God. I’ve been working on the Ironskull’s Boyz for Shadespire for months now, since April. Between limited painting times, and a difficult color to work with (I hate you orange!), the process has been very slow.
That being said, as I keep saying, a draw of Shadespire for me is the few models that need painting. I’ve reached a point where I’d rather produce quality over quantity and Shadespire is perfect for that. I get to play with techniques, and just generally enjoy the painting process without a looming backlog of projects needing completion.
Anyway, enough rambling. I present to you the Ironskull’s Boyz.
Click to enlarge any pictures.
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First off, I’m very happy with how these guys came out. Before I started painting them I had done some searching for inspiration. I stumbled on someone who did an orange and black scheme and I knew I had to do it. It just looked awesome.
Man, I had no idea the nightmare it was going to be working with that orange. I know I’ve complained a lot about it, but it’s for good reason. To get a solid orange, blending up, took a solid 6-8 coats. I can’t tell you how excited I was to finish painting orange. Ug!
Still, orange and black is a classic color scheme, and against the green skin of the Orruks it just works well. I’m glad I did it, but you won’t see me painting orange on that scale again.
I’m also really happy with the skin. I haven’t painted an Ork/Orc/Orruk in years, not since starting 40K back in 2006. I’ve always liked doing Ork skin, so I had fun playing with that again.
The battle damage and weathering was new for me too, this style at least. The person I got inspiration from had a great tutorial on how he painted his Ironskull’s Boyz. I liked his so much that I just went with it and I’m very happy with the result.
I did do a little freehand work on the shoulders for the flames. The design wasn’t my idea, I saw it on the GW site, but I liked it and ran with it. It’s a nice little touch I think.
Lastly, Gurzag’s cloak was a lot of fun to work on. I haven’t tried a textured and worn look like that for leather before. I’ve seen it done a lot and always loved the result. I think the cloak came out great if I’m being honest.
Oh, I’ve also put together a tutorial on painting worn leather if you’re interested.
Just as much for my own records as it is anything else, here’s the painting recipes I used for the Ironskull’s Boyz.
- Base coat with Terracotta (Vallejo).
- Deepest shadows are Rhinox Hide (GW).
- Layer/blend with Hot Orange (Vallejo).
- Highlight with Fire Dragon Bright (GW).
- Extreme highlights with Fire Dragon Bright and Screaming Skull (GW) mixed about 50/50.
I also have a tutorial on layering and blending showing how I did it.
- Scratches – The dark color used in the deep scratches was a 50/50 mix of Abaddon Black and Rhinox Hide. The surface scratches were done with the 50/50 mix of Fire Dragon Bright and Screaming Skull and done very lightly and thinned out. I used the non-thinned version for the highlights on the deeper scratches.
- Exposed Metal – This was done with the same 50/50 mix of Abaddon Black and Rhinox Hide to create the depth and then layered with Leadbelcher (GW).
- Base coat with Abaddon Black (GW).
- Layer/blend with Dark Reaper (GW).
- Layer/blend with Thunderhawk Blue (GW).
- Highlights with Fenrisian Grey (GW).
- Extreme highlights with Ghost Grey (Vallejo).
The surface scratches were done with thinned out Fenrisian Grey.
I also have a guide on painting black if you’re interested.
There’s two methods I used for the Orruk skin. The first is for Hakka, Basha, and Bonekutta, and the last is for Gurzag.
- Base coat with Waaagh! Flesh (GW).
- Layer/blend with Sick Green (Vallejo).
- Wash with Athonian Camoshade (GW).
- Layer/blend with Sick Green.
- Highlight with Goblin Green (Vallejo).
- Light wash with Athonian Camoshade.
- Extreme highlight with Goblin Green.
- Base coat with Castellan Green (GW).
- Wash with Athonian Camoshade.
- Layer/blend with Castellan Green.
- Highlights with Death World Forest(GW).
- Wash with Athonian Camoshade.
- Extreme highlights with Death World Forest.
- Base coat with Leadbelcher.
- Wash with Nuln Oil (GW).
- Layer/blend with Leadbelcher.
- The brown areas are then washed with Agrax Earthshade.
- Highlight with Ironbreaker (GW).
- Extreme highlights with Runefang Steel.
I want to do a proper tutorial on this in the near future, but for now here’s the recipe.
- Base coat with Rhinox Hide.
- Wash with Nuln Oil.
- Sponge on Steel Legion Drab.
- Light brush strokes with Steel Legion Drab to create the hatching.
- Sponge on XV-88 for highlights.
- Light brush strokes with XV-88 for more hatching.
- Glaze with Rhinox Hide.
- Sponge with XV-88 for final highlights.
With the warband all painted, I use the Feldherr Shadespire tray I bought for them. It’s cool because it has places for all your tokens and stuff. Makes getting ready for games, and picking up, a whole lot quicker.
I definitely recommend picking one of these up. They make them for each warband and the price is great.
There you have it. Months of work for painting 4 models. While I wish it didn’t take so long (damn you life!), I’m very happy with the result.
Up next is Steelheart’s Champions and I’ve got a different approach I’m going to take with them. Hopefully I’ll have some WIP shots of them some time next week.
While I’m no pro with Ironskull’s Boyz, I do have some thoughts and advice on using them.
Lastly, if you’re curious about Shadespire, and whether it’s a game for you, then definitely check out my review.
- The Year That Was 2020 and Where I’ve Been - January 17, 2021
- Top 5 Reasons Why Most People Fail at Miniature Painting - July 6, 2020
- Why You’ll Never Be as Good a Painter as You Want to Be - July 1, 2020