For a little while now Games Workshop have been offering a free miniature in store, as part of their Miniature of the Month promotion. This month sees the release of a new Warcry box and so the free miniature was a Seraphon Skink.
As part of our regular friendly challenge, we each headed to a local Warhammer store to build and take home a model, and painted them to compare our different approaches.
Arron (AKA @ajb_minis)
This month’s free miniature was a regular Skink, but despite my efforts I wasn’t able to get hold of one at all. I’m always down for a painting challenge though, and was fortunate enough to be able to get hold of a Chameleon Skink from the new Warcry box.
When it comes to animals (especially birds) I like to try and use real animals for inspiration, because the patterns and colours are often a lot more organic than how we’d typically paint them. The inspiration for this one came in the form of a Panther Chameleon, tying in greens, blues and reds.
This was a fun chance to include some colour blends on the limbs and tail, too, transitioning from a green into a red. I finished the model off with some bright golds and adding a mossy effect on the base by stippling various greens. Overall I think it has a distinctively ‘Seraphon’ vibe.
Ben (AKA @manyotterminis)
I got a bit carried away again.
The lizardmen range is unfortunately old, and that means the models are a lot less dynamic than their modern counterparts in order to meet the rank and file profile of old Warhammer Fantasy. I didn’t know how I’d paint my skink, but I thought perhaps I could see about fixing that particular issue. So as I made my model in store I thought about how I could make it look like it was swimming. I chose a spear arm that was fully outstretched and stuck it in line with the head to elongate the model as much as possible. I wanted the shield arm to be back in the opposite direction, and a little away from the body, so I took a little scrap of sprue and tucked it into the armpit to angle the arm outwards.
When I got home I cut them straight off their base and began the major reconstruction work. These skinks have a bit of a hunch and that was undoing all my hard work elongating the model with the spear, so I took a knife and tried to cut almost all the way through the belly, before accidentally cutting them in half. I pinned the parts back together but changed the angle so that their head and arm now lined up with their outstretched back leg. A similar procedure was performed on the back foot to take out the bend in the ankle where it met the ground. This left me with a skink in the middle of something like a front crawl, with their spear arm coming down and the back leg kicking out to propel them forward.
Once that was all dry… who am I kidding, while the glue was drying I started filling gaps with putty and kept pulling apart my joins and generally making a mess of things. If I’d mustered a bit more patience it would probably have been quicker but I ended up with lumps of greenstuff and milliput filling all the gaps, which I then carved into a rough shape after they’d cured (fine, just before they’d cured properly). I also took the time to make lots of tiny balls of milliput with my scraps. These really were left to cure so that a few could be stuck together to make a small plume of bubbles coming from the corner of the mouth. That little plume and the blue tones kept in the shadows and base are doing the heavy lifting when it comes to selling that this skink is underwater .
For the base I’d already stuck the scrap of club from the shield arm down, with the teeth upwards. I piled up some strips of cork, then spread milliput around to smooth the shapes. Finally some plumes from Stormcast Eternal helmets made the seaweed, and the skink was attached by the spear shaft so they could float mysteriously off the sea floor.
The painting was just as scrappy as the converting, starting with a very bright zenithal highlight before spraying the model completely blue and re-applying the white from above. The painting was then done mostly with contrast paints, and highlights in important areas like the face and shield.
Phew. This all happened surprisingly quickly (I’m not patient enough to work any other way), and while it’s obviously a bit scrappy it was really good fun putting energy into pose and scenic tone that I don’t normally have the opportunity to do with Underworlds push-fit models. It’s also made me a lot more confident to try conversions in the future, so maybe one day I’ll butcher a Seeker of Slaanesh and see if I can’t put a bit more movement into another old world relic.
Kristian (AKA @kregory03)
Going into this, I set my own expectations low. Normally I have grand visions for what I want to do, and end up with a result that is merely “fine”. I am very pleased to report then, that I smashed them.
Seraphon (or Lizardmen if you’ve been round the block as long as we have) take to many different schemes very well, as my co-writers above have demonstrated, and I’ve tried painting Skinks before in the form of the Starblood Stalkers where I lent in heavily to blues and greens, so this time I wanted to go far into the other end of the colour spectrum. With a few pointers from my good friend, and fellow writer, Arron on the technique of feathering, I set about putting it to use and I’m just over the moon with the results. I’m not exaggerating when I say this might be my favourite mini in a very long while (just in time for the New Year, New Army campaign GW like to do).
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