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January 21, 2013

SHOWCASE: Kingdom Death: Painting the Watcher

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Here's the Watcher - first of the Kingdom Death protoypes I've painted up. 

I learned quite a bit painting this model and enjoyed it a lot, but in the end I must say it's probably one of the strangest minis I've ever painted.  What makes it so odd is that it's almost more of a collection of objects than a cohesive whole.  There were so many different elements to it: the plant-like streamers, the scarf and other bits of cloth, and of course all those lanterns.  Where another creature would have a body, this entity has a void with only the implication of shoulders and a head to imply form.  But please don't think this is criticism.  The Watcher here is just another example of the kind of weird concepts I love about Kingdom Death.

I decided wanted to avoid the typical dark and sinister paint scheme you might expect for a wraithlike creature like this.  Instead I thought it would be cool to go for more of an animated heap of rags feel - a rag construct as it were.

It was imperative to do a minimal assembly on this guy.  All those streamers and other bits were bound to get in the way during painting.  After priming it with Model Master Gray Primer I pick out three different sections of cloth with three different colors.  These were P3's Beast Hide, Battledress Green, and a pale blue color mixed from Exile Blue, Cygnar Blue Highlight, and Hammerfall Khaki.

Then I shade the cloth.  The Battledress Green was shaded with Exile Blue, the Beast Hide was shaded with Coal Black, and the blue was shaded with Umbral Umber.

Here's a look at what's going on in the back.

The blue is highlighted by mixing in some Menoth White Highlight.


Here's the blue area on the back.

The Beast Hide is lightened with Rucksack tan before it gets some Menoth White Highlight as well.

The back again.

The Battledress Green is also highlighted with Rucksack tan followed by Menoth White Highlight.

 The back.

Now that the cloth has been worked out I move onto some of the lighting effects from the lanterns.  I start it off pretty rough with a basecoat of Menoth White Highlight with some Rucksack tan and Cygnus yellow mixed in.

I blend the glow out into the surrounding fabric while mixing in a little more Rucksack Tan and also some Heartfire.  I'm not ready to call this area done yet, but I want to see how the area looks with all its lanterns place before I finish it all up.

And here are those lanterns.  I start off the metal areas with Bloodtracker Brown while the lanterns' interiors are painted with Menoth White Base.

I shade the Bloodtracker Brown with watered down Coal Black to represent a little tarnish and begin picking out the spindly wire details on the lanterns.

I add some Rucksack tan to the Bloodtracker Brown to highlight it up adding some Menoth White Base anywhere that I want a really strong highlight.  At this point I'm ready to attach these lanterns to the body and do the final touches there.

Really it's all just about cleaning up at this point.  I just blend everything in a bit more smoothly on the lanterns and the cloak.

At this point I finally got to move on to the crazy face-scarf, which is one of the things I'd been looking forward to since the beginning.  I wanted to do something really weird for these guys.  While I started out with GW's Hawk Turquoise washed over Bubonic Brown, the turquoise quickly got painted over.  I ended up primarily using P3's Coal Black with the Bubonic Brown instead.  Here it is early in the process; right after the first layers of color were put down.

And here it is after some more blending was done.  Some Menoth White Highlight was added to lighten things up in certain areas.

And here's one last shot of the scarf.  I also started painting the scarf itself with Umbral Umber highlighted with Gun Corps Brown.  It's almost finished, but once again I want to attach this piece to the body before I do the final touches.

So I glue it on and do the final blending.

Finally it was time to do the vines.  I had originally wanted these to match the scarf-faces, and started them off in the same way.  But I wanted to try for something weirder, so I washed them with some thinned down Bloodstone, and began to highlight them with a pale turquoise color I mixed up with Thrall Flesh and a little bit of Ordic Olive and Exile Blue. 

Well... it wasn't working out so well.  After being repeatedly unsatisfied with the results I was getting, I just washed it all with P3 Green Ink mixed with GW's Agrax Earth. I ended up liking the color enough to just leave it that way.

With all the open expanses of cloth I decided to do a little freehand.  I thinned down some Coal Black with a little Retarder and just started creating some abstract line patterns.

I highlighted it with some Bubonic Brown - again mixed with some retarder. That's the reason why it's so translucent.

Then I mix some of P3's Frostbite with the Bubonic Brown for a final highlight.  I go back with some more Coal Black to pick out some of the shadows that had gotten painted over.

Finally I want to make a custom base for this guy.  I hack up some blue foam into some stone shaped chunks, then add some stone faces I had left over from my King's Men.

I basecoated it with Hammerfall Khaki, and washed it with Agrax Earth.  I wanted to avoid a boring gray stone appearance, so I mixed in a lot of color shading with Coal Black and Bloodstone and adding Hammerfall Khaki and Menoth White Base to the highlights.

After finally gluing the watcher in place, I have to add some final OSL highlighting from some of the lanterns to really tie the mini and the base together.  But after that, I think he's finally done.

~While I am pleased with how he turned out, I think if I had it to do over again I probably would have tried to do more with the fabric areas.  I think it would have looked really cool to divide them up even more and get a real patchwork appearance going.  But for now I'm going to move on to some other Kingdom Death minis.  Hopefully I'll have painted starting survivors up soon.
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