30 Aug 19

We Painted the Miniatures from Escalation

Escalation is a massive new expansion for Warhammer Quest: Blackstone Fortress. Along with new rules and a progressing story, this box introduces a host of additional explorers, as well as Chaos Cultists to test their mettle. The models are amazing, so the Warhammer Community team took the opportunity to beg some from the studio, ostensibly to write an article about painting them. They fell for it, but then we had to make good on the deal and finish them quickly! Take a look at how our team interpreted these fascinating characters. 

X-101 – John

I like the idea of X-101 being an ancient and well-worn servitor. His lifeless eye has seen some things, and his long afterlife of servitude has left him with a fair bit of wear and tear. I painted him with a very rusted look on his armour panels, while anything leather is shabby and scruffy. To those he assists, he is a light in the darkness, so I made sure there were some light sources glowing on him as well. He was a joy to paint.

Aradia Madellan – Mike

The moment I saw the Primaris Psyker teaser in the New York Toy Fair article, I knew I wanted to add her to my Astra Militarum army. I’m really enjoying the Contrast paints at the moment, so I mainly used the Contrast Method, augmented with some metallics. Flesh Tearers Red and Wyldwood are two of my favourites, so I used them for the cloak and the skin respectively, while I used Aethermatic Blue over Stormhost Silver for the psychic focuses around her head. 

Gotfret de Montbard – David

Crusaders are an iconic piece of Warhammer 40,000 design, so when I saw Gotfret de Montbard, rendered in beautiful plastic, I knew I had to get him painted up. With their strong ties to the Inquisition, I looked at various famous Inquisitors to inspire my colour scheme, eventually settling on the red and gold donned by Inquisitor Coteaz.

While painting the coat, I had the wild idea to add a freehand check pattern to the trim which is something I hadn’t attempted before. It took some patience, but I’m happy with the results!

Daedalosus – Andrew

I decided to invent my own forge world and went for a mixed Mars/Ryza parentage in the colour scheme – choosing to do it quartered proved quite the challenge. Rather than Astrogranite Debris, I used Martian Ironcrust on the base to reinforce the Mars connection. My reasoning for this is that he sanctifies the ground he walks over with precious Martian sand from a little hopper in his backpack. Moving away from my comfort zone toward slightly more advanced techniques, I adapted the painting tutorials on Warhammer TV from blue to green for the Blackstone effect on the base and the glow on his Eradication Pistol. 

Neyam Shai Murad – Laura

Neyam Shai Murad is swiftly becoming a favourite miniature of mine. Her design is so wonderfully unique, even in the creative phantasmagoria of the Blackstone Fortress. I wanted to communicate her past successes as a Rogue Trader, so almost everything about her is golden – even her Servo-skulls! Over the last few months, I’ve been having a lot of fun with Contrast paints – as a result, her golden apparel is basecoated Retributor Armour and then washed with a mix of Contrast Medium and Snakebite Leather. I’m rather pleased with my new explorer, but now I’m keen to paint up the rest of her motley crew – particularly the Technoarcheologist, Daedalosus.

Cultist Firebrand – Ben

As soon as I saw the Cultist Firebrand, it was zealotry at first sight. He looked so wonderfully nuts and ‘warp-inspired’ that he just screamed to me that he had to be a Word Bearer of some description – more literally since I gave him his little book too.

Referencing Lorgar’s Legion gave me plenty of licence to experiment with some of the new, and frankly gorgeous, burgundies and deep reds that came out at the same time as Contrast, such as Barak-Nar Burgundy and my personal favourite, Gal Vorbak Red. Heresy’s never been so delicious.

X-101 – Michael

I’m really enjoying the lore and aesthetics of Blackstone Fortress, so I was eager to paint one of the miniatures from the new expansion. I also like a chance to paint outside my normal palette, and the studio’s paint scheme for X-101 offered exactly that – I wouldn’t normally employ much yellow, but the armour panels just looked great. Hazard stripes were a new area for me too, and my first freehand in quite a while. I’m considering some Adeptus Mechanicus models after painting this Servitor, and I can’t wait to get my hands on the rest of Escalation.

Aradia Madellan – Gav

After taking the Which Blackstone Fortress Explorer Are You? quiz, I got Aradia Madellan, so I knew I had to paint up this Primaris Psyker. I’ve been dying to try it out Snake Bite Leather since it returned to the range, so I used it on both her boots and gloves. In fact, I painted pretty much the entire model using Contrast paints – the only exceptions were the metallic parts, which I basecoated with Black Templar before drybrushing with Retributor Armour (on her staff) and Stormhost Silver on her psychic harness. Thanks to Contrast, she only took a couple of evenings to paint and I’m really happy with how she turned out.

Gotfret de Montbard – Francesco

Whenever I think about Inquisition-related models I think about a lot of red. The Inquisitorial Rosette, the burning fire against the heretics… Instead for this model I opted for an unconventional colour scheme, using blue for the gown. Overall the colours are not very vibrant, but more subtle. For the armour, I didn’t want something shiny and immaculate, but something more seasoned and raw to represent the years spent around the galaxy that finally brought Gotfret de Montbard to the Blackstone Fortress. 

Daedalosus – Darcy

Over the last few weeks I’ve been painting my way (slowly) through the entire cast of the Blackstone Fortress core set and various expansions. I knew it was inevitable that I’d pick up a copy of Blackstone Fortress: Escalation to add to my backlog, so I jumped at the chance to paint one of the new miniatures to a real deadline that I couldn’t miss!

He was a joy to paint – full of detail and a fantastic model on which to try out a colour scheme for my upcoming Adeptus Mechanicus army.  Also, having just had a sneak peek at his rules, I can’t wait to see how he fares in my next game of Blackstone Fortress.

Neyam Shai Murad – Jon

When deciding which of the explorers from Blackstone Fortress: Escalation to paint, my choice was a simple one, as I remembered my very first thought upon seeing the Neyam Shai Murad mini for the first time – “that Servo-skull is reloading one of her revolvers!”

In keeping with Murad’s roguish space-pirate feel, I used a warm palette of browns, creams and bronzes to paint her, which would contrast well against the cool blue-black of the Blackstone Fortress. I added Kabalite Green as a spot colour on the inside of the greatcoat and plume to add a touch of conspicuous opulence to the character.

Cultist Firebrand – Max

Whilst I am a loyal servant of the Imperium, even I couldn’t resist the opportunity to paint the Cultist Firebrand. It’s just so striking and oozes threat. It was also an amazing opportunity to paint a Chaos model which isn’t a Space Marine or Daemon! The fire is the centrepiece of the model, and Contrast paint makes getting the change in colour so much easier than before. I also used Ryza Rust and Typhus Corrosion on the armour, as I love the juxtaposition between the baroque armour and the decay, which undoubtedly comes with a lifetime devoted to Chaos! 


Without fail, everyone loved painting these stunning new models, with many of them inspired to carry on the momentum to related projects! That’s a solid testament to the power of a really great model. If you haven’t already pre-ordered a copy of Blackstone Fortress: Escalation, you can pick it up in stores and online from tomorrow!