Prep Work: Helbrute

Not a very exciting picture but I’ve finished up the prep work on the Helbrute so I can begin painting him. I had a fair amount of gap filling to do on this guy, some of which you can see.


I’m really looking forward to painting this Helbrute up. It’s my favorite model from the Dark Vengeance kit and it’s time I sat down and really worked on something for fun. Of course it’s a model I’ll use, it’s in my list for this month’s tournament at my FLGS, but with my painting backlog getting smaller and smaller I feel I can really put some effort into this model beyond just getting it painted for the table.

I’ve reached that point with painting where I feel it’s time to push myself. I have been working more and more with blending and I feel this is a perfect model to really work on that some more and improve upon it. I really like the new Chaos look of blending flesh and metal together and I feel I can do more with it than I have been. It will be a ton of work and will take me a while to do but there’s so much detail on this model that anything less seems like a waste.

Lately I’ve been really inspired by the work of James Wappel. He’s a painter I heard a lot about but never took the time to check him out until recently, and man can this guy paint. His work makes me hang my head in shame as nothing I’ve done can come close to what he accomplishes. At the same time though it’s inspired me and there’s a lot to be learned from James. I don’t intend to replicate his amazing work, not that I could, but instead to try to incorporate some of what he does into what I do and create my own thing.

Hopefully this week I can put brush to model and get this started. I can’t wait.


The model has since been finished if you’d like to see the Helbrute painting showcase.

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James has a very unique style. He’s firmly in the non-metallic metals (NMM) camp, which requires an incredible level of skill with blending. It’s a skill you can apply anywhere, but the NMM issue is very polarizing in the paint-judging arena. Everyone agrees it’s an advanced skill, but the anti-NMM camp feels it just doesn’t pull a model together; that it detracts from the “grimdarkness” of 40K armies. It’s sort of a funny debate. An advanced technique that takes years of practice to achieve, but that is looked down on because it doesn’t achieve a certain vibe.
The Helbrute looks like a fun one to paint. The Chaos models in Dark Vengeance all look like a lot of fun to paint.


James is pretty much my favorite miniature painter. I think it’s because his technique is very painterly, and thus lends itself the freedom and expression that we lose a bit in other types of miniature painting. I was a bit sad he isn’t teaching at adepticon this year, but he will be in attendance at least! I heard some pretty funny stories about his other classes, where he basically took brushes away from people. (his technique requires you use #6 and #8 sized brushes! on minis!).

The one thing I have learned more then anything else, after taking classes, and talking to various painters….just experiment. Just keep experimenting. Many techniques you see people use are the result of happy accidents when just messing around.

No matter your technique, no matter your brush, no matter your paint. As long as you keep doing it, you will improve!

Looking forward to what you do with the helbrute!