Thursday, 21 May 2015

The Happy Little Skeleton Who Could

Here are two true facts about Nagash.

  • Nagash is horribly expensive, but (let's be honest) is, both as a model and ruleswise, shit hot 
  • Nagash has, both as a model and ruleswise, a shit hat

When Kas mentioned he'd invested in the sculpture last year (I'm not sure 'miniature' or 'model' really cut it for something that costs the same as a return flight to the UK, even if it's just with Ryanair), I mentioned I'd like to paint it for him. The secret reason I had was that I just can't bear that awful awful hat.

I know, I know, he's always had a terrible hat, even back when he was a pinecone. But it's just awful - might look good on a Chaos Dwarf c. 3rd Ed, but it sure doesn't work now.

O Christmas Tree
O Christmas Tree
How lovely is your Black Staff

Ever since the teasers for the End Times started, I was always much more taken by the artwork than the model. Specifically this image:

Now this. This is a badass hat. Why didn't they do this?

So that's what I was channelling for both paintjob and conversion.

Nagash is usually mounted on a skullnado, which makes him look like he's flying. This is a great bit of modelling, but I decided to try and draw attention from my hat butchery by having him bursting out of a tomb instead.

This moment, but on a smaller and more intimate scale. And without the Dickhat.

It's one of the mausoleums from the Garden of Morr. Pretty obviously, as I haven't done anything to fiddle with it other than gouge a big hole in the top with a pair of cutters. The chunks were then greenstuffed into other parts of the model, to make it look like he's in the process of smashing free.

You can still see these floating about inside the tomb. I do like a good bit of wasted detail, me.

Given that the floor had a bunch of bones lying around, I decided to paint the bones in the spirit energy twister things as though they were being hoovered up, ready to make his deathly legions. The official GW website one has them as purely ghostly, which is a nice look. I just wanted something a bit livelier, even if that's wildly inappropriate for the Supreme Lord of the Undead.

Get up and boogie, skeleton.

Working out where to stick all the ghostly bits once I'd hacked them around was tricky. Not as tricky as trying to stick them all together, though. Painting them first might make them look better, but it doesn't help my modeller's angst. And that on top of thinking continuously about how expensive the damn model is and how I'd better not shit it up.

I did him in three chunks, more or less - the tomb first, then the bulk of the death god himself with his cloak. The ghost spirals were done separately and then glued on afterwards. They're a pain to paint, they wobble like mad when you do anything with them.

So many nice details on this, from the smoky spectres to the floating books (each with a different cover) to the belt of skulls. If this was a normal scale miniature, I'd have been having kittens. Luckily it's all about three times the size of your average leader, and thus much quicker and easier to paint. Took me about three weeks of work, though, doing at least an hour a day. That's building it as well as painting it, though.

Gratuitous butt shot

These lovely leather-bound tomes

Which build over sixteen weeks

To form an enchanting collection

The whole family can cherish for generations

When I said I was channelling that artwork earlier, I meant it. I perhaps should have considered the fact that the art is all black and green, and I'm still working with no black paint. Black washes, yes, fine, but they aren't as deep and rich. So Nagash is a bit of a Green Knight. It also struck me as I painted him that it wasn't the first time I've painted an expensive, named GW character in mostly green and bone. Ah well, if it's not broke, don't fix it.

Painting Guide:

  • Robes - Salamander Green base, layered up through Catachan Green and Camo Green to an Underhive Ash drybrush
  • Swirly Energy Streaks - Incubi Darkness, Nuln Oil wash, then layered up with Kabalite Green, Snot Green and Putrid Green. The screaming spectres got a tiny bit of Hellion Green round the face and hands for emphasis
  • Nagash Bone - XV88, Agrax Earthshade wash, heavy Ushabti Bone drybrush, light Tyrant Skull and Skull White drybrushes after
  • Bones in the Energy Swirl - Skrag Brown base, Agrax wash and Ushabti drybrush
  • Bones in Nagash's staff and belt - Zandri Desert base, Agrax Wash, Ushabti Bone layer and White Scar drybrush
  • Bones on the floor - XV88, Agrax Earthshade, Ushabti Bone and Pallid Wychflesh drybrushes
  • Any other bones - I ran out of variants after this, and let's be honest, they all look pretty much the same anyway so sod it
  • Leathery Mummy Skin - Ratskin Flesh base, Agrax Earthshade wash, layers of Ungor Flesh and Kislev Flesh, a second wash with Druchii Violet, Rotting Flesh and Pallid Wychflesh drybrushes
  • Armour - Tinbitz base, Nuln Oil wash, Brass Scorpion edging and an Auric Armour Gold finish
  • Jade Panels in Armour - Goblin Green base, Green Ink wash, Goblin Green and Nurgling Green layers with a drybrush of Hellion Green
  • Mausoleum Stonework - XV88 base, Agrax Earthshade wash, Zandri Desert and Ushabi Bone layers going up to Pallid Wychflesh finish with a bunch of Typhus Corrosion slapped on afterwards
  • General Stonework - Eshin Grey, Nuln Oil, Codex Grey and Space Wolf Grey drybrushes. I went back over the tombs on the floor with a lot of Typhus Corrosion, and then used that as a base to do the two marbled ones, using Blue Grey and Pallid Wychflesh layers
  • Rusty Metal - Tinbitz, Typhus Corrosion laid on thick, Ryza Rust and Kommando Khaki drybrushes
  • Tomb Roof - Tinbitz base with a very watery mix of Temple Guard Blue and Skink Blue slapped on for verdigris. Auric Armour Gold finish. 
  • Strappy Bits - Skrag Brown with a thin layer of Tau Light Ochre, Tyrant Skull drybrush
  • Gems - Genestealer Purple, Nuln Oil and Nightshade washes, Lucius Lilac drybrush
  • Chains - Mithril Silver, Nuln Oil and Runefang Silver drybrush
  • Books - A variety of leathers, reds, greens, browns, brasses and silvers, mostly with dark page edges for a change
  • Dirt - Rhinox Hide and Nuln Oil, so there was no way it could pull focus

Having just written that, I can really feel just how much of an epic it's been, actually. 

In the end, my solution for the hat was to just leave it off. I wondered about giving him something like the gothic crown in the artwork, but I couldn't find the right bits and didn't want to risk blobby greenstuff, of which there's quite enough in this conversion. He's got a greenstuff naked skull at the back, for example, and his jaw was fixed so he's screaming his way out of the tomb. As though he's really quite cross at being woken up this early. 

Painted Nagash
Supreme Lord of the Undead: Not a Morning Person

What's next? Well, a bit of a break I think. And then something completely different. I mean, painted models still, obviously, let's not do anything rash here. But not another epic boss character worth millions of real live pounds. My poor heart wouldn't take it.

I'll take your poor heart. It's a summoning ingredient.

1 comment:

  1. Jaw-droppingly good work. Using the mausoleum as a base really makes the swirling ghosts pop, and takes away the 'prancy' aspect of the model.

    The ancient armour is a good choice too - much more in-keeping than the genestealer-carapace purple of the display model.