Retribution of Scyrah Battle Box

Retribution of Scyrah Battle Box

I took a badly needed week off of work, and this battle box was on my list of things to conquer. I’d already painted up Kaelyssa (see previous posts), so it was time to suck it up and paint the myrmidons.

While Kaelyssa focused on painting with thin layers, I found myself slipping back into blends and mixes. It did, then, take me a bit longer to paint – but I was really feeling the curves in these models and quite enjoyed the challenge. I’m trying out water effects for the first time, which is why the bases are not on two of the models. I’m trying to evoke a feeling of these guys on the edge of an overgrown river or creek.

The Chimera has a blue arm and leg because I’ve attempted to show off its “Apparition” ability – the blue is to indicate it either going, or coming out of it’s apparition state. I likely should have gone with an inverse-method (painting white as the shade) as it does represent the ghostly state better – but I’d already painted 90% of the model by the time I chose to try this out, and did not want to try and put down a solid coat of white over the top. Unless you know the model, you likely don’t know what I’m trying to convey – but I do like how the effect turned out, and it gives me hope I can do some OSL at some point.

I was worried that the brown scheme would not translate well onto the larger models. They certainly have little contrast, but I do like the visual pop of the lime shoulders. I think I’m going to like having this army on the table, now to hold off buying more stuff until I have what I have painted.

Retribution of Scyrah Battle Box

Kaelyssa, Night’s Whisper – Painting Guide – Part 3 (End)

It’s taken me a couple of days to get this post together; I got side-tracked finishing off a Griffon for Kaelyssa.
In this entry we’ll finish the details and base the model.


Mithril Silver (Citadel), Warlock Bronze (Citadel), Gehenna’s Gold (Citadel), Agrax Earthshade (Citadel), Armour Wash, Rucksack Tan.
Kaelyssa - Stage 5 - Details

Left 1
I base all the leather pouches, straps and holsters in Rucksack Tan. It’s a warm brown and does not clash with the other browns and greens that I have used. I also paint the strap on the goggles.

Left 2
Now I do all the metals, including the goggle lens, arrow shafts and rivet’y things. Iron-based metals are given a coat of Mithril Silver, the Gold-y metals are given a base coat of Warplock Bronze. This will be the only time I don’t use P3 paints – I had a bad experience with them a few years back and switched to Citadel. I’ve heard their formula is better, but have not tried it. For coverage on golds you will want to base coat the areas with a brown (I usually use Battlefield Brown) as it gives a much better result (and is easier to apply) than multiple layers (or a single THICK layer) of gold. Here I have chosen Warlock Bronze – but don’t ask my why. I never planned for a secondary metallic and just grabbed the first pot I could see. I likely should have just used the silver.

Metallics are not my favourite thing to paint – I either make it too thin (metal paints don’t thin well, in my experience) or too thick. I really should learn how to use Non-Metal Metallics instead.

Left 3
Wash! Leather gets a heavy couple of coats of Agrax Earthshade (Devlun Mud). Metals get a coat of Armour Wash. You’ll want both to be quick dark and heavy to really bring out the details. You can see where I got sloppy with the application and my brush touched the right leg. Detail is not the part I like doing, so I tend to rush it – and these things happen, actually costing me time over all because I have to go back and re-do that area. Learn from my mistakes – and TAKE IT SLOW.

Here we can see the base and the highlights. Once the washes are dry I use the corresponding base colour as a single level of highlight. On areas this small you can get away wit only one highlight.

This is actually the second base I made for Kaelyssa. My first was an abomination (it was some badly coloured ‘pavers’ sunken into some grass – not a bad concept, but the execution was … lacking). The base was some spare yellow foam cut into roughly cube shapes and then torn apart and stacked to look less like a wall and more like a pile. I base coated with Hammerfall Khaki, added daubs of Wurm Green and Battlefield Brown to add discolouration. The entire thing was washed with Agrax Earthshade then highlighted with Hammerfall Khaki again. Without that light, it does not look as wet.

Completed Model

Kaelyssa - Completed

Wrap Up

And here we are. The detailing look longer than it took to do the cloak, because it is more fiddly, I had to wait for washes to dry and then I had to make the base. I think all up, the model look between 5 and 6 hours from start to finish.

I hope you got something out of this series. Questions and feedback are welcomed – just leave a comment.

Kaelyssa, Night’s Whisper – Painting Guide – Part 3 (End)

Kaelyssa, Night’s Whisper – Painting Guide – Part 2

When we last left our anime/sci-fi inspired protagonist, she’d just had her armour painted and was looking for a new cloak to complete the ensemble.

