Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Plague Marines

The chosen of Mortarion are a particularly deadly breed of heretic. Unlike the World Eaters and Emperor's Children, which descended into anarchy, or the Thousand Sons, which seem to have disappeared altogether, the Death Guard have retained much of their previous structure. When facing off against the forces of the Death Guard, we cannot rely on their lack of organization to provide exploitable weakness, as we can against other traitors. Although followers of Chaos, they possess a strange order...
-Excerpt from the Reports of Inquisitor Corrigan, 3 226 765.M38


I picked up the Dark Millennium pretty soon after it came out and I had intended to paint the Plague Marines the same as I had my AoS Lord of Worms. But it was not anything that had made me excited to paint them. Then I was surfing the Inq28 Facebook group and a gentleman by the name of Tayler Anthony Muller posted pictures of his Mortarion. He most excellently (cue air guitar!) let me use a couple of his pics here:
Picture used with permission.

Picture used with permission.
Now this, this did excite me. The way he got the tones reminded me both of the John Blanche Mortarion art, but also a water color painting. And it was something I wanted to try. Thanks to the magic of Facebook, I was able to ask him how he got these look. Tayler started with Corax White Spray followed by washed of Seraphim Sepia and Casandora Yellow. Then he washed Carroburg Crimson into the deepest shadow areas and Fuegan Orange into the shallower shadow areas. Finally, he applied successive drybrushed coats of Verminlord Hide, Golfag Brown, Terminatus Stone, and Praxeti White, beginning in the deepest recesses and finishing at only the most zenithal points. That's a pretty simple recipe for such an awesome result.

Before risking my nice Dark Millennium Plague Marines, I picked up the three pack of snap fit Plague Marines to use as test models. For the first one, I followed Tayler's instructions and ended up with this:



The overall results aren't bad, but not really what I was wanting. I attribute a lot of that to subpar drybrushing on my part. It's not a technique that I've ever really spent much time doing (yes, I know it's very easy), especially on models with large flat surfaces like marines. But my drybrushing seemed to drown out all the wonderful tones from the washes.

So this got me thinking, how can I adjust this concept to work better with my skill set? The first thing I realized I would have to do was reverse the order and apply paint first and washes second. But I really wanted to avoid the drybrushing all together. So I decided to airbrush the main colors. I began by thinning some Verminlord Hide way, way down and spraying the model from directly below over a bone primer. Then I sprayed some Deathclaw Brown (a very similar shade to Golfag brown but not a dry paint) from below but slightly tilted out. Then I flipped the model over and sprayed bleached bone from about a 45 degree angle, followed by white from directly above. Then the washes were applied just as before except I thinned each wash about 50/50 with Lahmia Medium. Finally, I applied some very thin highlights bleached bone and then bleached bone mixed with white to a few edges to make them pop a little more.

One other thing I attempted to do was do most of the painting through the use washes over a light basecoat. The steels were done with Stormhost Silver and the brasses were done with Sycorax Bronze. The tentacles were some really faint Vallejo Model Color flesh who's label is illegible.

I also changed up the way I did the basing, following Kristian's excellent tutorial. To this, I also slathered on Vallejo Slimy Green Environmental Effects and Nurgle's rot, making sure to leave some of the original basing extending out past the goop. I still think there are a few things I could improve, but overall, I am much happier with this result and I think I came much closer to what Tayler inspired me to do.









12 comments:

  1. I really like seeing non green Nurgle !

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    1. Me too, I think that's why it has taken me so long to paint any of them. I needed the courage to buck the trend!

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  2. Fantastic article, all the way from the great paint job to your step-by-step for adapting someone else's paint tutorial to suit your own style

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    1. Thanks! I had to do it that way so I can remember how to do it next time. Getting old sucks!

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  3. Wow, that's truly impressive! The use of all those tones combined is jaw dropping. Bravo!

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    1. Thanks! That tonal variance is what initially attracted me to this color scheme.

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  4. A whole army done up like this would be something to see mate. Effin love the scheme.

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    1. I have no idea what constitutes a whole army these days, but I plan on doing the Marines from the 8th Ed box and a few more this way. The best thing about it is that it's super fast. I'd wager there is less than an hour and a half of paint application time (drying time does extend total painting time out though)

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