005 and the revelation of the Next Big Thing there has been quite a stir over HORDES. Images of the warpacks slowly crept across the internet, No Quarter Magazine, and numerous other trade publications. The stir became a full on frenzy as HORDES Unleashed quickly approached and the 2nd releases of warlocks became available. Of course, I got caught up with wanting to have them all. Not wanting to copy studio color schemes I embarked on  personalizing each warlock with my own color concepts. These represent the tests and direction I have taken with each HORDES faction. Each section is a presentation of color choice theory, a list of colors used, and the basic color recipes and hints that made this happen.

Enjoy!

–T–

 

Circle Orboros :: Baldur the Stonecleaver

Introduction

Baldur was the first warlock I did after my initial box sets, and was done in preparation for my Fully Painted 2006 army. While I like the natural feel of the Circle Orboros I wanted to forego the soft leather colors that had already been established. I think the chaotic nature of the Circle, and of the Devourer Wurm, lends itself to a great mixture of colors in the army. With WARMACHINE armies you typically use common elements like armor, emblems, and clothing to tie units together. Whole areas are blue, or red, or white, or black. The Circle, in my opinion, doesn’t work like that. There is a lot of cloth and leather and fur, and to standardize that would look odd. To make the Circle look like a cohesive army, however, something had to be standard. In my case, the little bit of armor plating that each model has would be it. Look carefully at the Circle models and you’ll notice that each has armor that has a unique style to it, including the intricate carvings. With that in mind, Baldur’s clothing could be any color I wanted, but his armored shoulders would have to match a color scheme consistent with the rest of the army.

 

 

Color List

This is a list of the colors used:

  • VMC Burnt Umber (#941)
  • VMC Buff (#976)
  • VMC Khaki (#988)
  • VMC Deck Tan (#986)
  • VMC Black Grey (#862)
  • VGC Skull White
  • VGC Brassy Brass
  • VGC Parasite Brown
  • VGC Dwarf Flesh
  • VGC Charred Brown
  • VGC Beasty Brown
  • GW Codex Grey
  • GW Fortress Grey
  • GW Mithril Silver
  • GAFA Raw Umber
  • Reaper Armor Grey
  • Metal Wash mix - VGC Glaze Medium, Brown Ink, Blue Ink, VGC Beasty Brown

Recipe :: Armor

The base color of the armor is Brassy Brass. Apply a wash of the “metal wash” over that and allow to dry. Highlight the armor with straight Brassy Brass, and then with a 50/50 mix of Brassy Brass and Mithril Silver.

Recipe :: Robes

Start with a base of VMC Black Grey. I used the “metal wash” to darken it up and add shadows to the recesses. I then lightened it back up with a little Black Grey, then Reaper Armor Grey. The stitching along the hems and other bright highlights are a 50/50 mix or Armor Grey and VMC Deck Tan. A little bit of the GAFA Raw Umber was washed into the recessed to add a dirty look.

The small inset portion of the robes was painted with Fortress Grey. This was highlighted up with Deck Tan, and then to a 20/80 Deck Tan/White mix.

Recipe :: Leathers

Start with a base of VMC Burnt Umber. Inadvertently this was also hit with the “metal wash”, then brought back up to Burnt Umber. Highlights were a progression of Burnt Umber and VMC Buff in increments of 70/30, 40/60, 20/80 Burnt Umber/Buff.

Recipe :: Sword

The leather was done as above. The wrappings on the hilt were a base of VMC Khaki, highlighted up with VMC Deck Tan, then a 30/70 mix of Deck Tan and White. The stone blade was a base of Reaper Armor Grey, “metal wash”, highlighted with GW Codex Grey, then GW Fortress Grey. A final spot wash of GAFA Raw Umber was applied to dirty up the blade.

A hint when painting the sword: Plan on pinning the sword to Baldur. Before assembling, paint the sword separately by holding onto it by the pin. I use a makeshift handle for all items like this that uses a long piece of pin wire attached to a [super glue] bottle cap. The sword can even be sprayed with a coat of sealant at this point to prevent any paint from rubbing off when you go to final assembly.

Recipe :: Face/Flesh

The flesh was all base colored with Parasite Brown. I find that it covers well as a base coat and provides excellent shadows to fleshy features without the need to wash them in later. Highlights started with a solid coverage of 50/50 Parasite Brown/Dwarf Flesh, then straight Dwarf Flesh, then a few highlights of Dwarf Flesh with some white mixed in. I don’t know the exact ratio on this one, but it’s sort of a highlight to taste.

The beard was Charred brown highlighted with Beasty Brown. It was intended to stay simple but effective.