I love painting cloaks. More often than not they have really obvious ridges and depths that make it dead simple to paint and automatically add so much to a model.


Gnarl’s Green, Sanguine Base, Iosan Green
Kaelyssa - Stage 4 - Cloak

I’m going to apologise in advance for these photos – it was not until I was almost done that I found a good angle to use so you could see the colours.

Left 1
This is after one layer of Gnarl’s Green. I wanted to include this so you can see how patchy it is (priming white will show this more than black usually), and so you can compare it to the next image.

Left 2
This is after 4 to 5 layers of Gnarl’s Green – its a little patchy in places (look at the raised edges), but most of that will be covered by other paint so it’s likely acceptable to continue. It is important when layers coats to let the previous layer dry before starting the next. If you don’t you’ll likely pull the paint away and cause unevenness. It can be hard to be patient – but find something to distract you. Another model works well, or even watch some TV if necessary. Thinner paints will dry faster, but sometimes its cold enough that nothing seems to dry. It will, give it time.

Left 3
This is after I’ve put down straight Sanguine Base into the recesses. You may have noticed, I like to work straight from the pot and do my mixing later on. Thanks to a wonderful tool, Sanguine Base is the perfect colour to shade Gnarl’s Green. Go read that PDF, its a fantastic resource for those of us who don’t know colour theory – I’ve been using it for years. You just have to remember that the shades/highlights for flesh colours are to keep them looking fleshy – and you’ll be right.

Left 4
After a couple of rounds of blending. You should know my drill by now, and if you think your colour boarders are rough, just put down a thin layer of your base colour.

After highlighting with Iosan Green. This should be fairly thin so that you can build the colour up over several layers without needing to blend. If you’re not sure where the highlights are, put your model under a light and see where it reflects. You can also see the horrible job I did cleaning this model with the flash line running down the cloak.

Shoulder and Hair

Necrotite Green, Iosan Green, Menoth White Highlight, Arcane Blue, Blue Ink
Kaelyssa - Stage 5 - Shoulder and Hair

I was getting a little tired (torn calf will do that), but wanted to tie off the main body of the model before going to bed.

Left 1
This is why I love priming in white. I apply a couple of layers of Necrotite Green over the prime and it pops! It also exposes any patchiness in your primer, so more often than not you should reclaim and messy parts and smooth out your area with a white paint before doing something like this. I didn’t and it shows in the later photos more.

Left 2
A reverse shot of the previous image. To this I will use thinned down Iosan Green as the shade, and a mix of Menoth White Highlight and Necrotite Green along the edges as the highlight.

Left 3
I applied a thin coat of Arcane Blue over the white primer.

Left 4
Once the Arcane Blue had dried I used a wash of Blue Ink. Unfortunately, the depth on the hair of this model is shallow so the ink acted more like a stain and went everywhere.

Once the ink had dried, I went back and did a light dry-brush of Arcane Blue over the main part of the hair, and picked out the fringe to reclaim it. You cannot see it in this image, but the crown area was re-darkened with the ink to give some realism back to the area. If you have it, the Retribution of Scyrah faction book has great techniques for painting crazy anime hair that the Retribution are famous for.

Stay tuned for the last session where I’ll paint the weapons, pouches and goggles and with any luck – also base the model.

Kaelyssa, Night’s Whisper – Painting Guide – Part 2

Painting with Lazy

I’ve wanted to get down some thoughts about how I paint for some time, just never had the drive to do so. This is less of an instructive “how you should do it” and more of an informative “how I currently do it”. And I do mean currently. Painting, as with anything creative, should be worked, improved and practiced. I usually approach any new model or army with an idea of what skill or technique I am going to focus on. Some days its how to thin paint, other times its eyes, blending or even colour choice.


When I paint I usually have some music playing. I have a rather eclectic taste, so find something that works for you (I find I want music that calms me rather than makes me rush – some days that is trance, other days its rock). For Kaelyssa, I’ve been listening to Love Outside Andromeda’s self-titled album from a number of years ago. Its a little too aggressive in some places to paint calmly, but I do enjoy it.

I also use two lights – one warm and one cold, and I always seem to be blocking it no matter where I sit. The theory is that the warm and the cold cancel each other out and give a more balanced light to work with. Work with only one, and your perception of colour will be tinted accordingly. It’s all theory though, I have no real idea if it makes much difference. Every little thing helps.

Get a comfy chair, you’ll be sitting down for some time, may as well be pleasant.


