Belisarius Cawl: Part 1 – upper torso.
I. Love. This. Model. I couldn’t help myself, so I split a box with a couple buddies and got to work right away. After putting some thought into it I decided to keep him in his ‘real’ color scheme instead of just painting him as though he’s from my own forge world, Kal’koplos. This will be the first time I’ve ever included an actual named character in an army, in almost 30 years of gaming. I guess I’ve always made my own. I’ve never even done so much as a counts-as even though I have plans to do so for my Eagle Eyes at some point. With all that said, I was really digging the background on this guy, and as an itinerant soul it made sense that he could end up working with whomever is around, as he has with the Agripinaa Skitarii in The Fall of Cadia. So, since I was in sort of new territory, I thought I’d try my hand at copying an official paint scheme, using a combination of Duncan Rhodes’ painting vid and the official artwork and 360 view on GW’s website.
Painting Belisarius Cawl’s ancient skin
I wanted to capture both the incredible age and also inherently unhealthy appearance of the flesh in the two spots you can see it. I followed Uncle Duncan’s basic recipe with Rakarth Flesh, shaded with Athonian Camoshade, and highlighted with Pallid Wych Flesh. I added a bit of yellow glaze to show a mild case of jaundice (I doubt he gets out much). I also glazed in some red around the areas where tubes were puncturing the skin, blue for some veins, and a bit of blue shading around the ‘rings’ where it would be a bit bruised. On top of that, I added flecks of Agrax Earthshade to simulate liver spots. I paid special attention to the face, even though it’s mostly hidden. I’m not in love with the way the eye turned out, but I tried to use some blues, purples and pinks to make his eye look very sunken, with some puffy, raw skin above his eye as well. All in all I think the effect is good, even though I think the eye could be better. I finally just stopped messing with it because it was getting a bit too much paint in so the details were softening.
Here are a couple more shots:
Details around the rest of the torso
I’ve since finished the robes up, worked on the silver metals and based in all the major colors around the model. I left the cogmohawk and the two side weapons for last since I was using those to hold the model in place.
The yellow and black striping are really hard for me. I’ve never really done them at all, and while I understand how it all works logistically, actually making them look uniform is another matter entirely. I used a trick I picked up from BattyBattyBats (look for him on Twitter and Bolter and Chainsword) to mark out the lines with a pencil, and that did help on some of the later ones. I think they look fine from the tabletop, but they’re still sloppy. I may just have to deal with it because I’m having a very hard time correcting them. Here you can see I also started on his cog but there’s a lot left to do yet.
I started his little computer screen as well but I’m sort of stuck on it. Looking over the official art, it’s clear the ‘Eavy Metal team opted for blue instead of Duncan’s greet gem effect, so I stuck with the blue. That said, I couldn’t get a clear shot of what was on it so I had to fudge it a bit. Nothing special, just some squiggly blue shapes. I really love this detail, though, and I think a lot of people miss it. He’s even got a dedicated little slave arm just to type on it! That’s the kind of wild Adeptus Mechanicus stuff I love about this model.
The Arc Scourge
Cawl’s major close combat weapon (besides the axe, of course) is a beefed-up version of the Arc Claw the Kataphron Breachers use. This thing just looks cool as hell to me. One thing I liked about the official paint scheme is the deep red they used for this and the little spider dude on the base. I wanted to capture it and I’m really pleased with the way it turned out. I think the way it’s painted really helps break up all the detail to make it a bit easier to see what’s going on. I still need to finish the highlights on the silver and brass for this arm, but other than that I think it’s done. It’s just Khorne Red, Nuln Oil, highlight with Evil Suns Scarlet and a bit more Nuln Oil to deepen some of the flatter areas. Simple but effective.
The Solar Atomizer
I’m just getting started on this bad boy, but already I like how they used black to make it visually distinct from the rest of the model and the Arc Scourge. They’re both mounted in a similar fashion, but the altered color palette makes it clean they’re not the same thing. I also love the slaved mini-arm on this one, with a rotator collar to allow it to adjust the dials on the underside and around the rear casing. I have quite a bit left to do here but the base colors and shades are down. The cables around back are basically done as well. I’ll have to play around with the weird blue glow they’re going for, as it’s not a normal OSL. It looks more like corrosion that’s settled into the cracks, but that’s not really what I’d like to do with it. I’ll play with ways to make it look more like glow, I think, but that’s a little ways off still.
In these pics you can see I’ve pretty much finished up the red robes as well. I followed the Duncan recipe pretty much to the letter: Mephiston Red, Agrax Earthshade, a bit more Mephiston, Evil Suns Scarlet and Fire Dragon Bright. I went very sparing on the Bright, but I think the contrast is nice so I think I’ll leave it here. It’s such a vibrant red compared to what I’m used to, and it should look really cool on the leg section.
What do you think?
See anything I should change up before it’s too late? Any bits that don’t match the official paint scheme that you can find? Again, it’s a bit sloppy right now so don’t sweat that too much. I’ll be touching up as I go.