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Dreadfleet – The Bloody Reaver


Otherwise known as the Bloody Hard paint job…..

The Bloody Reaver was the ship I wanted to save until I’d had some ‘practice’ – reason being, this is the largest, most demanding ship for Dreadfleet, and, ultimately the hardest paint job for me yet. The Reaver is filled with detail, from the wrecks comprising it’s hull, to the Fortress to the small anchors and various stone effects, all of it needs to be done with great care and precision….

I decided early on that there was no way I could rush this thing through in one night, it would be a job of several evenings and in the end took me 8 hours, spread over 3 days to get this done to the level it’s now at.

I started with a Chaos Black undercoat and got the base prepped as I described in my earlier post.


I then went over all the rock with Adeptus Battlegrey – as you will note from the pics I did this before I assembled everything so I could get right down into the features.


This was then washed down with a 1:1 ratio of Devlan Mud and Badab Black washes.


After that I decided to pick out the anchors – for this I wanted to apply a rust effect….


Now in the midst of all this stone work, you can’t forget about the cavern entrance (like I did….ahem…,) so after the rust effects, I went back to the cavern and applied the same initial rock effects to it as well. When it dried, I applied the finishing touches to all of  the rock effects by dry brushing them with Fortress Grey.



After that, I moved on to paint the wrecks, for this I used base colours of Mechrite Red, Mordian Blue, Gnarloc Green and (because I like the colour) Hormagaunt Purple. Gold effects were base coated using a 1:1 ratio of Scorched Brown and Shining Gold. I then washed down the wrecks with Devlan Mud.



Whilst waiting for the wash to dry, I decided to apply my bone effect method to the ribs sticking out of the rock and the spars out of the front of the fortress. I then went back and finished the base, picking out the ship wrecks in Scorched Brown and the ripped sails in Mechrite Red and Bleached Bone.


After all that, I went back over the wrecks with Scab Red, Mordian Blue and Gnarloc green to strengthen up the colours and re-applied Shining Gold to the fittings. I then painted the spars of wood, the decking and the dirt path with Calthan Brown and washed it with Devlan Mud. I the dry brushed the dirt path with Snakebite Brown for some added texture.  With the sea monster on the prow I did it in gold, filled the eye socket with Goblin Green and added a small dot of Scorpion Green. When all of that was completed, I followed White Dwarf 382’s guide on painting the fortress, roofs and towers.



At this stage I was two-thirds complete, I just needed to finish the sails and put it all together. To do this I started by painting the sails with Liche Purple, the drybrushed them with Warlock Purple.


I then went over the iconography with Bleached Bone followed by a light wash of Gryphonne Sepia followed again by a light coat of Bleached Bone. I then took a fineline pen and put the ship’s name on the sail name plate before applying another Gryphonne Sepia wash over the lettering. The pennants were done with a blending of Mechrite Red through to Blazing Orange at the tips.


Dreadfleet – Painting the Shadewraith


I’m Kai (he who owns the blog’s other half :D)- and I’m painting some of the Dreadfleet stuff.    Normally all I am is a writer, so painting and writing up guides is a new one on me, but here goes 😉

The Shadewraith ship seemed to be the easiest of all of them to paint.  Much to my surprise, we undercoated it black, not white, and then I got to work.Shadewraith - basecoat.  My first step was Astronomicon grey – and I didn’t put the pieces together – painting them as separate elements.

(while I was waiting for it all to dry, I also did some of the base work on the Bone ruler)

The Astronomicon grey coat also had some details picked out in brown for the dried seaweed, though I have to admit, this was pretty much one of the easiest parts of the whole thing.

After the astronomincon grey was dry, my next step was a pretty heavy Thraka wash, which took forever to dry.  I was very concerned that I was obliterating the detail at this point, but with the next step I started revealing gorgeous detail.

Shadewraith - central deck - washed with ectoplasm

Drybrushing isn’t the most intuitive thing I’ve ever tried, in fact, I was sure I was doing it wrong, but I loaded the brush up carefully, wiped it, ran it across the back of my hand a couple of times (which really seemed to help), the drybrushed the deck first.  I gave it another wash as suggested with a one and one mix of Thraka Green and Scorpion green, then, instead of edge highlighting, I spent some extra time dry brushing the edges again, giving a worn, textured look and feel to the whole ship.  My finishing touches were adding some colour and detail to the teeny tiny canons then I stuck it all together, taking great care to ensure that the masts weren’t damaged on insertion.  I added some extra texture to the seaweed by washing them carefully in badab black and added some drybrushed detail to the ghosts and wraiths hiding in the seaweed below the ship.

The base was completed as per the other instructions on a previous post, with attention paid to the parts that was ship specific in the same way as it was painted.

Painted so far (side)

Dreadfleet – Storm Clouds and Bones


The Windguage – Storm Clouds, Fate, Ghosts and Treasure

For me, Dreadfleet has a huge potential to be a very pretty set, I’m not just talking about the ships, or the islands, but alsos the tools to make the game work. with this in mind, I decided to get on and paint the windguage.

I started with a black undercoat on both sides.

Dreadfleet windguage - undercoat

On the front side (the one pictured above) I decided to start by dry brushing a 1:1 mix of Scorched Brown and Shining Gold over the main face.

Dreadfleet windguage - drybrush

I then picked out the storm clouds with Adeptus Battlegrey and washed the main face down with Devlan Mud.


Dreadfleet windguage - stormclouds

Next up, I washed the storm clouds with Badab Black, and whilst that dried, I dry brushed the main face with Shining Gold. When the clouds dried, I edge highlighted the clouds with Space Wolf Grey and then a thiner line highlight of skull white.

