Sunday, 24 November 2013

A Warhammer Bestiary: Centaur

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!



  1. Very nice work. In my recent sort out I found that I had five centaurs, still in the blister! Two handed axe, axe 1, axe 2, and 2 bow with helm. I need to get these painted.

  2. These were marvelous when they came out. I have some myself. The nearly endless way to build them were really great.
    Great paint job.

  3. Very Good :)

    Can't wait to see the Coatl .

  4. Good job on this centaur !
    what about the flesh paint ? Citadel or other brand ?

  5. Love it! Looks great...I like the mottled paint on the Horsey bits...and may steal your technique. These are some of my favorite Chaos models...I'm near to completing my collection.

    Keep it up!

  6. Ey, Heroquest 25th Anniversary has been released on Kickstarter!!:

  7. I don't think it looks washed out, you have just been looking at it for too long. I like the nearly monochromatic look on this chap as it makes him look a bit like a creepy old drunk - a good atmosphere for a chaos centaur. The horse body mottling and skin highlighting are great and you have managed to evoke the raging character of the sculpt with the subtle use of purple. Solid work sir.

  8. he looks great, really liking the natural look you are trying for on his fur/hair