For my tools I’ll be primarily using a #2 Winsor and Newton brush. Not cheap, but worth it from everything I’ve read. It is making a difference, but I’ve had good experiences with other brushes – you just want something that holds a point well and to look after it. I ruined my first W&N brush, but now I have some brush cleaner.

Get two sources of water on your table. One to wash your mixing brush and metallics in and one to wash your good brush in. You DO NOT want your metallic pigment in your really good brush – apparently that’s the path to the dark side and it will ruin a brush faster than anything else. I still think I’ll ruin it by being too rough before that happens. But if it is a small price to pay to put off buying a new brush – why not do it?

Get a palette for mixing paints. I use a $5 circle-thing I grabbed at some random store, other people use tiles. It doesn’t really matter in the end. I do own a wet palette, and it is useful – but not a mandatory tool. If you have trouble thinning your paint consistently, a wet palette may do the trick – it certainly helps me.


Discover how long you can stand to sit down, hunched over a table. For me, its 1.5 hours of a night. Any longer and I start to get impatient/rough/lazy. Some nights that point arrives earlier and I put my brush down and step away from the table. Better to take a night off than have to strip your model. Also only paint when you want to – not when you HAVE to. Unless you have to and then … you’re screwed.


I need to think about this one a bit more – get some diagrams together. Stay tuned.

Painting with Lazy

Kaelyssa, Night’s Whisper – Painting Guide – Part 1

I was at a relative loose end the other night, so I asked my local gaming group what model I should paint next. Kaelyssa won with 10 to 3 (against Makeda3). I also thought it might be educational for me to both create and then distribute a guide to how I painted her. And here we are.

Kaelyssa is not a stand-alone model, she’ll be part of a small Retribution of Scyrah army I am putting together from the battle-box. I’ve already set the scheme when I painted up a test model, so I’m not going to go into the specifics of how I chose that scheme. Lets just say that I wanted to use colours I didn’t use very often and leave it at that. Gdaybloke may or may not have been involved (he was, by the way).

A word of warning, I have no grounding in art, art theory or even art in practice.


Faces are not my strong point, but they are something I am working on.
For Kaelyssa I wanted to try a recipe I got from Meg Maples (studio painter for PP) off of Twitter. She used this recipe on Aurora and I quite liked the way it looked.

Midlund Flesh, Khardic Flesh, Ryn Flesh, Sanguine Base, Exile Blue, Menoth White Highlight

Kaelyssa - Stage 1 - Face

Left 1
Lay down a layer of Midlund Flesh as the mid-tone. Try not to get it too thick as that will destroy detail.

Left 2
Put down some Khardic Flesh in the shadows and recesses. I also put some on the boundary between the face and any cloth.

Left 3
Mix Khardic Flesh, Sanguine Base and Exile Blue (deep mix) and use this to deepen the shadows. Meg suggested to use this as a glaze, but I am all out of medium so I just painted it on. Great for delineating the fingers.

Use Ryn Flesh as the highlight, then mix in some Menoth White Highlight to hit just the highest parts. If you are lucky, you too can get bitchin’ emo style eyes happening. I read a really good tip for eyes – use an off-white instead of a pure white. Pure white makes the eyes look unnatural. So does painting them poorly, like I have. Use some of your deep mix to reclaim the eyes if you do screw it up.

I’ve tried to use mixes of each of the colours to blend the layers, but at this resolution its pretty obvious its crudely done. Fortunately, most people will be looking at your model from 2ft away, so it should look better. Most important thing is to be patient, not glob on the paint and wait for the paint to dry before trying to reclaim a tone/definition.


Cryx Bane Highlight, Cryx Bane Base, Thrall Flesh

Kaelyssa - Stage 2 - Under Armour

Left 1
Thin the Cryx Base Highlight and paint on a couple of layers. Thinner paint dries faster and so by the time you finish with one coat, you are ready for the next. If it’s patchy – put on another coat. Despite what you think, thick paint does not give a smoother finish its like using spack-filler on your models and just clogs the details.

Left 2
Thin the Cryx Base Base and use it to paint in the shadows and the boundaries between the under and outer armour plates. With the tip, reclaim parts of the model like the lines on the legs the indicate subtler plates.

Now here’s my trick (well, its how I’ve been doing blends of late). With Bane Base still in the brush, grab some Bane Highlight – they’ll mix to an extent in the brush and do some of the work for you. Use the brush to feather the border between the two colours – its important here to cover both sides of the border so that you get a transition. Now grab some more Highlight and repeat. Rather than create a true transition, what we’re really trying to do is soften the border to make it less obvious.

