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Creating a Chaos Spawn of Tzeentch

The Chaos Spawn box by Games Workshop is an amazing kit. It comes with enough pieces to make two different models, both with their own assorted parts of chaotic goodness. From freaky sword arms, to tentacles, to insectoid claws, to just more heads – there is something for every Chaos collector.

Box for the Chaos Spawn

Box for the Chaos Spawn

The kit is absolutely stunning, which in hindsight seems like a strange word to describe the Chaos Spawn, but GW deserves some credit for this. There are hundreds of thousands of combinations of Spawn, all thanks to a bobbly body and a verifiable plethora of chaotic counterparts to use. Due to the nature of the beast, there is so much choice for painters, builders, and collectors, that they can really create anything they want.

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Part 1

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Part 2

With that in mind, I bought the kit, under the premise of creating two Chaos Spawn of Tzeentch for both Warhammer and Warhammer 40k. The rest of this article is just going through what I did to create a Spawn I wanted for my army. Please note that this isn’t a tutorial (I am in no way even close to being good enough for that) but rather just documenting the journey.

The Concept of the Chaos Spawn of Tzeentch

There are certain things attributed to the different Chaos gods in the world of Warhammer. If something has sharp edges, it is generally considered that of Khorne. Insects, pustules, and other gross things come from Nurgle, and obscure claws/horns is the sign of Slaanesh. Tzeentch on the other hand – well, Tzeentch seems to belong firmly in the weird, where things are not quite what they seem.

For this, and for creating this Spawn of Tzeentch, I worked on the concept that there are four basic demons in the Tzeentch arsenal. There are the standard Pink Horrors. These, I have written about before because my first test model in three years was a Pink Horror.

Next, moving on, there are the Blue Horrors, the mini, muscular versions of the Pink. I love these little guys – they’re really fun to paint.

Thirdly, we have Flamers. No comment here other than they look a little bit like angry bananas in tie-dye t-shirts and shooting fire.

Finally, there are Screamers. For Christmas I was gifted two boxes of Screamers and, as the fastest unit in the Tzeentch Age of Sigmar Demon army (no, not including Tzaangor Skyfires, because they’re not demons), they are really cool. They are flying stingrays with lots of eyes. I like that.

So, coming back to the Tzeentch Chaos Spawn, I wanted to draw on those demons. I figured two demons meant I could do one pink and one blue, one based on Screamers/Blue Horrors and one based on Pink Horrors. I just wrote that as Punk Horrors, which was a typo but also a really awesome thought.

With that in mind, I discovered a load of eyes on the sprue – one big one, which could be used as a head, four smaller ones to fit in body sockets, and one on a tentacle. Where there are three options to limbs, I ignored one (I may fill it in at a later date, but wanted to see what would be used for the second model first), and put a feathered arm in one hole, and tentacles in the other. Finally, I added a singular horn to represent the tusks of the Screamers, and a tail to make it slightly more tentacle-y.

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The undercoated Demon Spawn of Tzeentch

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The back of the undercoated Chaos Spawn of Tzeentch

The result made my girlfriend say: “Ewww, why did you do that?”

Err…win?

Okay, so even I have to admit it looks weird, but that is kind of the point. Tzeentch is weird, and so I don’t regret a single part on this miniature. The kit was great for allowing for that option and so, it being a strange item, I had to make it my own form of Eldritch Abomination.

Painting the Tzeentch Chaos Spawn

A recent addition to the painting game after a good few years dormant, every painting session is a bit of a learning curve at the moment. I knew two things though, going into this. Firstly, on a larger model, it would be easier to learn how to blend, something I was fairly happy with in the end, even though I have no clue what I am doing with it. Secondly, the eyes would be very important.

So, I undercoated the spawn in a spray of Storm Vermin Fur by GW, before painting the rest with Army Painter shades.

The main torso was Deep Blue, washed in Dark Tone. This was then highlighted in Crystal Blue and then further highlights in Electric blue. It’s pretty standard skin to be honest, and this is an area I need to improve on. It feels very bobbly at the moment, but you can judge for yourself.

The eyes are Demonic Yellow, with Moon Dust highlights. The pupils are Matt Black. How these turned out is a little thicker and uncontrolled compared to how I would have ideally liked.

