Thundrik and the Profiteers

I’ve started playing Warhammer Underworlds, only three games so far too early to form a solid opinion – that’ll be for a later post. What I can talk about right now is my first warband, and painting them!

I really like the idea of the small self-contained warband. It’s like a tightly-themed starter box for a skirmish game, but impossible to expand which is great for incessant completionists like me. Each box is a nice little painting challenge and the minis are great – easy to put together and interestingly posed and based.

When it came to which warband to get, I had no idea how the game played so I made my choice purely on looks. Magore’s Fiends and Zarbag’s Gitz tempted me, but in the end I went with Thundrik’s Profiteers. I used to have a Dwarf Army back in sixth edition Fantasy so it was nice to see what the ol’ fellas are up to now, plus how could I pass up painting techno-dwarf space pirates?

Thundrik and his faithful crew

Colour scheme

Once I saw the design of the Kharadron I figured they were pretty close to 40K Squats – this inspired me to look into the old red and green colour schemes. After looking over the minis I got disheartened though, their armour is complex and I didn’t feel confident that I could work out a cohesive red/green colour scheme that wouldn’t look like Santa Claus. As luck would have it Angel Giraldez posted a few videos about painting with metallic paints starting with this one, so I figured I might break out the shiny paints again.

In the end I followed the studio paint job closely with only a few exceptions: I preferred the brighter blues and pinks from the card artwork so I went with them, I chose a darker stone colour for the bases, and the crystals I painted all one colour instead of several. In hindsight I regret painting the crystals so brightly, I used a muted stone colour to not compete for the viewer’s attention and then I totally undid that with the vivid blue! Ah well, chalk it up to experience.

I’m really happy with the little guys! I feel that the brighter jumpsuits really make a difference, the gold looks great, and I’m pleased with my linework when comparing it to the ‘Eavy Metal team. The belts on Garodd and Enrik in particular were very fiddly but patience and a good brush saw me right. Garodd’s my favourite of the lot, I prefer the lighter amour showing more of his jumpsuit off, and the purple goes well with the crystals. Shame he ain’t the strongest warrior out of the five!

Games Workshop

These are the first Citadel miniatures I’ve finished in a very long time – it’s been over a decade since I finished my second edition Space Hulk miniatures. They are so nice to put together and paint! To my mind Games Workshop is unique among miniature companies in that they think about the hobby as a whole, and carefully design and package their products to make sure every stage of the experience is as enjoyable as possible. This is little things like making sure the assembly of the miniatures is straight-forward, cleverly hiding mould lines wherever feasible, and that the miniatures are easy to paint quickly but also leave enough empty space for a skilled painted to go to town. But it’s also bigger things, like making sure the fiction never gets in the way of a player’s creativity (why they never define every uniform of a faction, and the two lost Space Marine Legions will never be found).

Me getting into Underworlds was also me dipping my toe back into the GW pool, and so far the water’s great. I’ve always have an affinity towards their universes (something I’m sure I share with most fantasy and sci-fi wargamers) and it’s great that they’re now pushing ahead and creating new histories for them. Also GW is getting more inclusive, starting with things like women in the ranks of the Stormcast and gender-neutral pronouns in rulebooks. Baby steps but still good to see (women Primaris would have been better though!) I’ll definitely be picking up more Underworlds warbands and I’ve been eyeing up a lot more of GW’s fine wares, maybe some Genestealer Cult to bolster the ranks of my Space Hulk Genestealers…?

Colours

Anyway, enough of the waffle, here are the paints I used:

Silver

  • Base coat of 80% VGC Chainmail Silver and 20% VMC Dark Grey. Needs two coats.
  • Shade with Citadel Nuln Oil.
  • Line/dot highlight with VGC Silver.

Gold

  • Base coat of Citadel Shining Gold with a touch of VMC Saddle Brown. Needs at least four coats.
  • Wash with Citadel Reikland Fleshshade.
  • Highlight with ½ basecoat, ½ Citadel Auric Armour Gold
  • Highlight with Citadeal Auric Armour Gold and a touch of VMC Yellow Ochre
  • Edge highlight of ¾ Citadel Liberator Gold, ¼ VGC Silver, with a touch of VMC Yellow Ochre

Brass

  • Base coat of 4 parts VGC “middle silver”, 4 parts Citadel Shining Gold, 1 part VMC Brown Sand.
  • Highlight by mixing in some VGC Silver.

