For the third of his articles on building and painting the Heresy Dragon, Mike Hobbs turns his attention to painting the model.
Once I’d finished the assembly of the Dragon I was left with the small task of painting it, I don’t use airbrushes regularly enough to be an expert so I decided to paint it by hand using a mix of drybrushing, wet blending and washes.
But the big question was what colour to paint the body, after all there are lots of ways to paint a dragon, but I decided to be traditional and go for a red one, after all I am Welsh and we have a thing for red dragons. I didn’t want to go for a bright red I wanted it to be darker almost on the brown spectrum, I also wanted to have a few themes going through the model to help tie things together so I went for a limited palate. I decided on 3 main themes for the model;
- Deep red colour for the body
- Black to red blending for the spikes and armour
- A chestnut red colour for the soft parts
For the body I decided to use army painter Chaotic red as a base, then a wash of dark red (made from equal parts GW Nuln Oil and Carroburg Crimson washes) finally I would dry brush up using Foundry Madder Red.
The reason for these colour choices was simple, the AP Chaotic red would be used as an undercoat/primer and the range also has identical colours in dropper bottles so I could hand paint any parts that the undercoat missed or I had to repair.
The wash I mixed before I started so I wouldn’t run out, and the Foundry madder red is a triad so I had 3 shades premixed and ready to use. This meant it should be easy to paint the different sections of the model and have them match, also any repairs would be easy to blend back in.
I really recommend doing this when you paint large models (or even armies) as being able to match colours in afterwards is important
The spikes and armour would be painted using 4 colours going from black to bright red, this is a technique I’ve used in the past and I really like the effect it gives to armour, I got the idea from looking at pictures of beetle carapaces and just played around with the colours till I found a mix I liked. The colours used are Games workshop black, Doombull brown, Wazdakka red, Evil Sunz scarlet
And finally the soft areas were to be painted 3 shades of Foundry Chestnut, given a wash of GW Reikland Fleshtone.
So with the job of deciding what colours to paint the Dragon I had to actually start work on slapping some paint on it. I decided to start at the bottom and do the rock base as this would allow me to test the colours in real life.
the rock was painted various shades of grey using brown and black washes to shade different sections of it, I also used ModelMates moss weathering liquid to add more detail, the tree stump was painted using a mix of foundry spearshaft and granite to give it an aged look, again washes were used to add depth.
Once the main colour was on I started painting the feet using the colours detailed above, this allowed me to test the colours out on a small section of the finished model
The armoured plates were next to be painted using the 4 colours listed above, going from black to scarlet
Next I painted the claws using foundry rawhide (3 shades) and a brown wash. And then added some flock in a few places as I knew doing this at the end would be a nightmare.
Once the base was finished I turned my attention to the main body of the dragon.
Step 1 was undercoating the model using Army painter Chaotic Red spray
Step 2 was the underbelly, this was painted using Foundry chestnut (3 shades) and GW flesh wash, I used a wet brush method to blend the colours in here.
Next the body was given a wash of my red/black wash and allowed to dry
Then the long process of drybrushing the model began, using all 3 shades of Foundry Madder red and a large flat brush.
Once this was done I blacked the armour plates on the bottom of the legs and also basecoated the inside of the mouth with a purple colour.
Next job was to stick the body to the rock, but you’ll have to wait for the next article to see how that went.