Wednesday, December 5, 2018

A Tale of Four Warlords: Blood Stalkers

As the search for the 8th Wonder of Ghur continues my Daughters of Khaine army continues to grow; this month with the inclusion of the serpentine Blood Stalkers! The melusai are some of my favorite models in the army so I was eager to add a unit of these huntresses to the expedition.

The Melusai are just some great looking models, and I plan to include a unit of both variants in my army. I have actually painted up a test Blood Sister and Blood Stalker in the past, so I already knew how I was going to tackle them more or less. When choosing between the pair I ended up going with the Stalkers first for a few reasons. I really like the sculpts and the faces. The Blood Sisters are cool, but their masks leave little room for personality and the Stalkers' heads are just so expressive. I had also just finished up a combat unit for my army with the Witches, so I figured a bit of ranged firepower would be a welcome addition. Lastly, based off my experience, the Stalkers take less subassemblies then the Sisters do for me, and I felt like taking it easy this past month considering I was painting up some Grimghasts for my Nighthaunt as well.

Though they use less subassemblies, I do still break them down into a few components. This is mostly for ease of priming. The tails are full assembled and glued onto some spare bases. These are primed with the Incubi Darkness spray, which saves me a basecoat on them. The torsos, arms, and head are all fully assembled and primed white for the skin, as well as the hair and Shattered Dominion base which are left separate. The hair is left off because it covers a lot of area, but also because it involves drybrushing, so it allows me to be a bit messier and faster with it since I won't have to worry about messing up other colors with it separate. The bases also have a lot of drybrushing, so it's just easier to have it on its own. Lastly, the quivers are left off and sprayed black.

I managed to paint this unit in about a week and a half to two weeks, which is quicker then I was expecting. The tails have some drybrushing in them to build up the main colors, but the last step involves a lot of line highlighting where I pick out each scale. I knocked these out first so it would just be done and I wouldn't have the most intimidating part left to go at the end. There will be a painting tutorial for this up at some point on the Warhammer Community site. As I was painting them I started glueing stuff together as it made sense. Basically once all of the tails, skin, and black areas were done I glued the torsos onto the tails before doing the gold. This helps me see the model as a whole and decide if I need to adjust anything. Speaking of the black areas, these gals have a lot of little straps on them, so I did the black from basecoat to final highlight on them one model at a time so I wouldn't grow bored. When you're basecoating little fiddly areas for an extended time it can grow a bit tedious. Basically I reward myself with the highlights and the satisfaction of seeing all of it done before moving onto the next one. I'm really happy with how they turned out and am excited to get the Blood Sisters done later. The good thing about this army though is that there is a lot of unit variety, so I can break it up before painting something so similar again. Next up is the Avatar of Khaine, which I have already started, then onto the Heartrenders. My original goal was a unit a month, but to finish the army in time I will need to double up in at least one month.

The Sibilant Stalkers

The orruks bellowed in a mighty waaagggh as they surged across the dusty landscape, a giant cloud billowing in their wake. The dust masked the true strength of the raucous horde from Lathori's eyes atop the rocky outcrop. The wilds of Ghur were proving to be more troublesome then she had hoped. The expedition for the 8th Wonder had not yet begun in earnest, but these smaller scouting sorties were an irksome necessity. The rugged landscape around Khar Nair was crawling with pests in need of bloodletting and her forces needed to hone their killing edge. An idle knife is a dull knife as they say. The greenskins thundered in below her with the arrogance of their simple breed, all corded muscles and brute power. From her lofty position she surveyed as the Witches of the Blooded Blade leapt forward to meet them, the lithe aelves pirouetting between the hulking orruks. Blades lashed out and crimson blood arced through the air tracing the aelves deadly ballet. Amidst the carnage she saw Narochi propel herself off the back of one orruk, already toppling forward bereft of its head, and launch towards the mongrels' leader. A smile crept across Lathori's face as she basked in the the gory exultations to Khaine. 

Even as the orruks' formation crumbled around them a new threat arose. From around a rocky bastion a heavily armored unit of Ironjawz Brutes lumbered forward. Picking up speed with every moment the orruks began to thunder towards the dwindling combat, a throaty waaagggh upon their lips. Narochi seemed unaware, caught up in the orgy of bloodletting. With less than half the ground left between them the lead Brute stopped so suddenly it was as if it had struck a wall. A look of puzzlement and annoyance crossed its face as the orruk fumbled for the black hafted arrow now sprouting from its chest. Two more arrows quickly followed suit before it could react further punching through its thick armor. As the Brute collapsed to the ground the rest of the unit halted in confusion for the briefest of moments, yet that was all that was needed. Another volley of arrows peppered the remaining orruks with such precision that most had fallen with pierced hearts before their killers were even amongst them. Slithering out from the shadows, the melusai Blood Stalkers fell upon the dead and dying Brutes. Their knives lashed out in a quick economy of motion, slitting the throats of those who still drew breath while deftly carving the hearts from those already gone. The melusai's krone, Corus Shadoweye, turned towards Lathori and raised her gory trophies in salute, a sly smile upon her face. A deft blade and a quick shot, the Hag Queen thought, but not one to be trusted. Something about the melusai always put her on edge. They were Khaine's chosen, it was true, but at the end of the day they answered to another. She would have to keep an eye on their lot and a tight seal upon her plans, lest the truth slip out. Nodding back in acknowledgement of the offering, Lathori began her descent to the killing field, dagger and goblet in hand. It was time to make benedictions to Khaine and to collect the temple's bloody due. 

That's all for this month, but be sure to check out the work from some of the other Warlords participating in this. Eric has his first unit of aelf Arkanauts done and Mitzy has started in on his Moonclan!

Next month I should hopefully have two units to show off, but we'll see how it goes. I have a few more additions to my Nighthaunt to make too.

Until next time,

Tyler M.

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