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Kantalla
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PostSubject: The Kabal of Lightning Strikes   Fri Jun 17 2016, 10:49

I have been enjoying some of the really interesting and impressive projects appearing on this site over the last few months, and thought I would add my own into the mix.

I am an old school Dark Eldar player, playing from 3rd Edition to early 5th, and have returned to the hobby about 18 months ago. Having had a decent sized army, I was able to jump back into play without needing to get much in the way of new models, except for an Archon (in my absence it seems riding bikes and skyboards has gone out of fashion) and a Venom.

I do, however, really like the new Dark Eldar models, and picked up a couple of boxes to start the transition to the new stuff. With a new baby, I'm finding my gaming time is a bit limited, but painting for an hour or two each night is totally practical. So I started painting up the new boxes, and started thinking about an army list for a tournament in October. I hope to field an army of all new models by then.

I have always been an average (on a good day) painter, and with a bit more time to paint than play at the moment, have decided to up the game on that front. I am experimenting with techniques I haven't tried much on most models, sometimes more successfully than others. Any suggestions for improvement are greatly appreciated. The Kabal of Lightning Strikes is lightning themed, inspired by a photograph of lightning over Scottsdale, and liking the concept of speed and destruction applying to my Dark Eldar.

Starting with the rushed and not so well done Archon Kei'Ariq


and the first vehicle off the production line - a Venom


Unfortunately for Archon Kei'Ariq, the he lost his AP2 with the new Codex, and became less tempting to put on the table, plus the painting is bit rushed.

I liked the colour schemes for those models and when the Voidraven model came out, I decided I had to get one for the looks alone. I spent a bit more time on the Voidraven, and was much happier with the output.



Next I started painting up a unit that had served me really well at the tournaments I had been to - 10 Warriors with a Blaster and Cannon in a Raider with Night Shields and Splinter Racks. That was a unit with a fair amount of room for trimming extras already, even before the FAQ change to jink. Having got some help improving my army list (thanks to BetrayTheWorld and 1++), the Raider, Blaster and Splinter Cannon might find themselves joining Archon Kei'Ariq on the bench for the moment. That is a pity, because I like the way the mostly finished Raider is coming along (still Kabal emblem on the sail, some further highlights and spikes to add).




The Raider might have to wait a while to be finished, as it doesn't have a spot in the list. Joining the Kabal over the next few months are:

Reavers (coming soon!)
Venom
2 Ravagers
New Archon Kei'Ariq (sans-Huskblade)
Succubus

then Eldar
Farseer
Windriders
Fire Dragons
Wraithguard
Wraithknight

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The_Burning_Eye
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PostSubject: Re: The Kabal of Lightning Strikes   Fri Jun 17 2016, 12:48

I love the theme, if I may suggest a few things to help improve the finished articles?

Assuming the picture you refer to is the one you've used for your avatar, if you look at the background around the lightning, it's lighter around the forks themselves. You could fairly easily add this them to any new models you do by applying a light drybrush (very, very light) of a shade lighter than your basecoat around the areas where the lightning will be going on your model. Depending on how long you want to spend, you can then build this up into a lighter shade closer in to the strikes themselves (I like to call this drybrush blending, and is something I used on my own coven raider to build from black to a bright red - check my project log linked in my signature for the finished vehicle)

Whilst I like how you've used the white line to represent the thick central strike from the picture, it does get thinner the further it is from the source whilst your white strikes don't - I think if you could work on making them gradually narrower the effect would be much more striking.

Finally, unless you want to try applying the lightning in several layers, starting with a blue and building to a white (which is the 'advanced' way of doing them) an easy cheat to get some variation into the strikes would be to paint blue wash onto parts of them - this should dull down the brighter colours a bit without you having to painstakingly apply about three different layers of paint.

For someone who describes themselves as an average painter though, these models really do look good, and the striking (pun intended) colour scheme really draws the eye nicely - my above suggestions are intended as refinements to an already good idea!

TBE

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Kantalla
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PostSubject: Re: The Kabal of Lightning Strikes   Fri Jun 17 2016, 14:40

Thanks for the feedback, and especially the suggestions to improve Smile

The original image I got the inspiration from is:


You are quite right about the glow around the arcs of lightning, and some layers of drybrusing to add that in sounds achievable. I am about to put the lightning onto my Reavers at the moment, and will experiment with building up to the white arc with those. If it works as well as I think it can, I will then try to retrofit to the existing vehicles.

It isn't particularly obvious in the photos, but the arc on the Raider does slim down toward the tail, but as you have picked, I hadn't done that on the Voidraven or Venom.

Thanks again for the suggestions. Hope to have some Reavers with enhanced lightning to show soon.

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CurstAlchemist
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PostSubject: Re: The Kabal of Lightning Strikes   Fri Jun 17 2016, 16:27

They look great.
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Amheir-ka
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PostSubject: Re: The Kabal of Lightning Strikes   Fri Jun 17 2016, 20:03

Your obviously getting better and better at those lightning arcs. You can really see the difference when comparing the venom with the other two vehicles.

