This is the ninth faction I painted for Cthulhu Wars, mostly in tandem with Yellow Sign but finished last.
The faction colour is VGC 72.008 “Orange Fire”. The bases are Orange Fire over grey/white primer, drybrushed Sun Yellow, lightly drybrushed white, varnished and then washed brown in patches with Army Painter Light Tone.
The contrast colour is turquoise from various sources: Some of it is VMC 70.808 “Blue Green” washed down, some of it is green and blue inks, and much of it is an improvised mix of Citadel/GW Black Templar, VGC blue ink and Les Bursley’s wash foundation that turned out to have lovely variations as it aged on my wet palette.
For these models, the Orange Fire went over an airbrushed VMC 70.858 “Ice Yellow” foundation. The skirts are heavily washed with VGC Smokey Ink and then smoothed down with VMC 70.984 “Flat Brown”. I’m really happy with the latter choice for some reason.
The krises and masks are brown metallic.
I took the wings off and painted the pieces separately, then glued them back together, green-stuffing the spines in the process. The blue is mostly VGC ink over faint traces of airbrushed pink and Ice Yellow, highlighted back up with Ice Yellow to make it look similar to but distinct from Crawling Chaos. The outer wing membranes are weakly washed in Flat Brown over the blue ink, similarly to prevent confusion with Crawling Chaos. The orange details are washed in red and Flat Brown. I wanted both a kinship with Crawling Chaos and a whimsical, magical, almost Tzeentchian touch, rather than naturalism.
The mantles are the Black Templar and blue ink mix. The gold was painted the same way as on the Ancients.
Formless Spawn of Tsathoggua
The colour scheme is inspired by Paul Nojima. He did a much better job with it. Mine is darker overall, though the primer on these figures is white. The main colour is not black but VGC 72.155 “Heavy Charcoal” to distinguish the Spawn from Cthulhu’s Shoggoths. I used satin varnish rather than full manual highlights. Departing from Nojima’s example, I added steel teeth with a little turquoise-ink dental plaque.
This figure was airbrushed Ice Yellow over the three-part two-grey-primer-and-zenithal foundation that I used in most of the larger project. I had originally intended to base the painting scheme on Taricha salamanders, but didn’t know what to with the hair. I accidentally produced a large volume of the Black Templar and blue ink mix for the Serpent Men, and that matched the cover art for Tsathoggua, so I went with that for Tsathoggua’s hair after a quick test. It went on in any many layers for shading.
The dirt on the base is a Smokey Ink wash with desaturated highlights. The rocks were washed with thin VGC 72.050 “Cold Grey” over the Ice Yellow to make a warm grey base for contrast against the colder skin.
I painted the egg-like orange protuberances with Orange Fire, the naked skin on the arms and face with VGC 72.065 “Terracotta” and the skin on the belly with some very thin brown and terracotta glazes. The lips, eye sockets and drooping horn-ears are highlighted with VMC 70.829 “Amaranth Red”. The two big patches of skin on the back were painted to resemble the stomach, while the nearby skin covering the vertebrae was left bright Ice Yellow. The arms, head, vertebrae and back patches were then glazed in several layers of Warcolours Transparent Blue Grey. The blue-grey went especially heavy onto the sides of the head, less so on the cheeks, to make smooth transitions all the way from the scalp to the belly.
One of the orange nodules on the stomach is broken and painted to suggest that they are eggs of the Formless Spawn, which is not canon. The whole figure is covered in satin varnish, followed by patches of matt varnish on the base and the skin of the back, as well as gloss varnish on the eyes.
There isn’t much keeping this faction together, visually. I think the models are eclectic, and I agree with Vince Venturella’s sentiment that orange only works as a dominant colour or an accent colour on details. The necklaces of the Serpent Men were originally painted orange, but that didn’t work, so I converted them to gold. No half measures. Still, the paint job didn’t really have to be so eclectic. I could have used more of the muted tones of the finished Serpent Men on the Wizards, at least. I’m glad I didn’t go for the Taricha idea, but I’m still curious about what would have happened if I had made the top tentacles on the Spawn look red hot.