Monday, 16 April 2012

The Horror! The Horror(s)!

Having just finished work on the first wave of Beastmen for the 'Pink Horrors' - the latest of my Blood Bowl teams - I thought that they'd make a great subject for this instalment of the Flare Blog.

Blood Bowl teams are probably my favourite of all things to paint - they're fantastically characterful and a great opportunity to relax and add humour and fun to your miniatures (quite frankly, anyone who takes their Blood Bowl team too seriously shouldn't be playing Blood Bowl!).

But who are the Pink Horrors?

Having spent the last few years playing a Wood Elf team, a team which relies on pace, agility, and not getting punched in the face(!) I decided that my next team should be something of a departure from this.  Don't get me wrong, I love playing with the Green Glade Hackers, but as the word 'blood' is in the very name 'Blood Bowl', I thought it might be nice for this to refer to my opponent's team's, rather than my own...

So that's why I decided to go for a Chaos team, a team which is almost the exact opposite of the Wood Elves.  They are slow and clumsy, but wow - they can be vicious!  And with a bit of luck, they will smash, rip and tear their way up the Chelmsford Bunker's CBBBL V league later this year...

But of course, I need to get them painted first!

(And this is how I started...)


I began, as I begin most miniatures, with the metallics.

The main reason for this generally is that for a lot of metallic methods I will employ a great deal of washes and drybrushing to create various ageing effects and, as any painter will know, drybrushing can get very messy!

For the Horrors however, I didn't use drybrushing as I wanted the metals to look a little more prestigious and new, but as the pigmentation in many of the metallics I use is so strong, I find  it's much easier to fix errors if colour paints are accidentally slipped onto metal parts, rather than hiding metallic slips on colour paints.

I used the following method for the gold and silver:

2:1 Burnished Gold and Dwarf Bronze mix as a basecoat (gold areas only)
Chainmail basecoat (silver areas only)
Scorched Brown wash over all
Pure Ogryn Flesh wash
3:1 wash of Devlan Mud and Hawk Turquoise (silver areas only)
Re-apply basecoat on both silver and gold
Burnished Gold to highlight gold areas and shade the silver areas
Highlight gold with Chainmail and silver with Mithril Silver
Weather joints in metallics with Hawk Turquoise followed by Devlan Mud


The blackened skin was a much simpler affair.  Being the largest area on the models, it seemed like the most logical place to start, and it consisted of nothing more than the Chaos Black undercoat, blended up to Graveyard Earth.

Though the colours were simple, the skin was probably the most technically difficult part to paint because what I had to keep in mind throughout was that nothing should diminish the brightness of the pink, so I had to make the Graveyard Earth prominent enough to define the features while scarce enough to make the skin appear almost completely black.

On the test model, I originally made a bit of a mess of things, trying to add various blues and washes into the mix, but quickly realised that I was just over-complicating matters.  In the end I was compelled to paint the skin Chaos Black once more and begin again, this time with the much simpler method!


The pink was the colour I most looked forward to doing as it was what would define the look of the team.  On the players themselves, I kept the pinks solely to their furs, rather than anything else such as cloth or straps, etc.  Too much would have been, well, too much.

I used the following method for the furs:

Basecoat Dwarf Flesh
Wash with Baal Red
Wash with Leviathan Purple (recesses only)
4:1 Dwarf Flesh and Red Gore mix for initial highlight
Dwarf Flesh as a further highlight
1:1 Dwarf Flesh and Bleached Bone as an extreme highlight
Finally, re-apply the Baal Red wash to add definition to the recesses where needed


Again, to keep the pink as the most eye-catching colour, I went for a very understated dirty-white for the cloth.  I think it looks simple, but rather effective:

Firstly, basecoat with Graveyard Earth
Blend up to pure Kommando Khaki
Bleached Bone as an extreme edge highlight
Pure Devlan Mud washed into the recesses

Again, with simplicity in mind, all of the belts and cords and other embellishments were painted the same colour, but using a more basic three-colour technique of Graveyard Earth for the basecoat with a highlight of Kommando Khaki and an extreme highlight of Bleached Bone.

It is worth mentioning that, though a brilliant colour, the pigment in Graveyard Earth can be very weak and it is extremely important to apply several coats of this at the start to ensure a good solid base to work from - or else there is no chance of achieving a smooth, un-patchy blend.


The bone was painted using a tried and tested method which one of my favourite painters, Anja Wettergren, used in a tutorial for painting the Crux Terinatus of a Blood Angels Terminator.

I 'borrowed' this once for a miniature I was working on and completely fell in love with the method and tend to use it on most miniatures somewhere.  It is worth noting that it's stated purpose is to give the effect of ancient stone, but I find it substitutes for bone just as well!

1:1 Scorched Brown / Codex Grey basecoat
1:1:1 Scorched Brown / Chaos Black / Badab Black wash
Codex Grey on all but the recesses
Highlight with Fortress Grey
Highlight with Dheneb Stone
2:1 Dheneb Stone and Skull White
1:1 Dheneb Stone and Skull White
Extreme highlight with Skull White
Devlan Mud painted into the recesses


To give the team a 'darker' feel, I decided to use cobbled, resin, bases to give a 'dungeon-floor' effect to the players, rather than that of a bright and sunny grass pitch.

Though the effect looks quite complex on the bases, they are all painted with a series of drybrushes and washes:

1:1 Codex Grey and Graveyard Earth base
1:1 Wash of Devlan Mud and Badab Black
1:1 Fortress Grey and Graveyard Earth
Drybrush Fortress Grey
Wash with Thrakka Green
Wash with Devlan Mud (with extra dabbed onto the centre of the stones while still wet)


Finally, the eyes were painted Skull White and washed Baal Red.  After a white dot was added to the eyeball, Asurman Blue was washed around the eye area before pure Baal Red was re-applied to the eye itself.


The only think left to paint now were the few displays of dead flesh dotted around the team (mainly on the Re-Roll Counter, right).

The method I used was as follows:

1:1 Tallarn Flesh / Rotting Flesh
Thinned Baal Red wash
Thinned Leviathan Purple wash
The basecoat was then re-applied and blended up to pure Rotting Flesh
And extreme highlight of Skull White was added.

The blood was simply thinned Blood Red, followed by a 1:1 mix of Blood Red and Chaos Black on the more concentrated areas, with a gloss varnish finally added to give that extra 'shine' once a protective matte varnish had been applied to the miniatures as a whole.

And that's those guys finished!  Though with a Minotaur and some Chaos Warriors needed (and with four more Beastmen lined up for the bench...), I think I'll be back in the pink very soon...

If you want to see pictures of the team so far, visit the Pink Horrors section of the Flare Image Gallery!