Thursday, 29 October 2015

A Tale of Four Oldhammer Gamers: The Palanquin is complete!

Way back in September I thought it would be pretty straightforwards painting up this miniature for the Tale of Four Oldhammer Painters project. Little did I realise what I was letting myself in for, as the job took far longer to complete than I previously thought. Sure, much of that was due to the impact that a new year group and curriculum would have on my lifestyle - though it is true to say that I am really enjoying the class I have and the challenges they throw up, more so than ever before. But, I get home quite late now and the light has long gone. You see, I much prefer to work in natural light, preferably morning light so painting this time of year is confined to Saturday and Sunday. I have a nice arrangement with the wife which is fairly simple - I have until 10am each weekend morning to do what I like before she can give me anything more 'useful' to do. So there is my painting time! Only, much of the previous four or five weekends has been taken up with weddings, anniversaries or trips to Chessington World of Adventures. 

Ultimately, time has been short. 

Still, I have managed to slowly chip away at the project in tiny chunks over September and October and I am pleased to say that the palanquin is finished. I have also nearly finished October's entry in the project too, but have about three or so hours left of work to complete on him until he can be shown. I think last time we spoke about the palanquin I had finished work on the chair itself and had the rest of the structure to complete. 

My first job was to paint up the three nurglings that can be found on the chair of the model. As before, I used the new Foundry green paints I picked up at this year's BOYL to pick them out, and used purple as a spot colour. Red and yellow were used to highlight the eyes and provide a few raw looking spots to their bellies. My personal favourite was the little chap poking his head out from under the chair with his tongue hanging out. The palanquin structure was highlighted in a fairly dark gold. I toyed with the idea of using a silver highlight to bring this out, but I felt it made the palanquin look too clean. No good for a Nurgle character I thought. 

I opted to not include the two banners that go with the model for several reasons. The first is a purely practical one - they are quite weak and I was worried that transporting the model with them attached would only result in them becoming broken. Secondly, they are quite small and I fancy trying to convert my own - perhaps adding some iconography based on what the Nurgle warband get up to in games. 

The slime trickling out the back caused a few problems. I wanted the slime to be green, after all that IS the colour of slime but I already had two different versions of that colour on the model. In the end, I created something a little more pastel and used yellow ink washes to bring the colour tone up a little. During this process, I noticed a little maggot thingy had been sculpted on the back of the chair, so I used a little red and white to pink it up and create an interesting contrast. 

With the palanquin complete, it was time to work on the rider. I wanted him to contrast against the opulent colour choices of the palanquin itself, so chose a muted, metallic scheme to start with. This was fairly easy to achieve through a black basecoat drybrushed with a dark silver. This brought out much of the detail and left some suitable shadowing in places - but it was much, much too bright. Once dry, I washed over the silver with a mix of black and chestnut inks and used the wife's hairdryer to speed up the drying process. Then, I washed over the darkened silver with a brown/orange 'rust wash' and again made use of the hairdryer to speed up the stage. 

Next it was a case of painstakingly edge highlighting the armour in the same silver I used to base the model. Here and there I picked out detail in a dark gold too, and then dulled everything down with a black ink glaze. The chainmail was then washed with a blue/green mix to represent verdigris, as were the golden areas on the armour. These were highlighted up with the original gold. 

I chose purple for the gloves to create some variation on the armour. It was a very simple layering job in which a dark purple was painted over the gloves and slowly highlighted up by adding bleached bone to the mix. The face proved to be challenging. After basing in flesh, I washed over with a chestnut ink/ dark red paint wash and highlighted up with the flesh colour, adding increasing amounts of bleached bone until the skin look sickly enough. Purple washes were added to the eye holes and the exposed brain. Once dry, I drybrushed over the brain with bleached bone and glazed with a bloody red. I picked the damaged eye out with a brighter red and a nice yellow dot for a pupil. 

Wanting further contrast with the dark armour and the palanquin itself, I went for a fourth green colour, this time created with the addition of sunburst yellow. I used it to paint up the whip to look like some living coil of chaos - pure yellow was used to highlight the horrible spots that cover the weapon. 

Finally, the sword was painted - and on a whim I went for a blazing red, similar to the one I used fofrone of the faces on the back of the palanquin. I felt that this would add further contrast and tie the seat figure back into the rest of the model. 


It certainly was an epic project and one I really enjoyed. I feel like painting this palanquin has pushed me as a miniature painter and provided some interesting problems to solve. I am also really pleased to have finally painted up one of the this brilliant models. I have wanted one for over twenty-five years so this sees a wish fulfilled!  Sorry about the rather dark snaps -  I use natural light to photograph all of my work and in the depths of October trying to find some is bit of challenge. 

So what do you dear readers think about my Palanquin of Nurgle?


  1. James excellent piece. I especially like the purple gloves and that sword is amazing. 😉

    1. Thank you Mr Grove. I wasn't sure about the sword. I worried that it was 'too 1990s' but it seems to mesh with the rest of the model okay, so it stays.

  2. That's a fantastic piece of work. You've used very modern techniques to bring a n old school palette to life. Better than Eavy Metal!

    I want one now...

  3. excellent work, well worth the effort

  4. Wow. Amazing work. Very vibrant colours.

    1. I mostly use Foundry paints now as they have so much more pigment in them. I would recommend them if you are after a similar vibrancy.

  5. Now that is fantastic, I want one too

    1. Everyone NEEDS to have a least one palanquin painted in their collection.