What tecnique are you using for the guns? is that just a light grey with a wash and then another highlight? I've been trying to do NNM thing on my army and it's quite time consuming. Yours looks better and simpler? Please share? Razz
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PostSubject: Re: The Kabal of Lightning Strikes   Sat Jun 18 2016, 02:18

I have been experimenting a bit with NMM on the weapons, and am fairly pleased with the more recent splinter rifles and splinter cannon.

The technique on the guns takes a while to do. I haven't used a wash at all, it is layers from a black base coat, with mechanicus standard grey, codex grey, fortress grey/administratum grey, ghostly grey and then skull white layers. The most recent ones I have taken a photo with the painting light in the desired angle to see what parts need to be lightened or darkened. The bigger surfaces, like the engines on the voidraven, I found I needed to paint a hatch to get a reasonable effect - otherwise it was just too big for my blending skills at this point.

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PostSubject: Re: The Kabal of Lightning Strikes   Sun Jun 19 2016, 06:50

Some Reaver progress shots. I have tried to add the glow around the lightning arc, but I think I have gone a bit narrow on the first attempt. Any suggestions.





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PostSubject: Re: The Kabal of Lightning Strikes   Wed Jun 22 2016, 12:28

A progress update - some Reaver Jetbikes. Riders coming soon.





Some different techniques attempted for the lightning glow. I think the left hand one works best, which had a glaze applied and the lightning arc aiming to stay within the glow. Any thoughts on the bikes and possible improvements?

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PostSubject: Re: The Kabal of Lightning Strikes   Wed Jun 22 2016, 22:15

...Blue is seriously the new black with DE it seems!

These are fantastic! I enjoyed looking at them immensely! Bravo!

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PostSubject: Re: The Kabal of Lightning Strikes   Thu Jun 23 2016, 13:53

I really like the look of this army. Nice theme. Makes me think of Metallica's Ride the Lightning.

As for advice on the lightning, I have a bit of experience with lightning from painting Night Lords. The lightning I painted was on a much smaller size, though. You're doing pretty well and the glow that you've given it makes it look more realistic. This could be improved further by a light drybrush of a lighter blue under the first grey layer. If you have done this then please ignore me, I'm not too good with colours and likely won't be able to see it.

The Kabalites are beautiful. I really like the shade of blue you are using, and the highlights really helps to make them menacing.

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PostSubject: Re: The Kabal of Lightning Strikes   Fri Jun 24 2016, 07:48

Thanks Korazell and Cavash.

The experimenting with the glow on the bikes was a bit mixed. The first one I had started painting already before The Burning Eye gave me the suggestion of the glow, so that one has none. The second is the one in the step by step pictures, and I think could work ok, but was a bit too narrow for the main arc and the glow pretty much disappeared. The third bike I did with a wash and then painting the arc on top of that.

I'm not quite following your suggestion - the grey was painted on to give a rough guideline, and when I did the drybrushing the grey virtually disappeared. Are you suggesting two drybrush colours for the glow and then the arc inside it?

Sometime soon I will start painting the Eldar allies for this army, and have to decide if they are going to follow the same colour scheme. I think dark blue Lightning Dragons have some potential, along with a Lightning Seer and Lightning-guard. Still a couple of Ravagers, another Venom and characters to paint before that point.

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PostSubject: Re: The Kabal of Lightning Strikes   Fri Jul 01 2016, 12:10

Reavers done!






Next up a couple of Warriors from the hangers-on from the Raider kit, then perhaps some Eldar. I have to decide soon whether to carry on the lightning theme onto the Eldar, or whether to have the Eldar clearly distinct from their dark cousins. Instinct is to carry on the lightning theme, which would mean blue Fire Dragons. Any suggestions on that front?

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PostSubject: Re: The Kabal of Lightning Strikes   Fri Jul 01 2016, 16:57

Personally I get a little bored doing the same theme over and over. That said your scheme is turning out amazing and there's no reason to change a good thing.

You could choose another elemental theme for the your eldar or... wait wait I have an idea.bounce All white with blackish blue lightning. then you still have the lightning theme but it's an obvious distinction.

On another note, great skin tones. I like how grey it looks, were you mixing to get that color set?
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PostSubject: Re: The Kabal of Lightning Strikes   Sat Jul 02 2016, 01:44

Painting white seems a bit scary to me. Especially on something as large as a Wraithknight. That could look really cool though. Will ponder for a bit longer.

I'm way to lazy to blend colours for flesh tones! Flesh colours are Rakarth Flesh, followed by a Liche Purple glaze, touch ups with Rakarth Flesh, then a Pallid Wych Flesh highlight. I did a search for paining Dark Eldar flesh, and the tutorial looked fairly simple, and seems to come out ok.

Next on the painting schedule is finishing up my Kabalite Warriors. The box of 10 got made up with a Blaster and Cannon, and there is no room for those in my list, so two replacements were needed. Some quick conversions to the crew members that hang on the side from the Raider kit and now just waiting for some green stuff to set. Very basic conversions, rocks built up from layers of green stuff, some minor bending of limbs, and adding weapons to hands that otherwise hang on to the Raider:



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PostSubject: Re: The Kabal of Lightning Strikes   Sat Jul 02 2016, 02:15

Neat! I never liked them hanging off the raider when we can't attack from it as we pass by, so, it's like getting two free models now with a raider!

