Beyond the Gates of Antares: Test Colour Scheme for Dronescourge Virai

I love the hard sci-fi aesthetic of Antares and the most appealing aspect for me is the more inhuman & alien looking factions. My first army could only be the Ghar due to the fantastic plastic Battlesuit figures, but I am equally fond of the look of the Virai – their unique segmented design is reminiscent of both wasps and trilobites which is very cool.

Most of the other hobby games I play at the moment tend to favour ‘realistic’ colour palettes which can be very subdued, earthy and drab. For a change, I have decided to experiment and be more playful with the colour of my Antares figures since there is more license to be fantastical.

I recently discovered that Green Stuff World has a range of ‘Chameleon’ paints which shift between two different colours depending on the lighting and so I was keen to see what effects I could achieve with them. They are designed to be used with an airbrush over a glossy black undercoat in lots of very thin layers. However, since I do not own and have never used an airbrush, I decided to improvise and experiment to see if I could get a reasonable effect with brush painting! After abusing several left over bits of sprue with my experiments, this is what I decided on for my Virai:

Dronescourge Virai - Defenders & Constructors

Dronescourge Virai - Defenders

Dronescourge Virai - Defenders

Undercoat:

  • Undercoat with GW Chaos Black spray primer.
  • Touch up with GW Abbadon Black by brush if you have missed any areas to ensure you have a solid and even coat.
  • Brush GW ‘Ardcoat gloss varnish. Since the figures are metal this should make it harder wearing in handling.

Green/Blue Metallic plates:

  • Use 2-3 light layers of Greenstuffworld’s Stormsurge Green until you get good coverage.
  • Recess/pin wash the crevices using GW Coelia Greenshade.
  • Edge highlights the extremities with a 50:50 mix of Greenstuffworld’s Stormsurge Green & GW Stormhost Silver.

Copper Metallic plates:

  • Base coat with GW Warplock Bronze.
  • Layer with GW Hashut Copper.
  • Edge highlight with GW Ironbreaker Silver.
  • Overwash with Agarax Earthshade Gloss to tie it all together.

Silver plates & limbs:

  • Base coat with GW Ironbreaker Silver, wash with GW Coelia Greenshade, spot glaze with GW Guilliman Blue for variety. Edge highlight with GW Stormhost Silver.

Blue lens:

  • Highlight with GW Stormhost Silver. Layer with GW Soulstone Blue.

Varnish:
Seal everything in with a Halfords Clear Lacquer. This has a glossy finish and helps protect the miniatures. You don’t want the bases to be glossy so I would suggest painting & sealing them separately with a matt varnish – I like Humbrol Acrylic Matt spray. Remember to mask your clear flight stand unless you want it to fog!

My scrapyard debris bases:
Use a mix of small and large slate spotted around the base. Rummage through your bits box for pipes, deck plates, grates, etc to clip into bits and scatter around. Build up with Greenstuff to blend in the flight stand. Most of the Virai can be top heavy so I’d recommend gluing a penny between the base and the flight stand for balance or a washer under the base.

Layer GW Astrogranite (or a simple sand + grey paint mix if you want a cheaper option) – leave any details bits semi-exposed. Spot/recess wash with GW Typhus Corrosion and then when that has dried overwash with GW Agarax Earthshade (regular rather than glossy) to tie it all together. Drybrush with GW Administratum Grey & spot Drybrush with GW Baneblade Brown to add visual interest. Pick out pipes or other exposed scatter details in any colours you fancy. Spot with Army Painter Battlefields XP Tufts in a colour that is in tune with your gameboard – I like the Winter ones.

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