Light brass (Thundrik’s flask, etc)

  • Citadel Liberator Gold with a touch of VGC Yellow
  • Shade with Citadel Seraphim Sepia
  • Highlight by mixing in VGC Silver

Blue (Thundrik only)

  • VMC Dark Prussian Blue in half-steps up through VMC Turquoise and VMC Andrea Blue

Purple

  • P3 Beaten Purple
  • Highlight up to Citadel Pink Horror
  • Shade with 1 part Citadel Contrast Shyish Purple, 1 part Contrast Medium, 1 part water

Blue glowing stone things (backpacks, firing hammers, etc)

  • VMC Andrea Blue
  • Citadel Blue Wash
  • Layer up through VMC Andrea Blue, VMC Sky Blue, to VMC White

Black hose

  • Black undercoat
  • Line highlight VMC Dark Sea Blue
  • Line highlight with thinner line and a little White

Red hose

  • Black up with VMC Burnt Cadmium Red

Light leather (gloves, etc)

  • Basecoat of VMC German Cam Beige
  • Outline with ½ VMC Chocolate Brown, ½ VGC Heavy Brown
  • Highlight with successive amount of VMC Ivory

Dark leather (Thundrik only)

  • VGC Charred Brown up with VMC Dark Sand
  • Glaze with Citadel Reikland Fleshshade

Rope (Alensen only)

  • VMC Chocolate Brown up with VMC Dark Sand

Glyphs

  • ½ Citadel Abaddon Black, ½ P3 Coal Black

Gems/Eyes

Blue

  • VMC Andrea Blue
  • Highlight with VMC Sky Blue
  • Shade with VMC Dark Prussian Blue
  • Dot with VMC White

Red

  • ½ P3 Sanguine Base ½ VMC Flat Red
  • Highlight with VMC Buff
  • Shade with Black
  • Dot with VMC White

Bases

Stone

  • ½ VMC Dark Grey ½ VGC Parasite Brown up to ½ VMC Neutral Grey ½ VGC Parasite Brown
  • Wash with thinned Citadel Nuln Oil
  • Line shade with ½ base coat ½ Abbadon Black
  • Line highlight with ½ VMC Buff ½ top highlight

Crystals

  • VMC Turquoise
  • Line shading with Citadel Blue Wash
  • Highlight up with VMC Andrea Blue, VMC Sky Blue, and VMC White

Will o’ the Wisps

I’ve been away from the painting desk for the last few weeks but I did make some time to paint my last few remaining Malifaux models. I don’t play the game any more so it was more of an opportunity to practise with my new airbrush – I figured the rather bulbous Will o’ the Wisps figures would make excellent test models.

Part of the reason I stopped playing Malifaux is that I don’t like assembling or painting their new plastic models. They are incredibly detailed but I find the details are so fiddly that they’re no fun to paint. However the Will o’ the Wisps I actually really like! They’re so full of character, the details are big and chunky, and it’s hard to tell if they’re creepy or adorable.

For their skin, which is most of the model, I used the airbrush to undercoat dark blue and highlight up to turquoise. This left a pretty good starting point, but I can tell I’ve got a lot to learn with how to handle the airbrush. Specifically thinning my paint, it’s always either too thick and I have constant blockages, or too thin and doesn’t dry quick enough.

After airbrushing.

I used a regular bristle brush for the rest of it. I took it up from turquoise in a few layers but I wasn’t too happy with it. However I’d just been to my local Warhammer store and got a demo on Contrast paints from the guy there, and ended up picking up Leviadon Blue for some Genestealers. I figured I might as well give it a go, so I washed the Will o’ the Wisps with thinned Leviadon Blue – I ended up quite liking it! It wasn’t as magic as they claim but it did handle a lot better than regular washes. I got the best results when I pushed the paint around before it dried.

Creepy.

The rest of the details were pretty straight forward, and I must say a little rushed. As I’m not likely to play with these models I wasn’t as precious with them as I otherwise would have been.

Wyrd’s concept art hid the wings in shadow so I couldn’t tell what the original artist had in mind when designing them. However I the hero Will o’ the Wisp, Adze, has much more useful artwork so I based my wings off that.

Adorable!

Overall, fairly happy with them. It’s not often I get to paint such a wild variety of colours on a single model and have to work to get them to sit nicely together. The bases were rushed and I should have spent some time on the blue/green “hood” and feathered areas on the shoulders. They were a great test for the airbrush and I’ll definitely be deploying the airbrush + contrast wash combo in the future. Should make quick work of the Genestealers!

Putting them on my display shelf was a bittersweet moment. It’s always nice finishing minis, but these are quite likely the last Malifaux models I’ll ever paint. Felt like the final closing of that chapter.

Colours

Skin: VPA Periscopes, up to VMC Turquoise, highlight with VMC Flat Flesh and VMC Ivory. Wash/shade with ⅓ Citadel Contrast Leviadon Blue ⅔ Citadel Contrast Medium.
Wings: Base coat of 80% VMC Ivory, 10% VMC Flat Yellow, 10% VMC Yellow Green (will take multiple coats on a black undercoat). Two washes with SW Yellow Snow, one wash with Citadel Fuegan Orange, then multiple light glazes of Citadel Orc Flesh Wash to blend into the body. Also apply the green wash to the upper back.
Skull:  ⅔ VMC Ocford Blue ⅓ VGC Warlock Purple, up to VMC Ice Yellow. Small highlights with VMC Ivory. Small amounts of wash/glaze with SW Amethyst and SW Purple.
Lights: Shade the area with Citadel Leviathan Purple. Raised areas with Citadel Lothern Blue up to VMC White.