 

Legion of Everblight :: Thagrosh, Prophet of Everblight

Introduction

It is important to find a unifying theme to coordinate an army with. Color choice helps tie units together and make armies look like they should be fighting together on the table. The Legion of Everblight has a lot of opportunities to tie together visually. Clothing, armor, weapons, and scales on the dragon spawn are all important to unify, but I think the biggest color choice to make is skin color. There is a lot of raw flesh on Legion models. Whatever color it is painted, the dragon spawn skin and blighted flesh is going to stand out as a focal point of the army. Who doesn’t notice models as imposing as a Carnivean or Thagrosh on the table? Skin color will tie them together. In the case of my Thagrosh, I wanted to go with a purple hue. I had tried a pale purple on a previous project and I liked the results so much that I thought they’d translate perfectly to blighted skin. Items like clothing, fur, and weapons are painted in colors that can visually tie into the rest of the army, but are painted in neutrals to not distract from the skin tones.

 

  

Color List

This is a list of the colors used:

  • VMC Violet Blue (#811)
  • VMC German Cam. Medium Brown (#826)
  • VMC Khaki (#988)
  • VGC Pale Flesh
  • VGC Skull White
  • VGC Black
  • VGC Blue Ink
  • VGC Violet Ink
  • VGC Sepia Ink
  • GW Boltgun Metal
  • GW Chainmail
  • Metal Wash mix - VGC Glaze Medium, Brown Ink, Blue Ink, VGC Beasty Brown

Recipe :: Skin

The skin tone was started with a base coat of VMC Violet Blue over black primer. Once a nice solid layer was on (about 1-2 coats) I proceeded to give it a light wash with the metal wash mixture. That was done because the metal wash adds a blue hue, which was something I planned on working with. Once dry I highlighted major areas back up with the Violet Blue color. Further highlighting was done with progressive layers of Violet Blue mixed with VGC Pale Flesh. There were no specific ratios for this, instead it was trial-and-error. There are 4 progressive layers to lighten up to almost pure Pale Flesh. You’ll also notice that as I added highlight layers I also built streaks into the model on large surfaces like Thagrosh’s pecks and thighs. This gives the model a faked grain to his muscles which makes it visually more interesting, and sinister. Once the Violet Blue to Pale Flesh was done, I spot washed areas with VGC Blue Ink to further add definition. Again, there is no system for this, only that I wanted certain areas to have a visual sparks from the blue ink. VGC Violet Ink was also sparingly used in this manner.

Recipe :: Armor + Weapon

Very simple here. Base with GW Boltgun metal and wash with the metal wash mix. Highlight up with GW Chainmail. Thagrosh’s weapon had the extra effort of washing the inset detailing on the blade with Blue Ink.

Recipe :: Bone + Fur

Again, simplicity was of the utmost importance since I didn’t want anything about the bone and fur to detract from the skin tones. I opted for a base color of VMC Khaki, deepened with the ubiquitous metal wash, and highlighted up with a varying mix of Khaki and straight white. These were blended together on the bone so that the highlights were ultimately white. The fur was dry brushed with a 50/50 mix of Khaki/white, and then dry brushed again with straight white. The horns got an added touch of VGC Sepia Ink at the base to help mute the harsher white highlights.

Recipe :: Clothing

A neutral color was required for Thagrosh’s leather clothing. It was important to me again that the color did not detract from the skin tones. Animal prints were my first choice for flavor, but the print patterns drew attention away from the skin. Establishing a focus for a model is very important, and although the clothing lends a lot to creative carte blanche I couldn’t exercise it since I needed the skin to be the focus. The base on this was VMC German Cam. Medium Brown (GCMB). It was toned with the blue/brown ink metal wash. I used that to establish where shadows could be, and then blended in a 40/60 GCMB/black mix to reinforce the shadows. Highlights were built back with straight GCMB and then with a 50/50 mix of GCMB/white, blended up.

 

Skorne :: Archdomina Makeda

Introduction

The Skorne is an army where the armor is the single best unifying theme. Flesh tones for actual Skorne should all be similar, but it’s the armor of the Praetorians, the Cataphract, and other infantry that is going to stand out. Likewise, the beasts have their own subset of skin tones to distinguish between species, and again the armor will tie them into the army. Not using a unified armor scheme will insure the army looks disjointed on the table. My own Makeda scheme spawned from a conversation I had with fellow BrushThrall ArkenTyre. We were discussing ways to make the armor of his titan gladiator pop given a skin tone he wanted to use. White armor felt oddly appropriate. I’ve taken that idea and applied as shown below. Makeda’s armor is full of wonderfully sculpted detail and takes washes very well. The studio model has Makeda’s sashing in red, which ties nicely to her armor, but I needed a bigger constrast since the armor was white. A nice dark green fit the bill perfectly.

