To celebrate the new Gabriel Angelos miniature, Games Workshop was kind enough to send us a few Forgeworld kits! What better way to celebrate the Blood Ravens than to get the devs who created them to bring this miniature to life?
We assembled our finest for a healthy dose of competition - and threw Game Director Phil, Narrative Designer Kyle, and IT Tech-Priest Drew in a trial of paint selection, technical execution, and arduous detail work.
THE BLOOD RAVENS COLOUR SCHEME HAS GONE THROUGH SOME CHANGES OVER THE YEARS. WHICH ITERATION DO YOU PREFER?
Throughout the years, we have played around with the colouration of Blood Raven shoulder pads. Either a deep blood red or a bleached bone tan, we’ve got fans of both looks in the studio.
DREW: Honestly – I like the latest rendition. But I can’t paint a black cloak as well as bone – so bone cloak it is!
KYLE: It changed? Seems to me it’s always been the same, with a lot of subtle variation within it! For my line infantry, I am partial to the dark-red armour, bone shoulders, and black for the Aquila and shoulder trim.
PHIL: I like having larger portions of bone colour than in the common Blood Ravens colour scheme, so I chose to paint Gabriel's cape in bone. Other than that, I tried to strike a balance between the colours portrayed in the game. One tweak that I do across all my Blood Ravens is to make the purity seal wax green instead of red. I just really like the contrast.
HOW DID YOU APPROACH ASSEMBLING AND PAINTING THIS MINIATURE?
KYLE: My goal was to assemble him before painting - I don’t trust myself not to lose or break loose bits. Then I lightly washed and scrubbed the model with soap and water to get it ready for painting.
DREW: I actually left the model in separate pieces until the very end when it was fully painted. I opted to superglue it all together at the end.
PHIL: The miniature came with two base options, so I chose the large scenic base. I did a tiny bit of modding to that - adding an Eldar helmet to the carnage at Gabriel's feet, and used some stones to cover some seams.
KYLE: For the painting, I knew going in that I wanted to emphasize the ornate detail on Gabriel’s armour, so I spent extra attention on the metal work. Once I got the gold and steel base on the model, I stained them with wash paints. They are very wet and thin paints that pool in the recesses of the model, staining them darker and shading the model naturally. I shaded the gold with Agrax Earthshade and the steel with Nuln Oil. The shades pop out the details very well, but they also mute the metallic sheen. To get back the shine, I highlighted the edges of the gold and silver bits with Runefang Steel - a very bright platinum paint.
DREW: I tend to paint as if the model was putting on clothes, so skin then armor then accessories. I tend to finish something fully before moving on. I also decided to try my hand at a lot of blending on this miniature. So the armor and the cloak is all blended.
PHIL: In terms of colours, I did the red armour with a base of Khorne Red, a shade of Carroburg Crimson, layered more Khorne Red over top, and then highlighted with Evil Sun Scarlet and a touch of Wild Rider Red.
KYLE: The cape, cloth-work, and raven symbols were built up from a black base using a mix of navy blue and grey. When I finished, the black bits were a bit bright and contrasted, so I used the blue wash - Drakenhof Nightshade - to blend and darken them. I like mixing in blue when I’m painting things that are black, as it introduces an element of coldness and contrast to the red of the model.
DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS OR SUGGESTIONS FOR PEOPLE WHO WILL BE PAINTING THIS MODEL?
KYLE: Don’t rush to assembly! Wash the model and file off flash before busting out any glue. Also, don’t fret about areas your brush can’t reach. My golden rule is if your brush can’t reach it, you eye probably can’t see it. Lastly - be gentle!
PHIL: Make sure to get the Daemonhammer straight - I didn't!
DREW: The hammer is trouble. There is a ton of detail on the weapon itself, so I’d suggest leaving it off until the very end.
WHAT WAS YOUR FAVOURITE PART ABOUT PAINTING THIS MINI?
KYLE: I really enjoyed the shading stage of the miniature. The model is very detailed, and that means many recesses to suck up washes and glazes. I almost didn’t have to do any shading by hand, and I debated whether I even needed to do edge highlights. It’s a great model to paint even if you’re new to the hobby.
PHIL: I'm quite happy with how Gabriel's face turned out. I also like the cracked-lens effect I got on the Ork scrap at the edge of his base.
DREW: I loved the cloak – it was so nice to practice blending on.
IF YOU COULD CHANGE ONE THING ABOUT YOUR WORK, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
PHIL: If I had more time, I’d give the head and cape a bit more love.
DREW: More contrast. I would bring the cloak to a whiter highlight and I would blend the gold work better from brown up to silver.
KYLE: Gosh, I really wanted to add a big Blood Raven logo to the cape. I debated freehanding one, but I ran out of time!
The Gabriel Angelos Forgeworld miniature is now available to purchase! We’d love to see your creations when you’ve finished your Blood Raven Chapter Master - so tweet them @DawnOfWar when you’ve completed the finishing touches!