The very first miniature that I made for Games Workshop as a trainee has now been released, so I can finally talk about it!
Xandria Azurebolt (as someone in publications has elected to name her) is the exclusive knight incantor model that comes with issue 5 of the Mortal Realms magazine for Age of Sigmar.
I’d been at GW for less than a month when I was given the brief to make this miniature. After becoming familiar with the team and the software, all the trainee miniature designers are given 3 or 4 training projects. These projects are not in the release schedule so you’re not under time pressure and although you’re told that it would be nice if you produced something that could be released, it’s not expected at this stage.
This then was my first training project in the summer of 2018. To be honest I’ve never been massively excited by Stormcast Eternals but I was given a really cool mock up that Steve Party had made and let loose to try and turn it into a product. The main areas of design work were the stave and the head. I remember going through quite a few iterations of the face until I got something I was reasonably satisfied with.
I was sitting at the desk next to the mighty Darren Latham when I worked on this, and he gave me a lot of help figuring out the engineering side, which was much appreciated. I think it’s fair to say that anything good about the final miniature is down to Steve and Daz, and anything not so good is down to yours truly! But I was pleased when the design managers told me that it would be getting produced.
I decided to paint this in non metallic metal, which was a decision I soon came to regret, because as usual it took me far longer than I wanted it to! I don’t think the finish is as good as it could be in a few places but I didn’t think it was worth investing any more time to try and make it better. There are far more interesting miniatures that I’d like to paint!
I’ve had the Vandus Hammerhand sprue from the Age of Sigmar starter box lying around for a long time now and I finally decided that his time had come. Unfortunately because this was an ebay purchase I didn’t have any assembly instructions and there are one or two places where construction is a little tricky. I got there in the end though!
My approach was to fully assemble the dracoth before painting, and then add the stormcast rider piece by piece, making sure that any inaccessible parts were painted first. The base is built out of modelling board (ureol).
It took me quite a long time to decide on the colour scheme. I love the ‘Eavy Metal version but I didn’t just want to copy that. In the end I went with something similar to the Celestial Vindicators but swapped red for magenta. Rather than going with pure non metallic metal I’ve elected for a combined nmm and metallic approach in the same way as my terminator librarian from last year. This approach never looks quite as impressive as full nmm in photos but I am a big fan of the effect when you see the miniature in person.
The main colours used on the armour are stegadon scale green, VMC turquoise and VMC blue green, while the cloak uses screamer pink and VMC magenta. I used the citadel metallics (if you’re curious about the exact recipe then I documented it in my previous stormcast painting guide).
When painting the dracoth I found that simply shading the stegadon scale green basecoat with black was making it look very lifeless so I have included khorne red in the shadows, which has definitely helped. I’ve also glazed a little of the screamer pink/magenta around the regions where the dark scales meet the paler areas.
Due to the size of the miniature it took an exceedingly long time to paint as I didn’t want to compromise on quality in any way. Painting large pieces like this is not really my forte (I had previously abandoned my attempt at a varanguard), so it was satisfying to see the project through to completion. There are a lot of subtle texturing effects that only become apparent when you can look at the miniature very closely.
I had intended to enter this piece at the AoS open day but the horrendous weather in the UK put paid to that. I daresay he may get an outing in May at the classic golden demon instead!
I was very excited to see Games Workshop release Shadespire. From time to time I have considered painting an army (Blood Angels or High Elves, naturally 😉 ) in order to play the games but the reality is that I know I’d probably lose interest before the first unit was painted! I can definitely paint three miniatures to a reasonable standard in a sensible time frame though, so Shadespire got my attention.
I have previously painted Stormcast in white armour and I wanted to try a slightly different take for these miniatures, so I made use of the Warcolours blue grey set to achieve a colder finish.
I’m fairly happy with how these have turned out considering the time spent. (Around 10 hours per miniature, which is seriously fast compared to the other projects I’ve been doing recently!) I’ve made a painting guide to see if there’s any interest in a slightly less than super high end display standard.
I’ve only managed to have a couple of games of Shadespire so far but first impressions are very positive. It plays quickly and is simple to learn but great fun, so I’m looking forward to more games!
Just a quick update as I have now completed the Stormcast from the Storm of Sigmar box with this handsome pair of Paladin Retributors!
As with the liberators, these were mostly painted on the sofa after work, with the intention of achieving a decent tabletop standard. These are very nice models, although personally I’m not a massive fan of the backpacks. Maybe there’s some explanation for them in the background that I’m unaware of.
Here’s the obligatory group shot:
If I paint any more of these I’m going to need a bigger photography backdrop! Just as well I have to turn to the Khorne side of the box now. Still mulling over the colour scheme for those guys…
The curse of being a perfectionist is that it’s really difficult to back off a bit and be happy with a lower standard of painting. Consequently I don’t suppose that I’ll ever own an army for any game system, but I do like the thought of having some smaller forces for playing the odd skirmish sized game.
My main focus in this direction at the moment is my 15 mm miniatures, but I started wondering recently whether I could also do a bit of painting while sitting on the sofa of an evening. The poor lighting and lack of a firm surface means that it’s impossible to do any kind of high end painting, so this is a good opportunity for me to force myself to just paint at a tabletop standard.
I love the Age of Sigmar range but I haven’t had much opportunity to paint any of the miniatures thus far. So for this project I decided to pick up a copy of the Storm of Sigmar box. This contains 5 Stormcast Eternals and 8 Khorne dudes. Surely even I can get through such a paltry amount of miniatures?
(Incidently, the Storm of Sigmar box is brilliant in my opinion. 13 really superb minis, a rule book, cards, dice and transfers for £20. And the book has a decent number of scenarios to play games with the contents of the box. Really good value!)
So far I’ve managed to paint the 3 liberators. I decided to use the same colour scheme that I used on the Knight-Questor from the Silver Tower box, but I exchanged the magenta that I had used on the plume and the weapon grips for a warm purple, using liche purple with warlock purple highlights. I prefer the way this looks, so I went back and repainted those bits on the Knight-Questor. Here he is with his chums:
I think the paint jobs look fine from a distance. I won’t be posting any close ups though!