Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Is this the way to A-a-altdorf? Every night I've been hugging my pet Dwarf

"Dreaming dreams of A-a-a-altdorf, and sweet Marie who waits for me." My apologies, occasionally the result of a slightly extended paint project makes me break out in a ghastly song and dance routing. The Glottkin fits that bill for me. You could say this is one of the last Warhammer Fantasy models ever produced as the Nurgle aligned triplet was in part responsible for the destruction of the Old World. I can't hold it against them. For one: the End Times' source books are just too cool (the novels...that's another story). Second the background on Glottkin is quite interesting, and third they make for extremely entertaining bad guys in the current AoS stories. Anyway let's start with a shot of the model.

"Brother three shall bring low the Empire of Man," you can say that again!

Ah there's a fourth reason to love the Glottkin, the model is crazy (in a good way). This (modern) Greater Daemon sized model, portrays a triplet. Otto, the one with the scythe, is the leader and a champion of Nurgle. Number two, Ethrac, is the wizard sitting in front of Otto and number three is Ghurek, currently going by Ghurk, a humongous chaos spawn that serves as the mount for the other two brothers. Between the three of them, they sacked Altdorf, giving the human inhabitants of the Old World a very definitive clue that things were going quite wrong indeed. 

This model is peak Warhammer as far as I'm concerned, you can almost see the two brothers swaying as they ride number three into battle. Also there's skulls on it (of course).

I've been meaning to add this centerpiece to my collection. Most likely it'll take a nice place in my display case as fielding this kind of overpowered monstrosity on a friendly Friday night war is not really my thing. As I put the finishing touches on the monster I realized I also have a painted version of modern Nagash (and the old one) as well as Thanquol on Boneripper (and the older one). I should look into getting something to represent an avatar of Khaine (or Malekith (and the older one)) and modern Archeon (and the old one) to complete the quintet of destruction. Now I also want an 'old one' for some odd reason, perhaps a Great Old One?

I get a very odd sort of satisfaction out of painting off-white going to brown cloth on Nurgle models. Let's not speak of it again.

As much as I love the design, I have to admit that sticking the monster together was a bit harder than I expected. I had to use plenty of plastic putty to full gaps and mistakes and I still noticed lines when I was laying finishing highlights on him. Perhaps my patented excessive impatience (glue should dry when I tell it to) didn't helpt the process ;).

When it came to painting all those damn Nurglings I came to regret the decision to add so many to the base. I may have cut some corners when it came to painting them (erase the 'may' in that sentence).  

I spent quite a bit of time worrying about the base. How do you decorate the greatest champion of Nurgle (well the one on par with Tamurkhan at the very least (now there's another model for the wish list))? In the end I splashed out on a bunch of printable 'we do not call them Nurglings'-Nurglings. I think there's near on thirty of the little cretins dancing around the champion. I also printed a bunch of mushrooms for added effect. When the decoration dried, I added some random tufts to fill out the base and make it come to life. It was a bit over the top perhaps (investment-wise), but I promised myself I'd just paint more Nurgle in the future to spread out the cost over more models (true, I am no financial genius). 

I did not cut corners where the assorted buckles and belts on Ghurk where concerned. I'm quite chuffed with how this belt turned out. 

Painting the Glottkin itself was a joy. I gave him a zentihal prime of white over a red-brown primer. I then airbrushed a light layer of Ogryn Camo (I found a forgotten pot of Citadel Air in a box). On top of this I went to town airbrushing contrast paints. Let's find a WIP picture.

If you've never airbrushed with Contrast Paints you should give it a go. It's a wonderful experience.

The base paint I used was Plaguebearer Flesh (of course), but I also added patches of Militarum Green, Prismatic Blue, Volupos Pink, Shyish Purple and Nazdreg Yellow. To quote the Eldar war cry: Taste the Rainbow! Spraying contrast on thickly and allowing the colors to run through each other is a joyous painting experience I heartily recommend. 

"You've got red on you."

With the base tone of the skin set, I went over (almost) every cluster of pimples and skin distortion with Blood Angel's Red contrast through the airbrush. After this dried I worried a bit (by that time the model was quite red). I went back in with Ogryn Camo and re-established some rotten greens, neatly (at least to my thinking) tying the purple tentacle in with the rest of the model. 

One of the ultimate tests of a painter's nerve: covering a nicely painted model in a thick layer of enamel smelling gunk (don't forget to spray on a layer of gloss varnish first).

At that point I gave it the 'ol Streaking Grime treatment, wiping the excess off a day later after it dried with white spirit. A long, long time was spent painting every pustule I could find yellow and then going back to give them all a Dorn Yellow 'white head', yummy! 

Painting eyes is hard. I keep practicing, but it's still a challenge every time.

I took the time to paint the lower eyelid on Ghurk and gave him an actual functioning eye too (well, a painted on one at least). I painted the horns sprouting from his back off-white at first, but it looked terrible. I went back in with contrast paints, building up from yellow to a dark brown at the top. I think that was the right choice. 

The pose of this model. I can't get over with how awesome it is. (still doesn't hold a candle to the classic RoC champions though, I have to remain properly biased there). 

