Skip to toolbar
Maledrakh’s odyssey into the Warhammer Underworlds

Maledrakh’s odyssey into the Warhammer Underworlds

Supported by (Turn Off)

Project Blog by maledrakh

Recommendations: 183

About the Project

I seem to constantly be on the back foot with playing catchup with new releases. So naturally, I come around to the Warhammer Underworlds first season starter set after they release the second seasons one... I have held the thought to do all the Shadespire models for some time. Since I now am done with the Bobbybox, I have chosen to embark on the journey into the underworlds of Warhammer. More of my work can be seen at my blog

This Project is Active

The Grymwatch

Tutoring 2
Skill 4
Idea 3
No Comments

The Ghouls, aka the Flesh-Eater Court faction’s warband was the first to be released seperately for Beastgrave, the third season of the Warhammer Underworld game, apart from the warbands in the Beastgrave game set that is.

As soon as I saw these, I knew I had to have them. Still, it took me several months after building and undercoating them until I got around to actually painting them. Much like most minis I compulsively buy. I still have first and second season warbands to paint…and most of a ghoul king army…

I did these in the same sitting as the Reaper Bones Hungering Dead. Luckily, ghouls can be really quickly painted with good results.

These I had undercoated black with white zenithal when I first bought them, before standing around gathering dust for a few months.

Duke Crakmarrow is ostensibly the leader even though he has no cape. Serious foot on rock, though. And the larger 32mm base.


The Duke’s Harriers, his pet bats. Where he gets the batshit to go with his crazy. 32mm base.


Valreek the Tracker. With uncovered female details, creepy Ringu-hair and all. 25mm base.


The Night’s Herald. Let’s hope he doesn’t go down like a total punk, as the Night’s King did. 25mm base.



The Royal Butcher. Taking the concept of Meat Hooks slightly too far. 25mm base.


Master Talon. Looking guiltily up from his little unsanctioned snack break. 25mm base.


Gristlewel the Greatsword. Magically induced delusions are powerful things. For example, they let a bludeoning giant femur cleave it’s victims in twain just like a giant sword would do! 25mm base.


These I painted using several different contrast paints and shades over the zenithal undercoat. When dry I lightly drybrushed the topmost bits, did the details and bases, and done! All in one sitting. Black eyesockets with a single white dot for eyes make them really creepy and evil looking.


Looks like meat’s back on the menu, lads!


The Grymwatch

For the Warhammer Underworlds game, Beastgrave series.

Made by Games Workshop

HIPS plastic

32mm and 25mm bases.

Currently available

Thundrik's Profiteers

Tutoring 2
Skill 4
Idea 3
No Comments

It’s time to take stock of the Warhammer Underworlds warbands project. I still have a few unpainted warbands to go before completion, and a new season is upon us! Time to step up.

From the Shadespire season 1 block I only have the Skaven Spiteclaw’s Swarm left to do.

From the Nightvault season 2 block, I still have the base set’s Stormcast Eternal Sacrosanct Stormsire’s Cursebreakers, the Troll Mollog’s Mob, the Chaos Darkoath Godsworn Hunt, the Sylvaneth Ylthari’s Guardians, and Kharadron Overlord Thundrik’s Profiteers.

And, if they are to be counted, the Dreadfane warbands Stormcast Eternal Ironsoul’s Condemnors, and the Nighthaunt banshee Lady Harrow’s Mournflight. Being far from any Barnes & Noble, I have no possibility of getting this set. Not that I particularly want it as the minis are identical to the easy to build-sets Stormcast Sequitors and Myrmourn Banshees, that I do have.

So, time to start painting:

Delving deeper into the Nightvault, we come to the Kharadron Overlords Duardin  (=Power Armoured Steampunk Dwarves) warband . The release of this faction was in my opinion where Age of Sigmar really took a hard turn into leftfield to depart from it’s Tolkienlike / Warhammer Fantasy roots. They really are a far cry from the crossbow-wielding dwarfs of yesteryear, and are much more akin to the Squats of Warhammer 40k fame, at least aesthetic-wise.

