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Painting and Finishing the Doombull

UPDATE 9/8/17: Here’s a video of the finished model (still one of my favourites).

Find the origins of this project post here.

Find the post about the making of the wings here.

It’s been really nice to do some painting for a change as it’s been so long since I’ve really sat down and painted pretty much anything. I expected my collection of GW paints to have dried out long ago, but going through them I only ended up throwing away 2 that were beyond use. I was planning to invest in a fresh set of Vallejo paints, and even though I don’t necessarily need to now, I still think I’ll give them a go.

To start with I undercoated the model white and then undercoating the wings after in black. I know I want the wings to be very raven-like and because they essentially just need to be dry brushed I’m leaving that till last, as I don’t have to worry about rubbing paint off as I handle the model.

I wanted to give him a greyish brown skin tone. Using a combination of Bleached Bone, Bubonic Brown, Chaos Black, Skull White, Badab Black Ink I worked back and forth to to find the right mid tone, not too grey not too brown. This is the thing I enjoy about painting, working on highlighting and shading, especially in things like skin tone.

I’m pretty happy with the skin at the moment, maybe needs a bit more work but it’s close to finished. I’m a little unsure how to paint the armour plating other than I wanted all the armour the same colour. This guy is aligned to Tzeentch, but I want this alignment to be subtly done. At the moment the armour is painted Boltgun Metal with a liberal coat of Black Ink (the old GW ink). Not sure about this “Dark Iron” effect yet, as the shiny finish on the old Black Ink is a bit off putting. I may give the model a thin coat of Testors Dullcote to get rid of that shine before I do anything else.

The model definitely needs more colour as it’s a bit monotone at the moment. One thing I am considering is some kind of pattern either etched onto the armour or tattooed onto the upper arm. This image (I’m very excited about Guild Wars 2) is my main inspiration for the colour palette I wanted to use on the model originally.

Updated: April 25th 2012

I put in some much needed time painting my Winged Doombull recently.

Although I was inspired by a Tzeentch themed Doombull from an ancient White Dwarf issue aswell as the Tzeentch themed content from Warhammer Online when I began this project I’ve felt rather stuck when it came to painting it. Because of this I’ve ended up falling back on the colours I always like on miniatures and feel comfortable painting, black, reds, browns and yellows.

Now although I really like how this is coming along, I hadn’t intended to make this a Khornate themed Beastman army. I’m very strongly focussed on the idea that an army isn’t just a collection of models you want to make effective use of in a game, but is also an aesthetically cohesive collection. So, I want the whole army to share the same colour palette, even the characters and the centrepiece models like this Doombull. Stupidly though I start with the models I most want to make and paint and always tend to leave the rank and file stuff till last.

At the moment with the red and gold armour this guy definitely looks aligned to Khorne and I could certainly imagine that an entire Beastman army decked out in these colours looking very nice on the table. However, with a little photoshop jiggery-pokery I’ve mocked up some alternate colour schemes.

Of these three I have to say the white-ish colour (I’m imagining a NMM steel) is most interesting, and I can see that working as a colour scheme for a Tzeentch themed force (polished steel and gold!). On top of this there is also the option of painting some subtle patterns on the armour plates, and I’m also really keen to add some bold tattoos, particularly to that bulging upper arm.

Other than my complete lack of ability to make decisions for myself this guy is very nearly finished and I’ve placed an order for a Beastman battalion box set (hoping that arrives tomorrow) and been searching ebay for some OOP beastmen models too.

