Tuesday, February 7, 2012

How to Paint Queek Headtaker

Queek Headtaker leaps into action.
"Between the line of Greatcannon, the Reiksmarshall and his assembled commanders surveyed the battlefield from atop the low hill. 

Where only moments before he had been able to review the lie of the land, now it seemed that same earth had been carpeted by a rolling sea of dirty flesh and fur. The motion of the horde and the various hues of pelt before reminded him of a heaving sea ("but by all the gods, a sea of vermin!")  Unlike the ordered waves that crashed upon the shores of his homeland, this sea seemed to twitch, shake, and constantly skitter with a nervous energy. Already, he could feel that energy begin to infect some of his men and their animals, causing both man and beast to look this way and  that. The levies in particular seemed nervous ("damn the lower orders")

Preparing to give his final orders he turned to his party.

"Sir. SIR!" Came an urgent voice. "Look!" 
Turning to pass his good eye over the enemy, he at once became aware of a different motion. 

In the distance, the brown tide seemed to magically part as something came towards them...moments later (the distance being great) he could also hear a cacophany of high pitched squeeks and calls from the direction of this phenomenon. At last the front wave of vermin parted, and the cause of the commotion was revealed. 
A lone figure, clad in red armour. Upon his back a crest of...was it... carved totems?

"Lieutenant, my spyglass" 

With practiced east the Reichsmarshall swiftly raised and extended his family heirloom, and shortly the creature came into view. It was not totems that adorned him, but skulls and body parts, some...fresh. Most disconcertingly, he recognized what appeared to be (due to perhaps being the least decomposed) the most recent addition to this macabre collection... 
...Captain Valetius. 

"Pass the word. There shall be no reinforcements this day."

How to Paint Queek Headtaker
I think that this process is good enough for "tabletop quality" (I.e. acceptable when viewed from a couple of feet away)  Also, as I painted this guy a couple of weeks ago and I didn't take any notes all mixes are approximate.

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 or 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 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.
Here is what I ended up with after basecoats:
With basecoats only
basecoats only
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.) 

Note that I usually do the skin first, then cloth, then armor. I believe this is called "Inside Out" painting. It works because you are painting the hardest to reach places first. They are often small and difficult to reach, so you are likely to make mistakes. The good thing with this approach though is that when you work on the next layer out (often cloth) you get the chance to paint over any mistakes.
  • Mechrite Red: Armour.
  • Boltgun Metal: Weapons.
  • Chainmail: Chainmail highlights
  • Dwarf Bronze: Crosspiece on swords
  • Tallarn Flesh: Skin, tail, ears etc.
  • Bleached Bone: Loincloth, Teeth/ bones on helmet, skull pommel of sword.
  • Ice Blue: Edges of chain mail "skirt".
  • Snakebite Leather: Straps on vambraces, half of weapons.
  • Dark Angels Green: Jewel on clasp.
  • Calthan Brown and/ or Codex Grey: Rats on base
  • Codex Grey: Stones on base.
  • Shining Gold: Edges and chain of Warpstone pendant. Earrings.
  • Dark Angels Green: Warpstone on pendant. (not in the picture as I forgot to do it 'till later!) 
Step 5: Washes. 
After washes.
After 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.
  • Devlan Mud: Weapons. Breastplate/ armour. Rats. Chainmail etc.
  • Ogryn Flesh: Skin, tail, feet etc 
  • Gryphonne Sepia: Loincloth/ cloth. 
Note the following optional washes. I often do these after everything else is complete, but I list them here as they are washes.
  • OPTIONAL: Use a very watered down Vermin Brown if you want a rust effect on weapons etc. Immediately after applying, I dab at this with a tissue to vary the pattern of the "rust".
  • OPTIONAL: Use a very watered down Ice Blue on raised areas of Dwarf Bronze if you want a blue "Patina" effect to add some aging (especially around raised areas.)
Step 6: Highlights. 
In this step, we build up the colours ("layering") in progressively lighter shades on raised areas 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".
  • Boltgun Metal: Reapply to edges of weapons etc.
  • Dwarf Bronze/ Shining Gold mix (1:1): Edges of crosspiece on swords 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) Skull on pommel  teeth, nails etc.
  • Snakebite Leather/ Skull White mix: (2:1) belt
  • Dark Angels Green/Goblin Green mix: (1:1) mix for the Jewel on clasp. Follow this with Goblin Green, and then Goblin Green/ Skull White mix (2/1). 
  • Calthan Brown/ Vermin Brown: (1:1) Rats on base
  • Codex Grey/ Fortress Grey: (1:1) Grey rats on base
  • Blood Red: Eyes
(In this case, I think I went over the main areas of the armour in Mechrite Red using drybrushing  as mentioned in the next stage, rather than hightlighting)

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!)
  • Mechrite Red: Raised areas of armour.
  • Chainmail: Weapon edges, edges of armour plate (where, if real, movement of the armour/ friction between plates would rub away the colouring)

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.

I think that is it...


p.s. You can see that I didn't use the back-banner for this model as it feels too extravagant to me. Instead I used some Green Stuff to cover the hole where the back-banner would be placed and I am saving it...possibly to adorn a War-litter?

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