Monday, January 10, 2011

At Last! The Grey Knights Emerge From the Immaterium!

At last! Games Workshop has officially announced today the imminent re-release of the Grey Knights Codex and model line, which will include all new plastic models.

Details as to the model mix, and the focus of the codex are scarce at this time, but look for GW to leak more info as the next few months roll on, until the final big splash release in April!

Needless to say, this much anticipated release has been the subject of much speculation over the last few months, after GW removed the models and codex books for sale form their stores. The rumour mills are churning, and there is much slathering of lips and champing at the bit... what is a Grey Knights Player to do in the meantime?

Well, I'd suggest trolling the web for some cool pictures to inspire and increase your agony waiting for their imminent arrival.

So, to start, I offer up one of my own Grey Knight models for your consideration.

The keen eyed of you, will notice that while this model is different from the previous range, it is indeed, not a new model. It is in fact one of the original Grey Knight Terminators, combined with newer Grey Knight Terminator Captain arms. While generally a good fit, they did require a hint of modification to make it look seamless, and as if they were designed to fit, including a tiny bit of green stuff work. 

The base is a standard 40mm round base, built up with several resin ruin pieces from the GW 40K scenic basing kit. This was done to give the model height, and make it a) imposing, and b) large enough that when stood beside a standard second generation metal Grey Knight Terminator model, it did not look out of place.

This is a standard technique I use to make smaller models appear larger through the illusion created by a taller stance. For those of you who are picky about true line of sight in the game, I don't worry about it too much. This is a game about COOL MODELS, not just about winning, and I won't even go into "Modelling for Advantage"...

You probably noticed that I've painted this Grey Knight in...well....grey... This was a conscious decision, and one I will stand by, based on original colourations of the original Grey Knight models and artwork, which depicted them in dark greys, even black, with gold trim.

The model was undercoated with GW Chaos Black spray. I then painted on several thin layers of Chaos Black by hand, using a large tank brush. The Grey was blended up using a combination of wet blending and layering techniques from Chaos Black all the way up to Codex Grey, and to a final highlight of equal parts Codex Grey and Skull White.

The black bolter casing was a simple wet blend from Chaos Black to Codex Grey to Skull White. I blended from darkest to lightest to light limit the Skull White, yet take advantage of how it helps brighten the black.

The steel bits were base coated with Chaos Black. I then layered equal parts GW Chaos Black and Boltgun metal, Boltgun metal, and Chainmail. These were done with layered feathering, to change texture from the softer warmer metals and make it look more stark and severe, and to simulate a sharpened edge - which is further enhanced by the filing job I did to reduce the thickness of the blade edge. Again, to tie the tonality, I glazed it with very thin black ink

The gold bits were base coated using Scorched Brown. I find the red tones in the brown help make gold and brassy colours pop a bit more, and it is warmer visually than painting them over black. I then painted on Tin Bitz, Dwarf Bronze, and Burnished Gold, blending the intermediate stages as I went. I washed this together using a thinned down brown ink, as a glaze. This ensured the tone remained uniform. I then directly painted the crevasses with undiluted brown ink to make them more bold. Finally, I made some subtle "bright" highlights on the higher textures, to make it have an aged shine.

The green laurel started with Dark Angels Green, and I picked out highlights with Snot Green, then Goblin Green, and finally gave it a unifying glaze with thinned green ink, followed by a darker wash to pick out the crevasses and details.

The red details all started with a base coat of Scorched Brown. Again, this is because of the red tones already in the brown, which help the red go on more easily, and help keep it warm and brighter. I blended upwards from Scab red to Blood red, adding a touch of Snakebite leather to the red for a final highlight, and edge highlighting.

Though difficult to see, and very small on this particular model, the eye lenses were painted with a red gem effect. This started with Chaos black, highlighted up to Scab Red, Then Blood Red, and finally Fiery Orange. I glazed this with a Purple Ink, and gave it a tiny white dot to simulate the reflection spot.

The white detail bits started with a Shadow Grey/Skull White mix, and layering on more white. I kept this thin and did multiple coats to ensure better control and a smooth finish that does not look chalky, a problem all too common with white painted models.

Finally, the paper, purity seals, and scroll work were base coated with Graveyard Earth. I then layered an equal mix of Bleached Bone and Graveyard Earth on top. Finally, I blended in pure Bleached bone, up to about a 50/50 mix of Bleached Bone and Skull White. The scroll work lettering and detail was painted on with a 50/50 mix of Chaos Black and Brown Ink. The ink helps thin the paint to ease the freehand lettering work on the name scroll, as well as allow fine lines to simulate written passages elsewhere.

When painting the base, I wanted to ensure the model stood out, and didn't blend into the base. To do this I used some slight contrast by painting the concrete in a reddish pallete, and the dirt with a reddish brown. Queuing off the red detail on the Terminator also helped create a colour triangle which draws the eyes to the core of the model. The reddish colouration was intermingled with grey and bleached  bone, blended, overbrushed, and  drybrushed to simulate a dusty ruin, without over accentuating the base.

Hopefully this has been inspiring enough to make you go off in search of more pictures of Grey Knights and start working on your own!


  1. Wow talk about a detailed Tutorial..thanks very much Star, this is one for the Bookmarks!

  2. Thanks Hex. I wouldn't call this a tutorial so much as a colour guide. It's not like I go into detail to teach you how to blend, or the use of glazes vs inking, though I mention the use of those techniques.

    I appreciate you liked it though, so thank you, and thanks for coming by when I put up my sporadic updates.

  3. Looks really great Star...I never thought of putting brown under red...but now that you mention it it makes perfect sense. I dont paint grey knights, but i'll take that little tip with me