CH Single Figure Challenge: May 2014


Hanneman Is King

If page hits and commentary are any indication of success, then our first Single Figure Challenge definitely sparked some interest both within our hallowed ranks and amongst our loyal and gradually expanding readership too, so thanks for all the positive feedback. As I explained before, the purpose of the Single Figure Challenge is to serve as a gentle exercise in self improvement no matter your skill level, rather than a conceited hobbyist dick swinging exhibition, because no one likes those guys. We’re big on sharing knowledge and tips amongst our group in order to raise everyones game and push things forward and the Single Figure Challenge is nothing more than a documentation of those progressions.

As you’ll see from this months offerings there’s stuff from greenshoots novices still learning the basics through to intermediate guys who have a decent grasp of technique and a few lads who have been painting a while and consistently pushed their game to produce some really impressive effects. Sitting back on your arse complaining ‘I’m rubbish blah blah blah” and bemoaning your abilities accomplishes absolutely nothing. If you are going to be that type of fanny you might as well not bother because all that negativity does is create a state of inertia, and that is the true enemy of the hobbyist. Over the course of the last six months I’ve seen dudes who’d always convinced themselves they hated painting and were content to play with bare plastic (I’m looking at you Boardman) start to churn out really solid creative work simply off the back of a bit of encouragement and some shared tips from an enthusiastic community.

It really doesn’t matter where you are at with your hobby skills, what matters is that you’ve got some paint on your brush and you’re getting stuck in and having fun with it and you WILL move forward. I’ll leave you with this wisdom that Minor Threats vocalist Ian Mackaye once retorted to Henry Rollins, when chided over his clumsy glazing technique.. ‘ At least I’m fucking trying….what the fuck have YOU done?’. Preach it brother….


Takes the piss no?

First up is Chris Mcgreevys awesome Dreadknight, here’s what he had to say:

This Dreadknight’s been bare plastic for the best part of a year now, so it’s been good to get it done and dusted. I didn’t like the stock pose as it’s fairly static, so I chopped up one of the legs in a few places and repositioned it then added new hoses using guitar strings. Not wanting to buy more than one and being massively indecisive meant I magnetised all the weapon options to be sure. I’m also really lazy so they’re still sitting there staring at me in all their basecoated glory but never mind. Some day…

I’ve got more into airbrushing as my control has improved so I tried putting the shadows where I wanted them instead of where they fell with a 45 degree blast from above. Trying to push the variation and get more out of the silver instead of basecoat, wash, highlight, done. Vallejo model air colours have been amazing for this. The bulk of the base colour was a mix of black & gun, gun and then steel for highlights. No hassle and no clogged airbrush.dk_closeup

After getting a copy of Forgeworld model masterclass volume 1, I wanted to try as many techniques as I could without buggering it. So I started fairly small with inks on the pistons for grease and on the incinerator for heat discolouration. Weathering powders on the legs and on the base for rust, some black lightly airbrushed for soot and exhaust fumes and sponged chipping all over.


Brother Mawdsley gives his Emperors Children some much needed armoured support with this stunning superheavy Fellblade tank:

Having spent approx 9 hours building the thing, I tried a few new weathering techniques on this kit, the purple heat burn being the one that’s come out the best. I also tried the rust mix with oil and rust powders, which came out alright but could do with some more work. The whites came out perfectly though thankfully. As did the second application of the powders on the tracks and rear sections. Pretty pleased with the finished product but itching to do another super heavy to refine the techniques. 


Sketchy Adam has been working diligently on his pre-Heresy Space Wolves and true to form turns in spectacular work with his Lone Wolf and Rune Priest conversions…
‘It’s been a good months painting this last few weeks nailed down a big chunk of my army four wolves two pods three character models it’s been pretty hard to chose a model to put forward, I’ve been trying to push as many new techniques on each model as possible. the Rune Priest was really challenging because of the amount of different textures on him while with my Lone Wolf I’ve tried to balance the volume of different textures and mute colours without the model looking drab, each model seems to improve the overall look of my army by refining the process I’m using to achieve each finished piece.’

For his debut submission Matt Beech sent in this handsome Cthonian devil I’m sure you’re all familiar with…..
‘Garviel Loken has to be one of my favourite characters from the Horus Heresy. When it came to test driving my new Airbrush he was my first choice. I’ve procrastinated long and hard over the colour to be used for the Sons of Horus but finally went with Kabalite Green with a spot of White Scar for high lights. I’ve also used the GW technical paints on this miniature which I’m rather pleased with.’

