Painted: Stormcast Eternal Liberators

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As per my previous entry, I’ve recently made the dive into the Age of Sigmar world, thanks partly due to some peer “pressure” (although really, all it takes is a slight nudge to convince me to buy more minis) and the need to satisfy the slowly growing curiosity I had for building an army that didn’t have bolters, power armor, or even one that was in the same universe. Time will tell if I scrap this project and return to my love affair with power armor, but for now I’m quite content with my first steps into the world of Azyr.

More pics of my first Age of Sigmar minis after the break.

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I figured the best place to start would be with the Liberators, the foot soldiers of Sigmar’s grand army. I knew I wanted to incorporate black in their heraldry somehow, given my new fondness for painting the color. I also wanted to stay away from the garish gold armor of the studio minis, and so I went for a predominantly metal/steel armor color to hammer home (see what I did there?) the fact that these guys are wearing fantasy-inspired plate armor and not sci-fi powered armor. I painted their shoulder pads and shields black, and then added gold/bronze as a highlight/accent color – I had thought about using plain steel or even a bright white as this accent color, but thankfully decided against it.

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The recipe was relatively simple and the minis painted up very, very quickly. I was able to get five minis from the sprue to basing in a single evening, and I probably could have done all ten if I had pushed a little harder. Recipe is below:

  • basecoat black spray (I used Army Painter matte black, which is just as good as the GW Chaos Black and slightly cheaper)
  • basecoat armor Ironbreaker, wash with Nuln Oil, then drybrush highlight Ironbreaker again
  • basecoat gold/bronze parts with Balthasar Gold, wash with Agrax Earthshade, then edge highlight with Balthasar Gold
  • basecoat black with two thin coats of Eshin Grey, wash with Nuln Oil, drybrush/edge highlight with Dawnstone, then wash with Nuln Oil again
  • basecoat leather parts with Mournfang, wash with Nuln Oil
  • basecoat red parts with Mephiston Red, wash with Agrax Earthshade, highlight with Evil Sunz Scarlet

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The result was a muted, subtle scheme that is the opposite from the loud, garish gold/blue scheme of the studio minis. The gold/bronze accent colors play well with the black pauldrons and shield. I was further tempted to paint their scrollwork/waist sashes a parchment color, but I kept them black to avoid any unnecessary loudness in the otherwise dark color scheme. Finally, I toyed with the idea of painting the iconography on the pauldrons and shield a white/light grey color in a sort of Black Templars/Knights Hospitaller homage – thankfully, I decided against adding another color to the palette and just went with gold instead. I think I made the right decision, as the gold really ties the scheme together and adds detail without looking overly loud or distracting (the darkness of the Agrax Earthshade wash really helps with this). I added some red on the command models to give them a little bit of extra detail and make them stand out from their subordinates.

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Conversion work was quite minimal, with some slight readjustment of heads/arms on the duplicate minis to make them look slightly different. I must say I was quite unimpressed with the minis when pictures of them first emerged online, but they look much better in person and painted up in a more subtle paint scheme. The details and plated/segmented armor works well with washes and drybrushing, which I think may have been quite intentional on GW’s part as these are intended to be Age of Sigmar’s poster boys and thus will likely be the first army for many new players.

The minis themselves have a lot of detail that experienced/motivated painters can pick out, but they also allow a less experienced/skilled painter like me to produce great looking minis with a reasonable amount of time and effort. I’m still not convinced on the Sanguinary Guard-esque facemasks, however, and I prefer the helmeted look of the Retributors or Prosecutors (who still have the facemasks, but also have a “helmet” around the mask).

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Again, time will tell how invested I am with the Stormcast and with Age of Sigmar in general. I’ll probably have a better idea once I get these minis on the table and actually start playing a couple of games with them, hopefully in the next week. It’ll be a dramatic change rules-wise, that’s for sure, having played only 40k and 30k for the past two years and with my last fantasy wargaming experience being when I was in high school.

Regardless of how Age of Sigmar pans out for me I must say I’m pretty happy with these minis, and am looking forward to painting up the rest of the minis in the starter set. For the Emper- I mean, Sigmar!

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