New Year Dawns – Malifaux Dawn Serpent Showcase

The year’s first painted mini is the Dawn Serpent for my Marcus crew for Malifaux. Check it out!

While working on my Stormcast Eternals to wrap up last years Buy/Painted ratio at a <1.00 I got distracted with something shiny on my waiting list – the Dawn Serpent. The Stormcast Eternals are now on my credit list from 2016, but considering their almost finished state its not too bad. Many people are often speaking for doing one thing at a time, finishing it and  then moving on to the next. For me this doesn’t work too well. I am most productive working gladly on one thing and taking a break if I need, maybe to consider how to paint a specific detail or just push something new to freshen things up.

The Dawn Serpent was as soon as I spotted it in the rulebook, conceptually and in terms of the mini, something I wanted to add to my Marcus crew. In the long run this might actually be the only mini with a ranged attack that I’ll field, who knows. (December acolytes have been considered, but I think any of them will belong to a hypothetical Rasputina crew.)  That said, I have had the mini waiting for its turn to be painted – in yellow and orange, I originally thought. Considering this, and looking at Asian (inspired) art for inspiration, I ended up going for green instead.

The result was something slightly brighter, or vivid maybe, than the rest of my crew, but the green body ties it well in with the natural colours elsewhere. Green being associated with poison isn’t too bad either. To put the dawn in the serpent, I did the tufty and fin-like parts fiery – Hey! it can give out burning. This gives some nice contrast to the model, I think, especially with the green-opposing red in the flame-ends.

One thing I dislike about Malifaux’ minis is the lack of details. I faced the same issue with Cojo (see HERE). This makes it much more difficult to make a model interesting on the table. That said, you technically have a blank canvas to work with – at the expense of time. With the Dawn Serpent, I too realized soon I had to put some work onto the model’s body to make it come alive. Like Cojo’s fur, I went for a natural texture to do this for me – for a serpentine creature scales seems the logical choice. They took some work, especially as I needed to go back and forth a bit, and re-highlight some of them. But I think the work paid off.

It was rather simple in the end, just making short strokes with a colour lighter than the base coat and highlighting the end even further. In this case I deliberately used a very thick paint to add some texture as I painted, giving a visual effect by reflecting light in different directions.

Colours used (in order of application):

The mini was undercoated White with Vallejo’s brush on primer – a sprayed surface is rough and thus mattens the colours on top, I wanted a slimy and highly saturated mini.

Body: Waaagh! flesh, Warpstone Glow, Moot Green. Limited use of Drakenhof Nightshade.
Flames: Averland Sunset, Mephiston Red, Vallejo Flat Yellow, Vallejo Light Orange, Evil Suns scarlet, Vallejo Glossy Black. Limited use of Reikland Flesh Shade and Seraphim Sepia. (Don’t “wash” yellows!)
Horns, Teeth & Claws: Steel legion drab, Baneblade Brown, Ushabti Bone
Mouth & Tongue:  Liche Purple, Warlock Purple, Emperor’s Children and Cadian Fleshtone

Somehow the pictures got blurrier after editing… :/


13 responses to “New Year Dawns – Malifaux Dawn Serpent Showcase

  1. Woah, that’s really cool dude! Those scales are just painted on? Wow… they look great, and the colour choice is lovely. High five!

    • Thanks! It wasn’t too bad, I had a good brush for the job! I would now do the extreme highlight before the middle hue to speed things up, though – now I had to go back and forth a bit.

    • Thanks! 🙂 Some might complain that GW has too much detail on their minis, but I think it’s easier to paint up an interesting model if a lot of detail is present. Wyrd could sometimes take it up a notch.

      • I’d argue something between the GW approach and the Wyrd one is best. Enough detail to paint it up easily, but not to an extend where the miniature drowns in detail.

      • The GW approach lately – like the Dark Elves – also has so much flimsy details they are more like display pieces rather than game pieces. You can’t move around them all the time without destroying them in the process.

  2. That’s a very cool serpent. Your work adding the scales adds what I can only assume is a much-needed texture to the model, though it sounds like a tedious job. I’ve added individual snake scales in the past, and it was a boring job but with a nice payoff. Your bright and effective colour choices really make it pop!

    • Thank you! It took a while, but that’s the benefit of having a rather small collection of models in the game – you can put more effort into each and one without bordering on insanity.

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