Knights of Chaos
Two updates in a week? Truly some foul sorcery is at work here! Actually it’s a side effect of being off sick from work for a reasonably long time, I’ve had time to crack on with painting as it’s one of the few things I can still do while I convalesce.
Anyhow, the latest addition to the collection of painted figures is this unit of Chaos Knights. My Warriors of Chaos army has a Tzeentchian theme to it and for me, the standard black and brooding colour scheme doesn’t really work. Additionally as these are amongst the most elite warriors in the army (actually they are pretty elite compared to most things in any army), I wanted them to be individualistic and unique. So it is then that I decided to paint them each with a different colour palette to show their status as the warrior nobility in the warband. These are really nice models and come with a variety of options for heads, shields and weapons – more than enough of each to avoid any duplication. They are also big, the barded Empire warhorses as used by the Knightly Orders for example are about two-thirds the size of these monsters. You will need to take care when assembling them and when attaching them to their base to make sure that the unit will rank up (mine doesn’t) as they overhang significantly on both sides of the base. I’m expecting that I will buy a second box for a larger unit (hello 8th edition!) and they will be planted at the extreme backs and fronts of their cavalry bases so that they can rank up between these. That’s something for another day though.
The first figure I completed was the champion. Actually he may not be the champion after all as I’m still somewhat undecided. All of the figures that aren’t carrying a standard or a horn could reasonably be used as the champion as they are all distinctive enough. This guy at least has a lightning charged sword which may tip things in his favour. He’s painted over a white basecoat (they all are actually) with Orkhide Shade which was washed with Thraka Green and then highlighted and glazed with a variety of greens and purples to get a nice rich effect on the armour. The horse is Thraka Green over the white undercoat and then highlighted and tidied up with thinned down Goblin Green and Skull White.
I did the sword purple with purple lightning all over it and this is a cool effect that’s easy to achieve if you take it a step at a time. First paint on very thin lines roughtly where your lightning will go, these can be quite broad and should be about a half shade above the base colour – the same sort of difference you’d use for a highlight. Then you highlight the centre of these lines in a slightly more erratic way so that the highlight follows more closely the final line of the lightning itself. After this you paint in the lines of the lightning bolts in a very pale colour, I printed out some photos of lightning to use as a reference for the way that it forks and flashes to and fro. These lines need to be very thin and some need to be painted in as almost invisible wisps in very thin paint. Finally take some pure white and highlight parts of the line, major branches and so forth. It’s time consuming to do it properly but it looks really nice.
Next up was the Bone Knight. I put this guy together specifically thinking that his weapon, shield and armour detail would look good in bone. He’s done in my normal bone style which is yellowing and aged looking rather than stark and white. It starts off as Snakebite Leather and gets highlighted up with Bleached Bone and Skull White. His horse and the detail trim were painted grey and the mail barding on the horse was given a pale bronze effect by washing Chainmail with Gryphonne Sepia and then highlighting with a mixture of Mithril Silver and Burnished Gold.
I tackled the standard bearer next, and I’d decided I liked the idea of a yellow knight. Blue and yellow are traditional colours for Tzeentch and I wanted to feature them both. I didn’t want this guy to look like a Tonka toy though so I kept the yellow dirty by painting it onto a Snakebite Leather base and highlighting with Bubonic Brown and Golden Yellow in a hatching pattern rather than as a smooth highlight. The banner was done on a base of Hormagaunt Purple and highlighted up with various blues. Finally a starfield was painted on with a Tzeentch icon painted in as if it were a constellation. I may redo this later as I’m not 100% happy with it but it’s good enough for the tabletop at the moment.
By now the end was in sight and I went for the musician. This was the blue one to balance the yellow standard bearer. The base of Mordian Blue was give the same treatment as the green armour on the first knight although this time using blue and purple washes and glazes. It was highlighted with Ultramarine Blue and curlicues painted in with very thin Enchanted Blue on the flat parts of the armour and shield. The metallic pieces were painted Mithril Silver and then washed with successive layers of watered down red, blue and purple inks. They were then highlighted with Dwarf Bronze and Burnished Gold. This was an experiment that I had no idea on how it would end up but I’m happy with the result.
Finally I tackled the lancer. My Chaos knights will all be fighting with hand-weapons but, in the interests of making the unit look less uniform and also because I really liked that particular weapon, I equipped one with a big choppy lance. This guy was originally going to be white but I decided that this would be too bright and so it ended up a very pale dove grey. This is Codex Grey with a Devlan Mud wash and then highlighted up with Fortress Grey, Space Wolf Grey and Skull White. The horse is Devlan Mud over the white undercoat and then highlighted with Graveyard Earth and Kommando Khaki.
You can see more pictures of the Knights on this gallery page.