These guys have so far been the biggest hurdle for me in trying paint my way through the Blackstone Fortress. Most of us learn pretty early on in our hobby careers that painting groups of infantry in a sort of assembly line is generally the way to go. Taking my Dire Avengers as an example, you might basecoat, wash and highlight the undersuit on the entire squad before moving on to the armor plates, which you would again finish on every model before moving on to the next detail whether it be the helmets, weapons, etc. It saves paint, keeps colors more consistent, and is arguably just a much more efficient way to work through a squad of models rather than painting the same model over and over again from the beginning.
But that’s something I had trouble doing with these Traitor Guardsmen. These guys are no longer a part of any “official” military force and a lot of their gear is obviously scavenged. It’s also pretty easy to imagine that a lot of them come from different regiments or worlds so there’s probably very little uniformity in their clothing. This is something I wanted to work into their paint jobs despite knowing that it would take a little extra time and effort. And that goes without saying, I know — but I can’t be the only one who gets a little antsy when there’s still dozens of models waiting to be painted from the same set. Right?
The Guardsman on the right served as the sort of test model for everything else. You get two identical models for every type of Guardsman, and one of the things I wanted to do was make sure each was distinct from the other. The official GW color scheme ties them all together with black armor and I liked that look, so things like their clothing, capes, arm and leg wraps, fur coats, shoulder pads, etc. would be where I would try and mix things up.
Here’s one half of the lot. The black armor, dark reds and generally drab colors keep with the dark atmosphere of Blackstone Fortress, but they’re still identifiable as people who were, at least at one time, Imperial Guardsmen. The paints used for the different fatigue colors was minimal, and the process for painting them was simple and the same throughout. The first color is your basecoat, which you then hit with a wash. Once the wash is dry, build the basecoat back up, leaving the darkened recesses alone, then finally highlight with the last color.
- Grey : Mechanicus Standard Grey, Nuln Oil, Dawnstone
- Tan (Cadian) : Zandri Dust, Agrax Earthshade, Ushabti Bone
- Light Tan : Karak Stone, Agrax Earthshade, Screaming Skull
- Sand : Balor Brown, Agrax Earthshade, Ushabti Bone
Just mix and match the pants and coats and you’ve got one way to add variation to your group of Traitor Guard. Here’s the second set:
The fur pelts were also something that gave me pause for thought, but Warhammer TV once again had a few really good tutorials on them. The guy with the flamethrower up top is a good example of the following technique for grey fur:
- Basecoat Mechanicus Standard Grey
- Water down Administratum Grey to about the consistency of a wash and apply it towards the top third of the pelt
- Use Nuln Oil to shade the bottom third
- Once everything’s dry, use White Scar to lightly drybrush the pelt and tie all the colors together
Brown fur you can get a little more creative with:
- Basecoat with Mournfang Brown
- Use Zandri Dust to paint patterns into the fur like stripes, or just different colored patches
- Wash all over with Agrax Earthshade to tie the two colors together
- Once dry, use Tryrant Skull preferably to lightly drybrush the fur, though Ushabti Bone can work as well
I’m probably still going to go back and add more scratches and maybe freehand more Chaos symbols into their armor before I varnish them, but for now these guys are pretty much done and I’ve moved on. I hate to admit it, but as I make my way through Blackstone Fortress, hobby fatigue has started to kick in, which I might touch on in another post.
Up next, Chaos Beastmen.