Undercoats for the Chaos Spawn of Teentch

The undercoats

Chaos Spawn of Tzeentch undercoat back

The undercoat (back)

Next, the tentacles and the tail were done using a drybrush of Grimoire Purple, before (and this is where it gets complicated), going over it in every shade of pink and purple I have to try and get the blend right. This worked better for the tail, but eventually, I got lighter and lighter to a 1:1 Warlock Purple and Matt White. This was washed over to get the defined ridges in the tentacles again, before highlighting with Warlock Purple again. It’s not purple – it’s pink.

An attempt at blending...

An attempt at blending…

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A slightly better attempt at blending…

The horns and claws are Mummy Robes, over Matt White, and washed with Dark Tone.

Finally, and this is where I am least happy with the results – the feathers and other claw/spines are Pure Red, Dark Tone, Pure Red Drybrush, Dry Rust, and Pure Red highlights again. I have no idea how to do feathers, so if anyone has any advice PLEASE let me know in the comments below.

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The claws and (to be improved upon) feathers.

The overall result though, for my first big beastie in over three years, is pretty cool. I’m happy with it. I mean, it’s no way near the guys who I see painting miniatures in the blogosphere because they are true masters with the brush, but I’m happy with it for a first attempt.

Basing the Chaos Spawn

Just quickly, I’ve never used static grass before and I wanted to try it. Going into GW, they didn’t have any grass flock, so I’ve gone for a stoney snowy grass effect. It’s my standard go-to, but I like it.

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The finished article

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The finished back

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Finished for the time being, with a based Blue Horror in the background.

Lessons Learned

So, I learned a few lessons when building this beast that I thought I would quickly cover. Some of which are obvious, and some of which are more obscure.

  1. It is not okay to put Dark Tone on everything. It covers a lot of blemishes, but if you put it over your final layer it will just look grimy. That being said, Dark Tone can make things pop when used in the right way.
  2. Blending using a dry brush is easier than using a wet one for beginners. This is miniature painting, and not paint with Bob Ross. I’m sure there are better techniques but I need to look them up.
  3. Painting handles are great. I didn’t manage to get one in GW, again because they sold out (come on local Games Workshop, get it together) but I did manage to fashion one out of cork and bamboo toothpicks from Marks and Spencer. Both were left over from Christmas – score.
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Ever so technical painting handle…

So there we go – a bit of a break from board games, namely because I haven’t played all that many recently due to starting a new job. Let me know what you think, and any advice you may have, in the comments below, especially your thoughts on the skin/feather/blending/eye painting.

20 Comments »

  1. Looking good mate – very Tzeentchian, and nicely done! I do have a couple of pieces of advice though if you’re looking to push your standards a bit?
    I find that drybrushing can look a bit harsh on softer contours – great for hard edges, but I generally go for thin coats of diluted paint to build up the highlights on organic stuff like skin… you get a nicer gradient imo. Just keep the brush wet when you’re adding layers – it’s more controlled, and soon becomes natural as you build up the contrast.
    Also, another real quick win for you is to really make those eyes pop – give them a wash around the edges with GW’s yellow wash and then give them a white-dot highlight and a thin coat of gloss varnish. Bases & faces for the win mate 😉

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Great assembly and a commendable return to the painting! I have not had much success with blending yet, but I have found that the washes can be applied after the first highlight instead of right after the base colour for a smoother skin transition. For a large model with so much muscle I would probably drybrush that first layer of highlight, then pick out the sharper highlight after the wash and then apply more thinned out wash if it pops too much. Great tip with the varnish, and if you feel adventurous, perhaps a warpstone green or orange “iris”? Feathers…man I’m having the same issue with a model I’m painting now. I tried painting it white, then a wash with the desired colour and then a drybrush of white over that, and it looked not too shabby. Not done with it yet so nothing to show for that claim though:)

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Nice painting mate, im not even a miniture collector but I know the work that goes into these things, I like what I see. I get lost with some of the technical slang, but the end result is always a pleasure. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s far from what a load of other painters can do in the blogosphere – I don’t even register on the scale of good compared to a lot – but everyone has to start somewhere 🙂 to be honest, I upload these because everyone is so helpful in the comments!

      Liked by 3 people

  4. Yay, Luke joins the painting fray! Looking nice and it sounds like you had fun experimenting and learning new things. It also looks like you’re getting the hang of blending on that tail.

    Really nice looking mini too. I want one of these for when a Chaos Spawn gets summoned in Blood Bowl. That doesn’t happen very often, so it’s kind of a waste of a model, but it would give me an excuse to put one together and paint it. Plus I would love to have some of those bits for conversion fodder.

    Liked by 1 person

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