Sunday, January 22, 2012

How to Paint Deathmaster Snikch


"The candle, just for a moment, guttered. To one engrossed in his studies, such as Master Evan Redwood of the Esteemed College of Engineers, such a movement would have passed unnoticed. Even to a man who was not a scholar (and therefore even at the best of times disinterested in the mundane) it would prompt 

no raising of the head.
No renewed focus on the immediate environment.
No inkling of the arrival of an assassin nearly unequaled in skill by any other living practitioner (and few undead or Daemonic)..."

How to Paint Deathmaster Snikch
Please note that I think that this process is good enough for "tabletop quality" (I.e. acceptable when viewed from a couple of feet away) I make no claim to be a good painter, but I still hope this will be useful.
Also, I don't write anything down as I am painting, (being an amateur I have a hard time just painting!) so all mixes are approximate - please experiment and adjust as you wish!

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.

Step 1: Preparation.
  1. Remove the model from its sprue.
  2. Carefully file or trim any excess flash from the model. (If the latter, use caution!)
  3. Glue model to base.
Step 2: First basing.
I like to get the application of materials to my base done at this point to save trouble later. Doing it now allows you to correct any troublesome issues with sand it glue without worrying about any painting you might have done...

  1. Sand or trim any flash from around the edge of the base. (It really shows up when you paint it...)
  2. Paint PVA glue, optionally watered-down, onto the base, carefully avoiding getting excess glue onto feet or shoes (also claws, paws, bottom of robes etc. Etc)
  3. Sprinkle a few pieces of crushed coral onto the base. (Obtained at the aquatic section of any pet shop) I find that 2-3 is enough.
  4. Sprinkle sand over the base, so all remaining areas are covered.
  5. Allow to dry.
Step 3: Priming/ Undercoat.
  1. Prime the whole model. I use Citadel Chaos Black spray. Black is ideal for a model that will overall be darker in tone (and more forgiving for beginners like me as if you miss painting anything in hard to reach places it just looks like shadow.)
  2. Allow to dry.
Step 4: Basecoat.
In this step you will add the basic colours to the model. I used the following colours from Games Workshop (I haven't tried any other brands simply due to not having easy access to them.)

  • Chaos Black: Back of cape
  • Chaos Black/ Mordian Blue mix: Inside of cape. (Chaos Black/ Mordian Blue mix 2:10) I felt pure Mordian blue to be too bright for Snikch, but that is just me! 
  • Mordian Blue (pure) on the cross on the breastplate on the base.
  • Boltgun Metal: Weapons, including throwing stars on belt, breastplate on base, tip of hood (looks like a small mace head)
  • Dwarf Bronze: Crosspiece on swords, rim of breastplate on base, Bracers on wrists
  • Tallarn Flesh: Skin
  • Bleached Bone: Skeleton on base, teeth, nails, bandages on feet/ face
  • Blood Red: Eyes
  • Snakebite Leather: belt
  • Dark Angels Green: Jewel on clasp, poison on blades
  • Calthan Brown: Rats on base

Here is what I ended up with after basecoats:

Note: For this model, I actually went straight to highlights (step 6) and then did washes. However, at this point I would usually do washes and then highlights. Your choice! 

Step 5: Washes. 
This step adds shadow and depth to what (at the moment) will look like a very "flat" model. 
I use Games Workshop washes, again only because these are a known quantity for me. In this case I also made my own wash too... 

  • Devlan Mud: Outside of cape. Weapons. Breastplate on base. Rats. 
  • Ogryn Flesh: Skin, tail, feet etc 
  • Gryphonne Sepia: Bandages on feet/ face, skeleton on base. 
  • Mordian Blue/ Black ink wash: Very watered down mix, applied to the deep folds of the inside of the cape and on the hood. 
Step 6: Highlights. 
In this step, we build up the colours ("layering") in progressively lighter shades to achieve more greater variation between light and shadow. This could be using progressively lighter,but separate colours (Tallarn Flesh>Dwarf Flesh>Elf Flesh) OR by adding Skull White in ever-increasing amounts to a single colour. 
I'm not great at it yet, but you can find a good guide at "How to Paint Miniatures".
  • Chaos Black/ Mordian Blue mix: Inside of cape. First use a slightly lighter mix of Chaos Black/ Mordian Blue (mix 1:10) than you used as a basecoat. Then one more (slightly lighter shade) on the tops of the ridges and folds. 
  • Mordian Blue/ Skull White mix. (10:2) on the cross of the breastplate on the base.
  • Boltgun Metal: Reapply to edges of weapons, including throwing stars on belt, breastplate on base, tip of hood (loos like a small mace head) etc, but leaving the wash in areas where shadows should be.
  • Dwarf Bronze/ Shining Gold mix (1:1): Edges of crosspiece on swords, rim of breastplate on base, Bracers on wrists etc.
  • Tallarn Flesh/ Dwarf Flesh mix: (1:1) Skin, feet, tail etc. then...
  • Dwarf Flesh/ Elf Flesh mix: (1:1) on the same areas, leaving some of the previous darker shade.
  • Bleached Bone/ Skull White mix: (2:1) Skeleton on base, teeth, nails, bandages on feet/ face
  • Snakebite Leather/ Skull White mix: (2:1) belt
  • Dark Angels Green/Goblin Green mix: (1:1) mix for the Jewel on clasp and poison on blades. Follow this with Goblin Green, and then Goblin Green/ Skull White mix (2/1). For the poison, have the lighter colours at the top of the poison, on the blade, and leave the "drops" of poison darker.
  • Calthan Brown/ Vermin Brown: (1:1) Rats on base
Although taken after completion, this detail shows highlights on the hands, cape, poison etc.
Step 7: Drybrushing.
Another step that adds highlights. 

Put some of your highlight colour on your brush.Run your brush over kitchen paper (or a tissue is OK) until there is almost no paint on the brush. Then run the brush very lightly across the raised areas of the model to which you want to add the highlight colour. This should leave the highlight colour only on the raised edges. (Again, information on How To Paint Miniatures is a good guide!)
  • Codex Grey/ Chaos Black: (5:1 mix) Trousers, on raised folds, and back of cape, on raised folds.
  • Chainmail: Weapon edges
You can just see the folds of the cape have been drybrushed Codex Grey
Step 8: Final Basing.
The last step (phew!) adding colours to the base.
  1. Calthan Brown drybrush across the sand (not the rocks/ crushed Coral)
  2. Calthan Brown/ Skull white mix (3/1) drybrush across the sand.
  3. Codex Grey: drybrush across the sand. Paint onto the rocks.
  4. Codex Grey/ Fortress Grey mix (1:1). drybrush across sand and edges of rocks.
  5. Fortress Grey: Drybrush across sand and edges of rocks.
Base detail.
Step 9: Collapse!
(_ _')

 All comment and criticism welcome!



  1. Hello sorry if I write here but I did not know how to send a message :) six very strong and you have inspired me a lot with your rats .. praise indeed. I also wanted to tell you but the guide on how to portray the abomination there 'is I can not find it on the site: (Annulla modifiche

    1. Hi Sergio and thanks for your comment AND the praise!
      I am sorry but I haven't done the Hell Pit Abomination yet...I never got around to it as I immediately started painting other models.
      I WILL do it though as I would like to complete my painting guides soon.
      Thanks again for visiting and sorry I don't have it available yet...

  2. then look forward and continue good work and thanks so you are a big ;)


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