Monday, June 21, 2010

Plague Priest Step-by-Step

It's taken me longer to get around to writing this up than I thought...
Excuse 1: Working on finishing my Warlord.
Excuse 2: A warpstone meteor landed in our garden the other day, necessitating days of painstaking study and repairs to our lair's defences. (As well as a secret operation to hide some of this precious gift from the emissaries of the Council of Thirteen - truly the Great Horned One favors me!)
Excuse 3: A crazed group of drunken Rat Ogres escaped from their pen and ate their way into our supply of slaves...(good job too, as there is significant overcrowding in our Tokyo burrow etc. etc.)

Actually, as a Skaven, all of the above should have the label changed from "Excuse" to "Perfectly plausible reason".
Granted, one of them isn't really believable...
...after all, it is never truly possible to finish painting one's warlord is it?

But to the matter at hand (Paw?) - painting a Plague Priest.

First a couple of snaps, and below that the process used.

Colours used for this model: (All Games Workshop)

EDIT: Following the launch of the latest Citadel Paint range in 2012, please note that the colours listed below are from the previous range. I hope to have time to rewrite in the future, but for the time being, you can use the conversion chart/ list I made here or use the official Citadel Conversion chart here.
  • Chaos Black, Knarloc Green, Codex Grey, Fortress Grey, Tallarn Flesh, Dwarf Flesh, Elf Flesh, Dwarf Bronze, Shining Gold, Gunmetal, Chainmail, Dark Angels Green, Snot Green, Skull White, Bestial Brown, Calthan Brown
  • Washes: Thraka Green, Devlan Mud.

The  process followed was:
A.) Undercoat and Base texturing:
  1. Undercoat. (I use Chaos Black spraypaint.)
B.) Base colours:
  1. Fur: Calthan Brown.
  2. Hands/ Tail/ Feet/ Face: Tallarn Flesh.
  3. Spines: Skull White, followed up with a layer of Codex grey and Fortress Grey from the back about halfway up the spine (so the tip of the spine stays white.)
  4. Cloth: Knarloc Green/ Codex Grey 1:1 mix.  Follow this with a lighter Knarloc Green/ Codex Grey (1:2) on raised areas of cloth/ edges. If you want, apply a final lighter shade of this mix along the edges of folds of robes.
  5. Fumes/ Smoke: Start with the darkest green at the censer, then lighter shades up to pure skull white at the tips of the smoke. E.g.Dark Angels green within the censer, working your way up the fumes using progressively lighter shades...
    • 100% Dark Angels Green (Within censer)
    • 50/ 50 Dark Angels Green: Snot Green mix.
    • 10/20/70 Skull White:Dark Angels Green: Snot Green (from the censer halfway up the smoke)
    • 100% Skull White (tips of the smoke.) 
  6. Metal: Dwarf Bronze (on Censer and Bells) and Gunmetal (Bell clappers)
  7. Rope: Snakebite leather. (rope belt and censer rope.)
  8. Staff: Bestial brown on wood. Dark Angels Green on Warpstone.
  9. Bandages: Chaos White. (Bindings on staff and around warpstone shard.)
C.) Apply Washes
  1. Devlan Mud: Liberally apply all over robes, skin, tail, censer rope, censer (censer ball only, NOT smoke or fumes...), staff (but NOT warpstone shard)
  2. Thraka Green wash: Warpstone shard, Censer contents. (From ball to approx 5-10 mm up the smoke, but not on any pure white areas of the smoke.)
D.) Reapply base colours: Layer up lighter shades/ colours: 

  1. Skin/ Tail/ Feet: Dwarf Flesh on raised areas of face, hands etc.  NOTE: Unlike my Clan Rats, I didn't use too much Dwarf Flesh on the tail of this guy, preferring to leave it feeling dirtier.
  2. Metal: Chainmail or Mithril Silver applied to edges of the bell clapper. Shining Gold to the edges/ rims of the bells.
  3. Boils, Pus-filled buboes etc. 
    • For "Angry sores": Apply a spot of VERY watered-down blood red onto the top of the spot and let it run down naturally.
    • For "Pus-filled boils" (mmmMMMM) etc: Paint the boil Dwarf Flesh. When dry, just touch the top with a spot of Elf Flesh.

    E.) Final Drybrushing:
    1. Fur: (Optional): Drybrush Calthan Brown/ Skull White (50/50).
    2.  Rope: Snakebite leather/ Skull white (1:2 mix). (rope belt and censer rope.)
    3. Metal: (Optional): Drybrush Mithril silver or shining gold to the bells. 
    4. Staff: Lightly drybrush a lighter Bestial Brown/ Skull White mix OR Calthan brown onto the wood.
    5. Warpstone Shard: First drybrush Snot green onto shard edges. Then repeat with a lighter shade (Snot Green/ Skull White mix)
    Phew! That sounds like a really complicated process, but actually, it took me a couple of hours from start to finish over the course of a day.

    The hardest thing by far for me was tackling the fumes from the censer that he is swinging. I think the key here is to take a long, hard look at Plague Priest and Plague Censer images on the web. For the fumes in particular, definitely take a look at the Skaven: Screaming Bell Stage-by-Stage guide on the GW website. The section on "Painting the Bell" give a description of how to tackle the smoke effect (this time on the clapper of the Screaming Bell). I didn't follow it exactly - so of course mine is nowhere near as good, but I think it is good enough, especially when viewed from a couple of feet away.

    I hope this is useful. Let me know if you have any comments!



    1. it looks amazing, nice work!

    2. Hi and thanks for looking and for the comment!

    3. Hey there Squeek! Just letting you know your blog inspired me to start a Skaven army of my own.

      Just one quick question: the robes on the plague monks? Are you sure you used 1:1 Codex Grey and Knarloc Green as a basecoat?
      I wanted to know because the tone I get even after washes and highlights is nowhere as nice as yours. Mine is a "gloomy pastel" green. I'm one confused rat!

    4. @anonymous hmmmm. I've got the model in front of me now and I don't think I made any mistakes in the write up...
      ...I did quite a lot of layering with successively lighter shades as described above and quite a heavy amount of devlan mud before more layers. The contrast between the deeper folds of the robes and edges is quite stark because of that. Can you direct me to a photo so I can take a look?

    5. Hey Squeek here's the color of the priest I told you about. Sorry it took me so long!

    6. Hi Malark,

      Thanks for the update. The first picture link seems to work OK. As you say, it does look quite dark but that may be the light. Did you layer some lighter shades of the base colours onto the folds etc?
      One other thing that might help is a very light drybrushing of a lighter shade of the base colour onto the very edges and folds of cloth and on the raised areas of the model. That might balance out the darker look that you have.
      I really like it though - fantastic smoke on the brazier!

    7. @Malark - EDIT to my comment. The second link works fine too when I copy it correctly!


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