I had every intention of resisting the temptation to pick up the Silver Tower when it was announced, since I knew there was no chance I’d ever paint 50-odd miniatures. But I got the chance to see the minis up close at Warhammer Fest and I liked what I saw of the gameplay, and thus my fate was sealed.
I didn’t have to think too hard before deciding to paint the Mistweaver. Although the Age of Sigmar releases thus far have been pretty amazing, tragically there has been a distinct lack of elves. The Mistweaver is nothing like the classic Warhammer elves that I know and love, but it’s a very dynamic sculpt and has some interesting details that looked like fun to paint. I deliberately spent more time than usual planning the colours on this piece, as I wanted to do something different to the studio colour scheme but not get halfway through the piece and realise that it wasn’t working. I was given a handy tip by the ‘Eavy Metal guys and tested colours using the greyscale image from the assembly guide before committing to the miniature. I had thought about trying to blend the mist into the clothing but the sculpted transition is quite stark and I wasn’t confident I’d be able to disguise it well with paint.
I wanted a base that would match the tiles from the Silver Tower so I used some textured plasticard and added a suitable Tzeentch shape on top. As the piece was going to be entered into an online painting competition on the Age of Sigmar facebook page I added a totally unnecessary freehand onto the robe in an effort to wow the judges.
I gave the Mistweaver to sculptor David Waeselynck at the recent Golden Demon winners’ day up at Warhammer World and he seemed quite pleased. (No idea what the Star Wars reference is about mind you…)
By far my most ambitious piece to date, this diorama took something like 400-500 hours of painting over about 8 months.
Blood Angels have always held a special place in my heart since those halcyon days of 40k 2nd edition when my brother and I used to battle over my hotly contested bedroom carpet. I think the artwork that GW were putting out was what won me over to the chapter. Dave Gallagher’s image of a golden commander leading the Blood Angels against some genestealers remains one of my favourite pieces to this day, and was very much in my mind when I conceived this piece.
The GW plastics are universally excellent, but I had a real struggle finding a suitable miniature for the commander. I had already rejected a couple of finecast Tychos when the limited edition captain was fortuitously released and I realised that it would be a relatively simple matter to convert him for my purposes.
I spent quite a lot of time faffing around working out the best positions for all the minis and deciding how many to commit myself to painting. I only wanted to use flavours of Blood Angel that would have been around in 2nd edition, so no Sanguinary Guard (even though they are really cool). I knew I wanted a Terminator and couple of Death Company alongside the commander, so I needed to include enough tacticals to balance it out.
Painting-wise there was nothing particularly revolutionary here – just hour after hour of glazing. I stuck to a tried and tested triad of ochre, red and cyan and used my standard techniques for painting shiny armour (which I intend to cover in a future post). There are quite a lot of freehands throughout the piece: every marine has a name painted on him somewhere and I remember taking quite some pains to try and make sure that the chapter icons on the tactical marines shoulder pads were as near to identical to each other as I could make them. I suppose I could have used transfers, but that’s not how I roll.
I always had the slayer sword in mind when I was working on this, as I’d previously had feedback from the judges that I should do something bigger than my habitual single miniature entries at Golden Demon. Of course, I hadn’t realised that 2015 would see a series of ‘mini demons’ rather than the full fat event, so I ended up taking the sword at Golden Demon: Space Marines. It was indeed a proud moment but I do still have a nagging feeling that I need to go back at some point and try and win a ‘proper’ sword…