Warband Showcase: Starblood Stalkers

Green space lizards are the best

Welcome to another Warband Showcase. After my last installment with my Lady Harrow’s Mournflight, I’m now doing one for my Starblood Stalkers! They were a lot of fun to paint and people wanted to know how I did them so I’m more than happy to talk about it.


Brainstorming

For my planning phase, I already knew I wanted the Starblood Stalkers to be green. Thankfully I already had a first draft to work off of; my Skink Starswarm! I have done a warband showcase on this warband too but it had been 3 years ago yet I still thankfully remembered most of the paints I had used to paint my Shadespire re-imagining.


Research

As this project was going to be repeat of a previous one, I didn’t need to do too much research. First I knew I was going to go with zenithal painting for this warband which is basically a black undercoat then over-sprayed with white undercoat/paint to act as a “base” highlight (via my airbrushes). This would be the foundation for my green. Next I would be doing oil pin washes. I did this with my Skink Starswarm as it’s more precise and shows up better than normal pin washes. However, as it had been a while since doing so I watched up on oil/pin washing guides from Cult of Paint:

I use them a lot for guiding my painting for more complex techniques. Of course I would have to varnish the model after most of the skin was done for oil washes but that isn’t too much of a big deal. Airbrushes make that aspect so easy.


Test Models

Now I always advise doing test models before trying out a new scheme so you don’t make mistakes but as this wasn’t a new paint scheme and I had done it before, I skipped this. Still, if you’re new to a scheme, always do a test model (or models) first. This is so you know if the scheme will work for you and you don’t end up accidentally ruining your models.


Painting

I always prime with my airbrush as it’s perfect for smooth coats, then let it cure for 24 hours. After this I did some zenithal highlighting with my airbursh and Scale 75 White but you can use any white paint for this. After this was all dry, I used my custom green paint combo. For those interested I also use a wet pallet for everything too (except for the metallics). This is just because a wet pallet keeps the paints workable and thinned for a long time, just makes painting really easy.

I mainly use Scale 75 paints now due to their pigmentation and matte finish. First I zenthinal highlighted the models with thinned Scale 75 Black Forest Green. I did this in 2 thin coats so not to ruin the work of my white overspray and you should do multiple thing coats anyway. After this I highlighted with my airbrush using the following mixes: Scale 75 Black Forest Green + Scale 75 Greenskin Flesh 50/50 mix, Scale 75 Greenskin Flesh, Scale 75 Greenskin Flesh + Scale 75 Spring Green 50/50 mix and finally pure Scale 75 Spring Green.

This is how the models looked like after the skin was basically finished. Note, with each highlight I sprayed over a smaller area, mainly on points on the miniatures I wanted to draw attention to while still leaving the darker recesses. With this done, I then gloss varnished the miniatures with my airbrush and did pin oil washes with a basically black oil wash. I left this to dry for a few days but overnight is more than fine, I just had no time to paint. Once dry, I cleaned up over-spill with odorless white spirit and small makeup sponges (I find cotton buds don’t work too well). Once all this was done, I sealed everything with a matte varnish and got on with finishing the models!

The skin was finished first, just an edge highlight of Scale 75 Spring Green. Normally, this is how I finish all my miniatures. Airbrushes are amazing for basing and blending but a good edge highlight just ties everything together. More work but worth it in the end.

Bases were done next. As you may know, I keep basing the same across all my Warhammer Underworlds warbands to tie them together as all fighting in the same place. It represents fighting in the sandy desert on the edge of Shadespire. I basecoat everything with Zandri Dust, wash Casandora Yellow, wash any rocks with thinned Agrax Earthshade then drybrush everything with Ushabti Bone and you’re done! Simple, fast and effective. Once this is all done, then I just paint any other random base details with appropriate colours like a military green for plant life and purples/reds etc for small animals.

Gold was the next big colour to block in. I keep changing how I paint gold now but the above image is my “shiny gold” scheme. I basecoat with Scale 75 Viking Gold, wash with Reikland Fleshshade Gloss then edge highlight with Scale 75 Moonstone Alchemy. I use the gloss wash in order to not dull down the gold, the finish looks weird but I will use a matte varnish to tie everything together in the end. If you don’t plan on varnishing, you can just use normal Reikland Fleshshade instead.

The next big colour I blocked in were the scales. I couldn’t find the paints I originally used for my Skink Starswarm so I just winged it. I used Incubi Darkness first to give the scales that dark turquoise feel without the bright blue tinge of the later colours. Then I washed everything with Coelia Greenshade. Once dry I edge highlighted with Thousand Sons Blue and then Ahriman Blue at the points.

Finally I blocked in all the black areas which were the claws and weapon poles. I paint all my black like this, going on for years now. I just like “cool” black over using grey higlights. First I basecoat everything with Vallejo Model Colour Black as it’s sooo matte with amazing coverage. Then I edge highlight with Vallejo Panzer Aces Periscopes and a fine edge highlight of Fenrisian Grey.

With all the main colours blocked in. I finished off all the odd details here and there such as skin flaps, eyes and teeth. Then I gloss varnished everything and sealed with a matte varnish. I do this for protection on my models and to give them all the same finish. Plus I just like that matte look.


Pictures

That’s my finished Starblood Stalkers! They’re beautiful and GREEN. For those interested, I painted the weapon scales red for more contrast and the feathers were painted red then blended from purple to blue with contrast paints. Anything silver was painted with a simple silver mix and that was it. I painted Otaptl bright pale green to make it stand out as almost an albino green Skink. I painted it like how Nick Bayton did for the official Games Workshop painting guide which you can see here:

Now for some close-ups:

The eyes I painted yellow with black slits. They just look so good for animals. Tongues were all painted purple too for more contrast. Skink skin-flaps were basically painted pale orange for contrast as well. Klaq-Troq’s zigzag red and blue triangles were just painted with 3 coats of red and blue contrast paint respectively. I would have done it on Kixi-Taka too but I almost went mad blocking those colours in on Klaq-Troq. Took forever as any errors would have ruined the technique.

Overall I’m super pleased with how my Starblood Stalkers turned out. It took way too long to paint as I intended to only spend a week painting them but ended up taking around 2 months. Still, they look amazing and should now roll extra crits thanks to the power of being painted and GREEN!

My quest to paint all the Direchasm warbands continues like how I completed the same with the Beastgrave warbands. I have 5 Direchasm warbands painted now with a 6th in progress. Hopefully I can speed through them through summer as we all know that painted warbands roll the most crits!

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