My arch nemesis Chris Kaye has yet another new toy to humiliate me with:
‘Gifted to me from The Viking, I set about removing all the Khorne bling from Lord Zhufor, so he can be a Terminator Champion in my Iron Warriors Grand Battalion
As with all my sons of Olympia, a black undercoat is followed up with a heavy overbrush of Citadel Leadbelcher (that’s Boltgun Metal in old money), washed with Army Painter Dark Tone and Strong Tone, and build up highlights by drybrushing Vallejo Model Air Chrome and Silver progressively. A brown undercoat is put down on any brass trims, as this gives a solid base for the Vallejo MC Brass, and highlighted up with mixed in gold and a fine silver edge. Then it’s picking out detail (plenty of skulls), blood on the axe blade, and the all important wonky hazard stripes.’


My main man Kev Walsh talks us through the process and methods he used on this Dwarf Slayer:

‘This is something I’ve been working on for a few months now, on and off of course. Blocking in a few colours here and there and then moving on to something else, then coming back and expanding on what I had worked on previously. After spending a weekend at a painting workshop run by Spanish painter Elias Alonso (, and having used the Sale 75 paint sets in the past, I thought I would use them for the bulk of this model as an experiment. I’m happy with the way it turned out.

It was always going to be a ginger beard that he had. And I wanted to work with standard contrasting colours, so I made as much use of blue in the piece as I could and really enjoyed using the Sky & Ice set when working on the pants .
It’s an awesome range of paints. The fact that they have been designed by a painter is really clear. The colours work together extremely well and they dry with an extremely matt finish. I’d recommend this range to anyone who is able to get their hands on them. They won’t make you a better painter overnight, but they will help put you on the right path.

SC39 Mars Orange.
Washed with two coats of GW Reikland Fleshshade.
Another coat of SC39, with progressive steps of SC19 Golden Skin added in.

Axe head:
Graphite SC3, shaded with SC5 Anthracite Grey (SC5) and then Abyssal Blue (SC8) from the NMM Silver paint set. The highlights were gon using SC3 with Nacar (SC2) and then SC1 White added in.

Axe Detail.
From the NMM Gold set I used SC14 Kalahari Orange for the base, working up to SC10 Tenere Yellow for the highlights and then finally White Sands SC09. The shadows were done using SC11 Sahara Yellow and SC13 Dubai Brown
There are things that can be improved. But my biggest problem is never knowing when to stop a miniature. If I didn’t force myself to put my brush down and accept a paint job I wold never consider anything finished. It was a great project and a cool miniature that has put me in much better stead for the models I am moving on to paint now. I would heartily recommend the Scale 75 sets to anyone looking to up their game.’

Luke Bradley’s first contribution to the Single Figure Challenge is this suitably battle hardened Warrior Priest:

Let me start off by clarifying that I am a novice painter at best. I’m the kind of dude that thinks a basecoat and a wash is the finished article. I’d always heard of highlighting and shading but to me they were skills saved for the Golden Demon champions not your average painter. Since being invited into the CH fold by Lord Commander Nathaniel my eyes have been opened to just how much better your models can look with a bit of extra effort. My Warrior Priest is a focal point of my army, fluff wise, so I saw fit to try and up my game a bit with this lad.

‘The model is the Games Day limited edition provided by CH demolition man, Gaz, on a Scibor resin base. I tried out my very first highlights on this chap’s cheek bones/brow and shaded bags under his eyes and cheek recesses. I think it really helps to make him look as unsettling as a warrior priest on the edge should ( my fluff goes some way to explain precisely why this fella is such a bad ass but that’s for another time). I highlighted the edge of his hammers with a bright silver and kept the head as dark as possible which i think creates a decent contrast and helps the otherwise dull space seem a bit more active.

The purpose of this challenge is to improve our own abilities and skills through friendly encouragement/rips and so in goes my mini which is fingers crossed the start of a better standard of painting and a better hobby experience overall.’

Young Master Leighton takes a break from fiddling around with the undead and spent some time tinkering with the diabolic forces of the warp with this awesome chariot!
‘The burning chariot was my choice of project this month because I am the proud owner of a new airbrush, and wanted to paint something with funky shapes and large, organic areas to get to grips with the new toy on. I also wanted to try a flame effect type thing on the base, which didn’t come out as I wanted. With a bit of feedback from some of the great CH painters, I’ve tried to push the contrast a bit and will definitely take what I’ve learned on the to next model for the army. I might also go and do some more work on the flames, because I think they look lazy’

A welcome submission from our growing community on the CH Facebook group, Josh Bottomley invokes the spirit of John Landis with this wolfed out Son Of Fenris…..

