Posted 12/03/2018

From the Mind of Mengel: Fyreslayers, the easy way

Fyreslayers are one of Warhammer Age of Sigmar’s most popular armies – what’s not to love about a horde of duardin berzerkers? – and they are particularly rewarding to paint, featuring rich textures that can be easily brought out with shades.

We challenged Tyler Mengel to see how easy he could make painting Fyreslayers, using minimal edge-highlighting or advanced techniques. The results are perfect for players looking to batch paint a horde of Fyreslayers without compromising on quality:

As you may have noticed, I like to paint a lot of my models using lots of shades. It saves a lot of time, is great for painting large numbers of models, and usually knocks out shading and highlights at the same time. The Fyreslayers seemed like the perfect army for this technique, with their large amounts of flesh and huge beards. I was especially eager to try out painting their orange beards with just shades.

I still wanted to show a model with more steps put into it as well, though, so I decided to paint two models! Both were painted to the same stage, and then I continued on with one of them to add a few more highlights. This means the steps are in a slightly different format from how I normally do them, with all of the base coats done first across the whole model, followed by the shades.

To get started, I sprayed both models with Corax White. You want to make sure you get the coverage as solid as you can, but remember, do multiple thin coats.

The Base Coats

On most models, you would have large areas of cloth or armour that would hold your army’s main colour, such as the gold and blue of the Hammers of Sigmar. Since Fyreslayers are mostly skin and hair, armour colours are relegated to just a few areas. On the Vulkite Berzerkers, this is the loincloth and, if you want, the handles on their axes. The studio painted theirs red, but I decided to do something that stands out a bit from all of the warm colours on the model and basecoated mine with Sotek Green for a nice turquoise colour.

All of the straps around his waist were basecoated with Doombull Brown. I chose this colour because it’s a warm, almost reddish brown, and is light enough to allow for a shade to show up nicely on it later. I considered black, but you can’t really shade black with a wash.

The gold areas on the model, which make up most of the metal, were basecoated with Retributor Armor. Using a technique I stole from Chris Peach, I kept my paint slightly thinner than normal, which allowed some of the white undercoat to show through on some of the raised surfaces. This acts as a kind of “easy” highlighting effect.

You want to be extra careful with this step, though, since there are a lot of gold details under and around the beard. Try your hardest not to get any colour on the skin or hair. Also, be sure to pick out the runes in his flesh at this point.

The rest of the metal areas, such as the vambraces and the blades of the axes, were basecoated with Leadbelcher. At this point, we are done with the base coats and ready to move onto the shades. If you accidentally got any paint on the skin or hair, go back with Ulthuan Grey and tidy those up so they’re a nice, flat, off-white.

The Shades

Now comes the rewarding part – seeing the model come to life. All of the skin and gold were shaded with undiluted Reikland Fleshshade. Make sure you try to do this all in one go, otherwise you could end up with “tide marks” where sections of the shade dried before you got to the next part.

I tried to do it in chunks, so I did all of the legs, then all of the torso, then all of the head. All of those areas are divided by another colour, so it gives you a natural break. Make sure you don’t overload the skin with the shade, as you don’t want any weird pools of it when it dries.

Next, I shaded all of the silver areas with Nuln Oil.

On my model, I shaded the Sotek Green with Drakenhof Nightshade. If you painted yours a different colour, such as Mephiston Red, you could shade this with Agrax Earthshade.

All of the leather straps were given a shade of Agrax Earthshade. When you are doing these shades, make sure you don’t get any on the other colours you’ve already done.

This is the most fun part, at least for me. The hair is what makes a Fyreslayer look like a Fyreslayer. I decided to go for a classic bright orange look. To achieve this, I shaded the hair with two layers of Fuegan Orange. Make sure you let the first layer dry fully before doing the second. I did two layers because I decided that the first layer didn’t make the hair as vibrant as I wanted.

With that, you’re done with a tabletop-ready model! Just base it how you want; I went with a pretty classic basing scheme on mine and start throwing some dice around. This is a very quick yet effective way to get a whole lot of Fyreslayers done in a relatively short time. This guy took me about an hour, and some of that was waiting for washes to dry, so if you’re doing a whole batch at once, the first model should be dry by the time you get done with the last one.

Pushing It Further

Next, I’m going to show you how you can take the steps we just did and push it a bit further with highlights and a little more selective shading. This would be great for characters or elite units that you want to stand out even more on the battlefield, or even if you just want to do your whole army to this standard. First off, make sure your model is to the same stage as the one above (except for the base).

I highlighted all of the skin with Flayed One Flesh, picking out the edges of muscles and other prominent areas. You want your highlights to be a little bit chunky for this step.

I finished off the skin with a final highlight of Pallid Wych Flesh on the most prominent areas. You can also deepen any shadows at this point with selective shading of Reikland Fleshshade.

The leather straps were edge highlighted with Bugman’s Glow.

I first did a highlight of Sotek Green. If you use a different colour, simply reuse your original colour here.

I finished these parts off with a final highlight of Sotek Green mixed with Screaming Skull.

I edge highlighted both the silver and the gold with Stormhost Silver.

Lastly, I decided that the hair wasn’t vibrant enough, so using a 1:1 mix of Lamenters Yellow and Bloodletter, I glazed the hair. This really made the orange much more saturated while still maintaining the shadows and highlights from the shade earlier.

With that, I based the model the same as the last one and it was all done. You can see that, using some simple techniques, you can get a Fyresleyer model painted fairly quickly. Depending on what outcome you’re going for, you can either stop before any of the highlights or take the model to the next level. Now get cracking; that ur-gold won’t collect itself after all!

Thanks, Tyler! If you’re looking to try these techniques for yourself – order Start Collecting! Fyreslayers today, or pick up the Warhammer Underworlds: Shadespire expansion for The Chosen Axes.

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