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PostSubject: Re: The Kabal of Lightning Strikes   Sat Jul 02 2016, 12:18

It could be three free models, but I didn't bother reposing the more challenging legs, because I only needed two more Warriors for the moment. Here they are with some paint on them:




And two squads of Kabalite Warriors:


Next up, possibly some Lightning Dragons (some might call them Fire Dragons, but they wouldn't paint them blue with Lightning on them).

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PostSubject: Re: The Kabal of Lightning Strikes   Wed Jul 13 2016, 12:15

The Eldar have started...

One Farseer Alandrien ready to join the fun. I ended up going essentially Dire Avenger colours, with lightning starting in black against the white helm and changing to a more conventional colour on the blue body. The idea was for lightning to be flowing from the helm and down the cloak and out his hand as he projects a witchfire to the enemy.

So partly taking on Amheir-ka's suggestion of white. I like the clear contrast with the Dark Eldar, while still maintaining a linking theme across the army.





I think the colours work nicely, but will need some tidy up on the lightning.

As always keen to hear thoughts and suggestions.

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PostSubject: Re: The Kabal of Lightning Strikes   Wed Jul 13 2016, 14:37

If you're up for it, you could try greenstuffing some lightning to have coming from his hand Wink

This army is gorgeous, I love the kabalites a lot.
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PostSubject: Re: The Kabal of Lightning Strikes   Wed Jul 13 2016, 19:12

"With a new baby, I'm finding my gaming time is a bit limited,"

I feel your pain there Very Happy

Some really great progress. I like the lighting and theme you have going.

From a practical point, there are a couple of things that really helped me as a painter to improve. The first you have already done, and that is start a log or blog to share your stuff and get feedback from the community. It is also a great way to get tips and tricks to try new techniques. The second is get yourself a decent paintbrush (if you haven't already invested in one). Windsor and newton series 7 are great (no. 1 is a good size for most painting tasks) or Raphael is another brand that is excellent. The prices might seem a little high but it is well worth it, as (with appropriate care) they will last a while and keep their fine tip. This enables greater brush control, and makes a huge difference to the quality of painting. Also get yourself some masters brush soap. This stuff keeps your brushes clean (it moisturises the hair In the brush, which prevents it fraying). Washing in just water only removes about 75% of the paint on your brush, the rest collects around the ferrule (metal bit) and eventually causes the hairs to fall out, and clog together. Lastly I would suggest making yourself a wet pallete. This enables your paint to keep moist, and thin enough to prevent any streaking that can occur from thick paint. It also keeps your blends moist for quite a while, meaning you can go back and use the same mix and palette from model to model. It makes a huge difference to the standard of painting (it certainly has with mine) and I could not paint without one now.

I hope some of that is helpful to you. You may be doing some/all of it already, but they are a few things that have helped to to grow and improve as a painter.
As a final thought watching you tube tutorials can really help, or finding articles online on blogs can be super helpful in learning a new technique. Smile

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PostSubject: Re: The Kabal of Lightning Strikes   Wed Jul 13 2016, 20:11

I know it wasn't intended for me but I found everything you said helpful Wink
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PostSubject: Re: The Kabal of Lightning Strikes   Thu Jul 14 2016, 11:25

That was well timed Spellcheck, as I was just starting to get frustrated with my worn brush, so went out and got a decent one today. I have got a wet palette, and agree with how much they help out.

Coming up next is a Wraithknight, in the same colours as the Farseer.

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PostSubject: Re: The Kabal of Lightning Strikes   Fri Jul 22 2016, 06:35

Man, these look great! Nice work!

Another thought would be to put down all the lightening lines in white, then put a wash over that like Drakenhoff Nightshade, then after that is dry go with a finer white line centered within... I would try it first on a test model to be sure I was happy with it though.

Thanks for showing your DE!
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PostSubject: Re: The Kabal of Lightning Strikes   Wed Aug 17 2016, 11:08

Over the last month, I have just one new addition to the Kabal's Eldar pets. One Wraithknight.

With a trip away and a tournament over the last two weekends, progress has been a little slow. Still hoping to get some Windriders and Wraithguard painted over the next couple of weeks.

Here are some snaps of the new addition. I haven't decided what to add to the base as yet, so that will be coming soon.





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PostSubject: Re: The Kabal of Lightning Strikes   Wed Aug 17 2016, 11:42

And coming soon - Windriders and Wraithguard next up

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PostSubject: Re: The Kabal of Lightning Strikes   Wed Aug 17 2016, 12:04

Lookin good Kantalla. I will say one thing though - I don't care much for the Wraithknight for a single reason. - I don't like the way you did the lightning. (I like it, it's just . . . the back of the Wraithknight looks REALLY bare without it in my opinion.) And how come there aren't any light-blue strikes on the model as well like you've done for the others?
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