Friday, 5 July 2013

A Tale of VIII Painters - Barry - Dark Eldar Part 2

Ambition is a good thing, right?  It can drive us forward, motivate us, help us reach goals we wouldn’t normally try for.  However, you can be overly ambitious and should sit back and take a heavy draw on the cigarette of realistic expectations once in a while.*
So, what did I say in my first piece?  I’ll finish my Reavers, one Venom and at least make a start on my first Raider.  Riiiiiiiight.  If I’d actually taken a drag of that ciggy I’d have revised that pretty quickly.

So, what did I get done last month?  Well, I managed to finish my Reavers and their riders, so not even close to my expectations.  Oh well.


Ok, so, the Reavers.  I have six in all and these are my first three.  In the fluff Reavers are arena combatants, usually lead by an arena champion and are affiliated with a Wych cult.  With this in mind I decided to go with the same scheme I’d already used for my first squad of Wyches.  Purple bodysuits with red armour.

The main difference with my Reavers though is my approach to painting them.  With the Wyches I had the scheme in mind and kept it fairly basic with just a simple base colour and a single highlight colour.  As my painting has come on I’ve invested a little more in outside help (namely the How To Paint Citadel Miniatures book and DVD) and paid more attention to the Citadel Paint Guide with the new range (I'm not the best with colours).  This guide has helpful lists of the different base, layer, highlight, drybrush and glaze paints which complement each other for a variety of different colour schemes.  This required a little more investment in my range of available paints, but you can never have too many, right?
So, back to the Reavers.  For the basic colour scheme of the bikes themselves I wanted purple, as it’s the overriding colour throughout my entire force so far.  I went with a base colour of Naggaroth Night, a Drucchii Violet wash followed by a layer of Xereus Purple.  On top of that I put on a highlight of Genestealer Purple.  This is the first time I’ve taken such a layered approach and I’m reasonably happy with the way it’s turned out.  The one thing I haven’t done is a drybrush.  Because of the way I’m approaching my highlighting with these models I don’t feel a drybrush is necessary, although feel free to suggest in the comments if you think I’m wrong. 

This is also my first attempt at some freehand symbols on the bikes.  I took inspiration from the wide range of Dark Eldar symbols available on Google Image search.  My first attempt was on my Arena Champion.  And I’m not keen on it if I’m perfectly honest.  Maybe experimenting on my AC wasn’t the best idea.  I’m not happy with either the design or the decision to do them in white, but I figure I’ll leave them as they are (plus I really can’t be bothered to cover and repaint it).  The second attempts were much better in my humble.  The designs look much closer to the stuff I’ve seen online (one of which was designed by my wife Debbie) and I think they look much better done in Vallejo Electric Blue as opposed to white.

The riders themselves were a basic continuation of the Wych scheme I’ve used previously, albeit with the change in approach I mentioned earlier.  One difference was the helmets.  On one I did the same as I’d done previously, basic black with a gloss varnish over to give the impression of black glass, on the other I thought I’d try a painted highlight to give the impression of light reflecting.  I think I prefer my original approach but the painted highlight looks ok, for a first attempt anyway.

I like to think my painting techniques are improving all the time, I feel I’m certainly getting better at the lined highlights, and the more I learn the more I enjoy it.  Even if it does seem to be quite a time sink.  I think the Reavers and riders took me in the region of 15 hours all in all.  I’ve given out some stick to some of the other contributers on the HitA for being painting machines but I’m enjoying the time I spend doing it, even with all the little frustrations that go along with it.

So, this month.  Well, I’m going to try and be a little more realistic with this months goal and just go for completing my Venom, the transport of choice for my Haemonculous and his Wracks.

Watch this space…

*I have no idea where this came from, it doesn’t make an awful lot of sense but I’m leaving it in anyway…


  1. Bikes are looking really good Barry!

  2. What colour are you going to paint the venom and your kabalites Barry?

  3. Cheers Sim
    The Kabalites are mainly purple armour with black bodysuits, sticking with the general poisoned tongue theme. I think I'm going to go with mainly black for the Venom with red highlights and a red nose. The Wych crew will probably be the same as the rest of my wyches.