Like A Rolling Stone

Ross builds and paints the herdstone

The Beasts of Chaos herdstone is one of those lovely 0 point models that’s quite hard to paint. It gives some great buffs to the army with an expanding bubble of immunity to bravery tests and -1 armour save to my enemies. It also gives access to a summoning mechanic. All in all, it’s an essential in the army. But that meant painting the bugger – which wouldn’t even count to my monthly total in our Tale of Gamers.

If I was being generous, I think I am at least an above average painter of small infantry models. As you can see from my recently started Instagram, I spent a lot of the first lockdown cracking through various NPCs for hypothetical skirmish and narrative Warhammer 40k games. However, I’ve never been great at big models. I bought an airbrush to knock through some tanks, but the fiddly centrepiece thing isn’t really solved by that. In an earlier post I alluded to the fact that I largely messed up the tree of Nurgle for my Maggotkin army. I was not going to make the same mistake again, which meant subassemblies, care and time.

Nurgle maggotkin painted with contrast paint
Messiness on nurgle minis can be forgiven to a point…

The herdstone was at least easy to put together and the top and bottom halves slotted together neatly, making a natural break. I left off the chains and wooden props for (much) later. In the spirit of personalisation, I gave my stone a rather fetching earring and an offering of a giant’s hand (sorry Paul).

Unpainted, part-built Beasts of Chaos herdstone

First up was the base. This had an enormous number of trophies and offerings. In order to speed them up, I decided to spray Wraithbone, paint them with contrast and then do the stone with traditional methods. Still not sure if this was the right approach, but despite the time required to manually repaint grey plastic grey, it worked ok. I was reassured by the progress. I used my go to stone recipe, two thin coats of Vallejo Neutral Grey, a controlled wash of Nuln Oil, and a heavy drybrush of Ulthuan Grey.

Part painted Beasts of Chaos herdstone

Moving onto the top half introduced a new challenge – runes. I’d seen that many people had added a glow, and frankly that wasn’t really a strong suit of mine. Rather spontaneously I’d used some Tesseract Glow on the dangling stones and rather liked the effect. Ah ha! Choosing an inconspicuous rune on the back of the model, I tested a rough splotch of Tesseract over the rune’s approximate area. The effect was good. After adding the glow all over, I went back and mixed it with a little yellow for a highlight in the centre of the glow, and finally Nuln Oil in the etchings of the runes to make them stand out again. I’m rather pleased with the effect!

Runes painted on a Beats of Chaos herdstone.

With that solved I entered the home stretch. Rust on the metals, weathering to tie the stone to the surface, and blood & guts were all added. Then came the chains (which did not fit easily) and wooden stakes. And it was done! Or at least for now. I’m going to have to put it on a base – it just looks wrong without one. Barring that however, that is how I painted my herdstone – and I must say I’m rather pleased with how it came out in the end!

The slow, deliberate sub-assembly process paid off. It took time, and a confidence that the long term goal would come together even if it looked like a mess throughout. I’m much less scared to face bigger models now.

Time to sacrifice some ungors to it and praise be to Morghur!

By Ross

Find more of my stuff at vexed_to on Instagram.

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