Tuesday, 3 December 2013

A Warhammer Bestiary: Coatl

As you will know by now, I am trying to collect and paint a miniature for each of the entries in the Warhammer Third Edition Bestiary. So far, I have painted up an unusual beastman and a centaur and have concentrated on pushing the boundaries of my painting. This time, I had to find and paint a coatl - a magical, flying serpent from the forests of Lustria. These miniatures are quite pricey, I knew that, and a quick check with Steve Casey confirmed that you are looking at about £20 for one of these. I managed to source mine for under £15 though. 

Here's an '80s catalogue extract for the Coatl which answers the question of who sculpted the model: Nick Bibby, the master of the draconian and scaled. The model needed quite a bit of filing and filling to get the wings to attach in a satisfactory way, though this was largely down to the previous owners limited modelling skills. They had packed the groove with loads of epoxy resin and much of it had dribbled down into the detail. 

Here's the model as I received it. I decided that Dettol was the best way to go and mulled over the basing. I am not a fan of the old flying bases as they tend to fall over and not support the miniature properly. The one that was supplied with the model was broken, with its tip embedded inside the coatl, so I decided to use wire instead and mount the coatl on a monster base. 

And here is the finished result! Two areas of this model were new ground to me. The wings and the scales. Having never painted feathers before, I had a quick look through the reference material that can be found online. I chose the colour scheme for a parrot as I liked the bright colours they have and the species kind of fits in with the jungle theme. I base coated the wings with red, yellow and blue, before using ink glazes to add depth to the features. A series of drybrushed highlights followed to bring out the detail on the wings. The scales were done in a similar way; with me basing in green and using loads of ink washes to build up depth before adding a series of final green highlights to each scale. 

The base was a bit of a departure from my usual method as I wanted to match the jungle theme to the base. I found an old base that had been textured by someone at some point. Into this I drilled holes and fixed snipped off pieces of plastic aquatic plants. These were treated with a range of brown, green and yellow ink washes before being wetbrushed in yellow and green. 

Job done!

What do you guys think?

A trio of models next time, as I shall be painting dwarfs.



  1. That scheme really pops mate, well done. Love the bird of paradise theme.

  2. A flying snake!! Surely one if the more vicious jungle denizens.. Nice paint job. Not ever seen a coatl before.

  3. Excellent, looks really good.

    Just try to avoid those pesky Pygmies! ;)

  4. Beautiful colours... wonderful demonstration of the fact that warhammer needn't be grimdark!

  5. I like it, there is great atmosphere on this piece thanks to that clever bit of basing. The Coatl in my minds eye is coloured like the scheme you went with.