Painting Windwalker

This is the sixth faction I painted for Cthulhu Wars: A break after the complexities of painting Black Goat.

All of the faction’s models on top of their box, before painting began.
All of the faction’s models on top of their box, for comparison with the unpainted version.

The faction colour is an unmeasured mix of blue and white inks applied with Citadel/GW Contrast Medium.

The most important colour here is not the faction colours but white, which comes in five forms: Two different white inks, Vallejo’s white plastic putty for covering mould flash after priming, ordinary VGC white, and finally a gel-based (Warcolours) white for gem-shading the two icebergs, one of which is the base for Rhan-Tegoth.

The second most important colour is blue-grey, which comes in three forms: VGC 72.047 “Wolf Grey”, the more saturated intermediate Warcolours Blue Grey 2 (WBG2), and finally the dark Warcolours Transparent Blue Grey (WTBG). I bought my first Warcolours while I was painting Great Cthulhu and tried WTBG there first, but with Windwalker, it became my go-to solution to add shade and variation without risking confusion against any of the nine faction colours. WTBG plays a bigger role on Tsathoggua, the last figure I painted for the game’s first nine factions.


The complete set of individual models of this type.

The cultists’ hands are black to represent gloves, while all of the other factions’s cultists show skin.

This is a detail of my paint job on one particular figure, photographed to its advantage, not for ease of comparison to other figures.

Like Black Goat, Windwalker is one of the only two factions where I did not paint the hoods in the faction colour, but it’s more subtle here.

I painted it bone.

The krises are blue ink mixed into VGC silver. The masks are bone.


The complete set of individual models of this type.

I decided early on that the Wendigo should have colder colours while the Gnoph-Keh should have warmer colours. That way, there is less risk of the players getting them confused, although they are mostly white, the same number and about the same size.

The gore is slightly different on each.

The fur of the Wendigo is based on “Wolf Grey” with stains of cold and neutral greys and some red ink for blood over purple organs.


The complete set of individual models of this type.

I identify with these gangly bastards. The warm white fur is based on various washes and was highlighted with regular brushstrokes, not drybrushed. The skin is a couple of layers of WTBG, darkening toward the extremities to suggest frostbite, and then highlighted with WBG2.

This is a detail of my paint job on one particular figure, photographed to its advantage, not for ease of comparison to other figures.

The faces and horns are based on VMC 70.874 “Tan-Earth” and were originally lighter, but were darkened with WTBG near the end and not highlighted back up; I couldn’t figure out a good non-naturalistic look for them that would look sufficiently distinct from the blue-grey limbs.

Rhan-Tegoth and the Ice Age token

The only model of each type.

This paint job is deceptively simple. I like it a lot. The ice on Rhan-Tegoth’s base and on the accompanying Ice Age token is barely tinted blue; other than that it’s basically primer and zenithal highlight.

You can’t really tell here, but the model’s regular eyes are magenta, just look the bigger gem-shaded third eye on its forehead.

The eyes are VGC 72.014 “Warlord Purple”. The arms are many thin layers of Warlord Purple, white, black, and dark green ink to produce a variegated colour compatible with the concept art book’s suggestion that Rhan-Tegoth’s body is congealed from its tentacles.

The Great Old One’s shell bends down over its butt.

The browns are VGC 72.034 “Bonewhite”, VMC 70.874 “Tan-Earth” and Pro Acryl Black Brown. The shell on the figure’s back is two Contrast Medium layers of these browns, first light and then dark. The legs and pincers don’t have the light first layer but are instead highlighted with Bonewhite.

The entire mass of tentacles is painted in Green Stuff World Royal Burgundy.

All the smaller tentacles are Royal Burgundy from Green Stuff World’s “Chameleon” line, also known as “Colorshift Metal”. It’s pink where it pooled and shifts yellow-blue-green elsewhere. I applied it mostly over flat black but the textured tentacles under the face were basecoated blue first. The arms up front are not painted in Royal Burgundy, but I meant for them to look like the tentacles, though “less alive” without the colour-shifting.


The only model of this type.

My colour design on this figure looks nothing like the cover art. Instead it was inspired by another painter’s version I found online, so degraded that I could not source it. Thank you, whoever you are, for coming up with the “floating” high-contrast face idea.

The model’s best angle: Face on.

Like the ice, this is mostly naked primer and zenithal highlight. The black neck was done with Warcolours’s gel-based black, which thins and blends well. The top of the head is WTBG. Some Plastic Putty is visible, blended with the final white highlights.


I like this faction. I got it looking good enough without getting bogged down in the details or taking shortcuts.