How to Paint Sylvaneth – Rockfish’s Method

If you’ve been hanging around Goonhammer much you might have noticed that I am somewhat taken to randomly starting armies and projects at the slightest provocation, in this case I was browsing Twitter a bit after a preview that included Belthanos which prompted me to wonder about doing a bunch of trees. Fast forward like, three days or something and I had my first test model done.

Spite-Revenant. Credit: Rockfish
Spite-Revenant. Credit: Rockfish

I was leaning towards keeping it a quick and simple scheme rather then anything technically complex, mostly because there Wwas already going to be a lot of blends going on with the ghost bits and weapons. Overall this isn’t the fastest scheme possible, but I think it strikes a decent balance of looking like I put some effort in without being a big time sink.

Like all of my schemes this article is very much a snapshot in time, I tend to shift and change stuff all the time but I am still happy with where it is at right now.

The scheme

I start by priming the model Monument Hobbies Black Brown and doing a zenithal of their Dark Umber, after that I apply a moderately thinned down coat of agrax to help define the recesses a bit before a drybrush of morghast.

You could significantly increase the quality of the wood by doing some soft blend highlights sort of similar to what you will see me do later, but there is going to be a lot of wood in this army and it’s worth picking your battles with where you put effort in. I will admit that bark is hard at a scale like this too, wooden stuff tends to require quite a bit of micro texturing to get a realistic effect and I wasn’t willing to put that in for a full army. I am mostly going to be leaning on how bright the other two main colours of the scheme are to drive interest, so there are arguments to be made keeping the wood simple helps with that.

Next up I did the ghost ‘flesh’, I start with a basecoat of dechala lilac that then gets washed with a very heavily thinned down coat of druchii as a all over wash. Once that dries I go back to define the deepest recesses by mixing a bit of luxion purple into druchii then pick out anywhere I feel is too ill defined. After that I layer in soft highlights with almost glaze thin layers of the base coat that I then introduce pallid wych into until I feel its ghostly enough.

I don’t know if it is entirely lore appropriate to do these parts in a non wooden look but I wanted to help tie the bigger models into the ghost elves so I leaned into these being constructs rather then pure organic things. Note that I followed conventional highlighting rather then painting the ghost flesh as being illuminated, you could do that of course but remember that it would effect how you do the rest of your highlights as a soft glow is usually going to be swamped out by daylight. You could either do the flesh as blindingly bright or imply they are fighting in the darkness of a dense forest if you want OSL to feel believable.

The orange weapons is pretty straight forward for the most part, base coat skrag brown then select a origin for the most intense part of the glow then work towards it gradually introducing flash gitz yellow in your layers. The arrow head is a little different, as I did it as I do power weapons with a couple of counter directional transitions for each ‘face’ of the blade. The colours are mostly the same other then introducing dorn yellow for the brightest point and edge lines.

To finish off the models I ran through to touch on the various details, starting with the two simple and quick ones:

  • The leaves that are just a transition from mournfang to jokaero orange
  • A simple worn bone recipe is morghast washed thinned agrax then highlighted up with the base coat with a touch of pallid wych introduced towards the end.

The bugs are a bit more involved but still pretty simple, base coat Pro Acryl blue black and wash it basilicanum. Once dry glaze up from the base coat, through Pro Acryl dark grey blue and finish with just a bit of baharroth blue mixed in. The eyes on the bugs are something I am not entirely happy with that might shift in time but for the moment they are just black with a dot of white for a reflection.

Kurnoth Hunter. Credit: Rockfish
Kurnoth Hunter. Credit: Rockfish

The base is pretty simple, smear on vallejo dark earth then wash agrax and you have a decent rich earth tone. Once the model was varnished and the rims painted black I threw on a few tufts and plants from Gamers Grass:

  • Burned 6mm
  • Dry 6mm
  • Brown 4mm
  • Deer Fern

With that the model is done!

Kurnoth Hunter. Credit: Rockfish
Kurnoth Hunter. Credit: Rockfish

Kurnoth Hunter. Credit: Rockfish
Kurnoth Hunter. Credit: Rockfish

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