MOUNTAIN KING!!!! Sorry but every time I look at this guy I want to scream that as loud as I can. He’s just so angry! Let’s get painting!
Painting my first “Gargossal” (apparently that’s the word that’s been coined to refer to huge based ‘jacks and warbeasts simultaneously) was one of my most involved hobby projects ever.
First there was the usual cleaning involved with any resin model. While there ended up being less of that than I was expecting there were some rather gnarly mold lines around the shoulders and back that had to be taken care of. And I had to file the base of his torso a little bit to get it to fit together with his legs. After I had it all cleaned up, there was still a lot of green stuff work to take care of before I could start painting.
Before priming, I assembled the King completely using pins to loosely hold him together without glue. I knew I would want to paint him in pieces. Then I kind of tried for a skylight primer thing, but it was ultimately something I didn’t follow through with. I thought this technique would help me keep a unified central highlight even with all the pieces split up. Unfortunately the white primer went on too spotty instead of giving me the nice smooth appearance I wanted. I guess you really need an airbrush to get it to work right. The chains were the only things painted differently. I just sprayed them with some Rustoleum I had around since the color was pretty much exactly what I wanted.
Then I separated the pieces back out into the easy-to-paint sections you see above. I pinned the larger pieces onto some old paint pots and rectangular storage trays to give me a nice handle to hold onto.
And finally some color. I started with a basecoat mixed from P3’s exile Blue with a bit of Umbral Umber, Beaten Purple, and Frostbite mixed in. I was trying to match the color used on the rest of my trolls: GW’s now defunct Shadow Gray. I think I got pretty close, although in retrospect I think Shadow Gray may have an ever so slightly more green tint to it than I gave mine. Then I gave the blue skin a wash with a mix of Agrax Earth and Beaten Purple. In fact its from the same pot of wash I mixed for the Skinwalkers in my last painting article.
I added a bit of Frostbite to my basecoat and then lightly drybrushed everything with this new color.
Next, I added some manual highlighting with the same color to help smooth it out. Then I added a new highlight layer by adding more frostbite to the mix. One of the really good things about painting a model this size is that wet blending is a lot easier on larger surfaces.
Then I added more Frostbite for another highlight layer…
The last big step for my blue pallete were all the folds in the skin. These were a real pain, but I knew I couldn’t just ignore them. To define all these various creases I began by painting a thin streak of highlight on the lower edge of each one. Then I carefully painted a darker shade of color into each of these folds above the highlight. The really tricky part lay in the fact that my Mountain King’s body was now divided up into smoothly transitioned areas of light and shadow. The tones used to define a crease at the apex of his chest wouldn’t be right for one at the base of his belly. Fortunately I had kept mixed pots of all my highlight mixes so far. I was therefore able to go in methodically and define the creases in the darkest areas with one of my darker highlights, before moving up to a lighter region and using a different lighter shade for the crease highlight there. The creases in the lightest areas were highlighted with pure Frostbite, and these are the only places on this model where that very pale shade of blue is used. It was the same story with the shades for the creases which also had to have a different value depending on where they were. And to make things really interesting, smaller creases needed less shadow and less highlight to keep them from looking as deep as the larger ones. While I may have spent what seemed like ages on this step, I do think it was worth it. The Mountain King’s leathery hide adds a lot to his character.
I always like to add a paler warmer area to the palms of my Trollkin, and the Mountain King is no exception. I start the area off with a coat of Rynn Flesh with a little bit of my blue basecoat mixed in.
The area gets a wash of that same purple basecoat and is then highlighted up using Rynn Flesh with increasingly smaller amounts of the wash mixed in.
The distressed areas of skin around the eruptions of rock get a similar treatment, but with some extra beaten purple mixed into the Rynn Flesh.
These areas are highlighted the same way as above; by adding a bit more Rynn Flesh to the purple-y mix.
I wanted to get some pretty fancy shading going on with these rocks to really define them all nicely. This process wasn’t as straightforward as the skin areas. There was a lot of back and forth with shading and highlighting before I felt like I’d begun to get the level of definition I was going for. Here they are after just a bit of work.
And here they are completed. After getting all that shading done I added some lines of highlight along the edges to really make them all pop.
I thought I should also take a WIP shot of the head. The tongue and gums were painted with Khardic Flesh and then washed with, you guessed it, that same Purple/Agrax wash I’ve been using this whole time.
Those areas were highlighted back up with pure Khardic flesh, then with Khardic Flesh with some Rynn Flesh mixed in to lighten it up. And of course the face and jaw were done the same way as the rest of the flesh and rocks respectively.
The eyes were done using a gem technique: lighter at the bottom blended to darker at the top with a strong spot of highlight to represent reflected light. I couldn’t get a great shot here. My camera was having a hard time focusing on the eye since it’s recessed rather deeply within the socket.
I was getting really close at this point but still had to do the loincloth. I was actually pleased with how quickly it went together. Again this was largely due to how easy it is to wet blend large areas like this. Here I’ve begun with Gun Corps Brown shaded with Umbral Umber.
I blend in some Beast Hide to bring in the next highlight.
Then I add just a little bit of Hammerfall Khaki for the final highlight. The threads are carefully picked out with Menoth White.
Then they get a wash of Agrax Earth.
And It’s finally time to start putting this guy together. If you look carefully at the shoulders you’ll notice I had to green stuff the join to seal the gap.
After those green stuff areas have been painted to match the rest of the model I start to add the other details. The chains all needed to be pinned on while the whelps were strangely more accommodating and seemed to fit soundly with just some glue. I had already painted the chains, adding an orange wash to their rustoleum red undercoat before drybrushing them with radiant platinum. After they had been firmly attached I washed them with Agrax Earth with a bit of Asurmen Blue and Nuln Oil mixed in. I always use this wash for rusty metal since the addition of the blue ink really seems to help with the look.
I also made a kind of scenic base to match with the rest of my force. The truth is a Mountain King probably deserves something a little fancier, but I was three weeks into the project at this point and just really wanted to finish this guy. I painted the base mostly with Gun Corps Brown with Ironhull gray for the rocks. I washed everything with Agrax Earth and then drybrushed it with Menoth White Highlight. After adding some scenic mushrooms made from Sculpy and pinning wire, it was finally time to attach the beast to his base. He is pinned through the foam to the bottom of the base in six different places.
~ Since I just couldn’t wait until I was done painting him, I actually took the king out for a few games while he was still a torso. Despite all the complaining being done about him, I am currently ahead 3 to 1 in Mountain King victories. While the specifics therein are something I’m saving for another article, does anyone out there have any Mountain King success stories they want to share?