Wednesday, 31 March 2021

Realm of Chaos Warriors


The first unit of warriors for the Realm of Chaos project are completed. Black armour, red cloaks and white fur makes a striking scheme I have used before and wanted to try again, though this time using mainly contrast paints. There is very little highlighting involved on these figures, it’s mostly glazing with diluted contrast paints. I explained the process in more detail in my previous post. I am happy with the way these turned out, black armour can be flat and dull, so getting the texture and variation there was probably the hardest part. I could also make improvements on the red cloaks, but for now they are done.


With the recently painted ungors, that’s two completed units for this project. I feel I have earned the right to paint a character, so that’s my next job. An old sorcerer model will do very nicely. A chance to stretch my wings a little and add some more detail rather than production line units. That’s what I need now, to keep the interest level high. I find as I get older that I have less patience with painting units, one reason I am keen to exploit the contrast paints in any way I can. 

Wednesday, 24 March 2021

Contrast Chaos Warriors


I am making some progress with the chaos warriors. Over the weekend I finished half the unit, the remaining half are quite well progressed too. I had the camera set up for commission work so decided to grab a quick shot and waffle a bit about the painting process.

As with most of my work I started with a light undercoat. In the past I have sprayed white, then added a wash and worked from that point. For these figures I primed black all over, then from above with a grey, then dry brushed with white. This gave me a much better range of tonal values, albeit monochromatic to start with, a good base to glaze over with contrast paints. 

I painted the cloaks first as I thought these (front bits) would be hardest to reach with the brush. I used flesh tearer red contrast paint, diluted with a little flow aid and matte medium. This gave a surprisingly good finish, I could easily have left it at this, but I did add a little more shading in the deeper creases using contrast cygor brown, which is a red brown.

The fur trim was washed with skeleton horde contrast, as usual thinned with flow aid and matte medium. I suspect this is how contrast paints are made, with pigment added of course. I then dry brushed with white for an easy, effective, light fur effect. I splashed in other glazes to the fur as I painted the armour, greys, browns, yellow at random, to make it look a bit less uniform, a bit more natural.

The black armour was a bit more fiddly. I used black Templar contrast paint, which has a green/blue tendency over white. Ideally suited to sci fi figures but not my taste. So I glazed with browns and yellows to warm the tone. I then added random patches of grey and highlights with light colours from my palette, and also used white contrast paint to really try to achieve some variation in tone. Black alone is so flat and uninteresting. There was quite a bit of lightening and darkening going on with white, grey, brown and black, some glazing, some stippling, until I was happy with the result. It’s not as simple a process as the fur but then it’s a more complex thing to paint.

Hopefully it will not be too long before I finish the rest of them and I can put up a unit shot. The project is ticking along at a nice pace so far, hopefully I can keep at it, not get distracted by other projects. I spend more time painting canvas than miniatures these days, this Realm of Chaos project could be my swan song.


Friday, 12 March 2021

Ungor Raiders

The first unit in the Realm of Chaos nostalgia project, ten ungor raiders. I would say these are 90% painted with contrast paints and the results are pretty decent. I have been painting using self made glazes over a white undercoat for years so the switch to contrast was not difficult. I found contrast paints, like virtually every paint I use, to be far too thick and diluted them using flow enhancer and matt medium, but maybe that’s just a habit I have picked up.

These are the first unit to emerge from the Realm of Chaos, part of a larger army I have started as a nostalgia project. The plan is to build a small force and play some games over the summer when restrictions have eased. The aim is to play using WHFB fourth edition, a return to my roots, though we might end up using fifth edition as we seem to have more books from that version. They were very similar so we can probably mix and match easily.

Eagle eyed chaos generals for that era will no doubt be aware that ungor did not use bows in those versions, but as easy going gamers we will ignore that little oversight. They are also round based, which probably is no hardship for skirmish troops but might cause some consternation among the wargaming basing police. I will be using rounds on all my figures as I simply prefer the look. As casual gamers we usually can fudge along quite nicely irrespective of rules, bases and the like. 

These figures are, as stated, mostly glazed and I have skimped on a lot of detail. They are designed for gaming and not for entry into painting competition. Having said that, I reckon the standard is good for speed painting and am happy to show close ups to the nerd world.





Sunday, 28 February 2021

Contrast Paints review: how to paint using glazes

A new project is a good opportunity to try something new. I decided to try Contrast Paints, having read both good and bad things about them. They seemed to my eye to be very thick glazes, and as I use a lot of glazing in my painting I thought it was high time I put them to the test. 

A good undercoat is essential when glazing. A glaze is translucent, so you will see something of what is beneath. With this in mind I prepared a unit of little goatee men by priming grey all over, then white from above. Then I applied the first glaze, apothecary white straight from the pot, no thinning. When dry it gives a good starting point, a neutral base to work on.

