Wednesday, November 2, 2011

From Zero to Hero IX: Stormguard - Cygnar Unit Box

Hey all,

I recently finished my first Warmachine Unit, the Cygnar Stormguard, and wanted to share how I did it.

First off, I painted two test-minis with two different approaches. The rest of the Unit was then done as a batch painting, as soon as I figured out the best way to go about it. This tutorial will cover both approaches, as well as the steps needed for the whole squad.

1. First test-mini (Zenithal highlighting technique)

As usual, I primed with Vallejos Polyurethane Grey Primer with my Airbrush. I layed down a base of Hawk Turquoise over the Armor or the mini. I then mixed in Electric Blue to get a lighter shade and applied it in a 45° angle from above, for a natural highlight. For shadows I used my translucent airbrush paint and applied it sparingly in a 45° angle from below.

This could be done quite fast, but I wasn't satisfied by the end result, as it was quite hard to distinguish between base and highlight.





The armor finished
The rest of the mini was done like the rest of the squad, which I will be covering after I've shown the second technique.

2. Second test-mini (Pre-shading techinique)

For the second test-mini, I chose pre-shading as the technique I wanted to use. I primed the mini grey and did the same steps as above. But instead of a color, I used white as the highlight and black as the shadow. When this was done, I applied 2 very thin coats of Hawk Turquoise over the armor of the figure, being careful not to obscure the highlights and shadows I already did. This way, I got a much more natural and smooth transition than on the mini before.

So I opted for pre-shading for the rest of my squad.


Pre-Shading done

Armor finished
3. The rest of the steps

After I had basecoated all of the squad, I started the detail work.

The ornamental armor parts where basecoated with Brassy Brass, then washed with Devlan Mud. Bright Bronze was used to clean the parts up and Glorious Gold was used as a hard edge highlight.

The halberds where basecoated with a 1:1 mix of Vallejo Model Air Steel and Chaos Black and then washed with Heavy Body Black Wash. For some depth, it was then drybrushed with Vallejo Model Air Silver.
The blades where then traced with pure VMA Silver to give the impression that they where honed and sharpened.

The quilted undercoat was basecoated with thinned Vallejo Extra Opaque Heavy Brown. This was then washed with my own wash-mixture, a very dark Sepia wash. The details where then picked out with first Heavy Brown and finally a 1:1 mix of Heavy Brown and Bleached Bone.

The Cloth parts where basecoated with VMC Ivory and then washed with Vallejo Pale Wash, which is excellent for shading white. I then cleaned the cloth up with Ivory again, adding a highlight on the upper folds with Skull White.

The Cloth finished
The electric effect on the halberd was achieved by layering. I started out with Imperial Blue and added subsequent lighter coats, always being careful to let part of the previous coat show. The steps where:

Imperial Blue
1:1 Imperial Blue - Electric Blue
Electric Blue
1:1 Electric Blue - Skull White
Skull White

The finished halberd

The finished Weapon of the leader

For protection, I gave the minis 2 coats of Gloss Varnish and then applied a bit of weathering, which I covered in a previous post, to the feet and legs of the models, to tie them in with the ground.

Ready for varnishsing

weathering all done
For a bit of added detail, I used a bit of freehand on the connector cable of the leader.

And that's it. For a finishing touch I added some clumps of foliage to the base of each figure to tie them together as a unit. Also, I used Vallejo Liquid Gold Rich Gold to mark the front arc of each figure.

All in all, this was a fun project, although I hate painting rank and file models, as they tend to be a chore after the first two. The leader however was great fun because of his goofy weapon, which my girlfriend referred to as the "bread knife".

As always, enjoy and have fun,


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