Tutorial: Painting bleak and dreary Deathworld terrain

Have you ever painted a model, unit or terrain piece only to forget how you did it? What paints did I use? What techniques? And in what order? You know you forgotten all that. I have. About a gazillion times.

When I started painting my Shardwrack Spines I knew that if they come out looking cool I did continue building my Deathworld. So it came to me, don’t be daft, Thomas, document what you are doing this time around. And I did, snapping a shot of each stage.

Just to further help me remember how I went about painting them I’ll make this post. I know, it’s more for myself but who knows, you might find something in here useful too.

Step by step guide to painting bleak and dreary Deathworld terrain.

How to paint Shardwrack Spines

1. I primed the models with Chaos Black spray and gave them a quick semi-covering hit of Zandri Dust spray. The black is still showing through at places.

2. I picked out the biggest brush I had and gave the pieces a hard drybrush of Rakarth Flesh. Very quick and not fancy at all.

3. I took the big brush again and worked some Nurgling Green in amongst the bristles before stippling the models. The idea is to give the model a greenish hue without having the colour covering everything everywhere.

4. Wash the terrain with Agrax Earthshade. I applied a heavy wash all over but you have to watch out for pooling. It’s messy so cover your table or workspace.

How to paint Shardwrack Spines

5. After the wash dried completely I added spots of Drakenhof Nightshade here and there on the model. This gives the model a more interesting feel. It will also help tie the spines together rest of the model.

6. Return to drybrushing, I gave the terrain a light drybrush of Rakarth Flesh once more, focusing on the stem and roots.

7. I then drybrushed the piece with Pallid Wych Flesh. I was quite moderate, focusing on the most raised parts. I contemplated stopping here as they look pretty good.

8. I painted a couple of thin coats of Ahriman Blue on the spines and bulbs. That colour really pops!

How to paint Shardwrack Spines

9. A little bit Naggaroth Night half way down the spines gave them a purple top. I wanted them have dark edges and tip rather than the more obvious dark to light type detailing.

10. I used Drakenhof Nightshade to bring it all together again. I made sure that the wash went bit beyond the blue down the stem. I wanted a smooth transition. I also washed the bulbs with the same colour.

11. After the wash was dry I used some watered down Ahriman Blue to brighten the spines back up again. I left the edges dark. The bulbs got a thin coat of Ahriman Blue too, avoiding the recesses.

12. I reshaded the textured part of the spines tip with Drakenhof Nightshade and help improving the blending between the tip and the stem.

How to paint Shardwrack Spines

13. I used a light drybrush of Rakarth Flesh to smooth the transition even further focusing on the textured parts of the spines. I went about two thirds of the way up leaving the tip as it were.

14. Last step was a very light drybrush of Pallid Wych Flesh about one third up the spine.

Yeah, that’s it. Hope you enjoy the read and that it got you inspired to pick up your brushes.

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7 thoughts on “Tutorial: Painting bleak and dreary Deathworld terrain

  1. They look great, and it’s also a very good idea to document the steps, colours and techniques via your blog. I’ve done the same a few times. It also lets me steal your methods should I ever find some of these spines for cheap! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks mate. I’m pleased that I documented every step this time. There is no way that I’ll remember it all a few months from now.

      And feel to use my methods. That would be the highest form of praise.

      Liked by 1 person

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