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Tabletop Thursday: Sylvaneth Branchwych

Two weeks ago, I started my Sylvaneth experimentation with some Dryads and inks. This week, I’m continuing my Sylvaneth foray with my first leader, the Branchwych.

The Browns and Greens

Like my dryads, I started with a black primer with zenithal white over. I did a quick drybrush with white primer to get a bit more contrast on the miniatures.

I then used the burnt umber ink from liquitex as the brown for all my bark. Damn that looks good.

The Sylvaneth models I’m painting are an excuse for me to try methods that I usually don’t get to practise on my Orks. So this includes things like wet blending, pretty faces, skintone (even though I didn’t get to do that here), etc etc. You can see me trying the wet blending (or quick 1 and 2 brush blending) on the Branchwych’s skirt, as well as her horns.

In case you’re curious, the horns go from off-white, to pale yellow (Vallejo Ice Yellow), to a mid umber, to a beastial brown type colour, to burnt umber, to black.

The greens start from a medium olive colour, to a goblin green colour. I added a bit of yellow, as well as a bit of bone for the highlights.

The Crystal Blade

This is where I spent the bulk of my time. I’m trying to figure out brush blending, so I purposely gave all my Sylvaneth magical crystal blade. This mean that I needed to figure out light placement, highlights and shadows.

Of course, this was my first model. And the shape is very complicated. So I done fucked. The first iteration of it DID NOT WORK AT ALL.

I ended up rewinding the blade and copying the light placement of the original GW model.

Here is me blocking in the colours. The three colours I’m using are Vallejo model off-white, Vallejo model blue-green (a beautiful vibrant turquoise), and P3 Coal black (a wonderful dark green/blue/black). Incidentally, Coal black is also my go-to colour for highlighting black.

You can see the blending slowly coming together over these two pictures… It was really me just practicing my blends. Pulling the colours in the right direction and with the correct control is really tricky.

And then the final touch of the blade is using off white as the edge highlights. I tried using the side of my brush, which worked for most parts of the blade, but it was especially tricky in the middle of the blade. The side of the brush was too fat, and I didn’t really have the control I wanted with the tip of the brush. But well, that’s what practice is for, right?

The Red Bug (and other details)

The red bug was actually pretty easy. A quick wash of GW contrast blood angels red, then an additional shade of druchii violet, then a highlight of P3 Skorne red and Khador red base/ The claws and legs were done in a similar way to the horns, with the finished picture below.

After-mini thoughts

I’ll have to say, I quite like painting the Branchwych. While she was stupidly fiddly, she (and the Dryads) were comparatively quick to paint for something that (I think) looks really good. The zenithal and ink method does give a rich brown, and good texture, since most of the model just needs to look like bark. This means that I can spend a lot more time on the details, pushing to make everything look that much better.

Next week, things take a decidedly rougher turn as I work on my Orks.


Singapore’s resident Press Ganger, that is, the man to go to for Privateer Press’ WARMACHINE, and HORDES. Kakita also dabbles in Games Workshop’s WARHAMMER FANTASY and WARHAMMER 40K lines.

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