Friday, August 7, 2009

49 - Tau Empire Kroot Carnivore

I must say, this Kroot Carnivore model has been one of the most enjoyable miniatures I've painted thus far. It almost makes me want to collect a Tau Army, but since I've already committed to 3 for sure (IG, Loyalist SM, and Ork) based solely on the fact that I have the most of those 3 factions (primarily because of the Black Reach set), and I really, really want to paint up some Tyranids (which would make 4 armies), I don't think I'll have the resources to add a 5th 40k army. Or at least that's what my wife tells me. Well, "tell" probably doesn't quite capture the impending violence in her voice - "commands" is probably the better word!

Why was this model a blast to paint? Let me count the ways:

1) The large expanse of alien skin texture prompted me to experiment in glazing, or at least what I understand to be glazing. Basically, I basecoated Hippo Gray over a Black undercoat. I then added 2-3 layers of thinned Bridge Gray (a much lighter version of gray than Hippo Gray) over the basecoat before washing the whole thing in Asurmen Blue. I followed up by applying another 2-3 very watered down layers of light skin tone (almost Elf Flesh in color) across the elevated areas of the skin before washing it again with Ogryn Flesh. The final step was to take that same light skin tone and give it a light drybrush across the uppermost portions of the skin. The result is something I'm pretty happy with. The depth of the many layers of color playing across the rough textures of the model's skin doesn't quite show up in the photographs, but in person, it almost looks like the Kroot's skin is both incandescent and like worn leather all at the time same time.

2) I also tried out some blending techniques on the Kroot's crown of quills, and again, I like how it turned out. I first basecoated the quills with medium skin tone, washed it with Devlan Mud to deepen the shadows, then brought the skin tone back up. After that, I gave it another wash, this time liberally with Baal Red, and drybrushed Opaque Red along the tips before the wash dried. The wetness of the wash combined with the little bit of Opaque Red acrylic paint allowed me to create that blending effect along the quills.

3) Finally, the assorted bits and bobs that came on the Kroot sprue makes it very easy to personalize these guys. The Kroot fluff also lends itself to plenty of opportunities for conversion. In fact, since I no longer plan on making a full Chaos Space Marine army, I think I'll be incorporating some CSM bits into any future Kroot I assemble. Maybe a CSM shoulder pad here, a CSM chest piece there, etc. to reflect the scavenging/ mercenary ways of the Kroot.

Right now, I guess it's a toss-up between the Tyranids and the Tau Empire as my 4th 40k army. I have some Gaunt and Genestealer sprues laying around, so I'll paint one or two of them up while also painting up a Tau Fire Warrior, and then compare the level of enjoyment I had painting each army's rank and file troops before deciding for sure.

But what I really have lined up next are 3 miniatures I've been eyeing for awhile now - an Imperial Guard Platoon Command Squad Lieutenant, a Bretonnian Man-at-Arms, and a High Elf Spearman. They've all been partially assembled and primed. Stay tuned!

Please click here for more pics of the Kroot Carnivore.


oni said...

He looks really good. Nice job with the base too. I suggest taking a step to trim the mould lines, it can really do a lot for a model. :)

Paul Wu said...

@ oni:

Thanks for the kind words. Yeah, stupid mold lines - my achilles' heel. I don't know what it is, but I hate cleaning them. I have all the tools - hobby file, hobby knife - and I kind of know how to go about it, but I still find it annoying as heck to do. I think part of me is afraid of ruining the fine textures on the model if I try to hard to perfectly clean up the mold lines. If anyone has any tips on quick, painless yet efficient mold line removal, post them here or post a link.


Anonymous said...

Very nice work. He looks trully realistic. I agree with Oni, the base also looks great

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