Archives for : Painting

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.


Rust Effects

No piccies, just a quick talk through on how I learned to do it.

  1. Base coat your area of rust in Bestial Brown.
  2. When dried, stipple Macharias Solar Orange on top of it leaving areas of brown showing through….
  3. When that dries (really quick) apply small splodges of Boltgun metal (note this is the only metalic colour you use for this technique).
Jobs a good ‘un!

Gaming Surfaces

A long, long time ago, Games Workshop sold two 2′ by 4 boards for £35. These boards were painted green on one side and came with some sliding clips. This was positied as a gaming table for you to use for your battles (just add terrain – see my terrain post when it’s complete).

Gaming Table

Being, 14 at the time and not overly familiar in my local DIY store, I invested in a set and have had them ever since. However, in the 10 years from when I stopped playing to picking up the hobby again, Games Workshop shifted the average table size up from 4′ by 4′ to 6′ by 4’…

So I sighed, and eventually wandered into a DIY store to collect an additional 2′ by 4′ board.

Games Workshop meanwhile, had moved on from DIY plywood boards to 2′ by 2′ plastic tiles. For years now I’ve looked at them, looked at the price tag and ran screaming from the store. Then a friend of mine decided to leave the country and sold me his Games Workshop Battleboards at a very reasonable price. … I’ll come back to this in a moment.

Now, assuming you go down the route I went down initially, and assuming you are not lucky enough to have a massive dining table (go cheap Swedish furniture stores….) then I recommend you pick up two wallpaper tables (the sort the allows you to roll the paper out so you can apply the paste). Put these together and lay your boards perpendicular to the direction the tables are running. You now have a gaming table to add scenery to, and the great thing? It’s easily packed away.

Back to the Battleboards…. Ok, aside from undercoating (I used 1.75 tins of Chaos Black undercoat – I seriously doubt you’ll need more than that!), I managed to complete all 6 boards in one afternoon with thanks to one of my local GW hobby stores and it’s manager.

Gaming Table

I used the Games Workshop scenery paint kits which gives you  a basic brown, an ochre, a brush, pva glue and two types of grass flock. Now this kit is at least £25 (possibly more now) and they don’t do any other colours. I decided to go for this as I wanted a base to use not only for my 40k armies but also my fantasy one.

I started brushing all of the boards with the brown paint, a good liberal coat on all 6, sometimes go back over with a second coat as it appears to dry very thin. The tub of brown you get with the paint pack is waaaaayyyy more than you need, I had at least 1/3 of the bottle left and i reckon I could have used a lot less.

After that coat is dry, you then dry brush on you’re ochre – I did use the entire bottle of ochre you’re given. Now this colour is very thick, so it can go a long way. Just in case you don’t know, dry brushing is loading the brush up with paint, wiping most of it off on towels then with the absolute minimum of paint left on the brush, run it over the boards, it will highlight all of the textures on the board.

Now the flock you get will not cover all 6 boards in a thick coat, think sparse grassland regions for your boards if you don’t have access to more flock (thankfully I was provided with access). In any case, it’s fairly simple – mix the pva with water in a 50:50 ratio then brush over the areas of the boards you want to flock. Then drop the flock over the glued areas and pat down. Leave it for 10-15 mins then tip the board and knock off the excess flock for use on the other boards.

I was advised by my local’s manager that you really, really need to Purity Seal (varnish) the boards after drybrushing (and/or flocking) . The reason for this? protect against wear and tear, as the boards are plastic and the paints acrylic; they will wear off, and the flock will peel away. In any case, another 1.75 tins of purity seal and your done.

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