Wargaming Tradecraft: Midnight Court on Parade


Midnight Court on Parade

Armies on Parade:
Count Vlagorescu's Midnight Court

A while back I picked up an Age of Sigmar army, King Vlagorescu's Ghoulish Host, mostly because of the guy who's opened our local Warhammer store. (Which goes to show you how much "community" plays a factor in which game system you choose to play.)  I've been looking for an excuse to paint them up and it finally came in the form of the region's first Armies on Parade competition. If you've been following the work in progress on Facebook, then you've already gotten a peak into what's currently unfolding on my desk.

For those unfamiliar, this is basically a painting competition on the scale of a small army with a display board component.

Curious to know more? (Like the unique colour scheme?) Keep reading!

Colour Scheme

So the unique thing about my army is that the plan is to paint it in black, white and grey. The challenge here is that usually I play a lot with colour contrasts, but having a limited palette posed an interesting challenge.

The other purpose of this project is to play with my airbrush. I've been saying that when I pick up a brush, it feels like an extension of my arm, but when I'm holding my airbrush, it feels like a tool. Now that I've finished the airbrush component, I feel much more comfortable using it. Two differences: Using airbrush specific paints and using about 15 psi instead of 30-45.

During the final stages I'll also be using some of my dry pigments for a final blend.

An idea I'd tossed around a bunch was whether or not to use a splash of colour as a little OSL glow on their eyes. From the suggestion of my wife, I've decided to go with it to add a little more contrast.

Worth noting, beware the off-blacks/greys/whites if you decide to do a project like this yourself. Nothing wrong with painting something using blue-greys or sepia coloured whites and browns.. just avoid it if you're going greyscale.

Getting Started

There are a LOT of little parts and I think it may have taken longer to clean mold lines than it took to paint the minis themselves. But if you're going camping, it's kind of relaxing to put my feet up in the middle of nature and scrape away.

Now, I do want to say that despite competition, I won't be painting to my higher Hordeblood quality. I need to get the army and display board done in a month. I still want them to look good so I'll be using some decent quality shortcut techniques though - airbrushing, dry-brushing, washing and pigments.

To start out, I've glued every model to the painting station I built so that I can hold the minis on toothpicks while airbrushing.

Lookin' for something to do with those old Mk2 cards? Works great to shield other parts like leg and body parts when doing fine airbrushing like blending claws.

After priming black, Here I've done the basic strong white highlights to begin.


On the giant undead bat, here's a bunch of greyscaling after the first white highlight.


In order to highlight the wing frame I started by shielding some parts, then I finished the central ones by using a piece of cardstock / plastic that I cut a rectangle in. If you go this route, hold the paper away from the model some. If you place it right against the model and spray with an airbrush, you'll get solid lines. Holding it away fuzzes things a little for a blend.

Punching up the White content to clean things up and add some contrast.

Washing with White

For the ghoul wings, I used an interesting technique to highlight them. After airbrushing some mixed shares of grey, I airbrushed too-strong white highlights. To follow that up, I wetted a Q-tip and rubbed it in, blending the white highlight into an overall blending highlight.

Below, you can see some early versions with more grey on the left and later higher contrasts on the right.

Greyscale is done.

Next up, more shading, highlighting and tough ups.

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