Thursday, January 20, 2011

Warpborn Skinwalkers

With our winter break coming to an end and an unexpected lull in my work schedule (c'mon clients, approve those sketches before my schedule overloads with grading and homework!), I had a lot of extra time in the last two weeks. I spent a big chunk of it painting. Here's what I finished:

Hordes Models
3 Warpborn Skinwalkers
7 Druids of Orboros

Warmachine Models
10 Winterguard Infantry
Winterguard Officer and Standard Bearer
Kovnik Jozef Grigorovich
Kommander Sorscha
1 Kodiak Warjack

Warhammer Fantasy Models
16 Dwarf Warriors

First up, the Skinwalkers. This unit hasn't done whole lot on the table (I'm pretty sure that's my fault, not theirs), but I love the way they turned out. They'll keep seeing action until I figure out how to use them correctly.

What went well?
Privateer Press did a great job with these models. They're dynamic, easy to assemble, and very sturdy. There's lots of texture and detail but it's very clear, even to a half-blind painter like me. The armor was a special treat. After all the tiny whorls and runes on the Woldwarden, it was refreshing  to use acrylic washes on something with such clearly-defined shapes and edges.

I feel like I've gotten fairly proficient with oil and Turpenoid washes, and I'm starting to experiment with different techniques and colors. For the Woldwarden, it was a mixed approach, where some areas had oil washes and some didn't. The Skinwalkers are covered with oil washes, but I tried varying the color. Using Burnt Umber, Raw Umber, Ivory Black and Greenish Umber (all from Utrecht) I matched each wash to its base color. Compared to the Tyranids from last fall, the Skinwalkers have a much wider variety of dark tones, but I think I can push things even farther.

Finally, Burnt Sienna (Golden Fluid Acrylics) + a Burnt Umber/Ivory Black oil wash makes a beautiful color for leather. Browns are always tricky, but I really like how the Skinwalkers' capes and loincloths turned out.

What didn't go well?
Although you can't see it in these pictures, the eyes of the bare-headed model are awful. On my first try, I blobbed big patches of yellow all over the eye-sockets. It wouldn't have taken long to repaint the eyelids gray, but I didn't and the oil wash didn't quite cover up my negligence. Thankfully it's mostly hidden in shadow, but it still bothers me. The lesson here, when you make a mistake don't tell yourself "No worries! The wash will take care of that." Especially if it's a small error with an easy fix, take the time to make it right. Otherwise the model will sit on your bookshelf and mock you. I'm pretty sure this one is making faces at me whenever my back is turned.

With their combination speed, ease of assembly & painting, and a nice overall result, the Warpborn Skinwalkers have been my favorite miniature painting experience of the last several months. Now if I can just figure out how to use them on the table...

Next up: more models and an article about teaching complicated games to new players.
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