It should have been the Skaven Stormfiends that held this dubious honour, but they were in fact released for Warhammer Fantasy Battles before Age of Sigmar, so there you are. You might also make a case for the Stormcast Eternals, but I think they are more of a trailblazing stepping stone and that it is the Kharadron Overlords that are the point of departure that for now has culminated  with the “Ossiarch Bonereapers”.  Sigh. I am getting old, it seems. At least there is a certain originality on display, not everything being mostly derivative anymore.

That said, I like them.

I have been putting painting them off for a while as I could not decide what kind of colour scheme I would use. I generally do not like to paint minis completely identical, but in teams such as this it is nessecary to keep things similar and with a theme.

So thinking about how these neodwarves are presented as power armoured traders and privateers, ranging through the skies across the lands in search of profit.

Power (Armoured) Rangers, eh? Let the colours represent. Go! Go!


Bjorgen Thundrik, the leader. Also, the blue one. Does the heat-discolourations on the flame thrower nozzle show in the pictures at all?



Dead Eye Lund, the sharpshooter. Also the black one.


Khazgan Drakkskewer, the ballon guy with a harpoon.  Also the red one.


Garodd Alensen, groundpounder. Also the yellow one.


Enrik Ironhail, the gatling gunner. Also the pink one.


How I painted these:

These were all done in about an evening. They are actually much simpler to do than the busy detailing would lead one to believe. This because of a single main colour all over that is really easy to highlight before any of the detailing starts.

Black undercoat, heavily drybrushed all over with Vallejo Tinny Tin, followed by a lighter drybrush of Scalecolor Necro Gold and very lightly with Army Painter Greedy Gold. Details in Army Painter Plate Mail and Army Painter Shining Silver.

For the individualizing colours, I chose to paint the top of the helmets and what might be cloth or rubber of their suits. I painted several of the faceplates partly as skin, to make them look cyborgy and more interesting. Dials and such with offwhite and red. I painted the bases as rock and added tufts and flock here and there for effect.


Thundrik’s Profiteers

Age of Sigmar: Kharadron Overlords faction

Expansion to the Warhammer Underworlds game, season 2: Nightvault.

Made by Games Workshop, 2018 or 2019

HIPS plastic

Thrundrik, Dead Eye and Khazgan on 32mm bases, Garodd and Enrik on 25mm bases

The Chosen Axes

Tutoring 0
Skill 5
Idea 5

I have for the longest time been thinking on how to paint these. I knew I did not want to do them all in the official caucasian skin, orange hair that is so prevalent. Options for their look included a Dia de los Muertos or Calaveras de Azucar-style, Pictish blue daub, Voodoo-shadowman-black with painted skeleton on the skin, Tartan punks, Roman legionnary colour scheme…to Ghostbusters “I am the Keymaster”

I have a ten year old daughter and when the telly is on, I pretty much get exposed to what she is watching. That themesong is a bit of an earworm.

So I noticed that the dragon-headed helmet ornaments all have a little horn above the muzzle. Much like a unicorn… and then that theme song once again came unbidden to mind.

There was no denying it. They became My Little Slayers. Because Fyre is Magic!

And their helmets probably have horsehair plumes…



Fjul-Grimnir, which, in fact, is High Duardin for Sparkles in Twilight


Vol Orruksbane, which, in fact, is High Duardin for Dashes in Rainbows



Tefk Flamebearer, which, in fact, is High Duardin for Pinkies in Pies



Mad Maegrim, which, in fact, is High Duardin for That Purple One.


And once seen, it cannot be unseen. We will just leave it at that, shall we? 😉


The Chosen Axes

Warhammer Underworlds Shadespire (season 1)

Age of Sigmar, Fyreslayers faction / Order Grand Alliance

Made by Games Workshop

Polystyrene HIPS hard plastic

32mm bases

The Farstriders

Tutoring 0
Skill 6
Idea 5
1 Comment

The Shadespire Farstriders, the Stormcast Vanguard-Hunters variants. Basically Cybermen with pistols. And a bird.