Thin the Thrall Flesh and use it to pick out the highlights. It will dry fairly translucent – which will work to your advantage and let you put down ever smaller amounts to increase the opaqueness and make the colour stronger. If that makes sense.


Hammerfall Khaki, Gun Corps Brown, Menoth White Highlight

Kaelyssa - Stage 3 - Outer Armour

Left 1
Put down enough layers of Hammerfall Khaki to achieve smoother coverage.

Left 2
Put down straight Gun Corps Brown in the shadows and between areas of plating. Don’t worry about being exact, as we’ll use thinned paints to create the transition and smooth out the edges.

Left 3
Similar to how we blended the under-armour, use layers of Hammerfall Khaki to soften the Gun Corps Brown. Create mixes where you feel you need to in order to get better distribution of colour. I usually do these mixes by leaving one colour in the brush and adding a bit of the other colour. If the paint in thin enough it will dry more translucent that you think. Especially with Hammerfall Khaki. I have found this to be an annoying colour to work with – as often what you put down as a subtle shade will fade to nothing by the time it has dried – so be extreme!

Left 4
Put down the Menoth White Highlight as your top colour. Again, be fairly liberal as we’ll use Hammerfall Khaki to blend it.

Use the same techniques to blend the highlights. If needs be, re-apply some Menoth White Highlight to bring the brightness back. Apply some highlight directly to edges of some plates that would naturally reflect the light.

There is still more to come, but I wanted to break the guide into two or more parts; essentially one guide per painting session. For reference, the above steps took me approximately 1.5 hours. And I’ll admit – the model looks terribad when magnified in this way. Honestly, it looks better in person!

Kaelyssa, Night’s Whisper – Painting Guide – Part 1


I had the fortune to be able to attend DEFCON 1, a 3-day series of tournaments across multiple game systems. Today was Warmachine/Hordes day and there were two events being run – a 50pt Highlander event (for the pro’s) and a 25pt SR2013 event (for the not so pro’s). Both formats were causally focused, but the prize pool was anything but! Highlander was giving out $150 or CoC Battle box, CoC book, 3x Vector kits, Aurora and a unit of Angels – and that was just for first place!

While I am an “experienced” player, I have not played in many tournaments of late (2 in 18 months) so I thought I’d go to the supposedly easier of the two events, the 25pt SR2013. Prizes for this would be a blister for non-winners, and a small-box for the winner. So even if I had a great time and did not place, I’d still walk away with a $10-15 prize – or about the same as the entry fee.

I took the following lists:

Vayl, Disciple of Everblight
– Typhon
– Scythean
Blighted Nyss Legionnaires (max)
Spawning Vessel (min)
Strider Deathstalker

Thagrosh, Messiah of Everblight
– 2x Scythean
– 4x Shredder
2x Blighted Nyss Shepherd

Thagrosh was a list I knew how to play, but I didn’t think it was very good for scenario play – low model count makes it hard to contest multiple zones.
Vayl was the list I was looking forward to playing, having just painted up the Legionnaires and Spawning Vessel, but I was worried that even with relaxed timings (10mins per turn) I’d have trouble doing everything I needed to do. I never had to use my extension though, so that is a positive sign even though I went to the wire on some turns.

Round 1 – Vayl1 vs Makeda1 (Michael) – 1/0
Legion vs SkorneI was a little worried about this list. I play Skorne a bit, and I have a good mate who beats me with them a lot of the time, so I knew what was coming. I split up my Legionnaires to tie up the Nihilators for a bit and get in the way of Molik and the Gladiator.

Not a lot to say about this battle (mainly because I forgot it all), but with Makeda on 0 Fury, I knew I had to go for the assassination and so Vayl advanced rather forward to catch both Makeda and the Gladiator in Incite. Rampaging the Gladiator out there meant that Typhon could charge and a double spray later Makeda was toast.

Highlight – Casting Excessive Healing on Typhon because I was going to Rile for two anyway – only for it to save his bacon when the Gladiator walked into him.

Mistake – I still have a tendancy to charge without thinking. Typhon should have walked instead of charging and then he would have had 3 sprays to assassinate with – not just two.

Round 2 – Vayl1 vs Vindictus (Peter) – 2/0
Vayl1 vs Vindictus It appears I fear all lists. This list had a LOT of infantry. I’ve never faced Vindictus before so I knew I was going to be surprised by something. I HAD played against Zealots and Errants though, so I knew the former were going to be near impossible to shift out of a zone once they got there. The latter were just going to be a pain in my butt until I could kill them.

