Saturday, 28 March 2015

Paints used: Vallejo, Reaper Master Series, Games Workshop Washes, Com Art Medea Airbrush
Paint Brushes: Rosemary & Co. Raphael 8040, Broken Toad Brushes

Raiding the lands of the Tomb Kings, Marilste and an escort of Ch'Ihll guard seized a fabled clutch of Golden Hydra eggs. This being is the first Golden Hydra to walk the earth in millennia. Marlieste will do everything in his power to break the will of the Hydra, retarding its normal growth with black magics to keep it stunted and small so that he may ride it into war for millennia to come. 


This is a model near and dear to my heart. I saw this model for the first time in the Dark Elf Army book (3rd/4th edition), and he subsequently popped up in the 4th edition Rule Book, White Dwarf entries and various other supporting picture content for Games Workshop products. I only remember seeing him on foot (although I am assured the Hydra makes appearances in the 4th edition books). As an over indulged only child it infuriated the hell out of me that I could not buy this model (of the America Games Day only release executioners). 

This grudge would stay with me throughout my adolescent life and into adulthood. Then eBay happened. 

There are a multitude of things you have to think of when approaching this kind of project. Should it be painted in an old hammer style, or should I use more modern techniques? Should I use the original size base, a modern sized base appropriate for the create, or go with what I think looks best? Colour choice - should I go with a classic scheme or should I go for something uncommon? Should I glue the model in place or magnetised it? 

I love the work of Georg Damm (more commonly known as Georc) and I feel that I'm walking in his shadow when painting this model. Although his own version was done many years ago and does not reflect the magnitude of painter he has turned into, it still remains a seminal piece for this model. 

Georg took the classic approach, using earthy tones to produce a paint job in line with my conception of a Hydra (Jason and the Argonauts has left an impression). The Black robes of the sorcerer work well with the overall tone of the model. If Georg hadn't have conquered this scheme already I would have done something similar. However why go over ground well covered? 

Why the yellow? It stems from a linked mini campaign (one of the new digital ones - I believe it is called northern wastes) I played with a friend where my Dark Elves were exploring a part of Troll Country and inadvertently stumbled on the outskirts of a Tomb Kings metropolis. Over the course of the campaign the idea surfaced that the Sorcerer Lord was on a quest for the fabled Golden Hydra of Khursh. The final scenario saw us battle beneath the fabled hydra - but instead of the flesh and blood hydra the sorcerer was led to believe it was, instead it was a literal golden statue shaped in the image of a hydra. Disappointed, the Lord ordered the statue cut apart by his corsair bodyguard and smelted down, only to find a hydra egg at its heart. 

The model was painted with an airbrush to block in the colours - base, shading and broad highlights, then I switched t a brush to define the details and wash a bit of interest into the yellows. I used russet browns in the shadow and ink in between the scales. I knew from previous experience that turquoise works well as an accent colour to yellow. I purposefully varied the patterns on the heads - you do not see exact patterns being repeated across species, why should it be the same on this? Although I used what I consider to be more modern techniques I still used old school techniques to help bridge the gap between now and then. 

I didn't go for the small square base, but I went for the more modern rectangle. The model is very front heavy (if you look ad the photographs of the base you can see there is a slight bend on the centre) but I felt this better help frame the model - from streamers to heads. I have not glued the Sorcerer lord to the Hydra but instead I've attached a thick brass rod from his feet that go through the Howdah, into the back of the hydra. Once threaded it holds as seen in the photos, which I imagine will make for some scary moments when balancing on terrain. I don't believe that magnetising is the answer here as the models are lead and very heavy. 

This model will form the core of the Ch'Ihll rearguard. Much like my child hood self, the Sorcerer (named Marilste) is a collector or rarities and monsters. His host will comprise of classic Citadel miniatures and any monsters that I collect.



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