Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Ask the Bastards #2

In this installment of Ask the Bastards, we'll be taking a look at a couple wood elf units.

First up, some Glade Guard:

Per the painter:
The goal with this paint scheme was to make a nocturnal colour scheme, without doing it all black. I imagine Athel Loren at night to be lit with fey lights and bluish moonlight so that was what I was aiming for. They are painted with 3 main colours, schorched brown, adeptus battlegrey and orchide shade. I use mordian blue as a "breaking" colour on banners, arrows, glowing eyes etc. The basing is glade grass flock, sand painted in orkhide shade and blue and purple shredded kitchen sponges. I was inspired by the scenery in the movie avatar for this. Mind you, the movement tray isn't finished. It will get the same sand like the bases.

For the second unit, we have some Tree Kin:

They started out as wildrider conversions but I changed my mind as I already had a unit of wild riders on wolves which I really like. Then 8th edition came and treekin became the flavour of the day. If the forest spirits can animate a dead tree, why can't they animate dead elves and horses? So became the dryadtaur tree kin or wildwood knights which I tend to call them. I know, I'm a sucker for the cheesy fantasy names and background and all that. I am abit ashamed to admit though that the satyrs from world of Warcraft inspired these conversions. And no, I don't play world of Warcraft.


These models definitely hit the mark with the Athel Loren at night theme. The color choice for the most part is spot on. The dark brown, gray and green really work well together. I think I personally would have used the purple (from the standard) in place of all the blues. To me, purple complements your three main colors better than blue. Still, the blue suffices as a nice contrasting element and it does suggests moonlight better than purple would. My only real gripe with the figs is that you used the same old boring static grass! There are a ton of options online, any of which would look more appropriate for moonlit night. I think a dark green similar in tone to your gray, would play nicely against the glowing turf.

For the Glade Guard specifically, the green is begging for some highlights, a little layering. The gray and brown are dark enough that you can get away with a wash and be done. You could really highlight them up to the same color as the glowing turf. If you did that, I think these guys would really 'pop' on the battlefield. For the Tree Kin, I'm not thrilled with the glowing eyes. Maybe, it's just me, but I think they would look better with the blue contained just to the eyeballs themselves. (But then I've never seen a glowing eye effect that I thought looked good - sorry Necron players!) Other than that, though, the conversions are perfect with the beards and antlers.  Much better than the GW TreeKin for sure!


In general I really must commend you on these units, they are outstanding and any Warhammer general would be lucky to field them.  In particular I applaud your creativity, on both the theme and the treekin conversions.  In terms of the spot color it would have been best to use a complementary color like red or purple to increase the contrast and make that spot color really pop.   However, in the end blue, while more subtle, also works.  You should consider going in and reapplying the base coat anywhere the wash pooled.  This is especially visible on the cloaks of the Glad Guard.  I also agree with Rogers that you have a real opportunity to add some additional highlights that will further enhance the model.   

My painting philosophy is that it's all about faces, bases and shields.  If you want to really give the other worldly look of Avatar to your bases then you have to swing for the fences.  To give the effect of being under a forest canopy there are several excellent scatter mixes that do a good job of approximating leaves on the ground.  These could also be used to pull in your desired blue and purple color scheme.  Further Silflor makes (as does Army Painter) some unique basing materials like Poison Ivy that could help capture your other worldly look your going for.  Finally, I'm really big fan of using the pressure sensitive grass tufts, like those produced by Silflor, instead of static grass. They are easier to apply then static grass and much easier to highlight.


baardah said...

Thank you for thorough rewiews. I should mention that the Gladeguard (#30) was all painted and based over 30 hours of one weekend (wife and kids went to visit grandma). This was also a test of how fast I could get a (IMO) satisfactory result. I doo agree that they could all benefit from more layering and highlighting. The models in the picture has basecoat, one layer and a subtle highlight and a wash.
I have a couple of follow up questions:

1: I've been thinking of starting to sell some models over eBay. I like to paint different things, bit can't be collecting everything i wanna paint. So how could I describe my painting for sale on eBay? If I may say so I think I'm above the level of tabletop standard as it is on eBay, but I think that calling it master painted would be to stretch it. Rode, you have seen the rest of my army. Any thoughts?
2: if I wanted to take you up on the advise to get a darker tone on the grassflock, is there a way to achieve this without scraping it off? Is it possible to paint it? Washes?

Domus said...

Treekin were my flavor of the day in all of 7th edition and rocked it then too. The rest of you were just late to the party. :-)

The conversions look good - definitely captures the feel of the centaur and looks much like Cenarious (I have played WoW quite a lot off an on).

Rogers said...

Hey Baardah, in answer to your follow-up questions.

1) I think the tag 'painted' should be more than sufficient. Let the pics stand for themselves.

2) I've never tried to paint static grass outright, but I think you could give it a shot on a test model. I do drybrush static grass. So you could paint the grass a darker color with some heavily diluted paint to get it to soak in and then drybrush with something lighter afterwards to give it some depth. I'd love to see some follow up pics for sure!

Rogers said...

Also, I'm totally going to make a couple Branchwaiths with big beards and antlers!

Baardah said...


I´ll try some tricks on some remodeled bases i have laying around and come back with a result

Post a Comment