These ended up being a bit lazy uninspired. I found them to be slighty too busy, and that made them just a bit tedious to paint. So I dropped the superdetaling and rather just finished them off to get them done.  A “Tabletop+” paint job would be the shorthand, I think.

I went with the same general colour scheme I used on the Steelheart’s Champions, and that I probably will be using for my Stormcast Eternal army, if I ever get around to painting it.



Sanson Farstrider. The Birdman, and the leader of the warband. I did Polly the Aetherwing as a blue/gold parrot. Sanson likes to feed it Crackers.



Elias Swiftblade.  Space Marine Scout with combat knife and bolt pistol, ahem, Stormcast Eternal Vanguard-Hunter with Storm Sabre and Boltstorm Pistol.



Almeric Eagle-Eye. The classic Hero pose with foot on rock stump.


These cybermen are well hard, with only three miniatures to a warband. The Goblins were nine minatures!


The Farstriders

Age of Sigmar: Stormcast Eternals faction

From the Warhammer Underworlds: Shadespire expansion of the same name

made by Games Workshop, 2018

HIPS plastic

40mm bases

Thorns of the Briar Queen

Tutoring 3
Skill 10
Idea 8
No Comments

The Nighthaunts the Nightvault… ok, enough with the bad puns already.


I used these to experiment with some color schemes I wanted to try out for my Nighthaunt army that is patiently awaiting to be brought to life.



I chose to do the bases in black flock to represent the life having been sucked out of the undergrowth.



The Briar Queen herself, being the closest thing to a Disney princess in the Age of Sigmar -what with the tiara and all- naturally got the Disney Princess Pink treatment.

This was done primarily with new Citadel Screamer Pink, ancient Citadel Imperial Purple, ancient Citadel Magenta Glaze and Reaper Breast Cancer Awareness Pink. (Finally! A good use for it!) Skin painted in Reaper Copper Verdigris, highlighted with same mixed with white in two – three stages.




Varclav the Cruel  OSL (object source lighting) is actually really easy to do. First paint the mini as normal, then the light source (candle flame here). Then hit the bits that would light up with an appropriate colour. Yellow in this case. Vary the colour shade towards brighter the closer, and darker the further away from the light source you are. make sure to not get colour in where there should be shadow. And Bob’s your uncle!



The Ever-Hanged Painted with a zenithal white-on-black basecoat, then each part in a seperate color, then wetbrushed shades of grey. (Wetbrush is a variant drybrushing technique with thin paint and less paint pulled off so more of the paint goes on the mini. If the paint is thin enough you can get some good blending in.)




Chainrasp (Mook) This one I first painted the top with the Nighthaunt bright green, which turned out quite nice. But that clashed with the dankness of all the rest, so I re-did it in a more dank tone.



Chainrasp (Mook) This is Citadel Casandora Yellow shade over zenithal white-on-black. The lower part got a green-grey and green-black wetbrush



Chainrasp (mook) This one is zenithal white-on-black and then just wetbrushed with different shades of grey and then pure black at the bottom.



Chainrasp (mook) This one is zenithal white-on-black with some light blue drybrush/wetbrush on top, and pale green from the bottom.



Thorns of the Briar Queen

Age of Sigmar: Nighthaunt faction

From the Warhammer Underworlds: Nightvault base set

made by Games Workshop, 2018

HIPS plastic

The Briar Queen on 32mm base, the rest on 25mm bases

Zarbag's Gitz

Tutoring 5
Skill 13
Idea 11
1 Comment

The Night Goblins Moonclan Grotz venture forth from their fungus-infested caves to do battle in the Nightvault. Being so small and weedy, they compensate by being many. There are nine of them, one more than the eight starter positions on the game board.

