The Nation of Hastur: The Few, the Proud, the Unnamable
A Painting Tutorial for Operation Klondike
By Peter 'wackrabbit' Wort
The colors of the Nation of Hastur are yellow ochre and black, the latter usually being added as wavy lines. Many warriors place their interpretation of the Yellow Sign in a prominent place on their machines. The Yellow Sign consists of an irregular three-armed cross, with no two exactly alike.
1. I chose a crazed-looking resculpt Banshee model for my interpretation of the scheme, primed the model in white and based it on an MDF hex base. The model was modified beforehand by cutting away the right leg from the base to create a walking pose, but that is a tutorial for another time.
The selection of primer was due to the need to keep the base colors bright, while allowing for multiple washes without darkening the model too much. The techniques I used for this model are actually pretty simple, with no directional highlighting, for example. The effect as you will see, can be quite attractive nonetheless.
2. My paint selection is very broad. I like a lot of cheap craft paints especially Americana, but for certain things, like metallics and bright colors, I tend to go with GW or Vallejo.
3. Once the primer is completely dry, which can take up to 24 hours for a decent cure),I painted the model overall in Americana Antique Gold (actually Yellow Ochre, not a metallic!) and allowed that to dry completely. I thinned the paint very slightly with water (about 1 part water to five parts paint), to allow the paint to flow smoothly.
4. The next step was an overall wash in slightly diluted (about 1 part water to three of wash), GW Devlan Mud. This coat allows for sharp definition of panel lines, which are a wonderful part of this particular model. It also darkens the overall model slightly, which I will use to advantage later on.
5. Once this was completely dry, I started painting a few panels in the base color Autumn Gold to show a differing age between panels. I then used some Vallejo Olive Drab to represent spare parts robbed from an old brian cache. I chose to do this to no more than about 25% of the panels as the effect I wanted was a very dirty, lived-in mech.
After finishing my 'base coat' I blocked out metal areas, such as gun barrels, louvered areas on the miniature and so forth with Vallejo Natural Steel. I then used the black to color in the ends of gun barrels and the cockpit windows.
6. Now for the wavy black bands which are a distinctive feature of this scheme. Taking some Americana Lamp (Ebony) Black, and a 3/0 Brush for detail, I painted some paired wavy lines on a few of the limbs and as an afterthought had a few bands radiating out from the cockpit of the 'mech. As I am presuming the lines to have been painted on in slightly better days, I purposely interrupted them before and after an olive drab panel, suggesting the repair part went on later.
7. The Yellow Sign was painted on the lower Torso in Vallejo Golden Yellow, to provide a definite contrast against the Antique Gold, I chose a sort of swirl with uncoordinated arms twisting in different directions. Yours may vary as much as you like as no two would have been done exactly the same.
8. Finishing touches. At this point I began to add details such as the cockpit lensing in a sort of sickly bright green (successive shades, layering to a GW Scorpion Green) and lensing the small laser in the head in red. Normally I use green for smalls, but I wanted to contrast with the cockpit color. I did the PPC barrel in green. I also took some GW Badab Black wash and hit the metallic areas I had blocked out before, to create some shadows.
9. Basing. I use the same general basing method for my minis and it consists of three steps: Base edging, Rocking and Flocking. Some folk will notice a slight blasphemy here in that I have not used spackle or something similar on the base to hide the step between the edge of the casting base and the base itself. Mostly I find that artful application of basing materials can very effectively hide such sins, but you will see the result and can judge for yourself.
Base edging is done by selecting an olive, or earth color appropriate to the general environment you imaging the mini inhabiting, in this case a medium brown (GW Bestial Brown), and painting the edges of the hex base in that color, with as many coats as needed to ensure good coverage, and allow to dry.
Rocking is where I take a slightly different color, in this case Americana Terra Cotta, and thickly coat the top of the base, then dip the wet base in a tray containing very fine sand mixed 50% with fine yellow or brown flock. I then tap and blow off the excess material.
Flocking is where, after allowing the rocked surface to dry completely, I take white glue and some model railroad Talus, or fine gravel, and static grass or foam foliage, and beautify the base strategically.
10. Weathering. (advanced) A number of my cohorts on CSO have dabbled in weathering and battle damage effects and I wanted to try a couple for this model. This worked out well for me, but can be a little hair-raising and not recommended if you're not up to it.
Using a bit of soft foam cut to a rough point, dipped lightly in thick black paint, I softly brushed exposed areas and corners of the model, knowing that overdoing it would ruin the work I had put into the model up to this point.
Having speckled small bits of the model, I took some GW Chainmail on a 5/0 brush and dotted about 75% of the larger black specks with a bit of metallic. Here's the result:
And there you are, a marvelous mixed-up minion of Hastur, masters of disaster!