I then dry brushed white to emphasise the details. Next I mixed gryph charger grey and wyldwood, hoping for a mid grey to use on the skin, but the brown won. Still, not a problem, I used this brown on the hairy bits. I also thinned it with flow enhancer and Matt medium to glaze face details, horns and a fade on the lower leg. By the time I had finished the tenth model, the first was dry and I went back in for a second coat of this brown mix on the areas I thought had dried pale or needed stronger shading.

I wanted the skin to be pale but have some variation and definition. Thinned gryph charger grey was applied, trying to keep it on the lower areas and wiping off on the upper sides of arms, chest, head. It’s subtle but you can now see the muscles better defined, especially on the little goatee six packs.

Next phase was the bow and arrows. I used skeleton horde, which is a pale sepia maybe, with some wyldwood added to make a yellow-brown. I applied this on the bows, then thinned it for the arrows.

So now on my palette I have wyldwood, which is a dark brown, the gryph charger blue-grey, and some skeleton yellow. These can be mixed together to make various browns and can be used to finish all the fiddly bits left on the model - the leather bits, bones, loincloths and the like. I used burnt sienna as an undercoat for the darker leather areas. Some areas I just glazed with the murky browns. Finally, if any bits had become too dark, I applied a thin white highlight, to emphasise the pectorals mainly and tidy up any splashes on the skin. I would say the models are 95% contrast paints. 


Friday, 19 February 2021

Realm of Chaos warriors


The first unit for painting in my new Realm of Chaos project is the warriors, from the Start Collecting Slaves to Darkness starter set. The box contains 16 figures, comprising 10 warriors (foot), 5 knights (mounted) and one lord on a lizard type beast. Round / oval bases are provided. The figures are press together builds meant for beginners, though I assembled mine with glue. They are all built in a single pose, it is not possible to make your own poses. However, it’s easy enough to remove the flange on the necks, allowing you to twist the head and alter the pose a little. I did this quite a lot on the foot warriors, to avoid them all looking straight ahead. There’s also a choice of helmeted or bare head available on the warriors and the lord, though not the knights.

The engineering on GW’s figures never ceases to amaze me. They truly are amazing models. Each of the foot figures, which technically are footslogging grunts, could easily be a character model. These were a breeze to put together. I trimmed off a couple of bits and varied the head rotation as I mentioned above. If you wanted to make weapon swaps (if you had two sets and you wanted to avoid clones) it should be reasonably easy. The choice of heads is also a nice touch and you could potentially mix in heads from other kits. These are wonderful models and I am really looking forward to painting them. I would think that one or two might be slightly easier to paint if you left off the shield arm and attached it after painting was complete, but I tend to avoid this. 

As far as compatibility is concerned, they scale really well with recent chaos warrior models, as this photo shows. The red warrior is one of the Khorne models released for AOS. The black warrior is from the plastic box of chaos warriors released back when WHFB was still alive. The styling and scale are well matched, the newer figures have more realistic (smaller) weapons and heads. I would think it would be reasonably easy to base them on squares and rank them up. I did intend to do this, but found I had run out of mdf bases so just went for the easy option of using those in the box. 

Even though I have started the project on a nostalgia wave, I am using the project as a testing board for some new ideas. New to me that is. More on that in a future post, for now here are the figures primed black, then grey, then dry brushed white.

Sunday, 14 February 2021

Realm of Chaos

This is probably the most thumbed in my collection of old Warhammer army books. It was not the first book I ever bought, that was Undead. It was not my first love either, that would have been High Elves. It was probably my third choice in a way, but I have collected and painted more chaos armies than any other. And to this day, I have a chaos collection that dwarfs my elves and undead (and my dwarfs for that matter).

This book was released in 1997 for fourth/fifth edition Warhammer Fantasy Battle. It contained three different armies - warriors of chaos, beastmen and chaos daemons. These could be combined to a degree, plus there was the option of including monsters and allies. Add in the different flavours provided by the four gods of Chaos and there were endless possibilities to explore. And that’s what I intend to go back to with a new project. Feeling nostalgic for the old fantasy world, I have been flicking through the book again and wondering if I could revisit those early hobbyist dreams. 

There were three sample armies in the back of the book, one each for warriors, beasts and daemons. Each would make the basis of a solid army, using figures from my old collection and supplementing them with newer models. Each of these armies was a fully playable 1000 point army in fourth edition, and it reminded of me of the joys of those early days. Here’s the chaos warriors army from the book, followed by a (mostly)modern interpretation. I am waiting for a warmer spell of weather so I can get into the garage to prime them.



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