So yeah, I went with the fungal theme…





Old Zarbag the Shaman. I imagine this one being a bit like the wicked old witch in Snow White. …‘Ere pretty one, ‘ave a nice apple…




Drizgit da Squig Herder



Prog da Netter



Snirk Sourtongue the ball and chain fanatic. I chose to make his ball in stone rather than metal on account of the texture.



Stikkit. He is actually shooting mushrooms. I chose to make them the luminous kind.



Redkap. Who has a brown cap.



Dibbz                                …who sells dubious sausages during the daytime. “Onna stick!”










Sorry about some of the pics being a bit iffy.

The Eyes of the Nine

Tutoring 4
Skill 10
Idea 7
No Comments

Tzeentch, the changer of ways also has a special place in my heart, (next to Nurgle, Khorne and Slaanesh…) and this group reminds me that I still have some unpainted minis from Warhammer Quest Silver Tower to do.



I seem to have jumped the queue abit with this one, a second season Nightvault warband. There are still some first season warbands left to do.



Vortemis the All-Seeing. One of the few heroes without the heroic cape, Although the single wing does seem to fill that function.

Tzeentch-miniatures have a strong pretty-bird-like quality about them, and what is more birdlike than a flamingo?


The white is just Reaper Leather White (a very light grey) with gloss varnish. It looks good IRL, but does not photograph that well.



K’Charick the Tzaangor heavy.

I wanted to make the Tzaangors like parrots but nothing seemed to work. This one went through a few variant paint schemes before settling on this.

Here is a tip: swords that have to distinct lengthwise halves can be effectively painted with one half bright silver and the other half deep black. Just make sure to keep the edge neat and straight.



Turosh and Narvia, the Kairic Acolytes

I painted these to match the 8 Kairics from the Silver Tower set, which now means that they have a full 10-count for Age of Sigmar!

Gotta love games set in a shared universe. I also like to see females included as just one of the guys and without those rampant stilletto heels or them always being top-heavy in chainmail bikinis.




Daemons: The Blue Horror, and the Brimstone Horrors.

When a Blue Horror gets brutally murdered in game, it devolves into a pair of fiery Brimstone Horrors that replaces the model and can keep on fighting albeit rather more weakly.


Sepulchral Guard

Tutoring 0
Skill 9
Idea 4
No Comments

And so we come to the ancient and restless dead in the Warhammer Underworlds.


The Sepulchral Guard. Which also is a great name for a thrash metal band.




I painted these in November, but have not had the time to take pictures before now. Sorry about the slightly blurry pictures, a leg broke off my cheapo plastic phone stand and I had to make do.



The Sepulchral Warden. With a hero cape that screams This! Is! Shadespire!



The Prince of Dust. with his holy water sprinkler.



The Champion.



The Harvester.



The Petitioner



another Petitioner



and yet another of the petit pensioners.

Magore's Fiends

Tutoring 0
Skill 8
Idea 2
No Comments

Next up of the Shadespire teams is Magore’s Fiends, the Blades of Khorne Blood Warriors:



One of the last pair of sets released for Shadespire before they started the new season with Nighvault were the Khorne Blood Warriors with Fleshhound, and was criticized for being too similar to the minis in the Storm of Sigmar starter set.


Bollocks to that. I like ’em.


Magore Redhand



Ghartok Flayskull



Zharkus the Bloodsighted



Riptooth the Fleshhound


I did not want to paint them in the typical Khorne Red, so I went with bronze for the main colour with green and steel for spot colours, but kept red for the hero’s cape just because it fit with the overall look.

The fleshhound I chose to do in my lizard-colours as I wanted too see how it would look on this kind of mini. it looks perfectly fine, it turns out. For a Dogzard.

Ironskull's Boyz

Tutoring 3
Skill 8
Idea 3
No Comments

The third warband to get some attention is the orc big’uns, sorry, Orruk Ironjawz one.

I like how they have evolved the orcs in Age of Sigmar, following the scale creep by making even bigger big’uns. I am not too enthused about the name changes, even though I do understand the IP-ownership reasons for it. So in my mind, these are still Orcs.

