Sunday, June 16, 2013

Dark Eldar Talos

As announced in my previous post, the Talos Pain Engine is born. This is the first model in my up and comming Dark Eldar army. Since I decided to go all out with this guy, I thought that it would be a good idea to write up a detailed WIP description and attach some progress pics as well.

To begin with, I have to say that this is probably my favorite model in the entire WH40k range. This guy made me dive into Dark Eldar, so I found it only fitting to start my army with him.

The first big challenge was of course picking the color scheme. I really like the black/green variant but having already painted nurgle and Dark Angels, I wanted something different. Then my eyes wondered over my paint collection and I thought to myself "why not blue"! I already have the paints needed for the armor, so I only needed to get ice blue for line highlighting and I was pretty much done.

Having settled on the blue color for the armor, I had another big decision to make, namely how to do the skin. Theoretically, this guy should probably have a pale, ghoulish skin tone, but I figured that with the "cold" blue color dominating on the armor, pale skin would blend too much with it. Instead, I decided to make it more "warm" and fleshy to get some contrast.

Next up was figuring out if I wanted to magnetize him or not. The kit comes with all kinds of different weapons, but after reading up on how to use this guy in games, I decided to just assemble him with the most common TL liquifier gun and TL splinter cannon. Other than that, it got very obvious, very fast that I'll have to paint him in parts, as there is no way that you can do detailed work when he's all glued up. I primed everything black and off we go:

First up was the armor. I wanted to get that out of the way + I was really excited about the outcome - if my color decisions would work or not. I did a basecoat of VA dark sea blue 71087 and just as I was making the first pass, I let out a long "fuuuuck". It turned out that instead of a nice, dark blue that I was hoping for, I got something that resembled purple :O After a lengthy inner debate, I just decided to go with it. I didn't have any other paints and this just had to work. In order to highlight with the second color, I had to use some blu tac to do the masking. With curves all around, blu tac was really awesome for this job. The first highlight color was VA french blue 71088.

Once that was done, another highlight had to be applied: VA light sea blue 71089. At this point, my neighbours heard another loud "fuuuuuck". This paint was much thinner than the previous two and so it sprayed really intensively. All my masking went to shit because it just splattered all over the place.  I went into crisis mode and started thinking what to do to unfuck my situation. I ditched the blu tac and just finished highlighting the zenithal way. Then, the only thing I could think of, was to apply drakenhof nightshade wash with an airbrush to darken that circus in front of me, get some shading in there and smooth it all out. As it turned out, it was a great decision - all worked out better than expected :) Too bad, I got so blinded by my panic mode, that I forgot to make a picture of how it looked like before the wash.

Here's a shot of completed armor - before and after line highlighting (ice blue)

Next up was the skin. I started off with dark flesh:

Next up was dark flesh mixed 50/50 with dwarf flesh:

Next up was pure dwarf flesh:

Next up was ogryn flesh wash:

Followed by dwarf flesh/elf flesh highlighting:

At this point I mumbled "idiot" to myself as I wasted so much time doing the spine with the same colors as the skin... It all had to be corrected with bleached bone later on. Anyway, skin done:

I dry fitted some of the parts to see how it was shaping up:

With the armor and skin done, the rest was pretty straightforward, so I won't be going into much detail. One thing I want to touch up on though, is the base.

Basing is, in my opinion, a very important part of painting and assembling your miniature. It compliments the finished look so much that it is imperative to really think about how you want to do it and put as much effort into it, as you would to painting the mini itself. It becomes even more important on large bases such as this one.

On a few occasions, people asked me about my bases, so this time, I decided to do a full modelling tutorial to cover that aspect. I don't have much modelling items in my "toolbox", so I usually go with the common ruin/rubble kind - one that I also find quite fitting to the WH40k theme. I have plenty of kromlech resin bases that I like to use, some GW barbed wire and of course cork, sand and some texture paint. Here's a step by step:

Construct your base - glue it all together. Barbed wire was not glued at this point as it would be hard to paint like this. I only shaped it and dry fitted to see how it would look together with the rest. Notice that those resin bases, although cool, will look terrible on their own. They need some additional elements that would fill up the gaps. The barrel is just some resin barrel that I got online. I cut it a bit to have it tilted. I used super glue to attach those resin parts to the base.

Next step was to start filling the gaps with chopped up cork. I used PVA glue to make it all stick:

I let it dry until the glue became transparent, making the cork stick firmly in place. Up next was putting sand on the base. I just smeared glue all over it and dipped it in my sand box:

Notice how there are some areas that didn't catch the sand. That's all right. At this point, I used some texture paint to fill in the gaps. You can use whichever color you want. It's irrelevant, since you'll be spraying it black anyway.

Final step was to prime it black and it was ready to be painted:

Painting was simple. I started with the rubble - charadon granite, working up through greys up to grey/white. Then I used desert yellow on the sand, washed it with devlan mud and highlighted with bleached bone. The barrel was basecoated with scorched brown, then I added some red/orange rust spots with a sponge, did some light drybrushing with chainmail, applied a dark rust pigment and touched up with chainmail on the edges once again. Finally, I glued the barbed wire on and voila - base finished.

I hope you enjoyed the tutorial and will be able to use some of the stuff in your own projects. Best part ahead - photo showcase of the finished model :)


  1. Escellent post, great painting:)

  2. Such an interesting post. And I'm happy that I'm not the only one who got "accident" with an airbrush or spend to many times on one spot when I could have make it way faster.
    First time I check your blog, but now I'll check all of your posts.
    Keep it up

  3. as usual, appearance on "from the flickr pool" :)

  4. Replies
    1. Tamiya clear red + TCR with nuln oil on the insides to get the "darker blood".

    2. Thank you. I'm always looking for ways to improve my method.

  5. any updates as of late, dont let us down!

    1. Soon, I promise :) I had a break from painting over the summer but I'm slowly getting myself back up in the game :)