Sunday, 3 August 2014

Tutorial: How I Paint Vostroyan Firstborn

It is not exactly a hot topic at the moment, but I decided that writing up my Vostroyan Firstborn paint scheme would be a fun blog post for this weekend. I'd describe this scheme as "tabletop+". It is designed to be reasonably quick to do but produce a really nice quality result.
Those familiar with the Vostroyan range will notice that the example mini that I have picked has had a small conversion. The flamer nozzle has been sawn off and replaced with a melta nozzle. I used a small piece of pin to make it a bit tougher.
So here's the step by step guide. I use a mix of Vallejo, Army Painter, old and new GW paints. Where I've used anything else, I've listed the alternative in GW's current range. There are no prizes for guessing that I start from a black undercoat.
This scheme is based around a dark brown and a brassy metallic. The vast majority of the mini starts with one of these two colours, but there is an alternative metallic  to provide some contrast, and some other bits and pieces are picked out.
  • Faceplate, armour, insignia, melta nozzle: GW Tin Tin Bitz / Warplock Bronze
  • Coat, fur hat, rifle stock: GW Rhinox Hide
  • Melta hardware, toecaps, melta hose: GW Leadbelcher and Abaddon Black mixed 1:1
  • Melta insignia: Vallejo Heavy Warmgrey / GW Rakarth Flesh
  • Base: Vallejo Neutral Grey and Black mixed 1:1 / GW Mechanicus Standard Grey
Red Greatcoat
Getting a really nice rich red is very important to the final look of these minis. My biggest criticism of my own painting is that too many minis end up dark and dingy, and the red areas brighten these models up no end.

I use a technique that starts with a drybrush but works up through to proper highlighting. The initial drybrush helps you get a natural gradient between the light and dark areas, which you then add paint on top off to make a nice strong red that doesn't appear drybrushed at all.
  • Greatcoat: GW Khorne Red - Drybrush
Now the same colour is added with a wet brush to strengthen and richen the colour.
  • Greatcoat: GW Khorne Red
Finally, a highlight red goes on to really make these parts of the mini stand out. Note that I use a red glaze as well which goes on in the Finishing Touches stage.
  • Greatcoat: Vallejo Scarlet / GW Wazdakka Red
Again, this is really important to lighten the mini. A couple of really quick and easy dry produces gives a fur effect that looks spot on.
  • Fur: GW Stormvermin Fur - Drybrush
  • Fur: Vallejo Heavy Warmgrey / GW Rakarth Flesh - Drybrush
Now the metallics are developed, and we are quickly getting towards the final look of the model. I use a mix of drybrush and proper highlights on different parts of the mini, whatever looks best in that particular area and gets the job done quickly.
  • Faceplate, armour, insignia: Vallejo Gold / GW Balthasar Gold
  • Melta hardware, toecaps, pipes etc: GW Runefang Steel
  • Melta nozzle: Army Painter Strong Tone / GW Nuln Oil - wash
... and another level of highlights on some parts, mainly to brighten up the gold areas. I also brushed some gold over the melta tube just to provide a bit of variation.
  • Faceplate, armour, insignia: GW Runefang
  • Melta tube: Vallejo Gold / GW Balthasar Gold

Finishing Touches
Just a few bits and pieces and this Space-Russkie is ready for the table:
  • Hat Insignia: Vallejo Heavy Warmgrey / GW Rakarth Flesh
  • White Insignia (Hat and Melta) : GW Ogryn Flesh / Reikland Fleshshade
  • Ammo Pouches: Vallejo Heavy Warmgrey / GW Rakarth Flesh - very light drybrush to pick out the edges
  • Lenses: GW Castellan Green
  • Lenses: GW Skarsnik Green 
  • Lenses GW Waywatcher Green - Glaze
  • Greatcoat: GW Bloodletter - Glaze
So there you have it - my way of doing Vostroyans. It occurs to me as I write this up that this particular scuplt wasn't a great choice for the tutorial because you can see his face! Perhaps I will post a mini-tutorial on Vostroyan faces and beards soon.


  1. Looking great! Lot of character on these guys, and the paintjob suits them quit well. Always a fan of tabletop+ setups, as that is generally the quality I shoot for as well.

  2. Those look fantastic - I've always loved the Vostroyan sculpts, and kick myself for selling off my old firstborn army. Great work, man!