Thursday, January 10, 2019

What I did during the Christmas holiday (spoiler alert: paint Nighthaunt)

Another year has past and I got so involved in enjoying a holiday I actually forgot to blog the easy and obligatory years retrospective. Maybe I'll get away with it later this month (or maybe not). For now it is time to wax lyrical about my (almost finished) shiny new Nighthaunt army. Lets start with one of my favorite modern miniatures.

Sometimes you just need to give into the urge to add blood...

I got so enthused about Kurdoss Valentian, the craven king that I actually ripped him out of the mail order box and built him the day he was delivered (amazingly he arrived before Christmas even though I ordered him on December 11, well done Wayland Games!). I painted him over the course of the next two days, finishing up with the bloodwork because I needed an extra color on the model (and because his massive mace just begged for blood).

Thirty Chainrasps painted, only ten more to go. I love painting hordes.
The bulk of my army is made up of these Chainrasps. These are thirty of the forty planned. I could have finished them all over the course of the holiday but I got terribly distracted by Cities Skylines. Who knew there was a game out there that actually fulfilled the promise of Simcity (don't get me started). But enough about computer games. I spent quite a lot of time applying Waywatcher Green glazes on the candles carried by the leaders of these units. After spectacular effort (waiting for paint to dry is hard work) the end result manages to look just like a single application of the new Hexwraith Flame. Sigh, I should've bought a tub of that and saved myself some bother.

These two win the spooky model of 2018 competition in my book.
Back to some command models. I have two Spirit Torments in my army. One was in the AoS starter set and the other had such a cool name I couldn't leave it in the store (actually I have a third spirit Torment on sprue somewhere but Nighthaunt command choices are extremely crowded at the 2000 point level). These ghosts are mostly translucent and I got a bit worried during painting that their tops where too dark. Fortunately the metallics managed to pull it all together. I had a lot of fun painting the hourglass on the left model. For guidance I used the 'Eavy Metal Masterclass book GW released a few years ago. As an aside, I didn't buy a copy when it was in print and the second hand one I bought through eBay turned out to be in Italian when it arrived. I don't speak Italian but luckily the paint names are in English. I always have a giggle at my own inattention while I struggle to follow through a tutorial I only half understand.

I painted the rims of these cloaks twice, including the studs. This year I'll take a bit more time to think about color before applying it.
These two Chainghasts had a red rim around their cape but I thought it distracted from the overall look of the army. So I repainted them green. The process for painting the models overall is airbrushing them with a 1:1:1 mix of VGC Dead White, Ushabti Bone and Blue Horror (I stole borrowed the idea for this mix from an 'Eavy Metal tip on Facebook). I then use the airbrush to blend some Stegadon Scale Blue to the top of the bottom half (right up to where the topmost cape of a model is). Then I paint the topmost cape black (VMC Black), I hit the black with a small blast of Stegadon Scale blue and follow up with a few lines of Thunderhawk Blue. This last step both helps cover up mistakes and makes the models look a bit more worn. I finish the bottom half by lightly glazing patches of Waywatcher Green.

I spent a lot of time scratching my head and not getting this model when it was just grey plastic, but during painting it suddenly all came together. I think it is awesome.
I love the sinister Guardian of Souls with Nightmare Lantern. I kept most of this model in the ghostly blue green but added a few very subtle spots of red glaze. Mostly to feel excessively artistic, but hey it seems to work. I also snapped of the sword arm at the wrist about three or four times during construction and painting. In the end I glued the sword to the lantern staff. Now I (think I) can actually transport this model without bringing copious amounts of glue.

I added a bit of color to this model I painted months earlier, looking at the picture now I should redo the arms to fit with the rest of the army.
I actually finished this model somewhere around the start of last year hence a different cloak and slightly different base. I airbrushed some fluorescent green to his blade for added ghostlyness and painted sand in the hourglass because why not pick up an old model and add to it?

Sticking these ghosts together has been a traumatic nightmare on a scale with pinning swords to Eldar Banshees (drilling beneath my fingernails multiple times in the process (what a wonderful hobby)).
I also added these already painted Spirit Hosts to the army. I did not add anything to them so far, but I had to glue them together for the fourth or fifth time (one these actually fell apart spontaneously while standing in my display case once). This time I clamped on a clothespin during the drying process to keep them together tightly. I should do some work on the base and maybe add a bit of a green glaze later.

