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Sylvaneth – Painting an Army (Spring Clean)

Sylvaneth – Painting an Army (Spring Clean)

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Project Blog by glenn92 Cult of Games Member

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About the Project

Sylvaneth - they have seen many battles but are still in bare plastic, however! Since they've been winning many battles I think it's time they recieved a lick of paint. This is a step by step of my process for painting my sylvaneth army. I have a plan and have collected all my materials - thankfully before all this Corona stuff kicked off - so now is a good time to get them painted. I will list what I am doing and what paints etc. I am using, so if you like the scheme or something that I've done it will be easy to follow along. The idea is that this is a leafy vibrant glade, a close cluster of dark barked trees and vibrant mossy undergrwoth. To achieve this I am using browns and tans for the main body. The more armoured or branch like parts will be a dark brown colour and the more recessed fleshy areas wiil be tan, like the fresh wood under the bark. This will be accented by greens and yellows on the mossy base and the leaves and flowers on the model itself. Hope you enjoy!

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Painting Branch Wych and Squad Leaders

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The first character I’ll paint is the Branch Wych from the start collecting box. The main thing I want is a consistency across the army to tie everything together, which also helps me paint quickly and get an army together quickly.

 

I painted the branch Wych and three squad leaders to lead dryads at the same time. The main parts of these, the body, the leaves and branches, eyes and mouth etc. are painted exactly the same same as the dryads – as shown in the previous entries – so I will just show the differences below.

One problem I had when battling on the tabletop was that I kept forgetting about my dryad leader's extra attack dice and I  never could tell at a glance which blob of branches was in charge. So I wanted to differentiate the leaders. Easiest option; I took Skeleton Horde contrast paint  and painted their hands/branch tips and viola a dryad born to lead. Oh yeah, dry brush Ushabti Bone and your done!One problem I had when battling on the tabletop was that I kept forgetting about my dryad leader's extra attack dice and I never could tell at a glance which blob of branches was in charge. So I wanted to differentiate the leaders. Easiest option; I took Skeleton Horde contrast paint and painted their hands/branch tips and viola a dryad born to lead. Oh yeah, dry brush Ushabti Bone and your done!
Now to concentrate on the branch whych. Paint these like the dryads before; then prep the underside of the bug critter, the scythe blade, the eyes, mouth and fore head swirl with Wraithbone for more contrast paint.Now to concentrate on the branch whych. Paint these like the dryads before; then prep the underside of the bug critter, the scythe blade, the eyes, mouth and fore head swirl with Wraithbone for more contrast paint.
The Bug's Carapace is painted Khorne Red and dry brushed Squig Orange for subtle a highlight. Skeleton Horde for the antlers and the bone hairband thing in the hair. The hair is painted with Gore Grunta fur, this is an amazing contrast paint which I have plans to use more later in the project.The Bug's Carapace is painted Khorne Red and dry brushed Squig Orange for subtle a highlight. Skeleton Horde for the antlers and the bone hairband thing in the hair. The hair is painted with Gore Grunta fur, this is an amazing contrast paint which I have plans to use more later in the project.
The bugs underbelly, head and mandibles are painted Basilicanum Grey, I think this could do with a dry brush (Ulthuan Grey perhaps) to lighten a little but I did not want to have to clean this area up as the bug is the most difficult area to paint due to it's twisting shape. Goregrunta Fur is used for the weapon haft just so it looked a different type of wood to the body of the Branch Wych. Plague Bearer Flesh for the grass loin cloth with a dry brush of Moot Green. Skeleton Horde for the Antlers with a Ushabti Bone Drybrush.The bugs underbelly, head and mandibles are painted Basilicanum Grey, I think this could do with a dry brush (Ulthuan Grey perhaps) to lighten a little but I did not want to have to clean this area up as the bug is the most difficult area to paint due to it's twisting shape. Goregrunta Fur is used for the weapon haft just so it looked a different type of wood to the body of the Branch Wych. Plague Bearer Flesh for the grass loin cloth with a dry brush of Moot Green. Skeleton Horde for the Antlers with a Ushabti Bone Drybrush.
Final Step is Aethermatic Blue for the eyes, mouth and the swirls on the forehead. The weapon blade I'd recommend a thin layer of Aethermatic Blue I let my coat dry too thickly, I fixed this but I'm not a hundred percent happy. While painting the bugs carapace I had Khorne Red left on my palette which i though was a waste so i painted a thin layer around the mouth and nose stopping below the swirls which gave a nice war paint effect, with a hint of skin showing beneath. Final Step is Aethermatic Blue for the eyes, mouth and the swirls on the forehead. The weapon blade I'd recommend a thin layer of Aethermatic Blue I let my coat dry too thickly, I fixed this but I'm not a hundred percent happy. While painting the bugs carapace I had Khorne Red left on my palette which i though was a waste so i painted a thin layer around the mouth and nose stopping below the swirls which gave a nice war paint effect, with a hint of skin showing beneath.
I'd recommend at this point varnishing your miniatures, I sprayed mine with a Satin Varnish. The reason for this is that I find the contrast paint rubs off easily and this is especially true for the Sylvaneth as there are a lot of pointy bits and fragile bits. I've already broken a few creatures, I found half of a worm one week later and super glued it back on, then I found the other night another bit that is primed and not painted on the carpet so I don't know where it fell off. Anyway be careful with these minis I need to plan storage, magnets may be the way to go. I'd recommend at this point varnishing your miniatures, I sprayed mine with a Satin Varnish. The reason for this is that I find the contrast paint rubs off easily and this is especially true for the Sylvaneth as there are a lot of pointy bits and fragile bits. I've already broken a few creatures, I found half of a worm one week later and super glued it back on, then I found the other night another bit that is primed and not painted on the carpet so I don't know where it fell off. Anyway be careful with these minis I need to plan storage, magnets may be the way to go.

