What do you call a Saurus with three heads?
A free Saurus.
For a little while now Games Workshop have been offering a free miniature in store, as part of their Miniature of the Month promotion. With not one but two miniatures being given out during June 2023, we figured it was time to get the paintbrushes out and see what we could do. The first of those models was one of the mean new Saurus Warriors, to celebrate the great new Seraphon miniatures that have been recently released.
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)
When it comes to these ‘Miniature of the Month’ models, I find that I quite often start with a very set idea of what I want to do with the model. Inevitably, as soon as I pick up the brush I end up going with the flow and doing something completely different. For this Saurus warrior I planned on doing something a little darker with some bright glowing elements. It seems Ben went for a similar route though, so I’m not sad that my warrior turned out different.
I started off with a dark Barak-Nar Burgundy base coat, which ended up making the shadows for both the scales and body. I worked up the layers and highlights in my usual blocky style, making sure that the final colours I chose were super vibrant – Baharroth Blue and Emperor’s Children. In keeping with the rest of the mini I changed my plan for the metals last minute. Originally I was going to use metallic paint but decided to go with NMM for the metals, working up highlights in a similar blocky style. While a more detailed, glazed NMM would be more realistic, there’s something I just enjoy more with this sort of stylised approach.
Overall I’m loving how this guy came out. Is this tempting me into buying a Seraphon army? Perhaps not with this paint scheme – especially considering I highlighted each scale a couple of times. But a smaller warband is feeling quite tempting.
Ben (AKA @manyotterminis)
It was a special effect month for me this month. I quite like to use the free mini to try some effects or techniques that I haven’t found room for on other models, usually because they have to match the rest of their warband/army and I don’t want to commit to painting a whole group of models in an experimental style.
This month I was inspired by Juan Sanz, Elminiaturista, who’s Instagram is a treasure trove of fantastically painted neon, plasma, and glowing effects. Specifically I wanted to see if I could intuitively emulate the molten body on their Avatar of Khaine.
I’ve had some fluor paints for a while and understood the general premise to be starting from a dark base, applying white ink into the cracks, then glazing with fluor paints to achieve maximum contrast.
No part of this went exactly to plan for me. To get the ink to flow I ended up mixing with a lot of water, but that meant I had very little control and a rather diluted end result. There’s definitely some better mediums for this but I didn’t have any on hand. I did a few passes of watery ink, then fluor paint, then back to ink, working my way towards the areas I wanted to be the centre of the glow. Then I started darkening the edges and furthest points with contrast paints, watered down again and applied like glazes. Finishing with shyish purple on the darkest parts.
The final effect is not quite what I wanted. I think the problem is that I went too dark too fast. I go straight from bright fluor pink in the cracks, to an almost black purple on the scales. It gives the impression of a single very intense point of light, or heat, that dissipates quickly. A larger area of brighter purple midtone would probably improve the glowing effect and make it seem like the whole body of the Saurus was infused with an inner glow, in the same way that Elminiaturista’s Avatar’s whole body seems to be made of fluid molten magma.
None the less this is why I try these things on the mini of the month. If I try this again I’ll have some experience, and a reference, to work from and build on, and I’m sure the results would be better.
Kristian (AKA @kregory03)
Our long-term readers may remember the Skink mini of the month we did a few months ago, and I decided to use the Saurus as a continuation of that experiment. To that end, I did this guy the same way I did the Skink, layering red on top of orange, on top of yellow, making sure to try and blend at the edges to try and create a gradient. This time there were more scales for me to paint black though, but I think the result was worth the effort.
The base is something I’d want to try again. I painted it Gryph-Hound Orange and put Mordant Earth on top of it, hoping to create a magma effect. In person you can kinda see it but it’s very feint, and I’ll have to do more experimenting if I want to achieve the look I have in my head. All being said, a whole Seraphon army in this scheme is very much on my to-do list.
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