Despite a bit of a eye infection, I managed a few hours this weekend at the painting station and have completed the second miniature in my new Warhammer Bestiary painting project. This week, I was working on a centaur. I was feeling rather eager to get this model started and in my enthusiasm I forgot to take a 'before' picture. So sorry, I only have the completed model to show off! Not that I doubt you will mind much. So off to the Stuff of Legends for a catalogue breakdown.
A quick peruse of the catalogue page tells us that the model was sculpted by the Perrys with help from Aly Morrison at some point back in the 1980s. Now, I have written about centaurs before as part of my infrequent 'Acceptable in the '80s' series of articles that tells the story of Warhammer Third Edition. A quick click here will take you there, where you can see these models in their mid '80s painted glory.
I used the components Body 1 and Two Handed Axe to complete my model, and I realised the potential these models have for conversions. Cut an old thug in half, stick a centaur top on and you are away. Or vice versa. After a quick clean up with a file, I built up the base with green stuff and used the left over pieces to make three little toadstools. A different type of fungus for this creature and a new little feature that I can make with the putty.
Here's the finished model. I chose this particular example because I wanted to work of three areas that I felt I was weak in. Painting horses, painting flesh and painting hair. In truth, I have only ever painted a couple of horses for my chaos chariot and they were grey with flaming manes. Hardly realistic. One thing I wanted to explore was the way you can create naturalistic animal patterns with paint, so I downloaded a fair few images from Google as reference and got painting.
I used a creamy white as a base for the horse part of the body. This I shaded with a darker grey mix, focusing underneath the body and the hoof area. Once dry I flicked a darker mixture of this over the body using a stippling brush. I then proceeded to highlight the body up to white once more (starting with my cream base) using a dappling effect. I covered most of the blobs of flicked paint but kept just enough to give the impression of a mottled coat.
I painted the leather and armour in my usual way. I wanted the miniature to fit in with my Khorne army somewhere and needed a connection to it. I imagine in the feature, unless more centaurs are built, that this model will serve as a future character - even a champion himself now that Ulthur Deathfist's whereabouts are unknown since his defeat by Mum-Ho-Trep!
For the hair, I started with a black undercoat over which I very quickly painted streaks of dark grey. One thing that I have learnt about painting many things in the wargaming world is the need to be quick with your brushstrokes. A fluid hand creates far more accomplished results I feel. Then I simply layered up the streaks of grey until I reached white. Initially, I wanted the white beard and hairdo to match with the body of the miniature but in hindsight I wish I had opted for a different colour, yellow perhaps, as now that the model is completed I feel it looks a little too washed out with all the white.
The skin was a flesh and red base mix with a little added chestnut ink. This is highlighted up by adding more flesh and later white. I made subtle use of purple inks for the face and eyes and this seemed to give the model a more rabid, chaotic look without him being too extreme. Once the main model was dry, I painted up the mushrooms to resemble the toadstools of fairy tales, complete with little white spots. I toyed with the idea of adding a shield and having a go at at Zhu's recent suggestion for an 'Owl Face' shield but I felt that such an addition wouldn't fit with the model. Why, afterall, would this centaur need a shield when he is armed with that fearsome looking daneaxe?
So what do you guys think? Honest opinions and fair criticism please!
Nest, the fabled Coatl!