Fully Painted Dryad

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Finally got a decent picture of the paint job for a Dryad. Finally got a decent picture of the paint job for a Dryad.

Part Three - Finish Painting Dryads

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So the end of the previous step leaves your miniatures looking presentable and ready to fight; but I’ve found that dry brushing really ties the minature together and helps smooth out the contrast paints.

First dry brush is Gothor Brown followed by Sylavaneth Bark. I give this a heavy dry brush all over the bark areas focusing on the face torso and hands. First dry brush is Gothor Brown followed by Sylavaneth Bark. I give this a heavy dry brush all over the bark areas focusing on the face torso and hands.
I drybrush moot green over the leaves and vines, this can be done fairly rough as it gives a gradient from yellow to green. I then drybrush the bark with Mootgreen to give a mossy effect, especially where there are more creases like at elbow joints. (Bonus tip - try stipling)I drybrush moot green over the leaves and vines, this can be done fairly rough as it gives a gradient from yellow to green. I then drybrush the bark with Mootgreen to give a mossy effect, especially where there are more creases like at elbow joints. (Bonus tip - try stipling)
Next re-apply Wraithbone to the eyes and mouth in preparation for the final step, two coats may be needed. The eyes are quite small and I would recommend painting around the eye  which will make the end result noticeable from a distance and add to the glow effect.Next re-apply Wraithbone to the eyes and mouth in preparation for the final step, two coats may be needed. The eyes are quite small and I would recommend painting around the eye which will make the end result noticeable from a distance and add to the glow effect.
Final step, apply Aethermatic blue to the eyes and mouth and that is the miniature complete!Final step, apply Aethermatic blue to the eyes and mouth and that is the miniature complete!

Part Two - Starting to Paint - Dryads (Got Motivated)

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Ok so first things first I assembled my paints and below is a list of the paints I have used, there may be a few more that I will add later. There is a hand written list in the photos below which shows everything that is used.

Usually I paint the largest areas first starting with the darkest colours, however due to the nature of these minis and the nature of Contrast paints this is completely reversed.

I saw it would be easier to use the lightest colours first and hit the smaller details first, this meant when it came to doing the bark I could quickly and easily see what was left to paint without covering other details due to over zealous bark painting.