Dreadfleet windguage - highlights

I finished the front off by picking out the raised triangles on the inner ring with Boltgun Metal.

Dreadfleet Windguage - complete - front

For the rear plate, I did the same gold drybrush/highlight mix for the outer ring and clouds. For the faceplate of the rear, I painted it down with Astronomican Grey then washed it Thrakka Green.

Dreadfleet windguage - rear

When that dried, I applied a 1:1 mix of Scorpion Green and Thrakka Green to random spots, drybrushed the raised areas with Astronomican Grey and line highlighted the raised areas with Skull White.

Dreadfleet Windguage - complete - rear




Ruler and Wheels of Bone

I started the wheels and ruler with a Skull White undercoat.



Dreadfleet movement ruler + wheels - undercoated


This was then painted Bleached Bone and liberally washed down with Gryphonne Sepia. When it dried, it looked like this:

Dreadfleet movement ruler + wheels - washed

The final steps for this bone effect was to drybrush the raised areas with more Bleach Bone.Dreadfleet movement ruler + wheels - drybrushed Dreadfleet movement ruler + wheels - mid-drybrush

I then picked out the skull eye sockets on both the wheels and ruler with a Badab Black wash. Dreadfleet - ruler + wheels - complete


The Seadrake – Dragons + Ships

First off, I HATE painting light colours, by light colours I mean pale colours such as white, yellow, etc. It’s why I play Necrons, Imperial Guard and Blood Angels – I use strong dark colours in all of my armies. So tackling the Seadrake, was always going to be a pain for me. Looking at the White Dwarf guide filled me with dread as I tried to work out how I could make the guide easier on me, whilst still looking for opportunities to learn new painting methods.

Up until now I’ve done every ship in Chaos Black undercoat, I figured that doing the same with the Seadrake may make it come out a little too dark for my liking so I did the hull, towers, dragons and sails in Skull White and the main decking in Chaos Black.


I then went over the hull in Astronomican Grey, Calthan Brown for the decking, Deneb Stone for the towers, a 2:1 mix of Space Wolf Grey: Ice Blue for the tower roofs.


I then washed the towers in Sepia, the decking in Devlan Mud and the roofs in Badab Black.


Whilst I waited for that to dry, I painted the sails Enchanted Blue and then washed them in Asurmen Blue wash.


I did my hull dragon in Macharius Solar Orange, washed him in Baal Red, dry brushed him a 1:1 mix of Golden Yellow and Blazing Orange and finally washed the wing membranes ins Baal Red again. I picked out the sail detail with Skull White, drybrushed the hull, towers and decking with Bleached Bone and re-washed the decking with Devlan Mud again.  I layered the tower roofs with Shadow grey and edge highlighted with Space Wolf Grey and picked out the dragon, hull runes, rudder and weapon ports in Shining Gold. I then washed the dragon and the rudder in Devlan Mud.

This was my end result:

The Seadrake - finished

The White Dwarf issue discussing the painting tips suggests a white/blue dragon for independent stuff, now, whilst this is a fine traditional colour scheme for High Elves, I wanted to add a little character to mine, so I went with a Purple Dragon. Paint the dragon in Liche Purple, then wash it down in Leviathan Purple. I then dryburshed it with Warlock Purple and washed the wing membranes in Asurmen Blue.


Grimnir’s Thunder – the Alliance’s carrier

So in my previous post, I discussed how I painted the blimps of the Grimnir’s Thunder. Here I’ll discuss the ship itself….

Grimnir's Thunder - completed

Grimnir’s Thunder is the armour tank of the alliance and one of two (arguably the only true) carrier of the Alliance’s fleet. She’s a behemoth of metallics and if WD 382 is to be believed a simple paint job….

Whilst it’s true, you do only work initially with three colours, the amount of intricate details on this model make it far from simple to paint.

As usual with my ships, I decided to paint the components and base before assembly. My base guide here covers the basics of the base, though with the Thunder’s base, there is a small (what appears to be) steam powered mini boat in one corner.

Grimnir's Thunder - undercoat and base

Not sure how easy it is to spot, so let me jump to the end for a second…

Grimnir's Thunder - complete with miniship

As you can see here, the little ship (aww dinky) has been done in a paint scheme similar to the Grimnir’s Thunder (so Chainmail for the steel, 1:1 mix of Shining Gold and Scorched Brown) for the paddles and turret weapon. Wash it down with Devlan Mud, then highlight back up. Do all of this after you have finished painting the base, otherwise your colours might mix during the washes.

Grimnir’s Thunder’s base colours are Gnarloc Green, Chainmail, a 1:1 mix of Scorched Brown and Shining Gold and Tin Bitz. WD 382 talks you through it as a paint guide.

In my case though I fond the little details (the runes) the hardest to sort out. Let me show you.

In the WD they recommend you do the metallics first, nuh-uh, in my case, I did the greens first and then applied the metallics.

Grimnir's Thunder - base colours

I also painted the blimps first.

Grimnir's Thunder - base colours (midsection)


This meant when I came to wash (again the guide says do it for just the steel and the green) I could do the whole thing.

Grimnir's Thunder - washed + highlighted

To highlight (also in the above picture) I just went over the various panels in their various layers (see WD 382 to find out what colours I used). Keeping the detailing clean here was the hardest part and required a really steady hand (I recommend holding the model in one hand, the tip of the brush in the other and with practice u can get a good stead hand by pressing the heels of your hands together while you paint (or buy a vice….).

White Dwarf advised another layer of fine line highlighting around the steel panels and some randomized chipping by mixing Blazing Gold and Mithril Silver together and applying it on the various ‘gold’ metallic points. Frankly i liked the end result without that step as it gave a much more striking model….

Grimnir's Thunder - completed

Job’s a good ‘un.