Because my focus on building armies is the aesthetics, I like to create a rigid army list beforehand so I know exactly what models to buy and what conversions I plan on doing. This is my current 3000 point list:


Great Bray Shaman (General & lvl4) – Hagtree Fetish, Crown of Command, Obsidian Lodestone

Doombull – Wings, Heavy Armour, Shield, Warrior Bane, Talisman of Preservation

Wargor BSB – Battle Standard, The Beast Banner, Gnarled Hide, Shield, Heavy Armour

Wargor – Sword of Anti-Heroes, shield, heavy armour, Ramhorm Helm, Luckstone

Wargor – Shield, Heavy Armour, Hunting Spear (Champion with huge bow or crossbow)

Bray Shaman (lvl2) – Dispel Scroll, Ironcurse Icon

50 Gors – full command, extra hand weapons

30 Gors – full command

30 Ungor – full command

10 Ungor Raiders – full command

9 Chaos Warhounds

40 Bestigors – full command,  Standard of Discipline

1 Razagor (converted from SW Thunderwolf into a giant Chaos Warhound)

9 Harpies – Scouts (bird/eagle beastmen rather than Harpies)


I may swap out the Great Bray Shaman for a Beastlord and just keep the level 2 Bray Shaman for defensive purposes, but that’s a small alteration.

I’ve always had a preference for infantry heavy armies, both in Fantasy and 40k, so not only should it look really nice on the table top, most of the army can to built by buying just 4 battalion boxes, nice and straight forward. For conversions, the characters, Razagor and Harpies will be getting the full treatment, but I’m also tempted to resculpt some parts for the plastic Bestigors to bulk them up a bit, I’ll have to wait and see when the battalion box set arrives.

The exclusion of other troop types is mostly down to the look of the models, no Minotaurs for instance, and I’ve never been a fan of chariot models.

Anyhow, back to the model in question, I need to decide to either keep the red armour and paint the force as Khornate aligned or repaint it white/steel and follow the calling of the Raven God. Whichever I choose will also influence the future Warriors of Chaos allied contingent I want to collect, as I don’t like the idea of mixing patrons.

Decisions, decisions…..

Updated: May 4th 2012

Looking back I think this project has run close to the 12 month mark. There’s still the temptation to tweak the paintjob, especially the wings but I don’t want to risk going too OTT. Effectively this guy is ready to be varnished. The little glass health potion on his belt is just tacked on at the moment because varnish would probably ruin its appearance, so after varnishing I’ll attach it properly.

I’m very pleased with the finished model, the white armour looks great and I finally got to add a Tzeetchian tattoo to his upper arm as a finishing touch. I’ve considered adding other tattoos, maybe on one side of his face, but honestly don’t want to run the risk of screwing it up at this late stage.

So there we go, one model down, 180-ish Beastmen to go…

If the rest take as long as this one I should have a finished army ready for Warhammer Fantasy 53rd Edition.

So what’s next for the Beastman army?

Well for the moment I’m going to resist the temptation to work on the other characters and get some rank and file done. I happen to really like the Ungor and Gor plastics as they are and there’s really nothing that stands out that I feel needs changing. The Bestigor are nice models but I think I can tweak them a little to match their army book entry artwork a little better. I also dislike the notion of having all members of a unit in the same pose, it’s ok for elves but not so much for Beastmen. Of course this will lead to issues getting the models to rank up so that will require a fair amount of extra effort.

I also bought an Empire Griffon model on a whim the other day. It is without a doubt my favourite “big kit” that GW has released. Perhaps I’ll save it for a Warriors of Chaos allied contigent, or maybe even use it as a Jabberslythe proxy but that doesn’t really feel appropriate. I do feel an overwhelming urge to find someway to convert it, at the moment I’m mulling over the idea of adding an extra layer of detail to the feathers to make them more ruffled looking, but otherwise it’s pretty close to perfect.

One nice detail I found in the kit is the wizard’s eagle headdress. I’m going to use that as a starting point to making my Harpies, which will be bird like Beastmen rather than actual Harpies.

Other than that I’m still working on the Artscale Terminator Tutorial which I hope to have finished real soon.

February 19, 2012

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  • Erich

    go with the tattoos they are a must heck do a little of both lots of tatt’s and som bronze etching on the armor would help bring him to life. And maybe some color to his face/head. But heck of a start!

  • Erich

    Also i ment ask are you using an airbrush?

    • TBH I’m not a fan of airbrushs. I know result can be really good but I enjoy the artistry of a good paint brush.

      I’ll have that chain tutorial posted later tonight with a little luck.