Sunday, July 3, 2016

Painting the Vampire Castle

This weekend I painted the castle to a point where I am reasonably satisfied with it. I will be visiting it later to rework some of the finer details, but for now I need a different subject. This is the finished result, photograph was lit using sunlight (how very inappropriate ;) ).

I put the ramp up in a long configuration for this shot. The central bridge is a seperate part so I can shrink its profile by removing the bridge and the central pillar or by bending the ramp a different way.
I started off doing the ground using an example in Horus Heresy Forgeworld Master Class. That all went ok right until I messed up the mix Dark Sand weathering powder with thinned mat clear varnish. I always mess up with weathering powders and in this case ended up making a base foundation paint ruining all the carefully airbrushed mixes beneath. I ended up using a mix of floor varnish and Burnt Umber and drybrushing with Zandri Dust. The ruts in the road I made while gluing sand to it where accentuated by painting some Agrax Earthshade in them and streaking them out with water. The bridge itself is Dark Earth and Earth Vallejo Model Colors followed by Zandri Dust Drybrush and a bit of Agrax to give them character. 

Still missing is a 'do not go near the castle' sign.

I don't know why, but I like this bit of road.

The walk up to the castle.
For the rock faces and the castle I also followed a tutorial in the Forge World book. Starting off by airbrushing Skavenblight Dinge all over, followed by sponging the rocks with Mechanicus Standard Grey, Codex Grey (I did not have the recommended color) and finally some Ulthuan Grey (once again lacking the recommended color). Yes I'm very good at following tutorials. I used a drybrush on the castle itself taking care to make round motions in stead of the standard to and fro' ad this helps hide the effect better on large surfaces. 

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No its a castle!
In the end I found the castle looked a bit too much like the rocks it was standing on. I considered painting it an off-white/greyish color but I really wanted it to be dark and brooding. I ended up washing the castle with Nuln Oil wash which did the job (I think). Next I applied (my favorite) Athonian Camoshade on the tops of the castle walls and the the deeper areas of the cliff face. I apply this thick and then use a large drybrush to vane it down. It gives a bit of a moldy/mossy well worn look to buildings. 

It feels like the walls are watching me...
Next up the chains. I bought the (imho) rather expensive Modelmates Yellow and Normal Rust Paints. Boy are the worth it. Just apply and let dry, never worry about rust again :) The eyes on the heads in the walls where painted white and the with (what else) a thin layers of Blood for the Blood God technical paint. The green corpse is one of the bits that needs a bit of extra fine detail work. I'll probably get to that when I paint more zombies.

Waste not, want not never really resonated with the local vampire lords.
Speaking of blood...I made this semi-sewer exit while covering gaps in the castle and mixed some Vallejo Water Gel with Blood for The Blood God. It is not fully dry yet, but it seems the gamble paid off. Rather less fun was the gallows on the edge of the cliff. I made it from some green stuff and balsa wood with a metal pin inside, but it still broke off every time I tapped it with my clumsy hands. In the end I grabbed a bit of sprue and replicated the bit with plastic.

Now why didn't I think of this earlier?
Remodeling this late in the project I had the repair the ground around the gallows. I used some Stirland Mud and a lot of hope for that. As the gallows where still sticking in wet PVA glue I could only do some very basic work on these. They'll get upgraded along with the other model.

Pictured to the right, the half-finished gallows.
The doors and the central courtyard were fun to paint. The rust effect suffers from a rather serious amount of sun on it, it looks better in real life. As do the windows (the varnish lights up badly on the photo. And I am very glad I remembered to glue in the 'Tudor style' fencing after painting the windows. I'm also glad I remembered the piles of skulls I found in a thrift store and put them in the courtyard, they do add some character to the place. I leave of with a shot from above including the statues on the roof (and all the way to the top, the roof fences). This was a fun project to work on, and I will have to get back to the zombies. For now, the Realm of Life is apparently going to be massively important, so I'll have to do a 180 and start building a Nurgle and a Sylvaneth Realm Gate along with some extra bits of terrain...


  1. What is the brand of the castle that you used? I really want to get one for myslef.

  2. Not entirely sure as I got it out of a bin at a second hand store, but I think it is a Simba Superplay Castle (or something similar).