I’m surprised at myself for, having sworn off batch painting for this project, immediately going forth and batch painting Cultists (but wouldn’t you, given the alternative?). I’m also surprised at myself for, having decided to paint models in the moments I’d normally spend vacillating on Facebook when my concentration wavers mid-article, ending up sitting down to discrete two-hour sessions in which a Marine and/or five Cultists have ended up completed from start to finish. No sooner do I say “I shall not do a thing” than I go off and do the thing. Weakness. Degeneracy. Something ought to be done!
Nevertheless, I was determined to uphold some of my principles, specifically the ones to do with bases. That’s why – despite having a toolbox half full of basing materials – I’ve invested in some technical paints for my Chaosmens. My old pot of Stirland Mud has been resurrected to provide the ‘spot colour’ (and ‘spot texture’ too) for a method I learned from (stage whisper) White Dwarf. Truly the Time of Ending is upon us when the old hobby rag actually teaches people something useful.
I watched this time and time again, that haunting soundtrack and the steady craaaaaaackle of encroaching ice reaching into my soul, calling something out of me.
As above, so below. That’s what the Warp does, at least when it’s reaching out from a cold dark place in the cosmos and gracing a new world with its touch. The glimpses of Stirland Mud around the edges are the last gasp for the native soil of whatever poor world my Night Lords befoul with their presence; all else is the chill embrace of death, the very earth beneath the VIII Legion’s feet revolting at every step they take. I thought I’d excised the urge towards references to Mourning Sun when I was still playing my Necrons, but apparently not…
- Prime base grey like rest of model.
- Use ‘lifty end’ of a scalpel to blob Astrogranite Debris onto edges of base
- Use ‘stabby end’ of a scalpel to poke Astrogranite Debris inwards, leaving some cracked spaces in between blobs
- Leave to dry. Stick in front of radiator and job off to edit videos: this will take a while.
- Wash base with lavish quantities of Drakenhof Nightshade.
- Leave to dry. Stick in front of radiator and job off for a walk: this will also take a while.
- Drybrush textured surface very gently with Dawnstone. Don’t overdo it: we don’t want it looking all mundane and concretey.
- Use ‘lifty end’ of a smaller scalpel to blob Valhallan Blizzard into the cracks between the blobs.
- Use ‘stabby end’ of said smaller scalpel to ensure it’s not on too thick.
- Use ‘lifty end’ of smaller scalpel to apply Stirland Mud in restrained quantities around edge of base.
- Realise this makes the mud look like the ‘intrusive factor’ because it’s been applied over everything else.
- Curse vehemently.
- Realise it’s gotten well dark and you can hardly see what you’re doing.
- Curse again.
- Daub Drakenhof Nightshade over the edges of the bases.
- Hope it looks OK.
Obviously, this isn’t perfect, and the approach will be refined on future pieces. I could probably get away with just using Stirland Mud from the start, instead of mucking around with Astrogranite Debris, but I worry that’d make the bases look too brown overall. Instead I shall simply make sure to do the Stirland Mud before the Drakenhof Nightshade goes on and I’m sure everything will turn out fine.
At this rate I might even consider some special terrain, something in the vein of the Baleful Realmgates, for use as objectives, or to provide a more appropriately Chaotic battlefield experience; certainly an improvement on the Imperial Everything in the Citadel 40K catalogue. These are where the caress is felt. This is where the corruption starts. These are the rips and rends in spacetime out of which the Eighth Legion emerge, ravening for delight. These will also make great mission objectives for “the draw mission” or for the narrative game I’m hosting at Dice and Decks later in the year, to wrap up all this activity. So they’re on the to-do list, at the ’rounding up’ stage in June.
For now, though, it’s on to month two of the challenge – a character model.