Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Darklands: The Khthones

Today I take great pleasure is showing you the finished sunken temple bases and their "inhabitants". The following miniatures are the Khthones, an engineered, reptilian race  that was brought to life by the Atalantes as labourers and warrior slaves. Unsurprisingly the day came, when the strong reptiles started a revolution and became their own lords. The kindred is divided into the following factions: Gorgonares (snake men), Hydrares (hydra men), Liska (basilisk men), Krokodar (alligator men) and the Savra (lizard men). The Khthones were the only kindred that I wanted to collect in a larger scale from the very beginning, as I adore snakes since my childhood, however I will be extending my to the following factions: snakes, hydras and the vasilisks. The lizards and Krokos are just not that interesting to me. Anyway, on-wards to the miniatures!

All the models from this force are part of the Gorgonar realm and so I wanted to give them an associated color scheme. The decision had to be made between keeping the scales in line or using the same colours for the armour and different shades for the scales. It wasn't easily decided, but in the end, I looked at the minis and they just felt green to me and so I went that route. For the Hydrar and Liska I will use other colours for the scales.

The Gorgonares are the basic troops of the Gorgon realm and are nice, dynamic miniatures. They have a lot of detail and took quite some effort to paint as a result. The blades were also very brittle at the handles and two broke during painting. Once base colours were in place, I dry brushed and washed the scales with camouflage green tones and dark greens, I went for the armour which I wanted to look noble and sophisticated in contrast with their rather savage appearance. I love the combination of dark turquoise and golden accents and think it does great for the basic troops, as the contrast within the model itself (and thus the unit) isn't very strong.

The champion of the unit looks much more brutal than the others. His armour is less ornate and his heavy cleaver fits greatly with that image. So I painted him darker than the rest and also added some brown to his scales to mirror that brutal feeling. What can be seen nicely on his pictures is the pattern that I did on the blades. The pattern is on all blades of the Gorgonares and I used round and rolling forms to fit the snake theme. I think for the Khthones from other realms I will use patterns as well, but will try to make them slightly different.

Ssibryos, the Gorgonarchon is a high-ranking warchief of the Khthones and an aggressive fighter in the game that makes Gorgonares a basic troop choice (called mainstay units). His scales are kept in line with the other Gorgonares, but I gave them another highlight, just to give him a final touch up. His armour is very ornate and so shows a lot of the golden accents. As gold already has the most royal feeling of all metal colours, I used a rich purple as armour colour and it contrasts nicely with the green of the scales and the turquoise coat which ties him back together with his unit.
Chysperis, the Fidron of Khton is a living ikon to the Khthones. He's a huge snake that incorporates some very interesting peculiarities. One are the horns on his neck that merge with the head, second is the bared gum and the last is the strange concept, that the small scales are on his belly and the big slated ones on his back. Normally it's the other way round for snakes. Of course the first idea was to paint him in line with the Gorgonares: dark green back and a light belly, but painting the scales white just didn't feel right and so I painted them green what did feel right, but left me with no colour for the back and the head. Especially the head puzzled me greatly, as I always thought I'd be green. The brown colour you see in the picture is based on the colour of Uuthülls head, which you saw in the Fomoraic post. It is a terracotta highlighted to a warm grey and then washed with brown and red. I really like the interaction of the brown and the camouflage green of the small scales. The whole model seems very natural.

A final word on the bases. As stated in the last post, I added another coat of water effect mixed with brown ink and in some places, where the surface wasn't level I poured some extra clear water effect. In the end I think the water colour could have been a bit brighter/greener, but that has to be decided in the deeper layers and can't be changed now. Nevertheless I think the result is quite nice and wasn't too much of a hassle to produce. For Chysperis' base I had to do a bit more interesting constructions to fill the base. So I built the pillar out of polystyrene and made some very low stripes of stones that are submerged in the final result. Also, in difference to the other models, the figure is not placed on the stones but rather, in the shallow water. So the water couldn't be still and I had to add ripples to the water using Vallejo water paste, in the pics the paste isn't fully dried and  still a bit opaque. It dries crystal clear in the end.
Thanks for reading

the 14th Legion


  1. Those bases came out beautifully. They work so well with these wonderful models. Nicely done!

    1. Hey Greg, thanks for the compliment. More to come soon! (But that water Effect's driving me crazy ;-) )

      - Sven