Make ’em extra shiny: Painting Lumineth Realm-lords

Jim adds some colour to his aelven war host

Choosing a colour scheme for an army is always a fun part of the process for me. Ross wrote a superb post recently on his method of testing colours on expendable models before starting on the actual force. This is a great method for finalising a paint scheme. I usually tend to run this part of the process on the actual models I will be painting unless I’m planning to use new methods that are unfamiliar to me and have a chance of going horribly wrong. So, before I even ordered my first Lumineth models I was expecting to build a few to try some colours on before getting started for real.

The inspiration for my (a)elven host was clear to me from the start – I am an enormous Tolkien fan. I have been since my early teens, but in the last couple years my fandom has truly shifted up a few gears thanks to the excellent Prancing Pony Podcast and their chapter-by-chapter discussion of The Professor’s legendarium. It was thanks to this podcast that I was finally able to work my way through The Silmarillion. For such an infamously dense (and in the opinions of naysayers, “dry”) tome, for me it was a rich unveiling of a sumptuous and exciting mythology.

Lots of Tolkien books on a shelf
Jim is aware that Tolkien would be fuming at the idea of post-Norman knights propping up his Saxon-inspired writings

Something that I have said several times to my hobby peers is that the Age of Sigmar, to me, feels as if The Silmarillion is happening after The Lord of the Rings. The slightly intangible, mist-shrouded time of legends should eventually settle into a lived-in, graspable world that mirrors our own history, but with magic and fantasy races. In the case of Warhammer, that more believable version of the world was blown up and what followed feels like a far-distant time of mythology. But that’s the way the lembas crumbles, so relating the Age of Sigmar to The Silmarillion helped me get a bit more of a grasp on a setting that, to me, still doesn’t quite feel real, even in the Tolkienian sense of secondary belief.

My newfound fascination for the earlier ages of Tolkien’s legendarium certainly inspired my army choice. While the elves played important supporting roles in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, they were clearly a people in decline. Contrastingly, many of the stories that make up The Silmarillion are set in the heyday of these first children of Ilúvatar, along with the politics and wars between their various factions and their struggle with the original evil; Morgoth (or Melkor – it’s Tolkien so he has many names). On the topic of the big bad, one of the most inspiring images from The Silmarillion has to be Fingolfin’s duel with Morgoth.

Painting of Fingolfin's duel with Morgoth
Gaze upon this awe-inspiring piece by Deviant Artist JMKilpatrick

I wanted to somehow recreate the sense of of heroism and strength embodied by the character of Fingolfin in my Lumineth Realm-lords. Scouring the interwebs I came across this other rather lovely piece of art depicting the second High King of the Ñoldor.

A painted portrait of Fingolfin holding a sword and shield
Devian Artist BellaBergolts has a large collection of gorgeous fantasy and Tolkienian art

So, that was my colour scheme chosen. Rich blue and super-shiny silver. Not too dissimilar from the classic High Elves of the Old World, to be fair, but I liked the look of them too!

The next step was to start practicing and working out which colours I needed. However, my freshly ordered Lumineth Realm-Lords kits and Battletome arrived and it seems either Tyrion or Galadriel had blessed me this day. I looked at the back of the Vanari Auralan Wardens box and what did I see?

Back of the box of lumineth wardens from Games Workshop
He looks ready to enter the Olympic pole-vault

I was taken aback by how exactly this little elf matched the colour scheme in my head (and I swear to you I had not seen any photos of this scheme before). Well, that’s the decision-making and testing done for me! Lovely. When life gives you lemons…

To top it all off, there’s a guide in the Lumineth Realm-Lords Battletome for creating this scheme. I’ll leave you with a step-by-step of my first attempt following that guide to create the ice-cool bluey-silver armour.

Step by step armour painting on a lumineth realm-lords vanari auralan warden
  1. Start with Corax White spray. No, not Wrathbone! You want these colours to be really vibrant, so it’s time for the dreaded white undercoat
  2. Basecoat the armour with a few thin and even coats of Ironbreaker. You will barely be able to see the first coat against the white but keep building it up smoothly
  3. Now the fun part; generously coat the armour with a 1:3 mix of Akhelian Green Contrast Paint and Contrast Medium
  4. Bring back the shiny with a layer of Ironbreaker, leaving that stunning bluey-green contrast paint showing in the recesses

After these steps I move on to other areas of the model, building up all the basecoats and most of the layers. When most of the model has a few layers on it, I then highlight the armour with some delicate strokes of Stormhost Silver on the edges. This makes it really pop!

A nearly finished Lumineth Warden
Bring your sunglasses if you’re going to fight these guys

Ok, so far so good. Now to do this more than twenty-times by the end of February…

By Jim

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