This part is the painting of the Drayds and the Branchwych. I split these into 3 batches – 7 Dryads, 6 Dryads, and the 3 Leader Dryads with the Branchwych.

 

 

The base is painted in Vallejo Flat Brown, one coat leaves a few natural highlights two gets a nice solid coat, most of this will be covered at a later point. The eyes, mouth and the swirl on the dryads I originally painted with Soulstone Blue - I would recommend not doing this and instead don't worry about painting over these areas and see what I do in step three; it's a much better way.The base is painted in Vallejo Flat Brown, one coat leaves a few natural highlights two gets a nice solid coat, most of this will be covered at a later point. The eyes, mouth and the swirl on the dryads I originally painted with Soulstone Blue - I would recommend not doing this and instead don't worry about painting over these areas and see what I do in step three; it's a much better way.
The first contrast to use is Plaguebearer Flesh, this is for all the greenery, so leaves, the skirt and vines; apply a good solid layer. Do not worry about getting this on the braches it will add character and can be tidied up later.The first contrast to use is Plaguebearer Flesh, this is for all the greenery, so leaves, the skirt and vines; apply a good solid layer. Do not worry about getting this on the braches it will add character and can be tidied up later.
Next use Skeleton Bone for the bones and Cygor Brown for any straps or leather which is usually on or around the bones. These colours are also good for painting the owl. I found the Cygor Brown to have very strong pigmentation so it didn't always show highlights like contrasts are meant to, I would recomend applying this thinly.Next use Skeleton Bone for the bones and Cygor Brown for any straps or leather which is usually on or around the bones. These colours are also good for painting the owl. I found the Cygor Brown to have very strong pigmentation so it didn't always show highlights like contrasts are meant to, I would recomend applying this thinly.
I used Magos Purple for the Sprites, since these sprites are small for the best results I found it best to not let the paint settle too heavily on the mini.I used Magos Purple for the Sprites, since these sprites are small for the best results I found it best to not let the paint settle too heavily on the mini.
The final part of this step it to paint the Bark. An obvious choice is Wyldwood contrast and thanks to the order this was painted in all the remaining areas can be quickly covered in Wylwood contrast paint. With the second batch I painted I used Vallejo Glaze medium to thin the Wylwood and this produced a much better result than just out of the pot. The final part of this step it to paint the Bark. An obvious choice is Wyldwood contrast and thanks to the order this was painted in all the remaining areas can be quickly covered in Wylwood contrast paint. With the second batch I painted I used Vallejo Glaze medium to thin the Wylwood and this produced a much better result than just out of the pot.

Ok so this is a good point to take a break and let all the contrast paints dry. So go outside and top up your sunburn or get a cup of tea – since I paint late in the evening I usually call it a night at this point. The contrast Medium tends to add to the drying time and I find that even when dried the contrast paint still slowly becomes a slightly lighter shade – or I could be imagining it…

Next up is the dry brushing stage, you could stop at this point but the next stage really brings everything out and it the best tiem to correct mistakes. Trust me despite the rubbish photos they look quite good on the table in natural light.

Part Two - Starting to Paint (Get Motivated)

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It’s getting late I’ll do this later.

Part One - Prep and Assembly (aslo what's up with that picture it is terrible :)

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First things first, my purchases started with a start collecting box, followed by another ;). A third is needed but for a change I later purchased a box Kurnoth Hunters and Tree Revenants. This is roughly 1250 pts of minis.

Sylvaneth Starter BoxSylvaneth Starter Box

As I purchased the minis they where clipped from the sprues, had their mold lines removed and assembled using plastic glue (revel being my prefered choice).

 

After this it was time for priming. Since I planned to use contrasts I chose to use Wraithbone. I wanted brighter finish for the contrast paints, hence Wraithbone over Greyseyer.

Sylvaneth Starter set fully assembled and primed - wraithboneSylvaneth Starter set fully assembled and primed - wraithbone

The final step in prep is to gather the paints and materials I will use for this project. These are mostly GW contrast paints but I will likely have at least one vallejo as well and a variety of basing material.

Paints I plan to usePaints I plan to use
More paintsMore paints
Basing MaterialsBasing Materials