At any rate, I am not a fan of the yellow (was yellow really the only unused color scheme available?) Not so much for it’s difficulty, but more for it’s garishness. (And the aftertaste of banana). I think yellow comes across as “too clean” a main colour for orcs

Going with the concept of orcs as not being diligent with the maintenance of their weapons, and their philosophy of using their opponents’ blood as lubricant, their stuff is fairly decrepit, I turn to Orange. As in rusty.



What once might have been as clean as clean can be …just isn’t anymore.


How I did this effect: starting with a black/grey undercoat, I painted all the metal in Scalecolor black metal. This I then gave a heavy drybrush of some off-brand peachy orange, followed by a drybrush of golden yellow. This I then drybrushed carefully with Scalecolor Thrash Metal, which is a grungey yellowgreen steel-type metal. The green bits on the metals are Vallejo Green Black wash. I lined the armour plates with Reaper Dusky Skin Shadow (I used this dark brown as I think black would have been too stark here) as I did not use any wash to define the details.

The four skins were each painted in a different green basecoat, given a vallejo black green inkwash and highlighted with the same basecoat and then some lighter greens mixed on my pallette, using a bit different tones on each. Not that this is very apparent in the photos though.

The red bits are Citadel Screamer Pink hightlighted with Citadel Wazdakka Red. I really like this combo, and find I am using it alot these days.

The hero’s cape is painted in three coats of Reaper Aircraft Grey and carefully drybrushed Reaper Leather White with a spot of Reaper Vampiric Skin. Then I sloppydrybrushed some brown (I honestely don’t remember which I used) followed by Reaper Dusky Skin Shadow and some black on the edges.



Gurzag Ironskull. The Hero wears a Cape.




It looks like his axe was made out of some tank’s frontal armour. Just one think plate sawed and hammered into shape.




Maybe I should have greenstuffed and painted a dial in his forehead there, to make him an Angel?





Playin’ the maracas. Chica-chica

Garrek's Reavers

Tutoring 2
Skill 9
Idea 3
No Comments

Thumping out the other half of the Warhammer Underworlds: Shadespire starter set:



Garrek’s Reavers, the Khorne Bloodbound squad of angry, blood-crazed bullyboys. Five of them as opposed to the three Cybermen Stormcast Eternals.



Garrek’s Reavers

Games Workshop

From the Warhammer Underworlds: Shadespire base set (recently rereleased as a seperate warband for WU: Nightvault)

HIPS plastic

32mm bases

Steelhearts Champions

Tutoring 5
Skill 13
Idea 4
No Comments

My odessy starts with Steelheart’s Champions, the hard-as-nails powerhouse trio of Stormcast Eternals from the Shadespire starter set.

Primed and basecoated with Army Painter Plate Mail spray sometime during the summer. I did the edges of the armour in citadel mephiston red before hosing the whole thing down with Flames of War Ordnance Shade (=army painter dark quickshade).

When dry I did the green bits in an old dark green/grey mix I made in years past and that still is viable in the dropper bottle. Acrylic paints are very long lasting when stored right!

Over this I used Citadel Waagh Flesh and Scalecolor Greenskin Flesh, with highlights in Scalecolor Goblin Flesh. All the other red bits were basecoated in Citadel Screamer Pink, with hightlights in Citadel Wazdakka Red and Wild Rider Red. The pictures do not show the subtle differences between these red bits and the armour red bits.

The armour was hightlighted with Army Painter Plate Mail and Army Painter Shining Silver. The golden bits were basecoated Vallejo Brassy Brass, with Army Painter Greedy Gold and some silver mixed in for the last highlight.

Eyesockets in pure Goblin Flesh. The streamers in Flames of War Sicily Yellow followed by Citadel Flayed One Flesh, finished with some white mixed in. The script was donw in Screamer Pink.

The stone bits on the base were done in my greengray/sandy yellow/offwhite combo, leaves in orcskin flesh and goblin flesh, Vallejo Earth and my flock mix here and there. Black rim.


Supported by (Turn Off)