Crikey, it really was back in July that I last updated on these guys. I finished Castellan Crowe and Lord Kaldor Draigo of the Grey Knights yesterday, after putting them off for months because I didn't feel ready to tackle Draigo's Nemesis Force Sword. The official GW rendition of the weapon is a stunning piece of work and while I didn't think I could recreate it, I wanted to do it justice. More on that later.
Castellan Garran Crowe first. I love the new Grey Knight Purifiers, they're great bit of additional fluff to the Chapter and I especially love the addition of the white helmet/shoulders that makes them stand out from the regular Knights. Crowe was fun to paint, partly because the core of a Grey Knight (the armour) is easy to do, especially if you're using an airbrush and going with a zenithal lighting approach. The shading on the figure is a little bled out here, but you get the general idea.
The detail on the cloak is hand painted on and yes, it did take a while and yes, it was somewhat fiddly to do. Usual rules apply, keep your paint thinned, your brush sharp and your patience in abundance. Have some thinned red to hand to tidy up any mistakes.
I tried something new for the cloak that I've not done before, but I was trying to be faithful to the GW rendition of Crowe so I figured I'd give it a go. For the sharpest edge highlights on the cloak, I've used a thin line of bubonic brown to get a sharp yellow highlight. I really wasn't sure this would work, but it appears to have done so. As ever, the paint was thinned, so I could lay down a transparent layer before building up the highlight, otherwise it would look weird. This way it blends into the cloak slightly. Feeling reasonably pleased with how the cloak turned out, I applied the yellow highlight to the banner.
White is something I've known for a while as being tricky to do. Giving the white a sense of depth without turning it grey is tricky, while at the same time you want the shading be clear but without being overly stark (unless ofc, that is the look you want). My first stab at white was on this Deathwing Apothecary above. I worked up from a light grey (Codex Grey) base, and used a blue wash for the shading, while gradually building up the lighter tones by mixing in white with the grey. Using a blue wash rather than black, creates a shading which doesn't flatten the overall colour scheme and avoids making the white look grey.
The technique for Crowe much the same, although I have a new weapon in my arsenal in the form of Reaper Master Series Ghost White. This is a beautiful bluw offwhite, which really helps blend the light grey/blue washed base up to a lighter tone which I can then finish off with Skull White. The other advantage of the white on Purifiers is that it makes the particle effect glow round the eyes really easy to do.
I struggled to get a good shot of the Blade of Antwyr and this is the best I managed. Although much simpler than Kaldor's sword, this still took me a little white to do to get the glowing purple effect as I wanted it. I painted Ghost White into the recessed rune areas of the sword, washed with Leviathan Purple and then tidied the sword up with Dark Elf Shadow. A quick drybrushing of Liche Purple followed and then I applied a thinned mix of purple and ghost white into the recesses again to create a brighter core for my glow. After that, another dry brush with purple to complete the effect before tidying up again with the Dark Elf Shadow.
Important note on the tidying, I didn't tidy all the way up to the edge of the runes, because I wanted some of the glow to be spreading over the blade.
And this brings us onto Lord Kaldor Draigo's blade.
Now I accept that this is nowhere near the quality of the official citadel rendition, but I am really pleased with how it came out (less pleased with my photography but, meh). It is broadly similar to the official version, just not as good.
The technique is basically the same as the one I used for the AoBr Deathwing Sergeant sword, with a few refinements. For a start I used a very light base (Ghost White again) for the sword, rather than a metal. After that, I used washes (Leviathan Purple and Asurmen Blue) at either end of the sword to build up a depth of colour which diffused towards the outer edges of the blade. Using the washes also made it really easy to blend the purple and blue into each other. This is the most time consuming part of the process by far.
After the colours were white, I applied a dry brush layer of ghost white to create a slight particle effect, before rewashing the blade with purple and blue. I then painted on my lightning effect using that light blue paint from the original citadel paint set I love so much, before using Ghost White to make the lighting brighter. Another quick wash of blue and purple to fade the lightning effect slightly, before reapplying Ghost White to some parts of the lightning, so the intensity of the lightning varies along the length of the blade.
It is not perfect, but it turned out better than I expected and was much, much easier to do than I thought it would be.
The rest of Kaldor was painted in much the same way as Crowe. One thing to note is that, compared with my earlier Grey Knights, I made much greater use of blue washes for shading this time. This brings the overall effect much closer to the GW house style for Grey Knights. At the same time, I was trying to do this while working within my zenithal lighting.
There is a lot of detail on Lord Kaldor Draigo, which makes him an absolute delight to paint, albeit rather time consuming. Again the detail on his cloak and tabbard was hand painted and this was very fiddly. Definitely worth doing, although without it I don't think the model would have sufferred greatly as there is so much else going on. I think getting the shading on the cloak, scrolls and purity seals took me longest after the sword.
The particle effect on the eyes was the last thing I did and it worked out better than it did on my earlier Grey Knight Terminators. I just can't work out why.......