The Warmaster Part 6 – Highlight of the Night

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Spent most of the past couple of nights highlighting the gold and red on Horus, and am quite happy with the results. The red had Mephiston Red reapplied to the raised areas, then highlighted with a Mephiston Red/Evil Sunz Skarlet 50/50 mix, and then straight Evil Sunz Skarlet. The gold followed the Adeptus Custodes recipe, with a layer of Liberator Gold, followed by an edge highlight of Auric Armor gold and some tiny amounts of Runefang Steel (essentially anywhere that there was a sharp point).

The red turned out quite well, although some parts of the gold were so fine that it wasn’t overly obvious that they were highlighted in any way. Regardless, the gold is shiny and gleaming, which is what I wanted, so I’m happy with the way it turned out.

I also painted up the Luna Wolves emblems on his right knee and left shoulder (interesting that his left knee and right shoulder bear the Sons of Horus eyes – perhaps it was intentional that they were on opposite limbs?). These saw a basecoat of Celestra Grey followed by a slight Nuln Oil wash and highlights with Ulthuan Grey.

I forgot to mention in earlier parts that the metallic parts (cables, hydraulics on his armor, etc) were basecoated in Ironbreaker, washed with Nuln Oil, and then re-highlighted with Ironbreaker and Runefang Steel.

Next up: the Warmaster’s mug.

The Warmaster Part 5 – Red, Red Wine

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The Warmaster got his first coats of red last night, mainly on his pteruges, the red Eyes of Horus on his armor, and of course his giant flowing cape. I decided after the above picture was taken that I would also paint the vambrace on his left arm and most of the Talon of Horus in red to balance out the colors a little bit, as he needed a little color variation in his limbs.

I followed the red with a wash of Agrax Earthshade, not only on on the red but also the gold parts of his armor. I was tempted to try using Reikland Fleshshade on the gold as I did with my Adeptus Custodes models, but after trying it out it just looked a little too reddish for my taste. The Agrax Earthshade kept the gold looking like gold. I applied the wash only to the thicker/larger gold highlights, as I saw little point in shading the smaller bits of gold since I’d eventually be re-applying the basecoat to it anyway to clean it up.

With the red added the mini is starting to take shape – time to start thinking about midtones and highlights!

The Warmaster Part 4 – Goooooold

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With the black armor mostly done save for some fine edge highlighting that I’ll be saving until the very end, it was time to move on to the gold details. I considered using Balthasar Gold for the basecoat for this, but I wanted the gold to really gleam and when Balthasar Gold is washed with Agrax Earthshade it can give more of a copper or bronze look rather than the gleaming gold look I thought would be appropriate for the Warmaster. So I followed the recipe I used for my Adeptus Custodes models (I’ll have to share some pics of those models soon), and went with Retributor Armor for my basecoat.

It was time-consuming, to say the least, given the sheer amount of often tiny gold details on the model that needed to be picked out on gold. I tried to remind myself constantly to take my time, and remember that instead of a squad of 5-10 models I could focus my attention on a single model. I regularly washed and cleaned off my brush (a GW small artificer brush) to maintain that sharp tip that let me really get at those tiny details, especially the tiny gold filigree around the armor panels.

Next up I’ll be tackling the basecoats on the red pteruges, vambraces, and the eyes of Horus on his armor. Time to break out the Mephiston Red!

The Warmaster Part 3 – Painting it Black

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I knew from the very start that I wanted my version of the Warmaster to be clad in his iconic black armor, and while the vision of a white armored Warmaster from the Luna Wolves era is appealing, I decided to stick to my guns. So I picked up my basecoat brush and with great anticipation, started putting paint to mini.

I started with an Eshin Grey basecoat as per my guide to painting black, and followed this with a Nuln Oil Wash before adding drybrushed highlights with Dawnstone and a second Nuln Oil Wash. The result was a solid, dark grey that was exactly what I was looking for. The gold and red details I would add later should be the main focal point, after all, and I didn’t want to spend too much time focusing on the black armor. Once all is said and done I may go back and do some further edge highlighting and weathering with unwashed Eshin Grey and Dawnstone, but I’m more than satisfied at the moment with the way it looks now.

I decided to put a basecoat on the wolf atop his shoulders as well, and after some contemplation I decided on a Dawnstone basecoat followed by an Agrax Earthshade wash. This turned out just as I expected and gave me that Luna Wolf grey look, whilst still looking somewhat realistic. Looking forward to drybrushing and/or edge highlighting some lighter colors on the fur.

Putting paint on the mini, particularly the washes, has really served to show how detailed this thing is. I particularly love the details on his greaves, which should look even better once I’ve had a chance to pick out the details in gold.

Next up: adventures in Balthasar Gold!

The Warmaster Part 2 – Assembly and Undercoat

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Following my failure to glue the Warmaster’s arms to his torso, I picked up a bottle of Army Painter super glue on the way home last night. Initially I was met with the same resistance, until I realized that I was probably putting way too much glue on the joins than was necessary. Once I wiped away some of the excess glue the joins came together a lot easier.

Above are the subassemblies I’ve built: torso + arms, cloak, head, and scenic base. I’ve decided to leave out his extended scenic base for now but will come back to that later. Upon further reflection I probably should have left the Talon arm separate to allow me better access to the right side of his torso, but hopefully it won’t prove too much of a hinderance. His pteruges went on without much difficulty, although the one on his right shoulder was pretty fiddly. I kept all the other parts on their resin blocks to provide a built in grip while painting.

Undercoat was with GW Chaos Black spray. I’ve heard horror stories of undercoat failing to stick due to residual release agent on the mini, but thankfully my toothbrush scrubbing yesterday paid off and the undercoat remains solid (for now).

A minor scare occurred when the mini fell onto the carpet and my dear wife stepped on it, snapping Worldbreaker right off at the wrist – I’ve superglued it back together for now but may have to come back and pin it together later. The join seems solid enough for painting and perhaps for gaming, but we’ll see how it holds up.

Tonight: first basecoats. I am equal parts excited and terrified.

The Warmaster Part 1 – Cleanup

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My cousin was able to fulfill a childhood dream of his a couple of weeks ago with a visit to Warhammer World – a dream I hope to fulfill myself someday soon. Thankfully, he was able to bring back a present at my request; a small black box that happened to have The Warmaster in it.

Opportunities to get my hands on Forge World items, much less one hand picked from Warhammer World itself, are few and far between. I wanted a memorable mini, one that could form a centrepiece not just for my Sons of Horus, but one that could also serve as the culmination of my almost 20 years in the hobby. What better choice than the Warmaster himself?

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Yesterday I took the first steps on what I hope will be an eventful and rewarding journey. After carefully unboxing the mini and spending more than a few minutes marveling at the detail, I gave the pieces a soak and cleanup in warm soapy water as per the included Forge World assembly guide. As per my cousin’s advice (he picked up Leman Russ, and has already started work on it) I left it in the soapy water to soak overnight.

I had attempted to attach both the Warmaster’s arms to his torso yesterday, but the glue I used didn’t quite adhere the way I’d wished it would. Time to drop by the hobby store on my way home tomorrow to pick up some super glue…