+ inload: Kaela Mensha Khaine painting guide +

+ inload: Kaela Mensha Khaine painting guide +

+ Enthused by the build up for the PCRC's (sort of) annual 'big game', I picked up a second-hand Forge World Avatar and painted it up for the game. More on this in a future inload, I hope; but to cut a long story short, it was a lead-in game for our upcoming campaign exploring a seemingly deserted Craftworld. +

+ The model arrived as below: neatly assembled and sprayed red, with the torso begininning to be blocked in. +

+ I straightened the spear, tidied up a few parts where the primer had come away and began to paint. 

+ There's a lot of balancing work necessary to get the glow right, I think. It's certainly a model that rewards some forethought and checking reference images for the effect your want. I wanted the body to essentially look like a lava flow, and the immediate answer might seem to be to paint it as though it's white hot. In fact, I think it's probably better to keep most of the body a dull red, or the effect's going to be overblown and lose any impact. If you have high contrast between white and black everywhere across the body, you lose the opportunity to create stronger tonal contrast to lead the eye, and also cause problems for any areas that don't use this effect. I've seen some lovely versions of this figure with a great body molten effect that have been spoiled because the armour doesn't feel part of the same structure – either due to overcomplicating the colour scheme or because it's simply too clean and bright. +

+ I quite liked the molten lava effect, but thought that the transition from yellow to black was too stark, so I repainted the recesseses with a pink mix of Blood Red and Vallejo white before washing over it with Vallejo scarlet, a surprisingly orange hue. Having brought the highlights (unusually, internal) up, I also reduced the tonal contrast by changing the solid black the previous owner had used for a dark ashen grey, painted using various combinations of a dark brown (Dryad Bark?), Abaddon black and Vallejo white. +

+ I then painted the armour areas with the same dark brown before painting them with Boltgun metal. These were then given repeated washes of Seraphim Sepia, with highlights of Boltgun metal and Mithril Silver added between. This resulted in a lovely mottled ancient gold/brass feel. +

+ To draw the eye to the focal point (the face), I highlighted the deepest recesses on the front with a mix of Vallejo scarlet and Yriel yellow, and the face with a lighter version of the pink. Note how the dark metal helps to avoid drawing the eye from the face itself. +

+ The Avatar's an odd but enjoyable figure to paint, being extremely quick to do ninety per cent of it, then taking bloody hours to pick out all the tiny gemstones and filigree work! +

+ The molten effect is duller and redder towards the legs, and the armour here is much, much darker – almost black – to avoid drawing the eye. I picked a cool pink for the gemstones to harmonise with the overall colour scheme while still standing out. +

+ The basing was fun. After a base layer of sand was glued down, I painted this dark brown, then drybrushed it around the feet using the same brown-black as the body to look scorched. The snow is a mix of PVA, bicarbonate of soda and water, and it was applied with a modelling tool, adding less near the feet to simulate the scorching heat of the iron body melting it away. I then added some tufts of grass from the excellent Gamer's Grass [noospheric inload link], and drybrushed the one near the foot with the same brown-black. +

+ The face and helm received repeated glazes of red and yellow, and I added some subtle touches of Leviathan purple on the head piece to suggest discolouration from the heat. The eyes were painted white, then yellow, then highlighted once again with white. This drew the eye too much from the body for such a large figure, so I used the same technique to increase the temperature of the central chest, providing a secondary focal point with the aim of helping to give a sense of power and scale. +

+ The armour was kept deliberately simple as a framing device. It's very easy to overcomplicate a figure and spoil the main effect. +

+ Overall, a very enjoyable figure to paint. Along with the rest of my Eldar army, he'll be winging his way to a new owner soon, to do battle across the void-sea in Sector Scandanavia. +


The Dapper Anarchist said...

This is one of the few models I've seen where they "burnt around the feet" effect really worked for me... I think it's just going a bit further with it, choosing good materials such as the grass, otherwise it might just look like the Avatar happened to stand in two snowless spots.

apologist said...

Thanks. It's not an effect I thought I'd ever try, but I'm happy with the result.