 

 

Color List

This is a list of the colors used:

  • VMC German Cam. Medium Brown (#826)
  • VGC Scrofulous Brown
  • VGC Dwarf Flesh
  • VGC Dark Green
  • VGC Sick Green
  • VGC Scorpy Green
  • VGC Skull White
  • VGC Black
  • VGC Brassy Brass
  • VGC Sepia Ink
  • GW Mithril Silver
  • GW Shining Gold
  • GW Codex Grey
  • Reaper Armor Grey
  • Black Ink Wash - GW Blank Ink, Future Floor Finish, water
  • Metal Wash mix - VGC Glaze Medium, Brown Ink, Blue Ink, VGC Beasty Brown

Recipe :: Armor

White is notoriously difficult to use for armor, and one of the reasons is that it has to have a non-white color to create shadows. White is often either cold, which uses blues or grays as shadows, or warm, which uses yellow or brown tones. The white on my Makeda is a warm white that starts with a base color of German Cam. Medium Brown (GCMB). This color is highlighted up with a 50/50 mix of GCMB/White, and then again with straight white. Details, like the texture in the armor and joints between plates are picked out using Sepia Ink.

Recipe :: Silver Metal

The base color of the silver metal, such as Makeda’s swords and banner top blades, was Shining Gold. I’ll give a warning here, it looks really weird at this point when compared to the rest of the model. Wash the Shining Gold metal with the metal wash mixture. Next, apply a liberal highlight of 50/50 Shining Gold/Mithril Silver. A second highlight of pure Mithril Silver will finish it off. I also applied a thin coating of Sepia Ink at the base of the metals to distinguish them from what they’re attached to and hide any imperfections at the joints.

Recipe :: Bronze Metal

The base color of the armor is Brassy Brass. Apply a wash of the “metal wash” over that and allow to dry. Highlight the armor with straight Brassy Brass, and then with a 50/50 mix of Brassy Brass and Mithril Silver.

Recipe :: Old School Gemstones

The technique used for painting all of the gemstones on Makeda is very simple, but describing it is best with a visual aid. Refer to the picture below.

  • Paint the entire gemstone with Sick Green
  • Add a stripe of Dark Green to the top portion of the gem.
  • Add a stripe of Scorpy Green to the bottom of the gem.
  • Add a dot of pure white to the top of the gem.

Recipe :: Cloth

The cloth was based with Dark Green. Highlights were done by blending straight Sick green into the Dark Green, then blending in a little bit of Scorpy Green along the edges. There was no painting mixing involved for this.

Recipe :: Inner Armor

The inner armor is more like a flexible suit under Makeda’s bulky white armor. I opted to paint this with a dark gray so that it would stay neutral and not draw attention away from the white. The base color is Armor Grey, with a wash of the Blank Ink Wash mixture, and highlighted with Codex Grey.

Recipe :: Flesh

I did not want Makeda’s face to be the typical pale, Skorne skin tone because it would get lost in context with her helmet. A darker skin tone was required, but too dark, like a Charred Brown, would also disappear with the contrast of the helmet. Instead, a more Asian color worked best. This started with a base of Dark Flesh. The first level of highlights was a solid coating of a 50/50 mix of Dark Flesh and Scrofulous Brown. Next was a highlight of 50/50 Scrofulous Brown and Dwarf Flesh. This gives the skin its fleshy color, while keeping a yellow hue. Final highlights were with 40/40/20 Scrofulous Brown/Dwarf Flesh/White

 

Trollbloods :: Hoarluk Doomshaper

Introduction

The Trollbloods can utilize several elements to tie an army together visually. Skin color is probably the dominant choice. If you read any of the background material on trolls, from either Primal or the Monsternomicon, trolls are very family/tribal oriented. Given tribes, or Kriels, will share dominant physical characteristics it is a small leap to assume all the models from an army are blood related in some way, and will have similar skin tones. Clothing is also an important aspect to tying together a Trollbloods army. Like the Circle there is a lot of leather and fur that can be mismatched between pieces. Trollkin, however, all wear tartans or sashing and this is a great way to tie models within a unit, or even unit within an army together. The third element which I think is important for Trollbloods to use for army cohesion is armor and weaponry. Trollbloods will typically be manufacturing their own armaments, or trading for them, so it is easy to use the same techniques for painting metals across an entire army. With these “rules” established, I proceeded to paint my own Doomshaper, keeping in mind skin tones and armor styles I had previously established with my Trollbloods warpack, and a sashing that I could easily replicate on numerous infantry models if I wanted to.

