Games Workshop gave us an exciting look at the potential future of Horus Heresy this week, showing off Fafnir Rann and Dominion Zephon, two heralds of a new generation of plastic Heresy models with their own distinctly branded boxes. Today we’re talking about the assembly of those models and how to paint them.
To get specific, in this article we’ll be looking at Dominion Zephon, the Bringer of Sorrow and an important combatant in the battle of the Webway beneath the Imperial palace.
Zephon is packed with the sort of details as you would expect from a modern GW model, just to start with he has an armies worth of Blood Angels iconography distributed across his gear! While his pistols are pretty obscured by the holsters, the sword is well rendered with a unconventional hollow fuller. The details that go into his surrogate limbs is fantastic as well, you can see a lot of thought was put into having them make sense mechanically.
His pose is awkward to be honest, the biggest complaint I have is that his head is pointing at something on the ground nearby so you mostly don’t see anything but hair or ceramite when looking at him on a table. You might be able to tilt it up a bit further with minor modification but it may need a head swap to look right from front on.
In general the pose makes it difficult to see all the main details at once, you can see the work you have done on his sword OR his face. While this isn’t too bad in person, it makes it difficult to take good pictures of him.
As for the quality of the build, Zephon has far fewer fiddly bits then Rann but has still some very odd slices, the most memorable being that his left shoulder pad is split in half. This might be allowing for more clearly spherical studs, but its amusing nonetheless.
Beyond that some of the pieces don’t index particularly well, like the holsters or the mechanical leg armour but its minor. Overall I would say his build is less annoying then Rann and I would be happy with a range of models to this quality.
I found Zephon’s build a little finicky, but nothing too complicated. As Rockfish said, indexing on smaller pieces is poor so getting the holsters or knee armor aligned correctly was a bit of a pain, but far from the worst I’ve dealt with. And I’d take it over resin any day. My least favorite part is the incredibly awkward pose.
For the most part I painted Zephon the same as any of my other Blood Angels, which you can read about in How To Paint Anything. His gems were just Waystone Green, the white wings were done with a couple coats of Ulthuan Grey, a quick hit of Apothecary White, and some white highlights. For a little bit of extra interest looking at him from the back I hit the thrusters with a glow, working through Kantor Blue, Temple Guards Blue, Baharroth Blue, and white.
This is just my take on blood angels as I am not too big on the apple red shade in which I normally see them painted.
Base coats and washes
I started by airbrushing the model Vallejo Burnt Red, well technically I had an undercoat of Phoenician Purple and white ink beneath it but its not particularly noticeable and probably should be skipped.
Once at the painting table I pin wash the red with Druchii, before moving on to other colours to let me be a bit messy with it. The other colours are straight forward:
- Iron Hands washed Nuln for the steel
- Liberator washed Reikland for the gold
- Corvus on pipes and the shoulder pad
- Dryad washed Wyldwood for the leather
Once you have all those done then I go back and paint the scroll with Rakarth and Sepia, this is also to avoid it getting dirty.
I start by dry brushing all the metal with Stormhost, then do all the main red with a sequence successively more focused edge highlights of Squig, Cadian and Kislev.
For the black I do the shoulder pad with glazes, but the rest is just edge highlights, all being Stormvermin, Dawnstone and then Grey Seer.
The leather is just edge highlights of Catachan, Gorthor, and Karak.
Lenses, gems, and the scroll
The gems are following the usual crescents pattern, in this case mixing up from Caliban through Moot, Yriel and Flash Gitz.
The scroll is glazed up with Screaming Skull and then I threw on his name scrawled in Wyldwood.
The sword and engine glow
For this I base coated with Naggaroth and then glazed Slaanesh Grey to the end until a smooth transition formed from the first quarter of the blade to the fourth quarter. Then I glazed from the fourth quarter to the tip until a nice transition formed with Pallid Wych, the blade gets finished with an edge highlight of white.
Engines are the same idea but working out from/to a bright center instead of working up the blade.
I begin by applying Vallejo Grey Sand across the base and then once dry applying a Karak washed with Agrax and a drybrush of Screaming Skull. The little bit of rebar on the hero column is a couple of coats of typhus then dry brushed Skrag.
After that I varnish the model with Vallejo Premium Air Matte and put beige and tan tufts from Gamers Grass scattered on the base and paint the rims black.
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