This game was a grind. Legionnaires under Defensive Line blocked the Zealots long enough for Typhon and the Scythean to destroy the Errants and take the left-most zone for Vayl to dominate it. With both the mini-feat and Vindictus’ feat occurring the Legionnaires spent a lot of time standing around not hitting things.

With 5mins to go on the clock, I won on scenario 6 to 4.

Highlight – Vayl camping behind the mining building and then feating to bring both Typhon and the Scythean back from the left zone to near contesting the right zone.

Mistake – I either put the Vessel up too far (so it could be shot by the Reckoner) or too far to the right (so I failed to get the souls from my own Legionnaires on the left). I”m still learning this unit.

Round 3 – Vayl1 vs Feora2 (Brett) – 3/0
Vayl vs FeoraI played against Brett, playing this list against Feora on the previous Tuesday, so I knew it was going to hurt. I was almost going to play Thagrosh2 for some variation, but I really though that Vayl was the stronger list and one I wanted more practice with.

I must have had a big lunch as my brain went to sleep for this game. TWICE I forgot to dominate the objective into the zone and I even hung Vayl out too far to achieve it. Brett was playing a little paranoid, and when I over-ran my Deathstalker on turn one he engaged her with over half the Temple Flameguard and CMA’d her. That left them nicely out on one flank with nothing much else to do except earn control points (I kept forgetting to contest the zone).

In the end, Feora put both Typhon and Vayl on fire, charged Scythean, casting Convection on Vayl for 6,6,5 on the damage (1 transfer remaining to my only target Typhon) and then failing to kill the Scythean with her remaining focus. To be fair to Brett, he’d put focus on his Castigator that he didn’t need to use and that would have made the difference. He totally out played me, but didn’t come out with the win. On the following turn I got both Chiller and Incite in range of Feora and the Scythean did it’s thing. If I’d failed, well it would have been a race to see if the fire killed me before Brett earned 5 CPs.

Highlight – Transferring fire damage. That, and having Excessive Healing, saved me.

Mistake – Putting 9 Legionnaires within 2″ of the Castigator for a mis-guided attempt at a CMA. He combusted and took out 7 of them for only 3 souls being fed into the Spawning Vessel. I need to remember to trickle them out.

Round 4 – Vayl1 vs Rhyas (Scott) – 3/1
Vayl1 vs Rhyas
Holy jam Batman! Turn one saw the Swordsmen at SPD 9, running 18 inches to jam me up in my deployment zone – under a Kill Box scenario none-the-less!

Still, I knew the Angelii were his assassination trick, so I played the long game and got Vayl just out of the Kill Box and started whittling things down. Making sure there was enough around me that he could’t land an Angelius within 2″. Still, with Scott on 4 CPs I had to do something. I used the Legionnaires as screens to protect my heavies from charges from the Angelii and counter-punched to remove both of his beasts without buying attacks. Gosh I love Incite!

All I had to do was contest zones to deny Scott any more CPs and I could weather Rhyas and the BFS and come away with the win. Smartly, I used Cat and Mouse to move my jammed forces up into the zones but not so smartly I moved too many Legionnaires on the right (where nothing could really clear them) but only a single Legionnaire moved into the left zone. I’d mis-counted the handful of models he had left and was not able to move Typhon (I was trying to protect him for some reason from charges from the BFS).

Scott did the smart move and ran Rhyas to dominate the left flag and then charged (under feat for good measure) with the BFS into my lone Legionnaire for the win. To say I was annoyed with myself was an understatement.

Highlight – Using Dark Sentinel to move the Scythean away from the Angelius to deny the charge.

Mistake – I think it’s pretty obvious what my mistake was.

In the end I walked away with a Destor Thane for my faction ADHD and a great day. I’m starting to think a lot more when I play, and the addition of the Legionnaires has helped immensely, giving me options for blocking, Chiller and vengeance.

It was a fantastic day, with the two tournaments intermingling and a buzz in the air. Thanks to all my opponents for some great games and I hope I was a good opponent myself. I hope every “noob” that played in the event now realises what a great experience tournaments can be and signs up for more tournaments later on.


Naga Nightlurker

Naga NightlurkerStart to finish, this model took me just over 2 hours to paint. Goes to show you what having simple techniques and scheme can do for productivity. I’d been working on the Warspears and the Spawning Vessel and just wanted a change. Normally I would paint both the upper and lower scales in grey, but this time I thought I’d try something different and bring in a bone colour (‘Jack Bone). I washed it more heavily than usual and added striations like I used on the Archangel and on the Swamp Horror.


Naga Nightlurker