Here’s a tip on painting Trollkin: You do not have to paint tartans. In fact, if you want to blast through units quickly painting tartans is not the way to go. Treating this space as simple sashing will go a long way, and you can use a uniform color to tie units and armies together.

As a side note, I put Hoarluk on a piece of cork for a rocky base. Because of his staff, I angled the cork so that his staff would be pointed upwards and would not later interfere with game play.

 

 

Color List

This is a list of the colors used:

  • VMC Burnt Umber (#941)
  • VMC Buff (#976)
  • VMC Khaki (#988)
  • VMC Deck Tan (#986)
  • VMC German Cam. Medium Brown (#826)
  • VMC Brown Violet (#887)
  • VMC Green-Grey (#886)
  • VGC Charred Brown
  • VGC Scrofulous Brown
  • VGC Dwarf Flesh
  • VGC Dark Green
  • VGC Sick Green
  • VGC Skull White
  • VGC Black
  • VGC Brassy Brass
  • VGC Sepia Ink
  • GW Mithril Silver
  • GAFA Raw Umber
  • Reaper Armor Grey
  • Black Ink Wash - GW Blank Ink, Future Floor Finish, water
  • Metal Wash mix - VGC Glaze Medium, Brown Ink, Blue Ink, VGC Beasty Brown

Assembly Tip :: Gap Filling

After assembling all four warlocks, Hoarluk was the only one that required any sort of gap filling. Fortunately, this one is easy, and only requires a little bit of green stuff applied to the left shoulder to arm joint and smoothed out to match the fleshy contours of the shoulder.

Recipe :: Trollkin Flesh

The basis for this flesh tone was a more earthy green. For me, the perfect start was VMC Brown Violet, which has a nice muddy green look (despite it’s name). The first layer of highlights for this was a 50/50 mix of Brown Violet and VMC Green-Grey. A second highlight of straight Green-Grey was blended in to further the color shift. A spot wash of GAFA Raw Umber was applied to places where there was clear muscle definition, like on the thigh or under the biceps. Finally, a 50/50 mix of VGC Dwarf Flesh and Green-Grey was applied to areas like the knuckles, elbows, knees, and for facial highlights.

Recipe :: Finger Nails

The nails were painted with a base of VMC Khaki. Instead of conventional highlights, thin lines were drawn over the base coat in a 50/50 mix of Khaki and white. These lines simulate grain direction in the nails. A second set of thin lines, pure white, was painted at only the ends of the nails.

Recipe :: Bronze Metal

Speed was of the essence for this stage, so the base was VGC Brassy Brass, and then the metal wash was applied over it. That’s it, no highlights or further detailing.

Recipe :: Black Cloth

Wanting to keep the black clothing simple, it was started with a base coat of VGC Black. Simple highlights of Reaper Armor grey were added, and these were toned done with the Black Wash mixture.

Recipe :: Brown Cloth

The sashing was started with a base coat of VMC Burnt Umber. This was washed with the Metal Wash mixture to give it a dark tone, then highlights of pure Burnt Umber were blended back in. A highlight layer of VMC German Cam. Medium Brown was blended on top of that.

Recipe :: Leather

Start with a base of VMC Burnt Umber. This was also hit with the Metal Wash, then brought back up to Burnt Umber. Highlights were a progression of Burnt Umber and VMC Buff in increments of 70/30, 40/60, 20/80 Burnt Umber/Buff.

Recipe :: [White] Straps

The straps that tie the brass scroll canisters to Hoarluk started with a base coat of Khaki. This was then highlighted with VMC Deck Tan. A wash of thinned down VGC Sepia Ink was added over the surface to tone down the colors, and then a second highlight of Deck Tan was added.

Recipe :: Staff

The staff has several steps: The main body, the wood wrapping, and the glowing top.

The main staff body was painted using VMC Khaki as a base, and then darkened with the Metal Wash. Surface areas were then hit with the Khaki again, and highlights of Deck Tan were added.

The wooden wrappings were base coated with Charred Brown. Instead of highlights, wood grain was added by painting grain lines with a 50/50 mix of Charred Brown and Scrofulous Brown, and then again by adding a little bit of white to that mix.

The glowing top was initially base coated with Khaki, and the leather straps were painted with Burnt Umber. Metal Wash was added to darken the recesses. Once dry, VGC Dark Green was washed over the surface. Twice. A wash of Sick Green was added over that, and extended down to some of the wood wrapping surfaces to help with a glow effect. White was added to the Sick Green, at a 50/50 mix, and then washed over the surface again. Finally, a 30/70 mix of Sick Green and White was used to pick out highlights.

~fini