Wargaming Tradecraft: Janissa Tauren [Final WIP and Photos]


Janissa Tauren [Final WIP and Photos]

This is one I've been working on for a while and you've seen the progress if you've been following on Facebook.

The hair I'm particularly fond of, but a lot of things have brought the whole model together.

As I've said before, when I went into detail on how I painted her hair, she's come to be fondly referred to as "Maybelline". Some think her hair looks like a cloak, but I tell them "Maybe it's Maybelline." Love it.

Also, curious how I sculpted her? Take a look at the beginning process and how I bulked up some of my other Tauren minis. A process I think I've gotten better at as I built the heads and then the shoulders of my Warders.

New Games Workshop Technical Gemstone Paints

So these are kinda cool. They're translucent, meaning you can see through them some once they're applied and they have a shiny gem-like finish. In this case I've used Spiritstone Red.

Quick demo here, I've used this stuff 2 ways:

  • Painting a uniform sheen over the gem I've already painted.
  • Colouring the round nobs at the base of the axe to turn them into gems.

It's literally as easy painting it over something else you've painted. No blending or anything needed.

Terrain Time

My vision for Janissa is to have her hand raised in the air to be commanding an explosion of stones from the ground, swirling upward and into her palm.

The Basics

I've added my usual strawberry seeds to the side of the base as a path.

Then, I block out, using stones, where the stones on my base will be exploding from, leaving the base green to be filled with grass.

I've also painted the base green and used a dark wash to create a base colour incase any shows through in the end.
Magical Frame

Using pliers and side cutters, I bend and cut a frame for the rocks. I start with an arched base, then glue a second piece from the base to her hand.
Could I have created the final product without a frame?

Absolutely. the gel I plan on using with rocks mixed in is pretty firm.

But it would have taken a long time waiting for the lower layers to dry before building the next layer on top.

Rock Formula

Starting out, I've got some smooth rocks of various shades. Took them outside in a plastic baggie and smashed them up with a hammer so they didn't look so nice.

Then I mixed those rocks, some smashed up green rocks and a bunch of beach sand together.

The binding agent is Artists Heavy Gel, the same thing I use to create Fire Effects, Magic Effects, etc. So mix that in too.

Rock Lobber!

Started building the base without the frame, but that's when I noticed things were going to take wayyyy too long.

Because of all the rocks and sand mixed into the gel, it didn't want to stick the the frame. Easy solution: Cover the frame in gel!

The allowed the gel-rock mix to stick on.

Cover the frame completely, all around. Don't forget to get in behind and under your model - don't want any wire sticking out.

You don't have to cover the whole wire at once, BUT I do recommend covering all the wire at each level at once. Meaning: When you cover the lower parts of the wire, cover ALL the wire. This way, the gel dries all together and around the wire as one piece, anchoring the wire inside.
Grassy Realism

I've said plenty of times before, like when creating Mulg, that herbs and teas make for fantastic basing material and it's SO cheap. So, I glue some herb around the rim of the base as a start. To follow up, I cover the stone explosion in super glue and dump more herbs all over it. (Seriously, if rocks just exploded from the ground, there'd be grass and underbrush mixed in.)

Grassy Explosion

Lets take a look where we're at:

I've got this fake grass, but it can be difficult to work with. Take some strands out at a time. If you feel like trying to get it to line up so you can work with it, good luck. I have a better option.

  1. Pinch a little of the grass together.
  2. Cut the base to length so you can even it out. (Make it a little longer than you need.)
  3. Pull out the base.
  4. Apply super glue to the base.
  5. Let it dry.
Don't glue it down during this phase, it'll still be difficult to work with and the fake grass absorbs super glue. That's why we're creating a base that's a little longer than you need.

To finish up:

  1. Take the extra long base.
  2. Cut it to length.
  3. Apply super glue to the base of the grass.
  4. Use pliers to place the grass where you want it.
Since you're gluing the area you've already glued to hold the grass together, the super glue won't be absorbed anymore.

When you're done, go back in with some side cutters and trim the grass to make it look good. You want it wild, but but too wild and you don't want uniform. (Avoid sections that a cut to the same height, as if a lawn mower had done it evenly.)

A Flower in her Hair

Like when I covered my Mountain King in real flowers, I took some small petals and glued them together in the braid of her hair to add a small accessory.


This stage comes with a warning.

First off, gel is shiny, which isn't really appropriate for the look I'm going for with the rocks.
Second, if you varnish gel, it often turns into a cloudy mess.

What I've found is that airbrushing my paintable matte varnish actually softens it and in this case that really turned out well.

I've also painted a little yellow around her hand to create an object source lighting glow effect as the magic reaches her.

Final Photos

Take a look at my Step by Step page for the entire Hordebloods project.

Here you will find each model broken down into links showing each step:
Concept, Works in Progress, (for both modelling and painting) and Final Shots

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