Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Gallery: Darklands Khthones - Sthena by Sven

Another of Mierces early miniatures is Sthena, Gorgor of Khthon. A lovely yet crazed snake-woman which I ordered during the very first Darklands kickstarter. Painted pictures of this model were rather rare and I never felt really inspired to paint her. It was more by chance that I had the idea to transfer the pattern of my rainbow boa Nero to one of my Khthones miniatures and Sthena, being a unique character and so in need of a red element like Ophios presented herself.

Sthena proved to be an awesome sculpt and a perfect cast. The way her scales are sculpted is quite different to the other Khthones sculpts, as her snake-tail has a very smooth surface, which is actually much closer to a real snake. I think only the Hydrar characters like Thoth have an even better scale structure. I began with a really bright orange base coat and then covered it with a thin dark red glaze before washing it with red washes. I then applied the pattern according to my living inspiration.

Following my personal colour hierarchy within my Khthones host all unique need a red element, which I originally planned for the armour. But as the snake body was red already I was free to try something else on the armour, which is called the “venom plate”. Well, a green venom armour isn’t the most creative solution, but it works nicely with the snake-part.
The armour was highlighted from a rich dark green to a very lively bright green, before being heavily inked to get that shimmering transition.

Despite the scales and armour being really some of my best works on the Khthones host, it truly is the human skin which I most proud of. I think the tone and blending have turned out awesome, especially in the front. I actually used my usual approach of Tallarn Flesh washed with Ogryn Flesh and highlighted with Elf Flesh, but I kept everything more on the light side and the result is possibly my best skin tone so far. The nice contrast with the green might also help with that impression.
Truth be told: I do not really remember where I got the idea of the white hair, but due to the great sculpt the result looks ace. Can’t wait to paint a regular Gorgor.

I’ve tried out both Stheena and the regular Gorgor and they are indeed nice, cheap sorcerers with enough combat abilities to get rid of single strolling mage-hunters. But as every incantation reduces the constitution, it’s still highly recommended to keep them out of close combats. They’re just too frail and their magic is why you field them.
Gorgors have good damage incantations and Sthena has a great buff on top. But nothing extraordinary that you wouldn’t see with one or another wizard of the other kindred's. That basically brings me to my final point: While they’re well worth their gold cost, they’re not worth the unique/rare slot. Sthena pales in comparison to Ophios or other unique sorcerers and her spells are on par with most rare or uncommon casters out there. Same goes for the Gorgor: In the end it’s not really more dangerous than a Warlock Lord of the Fomoraic or a wizard of the same calibre while she takes one of the precious rare slots instead of an uncommon.
I can only see use for the Gorgor in magic heavy list for small games. Sthena on the other hand will probably be reserved for themed lists or games against hosts without unique choices.
Nevertheless I think they could develop some nice synergies with other units. I’m still trying to get Sthenas venom buff on a Gorgon with blades or a unit of Hydrar. That would be glorious.

Thanks for reading,

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