With the big guy painted and the base complete, I spent a night each on the two brothers riding on the back. This was after spending about a week-and-a-half stressing over the right skin tone to make them contrast with Ghurk. I finally found an old GW painting tutorial for (of all things) a Blood Bowl Nurgling and decided the white/pink would work like a charm. With that, I finished the model, sticking the two non-spawn brothers on the back of the very much spawn third one. All in all, this past month I spent quite a few nights and a lot of hours of my 'hobby Sundays' on the Glottkin. I think it shows, I'm quite proud of this Technological Triumvate Terror I created. On to more painting (and back to 3D printing, I have some projects on the back burner there too). But fist: the song and dance routine continues: 

When the day is dawning
On a Old World Sunday morning
How I long to be there
With Marie who's waiting for me there

Is this the way to A-a-altdorf?
Every night I've been hugging my pet Dwarf
Bla bla bla, cetera, tra, la, la, la, la la lala...

+++ update: added a few extra pictures in reply to a question in the comments +++

Here's Ghurk in an Red Brown, Ogryn Camo (and maybe a bit of Dead Flesh) basic layer of paints.

After going crazy airbrushing contrast paints you can see layers of gloop on the model, especially on the face. That would kill a model's detail with regular paints...

...but contrasts dry flatter than regular paints so all is well in the end. 


  1. I was going to say "its lovely!" but... er... how about "it is well representative of Nurgle". Airbrushing contrast is a nice idea. Does it maintain the color separation effect? You gunked it after, so maybe not?

    1. I'm not entirely sure what you mean by color separation effect, but the fun bit about contrast (at least as far as I'm concerned) is that you can apply it quite a bit thicker than regular paints as it dries a lot flatter. This makes it possible to airbrush a thicker than normal layer and just have the different colors run together naturally where they touch. I'll add an extra WIP picture to the bottom of the blog above that shows just how awfully thick you can airbrush these contrasts on without killing detail. You can also spray on thin and enjoy its translucency, thick is just an extra option in the toolbox.

    2. The layer of Gunk is mostly for lazy contrast. It's like an oil wash on steroids leaving the recesses very dark and matt while at the same time leaving top surfaces completely clean (after being wiped off to be sure).

    3. By color separation, I mean the main effect of contrast, where the binder and color are sort of separate, and the darker pigmentation is in the recesses, and the raised sections have less pigmentation.

    4. Ah okay, through the airbrush that effect is lessened (until you lay the paint on thick).

  2. I love the paint job. There is something attracting in Nurgle models to paint them, maybe because of all the variety of hue to treat the skin you can add on them.
    Your comment about the End of Times books is intriguing. I never read them, because I had the feeling it's all about "in the end they all die. End." which is a bit boring. But maybe I should give them a shot

    1. Cheers, I agree Nurgle allows you to really go to town colorwise. I think it's funny that Nurgle and Tzeentch armies tend to show two sides of the same coin. In one the colors form a bright riot and on the other it turns into this grim rotten look. I would be remiss if I didn't mention undead (zombies) and Skaven as two other armies that can really shine if people let go and just thrown colors at them. Well actually, everything should be a riot of colors if you ask me :D

      As to the End Times, I skipped them when they came out. Having adventured in the Old World since the late eighties (Warhammer Fantasy 1st with hardcover and Fantasy Battle 3rd where my introduction to the setting) it was a bitter pill to swallow when the end of the world was announced (by someone not self identified as a Flagellant). I came round later and read the books when someone pointed out that GW destroying a fictitious world does not actually end it (I seem to recall there was a Neverending Story reference in there somewhere). On reading the books, to my mind, they stand for a brief moment of eighties-like freedom for the writing staff. The world was about to end so all controls in place to ensure stable future releases where gone. The End Times answer quite a lot of mysteries of the Old World (Who is this Lady the Bretonnians cling to and what does she want? What's up with the Phoenix Kings and Malekith? What are the undead factions actually trying to accomplish?) Most of the mysteries where (I think) interestingly solved and there where some nice twists that enrich te setting I still use in roleplaying games. The bits I don't like, I ignore (a bit like the best approach to the entire body of work that forms the 40K universe ;). And (as always) there's still plenty of room to add more interesting stuff to the world. It just has a fixed date past which adding extra background becomes a bit of a challenge.

  3. Looks like you're really getting a hang of that airbrush, the color contrasts look real good.

    1. Cheers! It's a wonderful tool (when it isn't clogged (again ;))).

  4. Oh that is fantastic, a stonking centerpiece with a cracking paint job, now thats how you do a big character model. I see a join, dont care, the overall model is a thing of beauty. I really like the base swarming with nurglings, and they look good too, not distracting from the monstrous abomination. Talking of ... eww that tentacle arm, it looks so tender .. nice.

    The WIP pics where its painted then covered in brown, oh my.. that was a shocker, definately not a technique for the faint hearted. What I loved the most.. the praise for the model followed by the reality cheque, Glottkin is great but its not in the same league as Jes Goodwin's Realm of Chaos era masterpieces. I laughed, nodded, what a long shadow they cast and rightly so.

  5. Wow, just fantastic. You have to be pleased with that beast. Bravo!

  6. It's ugly, it's dreadful; boy do I love it! Great coloring all around. You really know how to capture the rotten-ess of Nurgle!