Saturday, August 6, 2022

Sláine 1 - Skull Sword Contrast Test Model

The recent Sláine release from Warlord Games was something I've been waiting for for a while. I'm a huge 2000AD fan, and of Sláine in particular. With some friends already painting up factions for the game, it wasn't something I wasn't going to be able to resist. So I gently laid aside the Silver Bayonet for now and took up the stone axe.

I decided to paint up the Drunes. I'm more often than not drawn to the bad guys, and their leader, the Lord Weird Slough Feg, is a childhood favourite. He's like Skeletor's cranky grandad. Sláine draws on rich seam of Celtic history and myth, and laces it heavily with delicious fantasy tropes. The Drunes, my faction of choice, misuse the Earth power running through the land, eventually turning it sour in their greed. So a lot to identify with there from modern life. At least Feg is straight up about destroying the world. Would vote for.

Anyhow, I decided with this project to go full Contrast paints, pale primer, the works. So with some (loads) of help from Juan Hidalgo's YouTube channel, I set to work on the first Skull Sword.

Lord Vade- I mean Feg will not be pleased.

Skull Swords are Drune soldiery. Bearing the dreaded Triskele and willing to part heads from shoulders at their master's slightest whim, they are a nasty lot. They wear breath masks to protect them from their Drune masters foul stench, as Drune priests begin to decay as they become more powerful, and you can only get someone a Christmas deodorant gift set so many times.

Yeah, look at those Skull Swords, getting their... asses... kicked...

I was on new ground painting this fellow, so there was a lot to learn. I usually paint metals first, but this time they'd be the last thing I painted on the mini. I find contrast very pleasing to work with, but up until this point it had been more of a supplement to my style. This was a another level though, and I'd have to dispense with some tried and tested ways of doing things. Old dog, new tricks? I dunno...

I borrowed heavily from Juan's Kruleboy Eavy Contrast painting video, as it has lots of natural materials like leather and wood. I find his videos suit my style well, and aren't too time consuming. One thing that did give me a bit of a pain in the arse is re-touching the primer after working on an adjacent area. That said, the Skull Sword took about four hours in total. I reckon I could shave an hour off that now I have the colours picked and I'm not searching for techniques. I'd probably batch paint troops too, maybe groups of three, which, conveniently is the size of a unit of Skull Swords in the Sláine game. 

I painted the bases in my usual recipe. Some dead leaves and withered plants give a nice impression of sourland.

I do like the control I get with painting the metallics more like I paint other colours; base, wash and highlights for the most part. I usually use a lot of drybrushing on metals, and I think I still will for things like chainmail and such. Contrast paints are fantastic, but they are just another arrow in the painting quiver. I do love being able to tint metals with Contrast so you can easily turn a single basecoat into steel, bronze, gold or whatever. I used Canoptek Alloy as the base metal colour on the Skull Sword as I like the warmer tone.

So, with the tester done, time for some buddies for this fellow.


  1. A fine job for your first outing I would say. Looking forward to seeing his buddies.


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