Lone wolf 1
‘This fella has been a bit of an experiment for me in terms of first time for everything, I’ve tried to go all out and do a few things that I’ve never tried before, but always thought looked amazing on other peoples little men. Snow, OSL and battle damage mostly (and the first time using Rosemary & Co brushes!). I really wanted to make this guy have some character like he had just ripped some poor cultist in half and then was looking out for the next guy. The Kill Team rules mention that you should try to give them all a bit of a back story but I’m shit at that so he’s just a dude who has succumb to the curse of the Wulfen and gone on a mad’un. I used some hands from pink horrors and added some green stuff to them to make them a bit furry which became his claws, I feel like they just look human enough and it reminded me of American Werewolf in London when he’s watching his fingers get longer and crack. Much like other people from Corehammer, I have never been a big fan of the light blue wolves but I have always liked the yellow so I went for a darker tone but with the contrast of the yellow. The OSL was purely luck, I just used the one yellow and bashed it on watery and just kept layering up. I did do one thing I never thought I would do to any model I painted… The blood, I’ve never been a huge fan of the overly gory painting but for this guy, I just had to. Overall I’m pretty chuffed with the way it turned out, and its given me a bit more drive to paint more often and in larger slots of time rather than the usual 10 mins here and there while I’m sat at my desk’Lone wolf 4

Duggan takes a break from his Iron Hands and sent in this haggard ass looking Comissar….
image_2 I thought I’d try something a little different to take a break from the endless stream of power armour and the new plastic commissar kit was that break. I got to try my hand at some actual clothing and try out a couple different styles of black. It was also my first attempt at the OSL on the plasma pistol, I was happy with it at the time but since replacing my stock starter airbrush with a much nicer one this week I feel I can nail it much better next time. I could imagine this fella being played in the movie by Lance Henriksen, just look at his weather beaten moosh.

So there you have it, quite a varied selection of subjects and skill levels. Feel free to post your thoughts and cast your votes in the comments section below, we’d love to hear from you’s!

17 thoughts on “CH Single Figure Challenge: May 2014

  1. I can’t look past Kev’s dwarf. There are so many good entries here, but I keep re-opening to look at the slayer one more time.. Vote cast.

  2. This month for me has to be Dug’s commissar, dude looks cool as fuck and Duggan has done a really nice characterful yet clean job on him.

  3. Painting large pieces well is pretty difficult to pull off. Yeah a tank doesn’t have a ton of tiny detail but making it look as believable as a single mini takes a different set of skills. So for that and the extra effort in converting the pose I’m going to say the dreadknight gets the nod.

    • Has to be Chris’s dreadknight for me, love kev’d dwarf and Adam’s wolves but as smart has said for the dwarf I can’t stop looking at the knight.

  4. Sir Kev of Walsh your slayer is a thing of beauty, the level of work touchs me in ways that only a catholic priest could. I tip my hat good sir, I really need to step up

  5. All amazing work and well inspirational but I reckon the vote has gotta go to the Dreadnight. Amazing work.

  6. It’s a tough one but I think I’m going to say the commissar too, because he looks he looks properly grim. Also painting black well is really hard, good job man!

  7. It’s a toss up between Duggan’s commissar and Kev’s Slayer for me, but I’m gonna have to go with Kev’s Slayer. Just flawless. Absolutely love the colours in the hair and shine on the axe.

  8. I’m going with Duggans Commisar but not that it detracts from any of the other entries that were all sick.

  9. Toss up between the Wulfen and the Commissar for me. But overall another awesome selection to pick from. Everything here has something to offer – collective well done lads!

  10. Everything was pretty stunning this month, but it came down to the Dreadknight and Kev’s Slayer for me. I keep changing my mind, but right now it’s Chris’s Dreadknight.

  11. Lots of good stuff on here, everyone should be proud of their work.

    Kev’s Dwarf Slayer edges it for me though

  12. Superb looking pieces all round in the comp. Much as I love Space Wolves as a whole (the Rune Priest is sweet), I’d have to go with Kev’s dwarf. The colours and blending of them are just stunning.

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