Sometimes you just havae to shake your head, take a deep breath and make some conversions. 
This unit of Grimghast Reapers is ten strong (as per matched play minimum).As with the Chainghasts I went for a green rim around the hoods. I rather like the washed out blue/green color scheme most of the army has. The weapons on the models in the army are mostly Leadbelcher with a Gryphone Sepia wash drybrushed with Ironbreaker, spot washed (not sure if this is an actual term, but I think it conveys the message) with Agrax Earthshade and very subtly edged with Stormhost Silver. I briefly considered adding Modelmates Rust but it felt a bit lazy.

I don't think I'll ever be a master sculptor, but this guy blends in reasonably well with the rest of the unit (note to self: don't make 'aren't you a little short for a Grimghast Reaper' joke here).
Here's a quick close-up of one of the two converted Glaivewraith Stalkers in the unit. These models are quite a bit smaller then Grimghast Reapers but basing them on three layers of cork helps. I hid the cork by adding a lot of tufts and extra skulls.

These are undead Skaven I tell you! Don't let any of those fancy city slickers tell you any different!
Here is my unit of eight Glaivewraith Stalkers. The background tells us that this is a strange blend of cavalryman with mount. This is not true. I'm quite convinced these malicious lies should be dispelled once and for all. Glaivewraith Stalkers are undead Skaven!

Squeek! Squeek! Yes it is confirmed, these are undead Skaven.
I spent quite a bit of time wondering about the bones on the Nighthaunt. As these are ghost you can do any old crazy thing with them. Personally I like a bit of yellowing bone on my undead if at all possible. I painted the bone on all the models with a base layer of Rakarth Flesh followed by a wash of Gryphone Sepia. An easy second step as both the hafts of spears and all metals where washed with sepia. I drybrushed most of the bone with Pallid Wych Flesh and then used a layer of the same color from my wet palette to edge some lines like the skull on the second from the left front row undead Skaven here.

To do: 1. fire up a fresh audio book, 2. painting lots of black.
Unfortunately I got a bit distracted by family, computer games and other fun stuff so this group still needs to be finished (and a Knight of Shrouds on Steed). I think hope I can finish them in the coming weekend and add this army to my display cases.

Let me sing you a lament about snapped of arms on fiddly undead, maybe I'll throw in a line about broken Clanrat arms and bits of Zombie somewhere between verses. 
Before I finish this post I wish to spent a brief moment lamenting the fiddliness of plastic undead. In the old metal days This would've given at least a few warning bends before snapping. I think I've re-affixed the painted cudgel at least four times now and I'm just going to give up. On the bright side: more basing material!

Yes I'm pretty self satisfied with this rate of production. 
Still all grousing about snappy wrists, gaming addictions and social distractions aside, I think this has made for a rather productive holiday. It also marks a reasonable place to make a few nice and unattainable new year's resolutions.

In 2019:

  • I'm going to finish my Nighthaunt;
  • I'm going to finish my Adeptus Mechanicus army;
  • I'll paint at least a few of my Genestealer Cultists (and finally decide on purple/blue or bone/red);
  • I'll paint a lot more Skaven models/units/armies utterly at random;
  • Paint a Stormcast Army;
  • Get some of the new titans;
  • At least pretend to finish my Freeguild before GW releases an army book that makes all my older models obsolete...
  • Not buy any more models until all the ones I have are finished;

Sharp readers will spot the crossed out obvious lie up there. Lets conclude by stealing some old meme. Happy new year and happy hobbying to all of you! May you wear out many'a scalpel blade on foam board and other projects. Let's splatter some more paint on unsuspecting plastic, resin and metal this year!

Stealing memes now? Really? 


  1. Cracking work on the Nightgaunts!

    I'm seriously envious that you've managed to paint such a fantastic force and keep them all looking cohesive.

    All the best!

  2. The blood dripping down the stone from the mace is great!

    The rest of those are really great, although I guess it is not surprising that they are fiddly...

    It is too bad that these are not cast in clear plastic, it would be amazing to see what you could do with that.

    No new gobbos?

    1. Thanks! Clear plastic, now that would be an interesting material to play around with. I want to talk about the new goblins, but my wallet is making exhausted screeching sounds...give me a few more days to get used to the crossed out bit on my resolutions list and I'll probably end up with an order there :)

  3. Happy new year my friend. Awesome.job on these nighthaunt. I share your last resolution and I think that it's a white lie too. I think that we never ever finished all of our minis, but the fun is in trying it.
    Best regards

    1. A happy new year to you as well and thanks. Let's keep on dreaming about finished models and paint a few in the process as well :)

  4. Great army (again). I always suprises me how fast you can paint and still make it look great!

    1. Cheers! Feel like having a go against it on the battle table in the near future?

    2. Of course! How could I declide fighting such an awesome army! :D