2017: A Retrospective

I’ve just looked at the site and I’ve posted exactly one blog this year which I’ll admit isn’t exactly record breaking. I’ve been busy outside of my hobbies with work, moving house and life in general throwing some unexpected swerve balls that diminished any insensitive I’ve had to write. Hopefully, 2018 will be better and I’ll get my writing mojo back.

Although I haven’t blogged in any meaningful way this year I have managed to paint a few models up which I thought I’d share some examples of in this post.

The start of the year was taken up with painting the Silvertower models.

After painting up my Silvertower models I delved into the universe of 40k and paint up some Ultramarines. I’d picked up some Primaris Marines on eBay for a couple of pounds and thought I’d paint them up as smurfs as all the GW box art features them and I’ve never painted any.

Next on the list was to finish off a Carmine Dragon that I’ve had knocking around for a few years. There wasn’t a lot to do on this except for the horn work and the base.

At this point in the year I picked up two Dark Imperium and a Know No Fear box sets which has meant that for the latter part of the year I’ve been alternating between painting the Astartes up as Imperial Fist and painting the Death Guard.

My plans for 2018 are to keep working away on the Imperial Fists and Death Guard and resist the urge to deviate into other armies. Hopefully, this will happen and I’ll also be able to write more than one blog in 2018!

Grukk Face-Rippa


I recently picked up the Sanctus Reach: Stormclaw box set as it contained some really cool models that will take my an age to paint. I have to admit I mainly picked the box set up for the orks as they’re a little quirky and crazy. With this in mind the first model I decided to paint was the Warboss Grukk Face-Rippa. Grukk would hold a number of firsts for me – the first 40k model I’d paint, the first ork I’d paint, the first time I’d use a yellow blending technique and the first time I’d use stone, sand and pigment to create the base – because of all these firsts I took even more time over this model than I normally would.

Constructing Grukk was a simple process. I drilled out his shoota and the air vents on his power claw before construction began proper as I believe this looks better. I then assembled the core of his body before priming but didn’t attach his face, warboss pole and shoulder guards. The squib was also assembled separately and I didn’t attach its face either. The models were primed using Army Painters black primer – it was the first time I’d used this primer but it went on really smooth.


After priming I painted Grukk’s tongue and inner mouth with Khrone red, I then mixed in a little Ceramite White for the highlights, once the paint had dried I applied a wash of Nulin Oil. After that I attached Grukk’s face and filled in any joint gaps with liquid green stuff.

Now any warboss worth his salt knows that you have to wear red trousers – it’s ork law – so Grukk had to have red trousers. Khrone Red was again used – mainly because it was already on my wet pallet – after the first coat was down I started to mix in a little Evil Suns Scarlet for the highlight. I didn’t go overboard with the highlighting on the trousers, I wanted just enough so that it looked realistic but not crisp. After the trousers had dried a Nulin Oil wash was applied.

Unsurprising Grukk’s base flesh tone was Waaagh Flesh as it provides a nice earthy green base. The first set of highlights picked out the major muscles and was a mix of Waaagh Flesh and Warboss Green. The second set of highlights picked out the extremities with Skarsnik Green added to the initial highlight mix. Once it had dried a wash of Bieltan Green was applied.

Bad Moons - The Yellow I didn't want

Bad Moons – The Yellow I didn’t want

I wanted Grukk to have Bad Moons yellow as part of his colour scheme but I also wanted some purple on him as well. All my models tend to have a little purple on them if I can fit it into the theme without ruining the scheme. For the purple on this model I decided to go for the left should guard and Grukk’s body armour. Both pieces of armour were painted with a base of Xereus Purple.  Once this had dried I mixed in a little Ceramite White into the mix and with a small brush I added dots and lines loosely across the raised parts and edges of the armour. This would, hopefully, give the impression of wear and tear on the armour. Once this had dried I used the same technique but this time with Leadbelcher to add areas where the paint had totally chipped away to show the metal base.

The Power-Claw, parts of the shoota and warboss pole came next. I wanted these areas to be yellow, Bad Moons yellow. From the start I knew I didn’t want to emulate the crisp Bad Moons yellow which you see in all the GamesWorkshop promotional pictures. I wanted my yellow to look more rugged and dirty. After searching the internet for a while I came across the video – below  – that achieved the look I wanted.

Any area I wanted to paint yellow I firstly undercoated with Mournfang Brown. After that I started to mix in a little Averland Sunset, then went over the areas which I wanted to be yellow – I kept the paint as watered down as possible – I then went back and added a little more Averland Sunset to mix. This took a while as I was blending from brown through to yellow. Once I had the Averland Sunset areas as yellow as possible I started adding in Yriel Yellow to the mix. Still keeping the paint as watered down as possible I was making the areas I painted  smaller with each coat. I then added some Flash Gitz Yellow to the mix and picked out the edges of the yellow areas. Once that was done I added a little Ceramite White to the mix and with a fine bush added some weathering around any edges and scratch lines across the surface of the yellow. Once this had dried I pulled all the yellow areas together with a glaze of Lamenters Yellow. I was really happy with the end result, it wasn’t perfect but as my blending techniques get better I’m sure it will look more effective.


The rest of Grukk was fairly straight forward, basecoat, highlight and weathering. Once the yellow areas were completed he came together really quickly. The next big challenge for me was basing Grukk. I wanted Grukk based on something that looked like a red, dusty Martian desert landscape. So the first thing I did was to super glue pieces of slate to the base so that it would have a little texture and character. Once the slate was set in place I coated the base in PVA glue and then covered it with Fine Basing Grit, once everything was dry I primed the base with matt black Army Painter primer. I then positioned Grukk and his squib on the base and stuck them down with a mixture of superglue and green stuff. Once that had set I started to add pigment to the base. I used Vallejo Pigments and started with a base layer of Natural Sienna. To apply the pigment to the base I added some to a palette, I then dipped an old brush in water and mixed the pigment into the water. I then applied the pigment to the base by dabbing it to the base. As the first layer was wet it looked like mud. Once it had had dried I added a layer or Burnt Sienna pigment. I added this to the base with a slightly damp brush which made the pigment look more like dry sand than mud. Once I was happy I sprayed the base and the model in Army Painters matte seal. As this was my first attempt at using pigment I’m fairly happy with the result, ideally I’d like the base to look more of an orange red colour but it hasn’t turned out too badly.


So there we have it, my Grukk Face-Rippa – I really enjoyed painting this model, it was a lot of fun and provided me with some knew challenges as well as some old ones! I’m not going to make a start on the Killa Kanz which will be the first full machine models I’ve painted. If you have any comments or want me to add more detail to any element then please comment and let me know.