Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Showcase: Driago and Grey Knight Terminators

The Grey Knights are unleashed!  This was a commission done at the level 2 (showcase) quality level of painting.  Of the three levels I offer, level 1 = table top quality and level 3 = competition quality, this one gives the customer the best bang for their buck.  Each Grey Knight terminator got a custom urban rubble base that was made from the cities of death boxed set and their armor/weapons were painted with the highest attention to detail.

Let's take a look at the finished product!

Each falchion was painted with an edge glow on its blade and a runner of electricity on each side.  A light glow effect was also painted on the sword quillions to further the look that the blade is glowing.  Since one of this termi's falchions is so close to his helmet a light glow effect was painted there as well.

The main color palette was blue/silver armor, burnished copper and gold accents, and burgundy red contrasting points.

In true Grey Knight fashion, each termi was given a name and had it on their right shoulder pad.  Though it is partially covered by the purity seals, this guy's name is Leonatus.

Lord Driago is a badass, as is evident from the fiction he was given in Codex Grey Knights (how couldn't he be when he can stomp around the immaterium setting afire Nurgle's garden, shattering the impossible city, and slaying demons like he was taking his tea?).  Still, I wanted him to gel with the aesthetics of the squad by keeping the same color palette, but still wanted him to differentiate on the table top.  I mentioned last week that I'd do this by giving him a different colored blade.  It's a simple thing, but I think it works, and since it is a long sword and not a falchion it makes sense it would be a different color.

Driago's tiled base really stands out here, where you can get a good look at the alternating red and black check pattern.

I wanted to use a wide variety of urban themed rubble pieces across the squad.  Driago's base was definitely the "pipe" base as it has five different pipes peeking out around the side.

Like the falchions, Driago's force sword has an energy current running up the blade.

Basing with an urban theme gave me an opportunity to try different techniques I don't use often when painting my own Eldar and demons, specifically rust effects.  I made a simple rust pattern by stippling on Mournfang Brown (it already has a red tint) and a lighter stipple of Khorne Red.  I lightly hit the edges around the rust with Administratum Grey to give a slight impression that the rust had eating into the metal and wasn't simply sitting on top.

For more on weathering, I'd highly recommend checking out Cameron's blog Rust and the City, he does fantastic work there and has many great tutorials.  His blog is definitely one I enjoy going back to and checking in on each week.

Besides cities of death pieces, the basing is made from a mishmash of odds and ends I pulled out of my basing box.  In this pic we can see a plaster cast arch and a plastic bit off of the Imperial Guard chimera sprue.  Medium and small Woodlands Scenic ballast finished off the base.

Of course the squad's justicar received the coolest of the accessory bitz from the termi sprue, included are his sword and book banner and extra optics helmet.  I think the helmet I used for this model was meant for a member of the squad who would carry a heavy weapon, but it works just as well to denote the veteran status of the justicar and the probably eye/head injury he suffered in his long years of service.

I wanted each base to look realistic in little ways and one of those efforts was to pin brass pinning rods in as "rebar."  Often, exposed rebar has pieces of concrete and stone still attached to it, so I was sure to glue a few bits of rock and ballast to the exposed portions on this base.

That same idea used on the justicar's base was taken to the next level with the standard bearer, where the rebar is still struggling to hold the fractured pieces of his base together.  Each of the three tiled sections are pinned into the main vent section by a brass rod.

The banner was done in the same silvers, golds, and brass tones I used for the armor in order to save time, but I think they ended up looking great anyway.  The grey knight on the banner was washed in blue to mirror their armor whereas the ribbon above him was washed in black to be a more neutral silver.  Agrax Earthshade washed all the brass and gold portions.  You might have noticed that the GK is slaying a golden demon, a little tongue-in-cheek from the artist.

This is by far my favorite of the Grey Knight terminators, I absolutely love his pose, it's incredibly light for an eight-foot-tall super human in tactical dreadnought armor!  I had a lot of fun with his basing as well, adding rust to the I-beam he's perched on and modeling the splintered remnants of a collapsed building around him. His basing is the best of the group in my opinion and really captures the jagged nature of a building's collapse.

All the writing done on banners and purity seals was done with a 2:1 mix of Abbadon Black and Khorne Red.  The slight hint on red for the lettering gives it an appropriate color variation for small text that has aged a bit on antiqued parchment.

Thanks for stopping by and checking out my work, come back next time to see what else I'm working on here at the Monster Lab!


  1. Thoroughly beautiful work, man! I really dig the sense of motion the models have, that adds a ton to the overall composition of the unit. Awesome stuff!

    1. Thanks Mordian! Terminators usually aren't very dynamic, so it was great fun posing these guys in interesting ways. My favorite is the "ninja" perched up on his I-beam. I never thought a termi could be ninja-like until this project, but they can!.. ha ha.

  2. Got to see these up close at the store. Really nice work.

    1. Thanks Aaron, I'm glad you got to see them before I had to give them back to their owner.

  3. As the owner, I cannot express how much I enjoy benefitting from Matt's superb work. Not just with these, but with all the stuff he does for me, esp. for Freeblades! though I have to admit the golden demon slaying banner, and telling its story, is a personal fave.. :)

    Thanks again, Matt.


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