Hello friends! Well, this has been quite a journey and in a relatively different sort of article, I have been chronicling my painting of Khorne’s hugest and newest servant through photo AND video, as I’ve been spending a long time now painting one of the biggest models I’ve ever worked on – the brand new Ka’bandha from Forge World. Games Workshop were good enough to send me this heckin’ chonkin’ kit, and I’ve been beavering away on it for weeks now. Whenever I had any time, I got my brushes out and recorded my progress, so let’s go back in time to when this all began…
In the beginning…
When G-Dubs contacted me to let me know that they were sending this incredible brute my way, I was very excited. I thought about how all of the Heresy releases coming soon would be in plastic and how much fun I would have. Then it arrived and when I saw the shape and felt the heft of the box, I realised what I was in for. Resin. Now I have no problem with working with resin, but I had rather been looking forward to working on a plastic mini (lol, “mini”) and this of course meant a lot more prep work. Rather than shaving down mould lines, I’d be hacking off big hunks of flash and scrubbing release agent from its surfaces. Here’s the fist of my video diaries…
The wings were a bit of a nightmare. Each wing comes in two parts and these needed a fair amount of gap filling as the two halves of each wing only fit together in a looser sense of the word. Valejo Plastic Putty was a life saver here though, so it took a while, but it was relatively painless. I also pinned the wings in place. In fact, there’s a fair bit of pinning involved with this mini, so be prepared to get the old pin vice to hand for this beast.
The whip was also a bit of a pain, and in all honesty, it would remain a pain all the way through the process of bringing this model to life. There’s plenty more on that, but when you’re building it, for the love of Khorne himself, pin, and get your angles right – I didn’t and so I will forever have one strand of the whip dragging and chipping on tabletops – my bad.
There was a can of Chaos Black, and a can of Mephiston Red and they gave me my starting point when it came to painting – here’s the big fella still drying after he got a coating. Black all over, red just from the top down – that’ll help me with the shadows on his skin at least!
A Wing And A Flayer
So, as mentioned in the first video, I started out with the wings, and boy did they take some doing. Here’s the next video, but you’ll note (as I did) that it almost looks like I’ve done nothing. Thankfully by the time he’s done, they look a bit more complete, but I was happy to get this massive job done early doors. Now, unfortunately, because WordPress have a rubbish video player as default and I can’t be bothered to upload to Youtube and faff around with embedding, my second video entry about the wings won’t display here. But you’ll see them in all the other vids (presuming they work) so not much to cry about there. There was a lot of glazing, some swearing, and I sponged on some fire damage. Oh, and I painted the talons black and then coated them in Ardcoat instead of trying to paint the light effects on – let’s let the actual light do some heavy lifting where we can. When all of that was done, this is what my hand looked like:
With those done. I turned my attention to the axe as it seemed like a fun place to start on the armour and metals. Let’s see if this video works…
So the axe is sorted out! I got that lovely brass colour by working up from a Leadbelcher base, up into Iron Warriors, then a blend of Iron Warriors and Abaddon Black, and then a highlight of Ironbreaker. This is then coated with a thinned down Nazdreg Yellow and there you have it – brass. And with that axe done, I had to then use pretty much the same technique on all of the rest of the armour. This was going to be a slog, but it wasn’t super tough to do. Indeed, by this stage I had the idea of trying to keep this simple so that even people like me who are not fans of painting massive kits, can get some enjoyment out of the whole thing.
Armour, Armour And More Armour
This is something worth bearing in mind if you’re not familiar with working on massive kits like this; they induce fatigue and throughout the project, you will fall out of love with it. Don’t worry, you get the love back at the end, and it’s definitely worth putting the effort in and keeping going, but boy can it be a slog getting to those happy shores.
In another video that failed to upload, I was so tired of painting the armour (and at this stage I had completed one arm and one leg) that I filmed vertically. There are few greater sins in smartphone videography, and I’m actually glad the upload failed (thanks, WordPress) but I’m also happy because I sounded so down on it. I was super exhausted and desperate to work on something different but I was also determined to get this out the door and carry on.
So this was the next video (above) and as fatigued as I sound here, that’s nothing to how I sounded in the video that wouldn’t upload. At least now I was able to laugh about things. Even though I was painting it all in techniques i was familiar with, and that were not too hard, it was really starting to get to me and at this stage, I really only had a week left. It was time to enter…
Happilly, after the above video, when I did get time to work on it, I was working on it like a machine, and that’s what you need for a big hobby product (sorry, calling it a “miniature” just seems silly given its size). I was going at it with the end in sight and then I realised that I needed to have it done by, well, today! The day this post comes out! Here’s where I was just a few hours ago!
So it was time to get cracking! There really wasn’t too much to do, but with only a lunch hour left to get it finished, would I get it done in time? Would I be able to paint something worthy of the Blood God’s praise? Would I get a chance to sneak in a bag of crisps and a piece of toast before I had to get back to my day job?! Let’s find out:
Well, given the photo at the top of this post, that probably wasn’t the reveal I was thinking it would be, but still, you can hear my most recent elation in my voice. And since then, I’ve found a tiny bit of time to upload that last video and write these words. What a journey! Happy that I don’t have to work on him any further, but a little sad to not have the stress and pressure of this project still hanging over me – it really does make you feel alive! Also, you’ll have to forgive any spelling errors in this post. I have had literally two minutes to proof read all of it. 😉
If I had to pick out some highlights, it would be the face and the axe. Both are amazing and for very different reasons. The face is emotive, full of character and it really is the best Khornite set of features I have ever seen. Great work by the sculptors there. And the axe I love because it’s enormous and brutal like you wouldn’t believe. It’s crying out for Blood For The Blood God to be dashed all over it and I wasn’t going to miss the opportunity to have fun there.
Lowlights? Well, it’s a big heavy kit that’s got a fiddly whip, but that’s a combination of things I’m not a fan of that others are, and me screwing up the build. I can’t blame either of those things on Forge World, and while this sort of massive miniature is not my cup of tea, some people live for them. If you enjoy it, have at it. If not, you’ve been warned. And I do wish it was plastic, but there’s nothing wrong with a bit of resin from time to time.
I’m now off to go and paint something really small. A Hobbit or a Snotling or something. Something that doesn’t hurt my wrist when I go to pick it up. That’s what I’m dreaming of. Onwards!
P.S. You may notice, those sleuths amongst you, that some of my timing is a bit off. That’s on me – I got the dates wrong in terms of when I was supposed to have this ready by. By about a month. It’s not my fault “June” and “July” look similar. So yes, this has been waiting to go live for some time now, but I quite enjoyed the videos and didn’t want to discard them, and it just shows how quickly you can paint him if you need to, and still make him look passable.