I've been spurred on to update this blog by my mate Matt, who has berated me for not posting anything for two months (has it really been that long?).
Anyway, I thought I'd do a post on a recent bit of painting I did for the Sheffield Irregulars July Challenge (http://sheffieldirregulars.wordpress.com/2009/07/26/vote-for-the-july-painting-challenge-winner/#more-377). I'd picked up one of the Gamezone mounted Warrior Monks alongside some of their knights a while back but not painted him. But when I saw the challenge theme 'Hero', he immediately came to mind!
Normally I paint with gaming in mind, so I don't mind if the shading is a little bit unsubtle or if I take shortcuts. But on this occasion I decided to try and paint purely for display and see how I got on.
The model came in 6 pieces: Horses head, 2 body halves, tail, rider and rider's weapon (a socking great hammer in this case!).
I assembled the model in two parts, keeping the horse and rider separate. Assembly wasn't too bad, although it did remind me that assembling metals is a bit trickier than plastics! A bit of greenstuff was needed to fill gaps, particularly around the horse's neck. I didn't pin much, partly because there's not a lot of room to do it! The hammer was pinned to the rider, which was a bit fiddly due to the fine quality of the casting.
I chose a round resin base that I'd bought form ebay, as I thought it suited the movement of the model, with the horse's head turning and its tail flicking out.
There are a couple of tricky issues with this model.
1. There is an awkward gap between the rider's hands and the reins which, unless you paint the rider glued on the horse (which I didn't want to do), means filling the gap after painting. Not a major issue but a bit of a nuisance.
2. The dynamic pose, with the horse leaning quite a way over, means that there is not a lot of depth to the hooves to pin them to a base (only two of which are in contact anyway). It's not a model that's going to take a lot of rough handling, so probably more of a presentation rather than gaming model.
I should say that neither of these issues should put you of what is a great model, provided you have a bit of experience to cope with them.
Both parts were spray undercoated with GW chaos black (all painting notes refer to GW acrylics), with any gaps filled by brush.
I started by basecoating all the main colours: boltgun metal for the armour, scab red for the robes, Tallarn Flesh for the, umm, flesh, and Scorched brown for the horse.
With the armour being one of the main features of the model, I wanted to make a good job of it. My normal armour technique is to drybrush up to silver from a black basecoat, fine for massed units but no here. Rebecca Hubbard of the Sheffield Irregulars had posted a good link to a tutorial on armour which I decided to use as inspiration (http://www.coolminiornot.com/go.php/go/articlephp/aid/649?).
I wanted a dull finish, with a hint of patina to show age, but not looking uncared for. Being too lazy to mix my colours I fell back on the GW washes (great product!). I gradually worked up through Devland Mud, Ogryn Flesh and Gryphonne Sepia to Badab black, using the washes like paints to work into the recesses. The edges of any metal pieces were finally highlighted with chainmail and mithril silver where they would have rubbed over time. I'm not entirely happy with how it's gone on the parts of the horse armour, the line of black is too distinct, but overall I'm happy.
The robe was washed with purple for shade and red for depth, then highlighted with Mechrite Red (foundation paints, another reason to thank GW!). The flesh had an Ogryn flesh shade and Elf Flesh Highlights, while the horse itself was shaded with badab black and highlights worked up in various mixes of brown.
Detail like the robe edging and reins were done with a mix of 0.1 drawing pen, fine brush, an much cursing and repainting!
Next - Making the base