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HOW TO: Kingdom Death: Monster Phoenix Painting Tutorial


Came home after the weekend to find a very heavy box outside my door. I had completely forgotten about it, but my copy of Kingdom Death finally arrived. I have to finish a Blood Angels commission and then paint the Horus Heresy, but I wanted to at least have the Phoenix done today. I couldn't really find and Kingdom Death painting guides so hopefully this will help someone. Total Paint time with pictures was about 5 or 6 hours.


Assembly was mostly okay without the instructions. I've heard a lot of ranting about this so I won't say anything except that gluing on 30 hands without a guide was painful. After assembly, I primed the model with Vallejo Primer Israeli Sand. Then I used Tamiya Grey Surface Primer (the hand brush version) to fill in the gaps. I like using this product over Liquid Green stuff because it naturally flows into the recesses and I can use a Q-tip to remove excess I don't want. After the gaps are filled, I reprimed those areas.


I did two layers of Pre-shading with the model. First the light shadows were done with Com-Art Transparent Black. Com-Art colors are very, very thing and flow extremely well. I would use them over Vallejo or another brand any day if that had more colors. Com-Art only has a handful of colors, but most of the people using them just custom mix. A lot of movie props that are airbrushed are done with Com-Art colors. After the light shadows were applied, I defined the darker shadows with Opaque Black (also Com-Art).


Next, I filled in the feathers with Vallejo Game Air Charred Brown. This was also done with an airbrush and with care not to get the Brown into the Pre-shading.


After just 3 colors, the feathers are coming along nicely.


The, I highlighted with Vallejo Game Air Beasty Brown.


Another view after the Beastly Brown. I applied this color a little bit randomly to add variations in the tone of the feathers to make them look natural.


I used a lot of real-life reference pictures of big birds of prey for this model. One thing I noticed was that the feathers fade to black on the tip of the feathers. To replicate this effect, I'm going to use 3 different Black paints. First I used, again, Com-Art's Transparent Black to outline where I wanted the shading. This went up maybe 1/3 of thee individual feathers. I'm still airbrushing everything.


Another view.


Next, I filled up about half of the area that was done in Transparent Black with Opaque Black (Com-Art again). The goal is to get a subtle transition from the brown to black.


Finally, for the strongest colored area at the tip, I used Vallejo Game Air Black.


Now that the colors were laid down, I wanted to add some highlights which meant swapping the Airbrush for regular brush. This was done simply by Drybrush the wings with Citadel Dry Tyrant Skull.


Here's another view, the details are really starting to pop.


With the highlight and shadows done, I needed to tie in everything together and define the individual follicles on the feathers. I used Citadel Shade Nuln Oil thinned with Vallejo Airbrush Thinner and water. I didn't want this to be too thick. You will have to play around with the exact ratio. I just add more thinner/water until I am happy with how it flows.


The wash makes a very big difference on the wings.


After the feathers, I moved onto the Flesh and back to the airbrush. I thinned Reaper Master series Tanned Shadow with Vallejo Airbrush Thinner.


Next, I highlighted the skin with Reaper Master Series Tanned Skin.


Also don't forget the other hands. I left them on the sprue for easy painting. Unfortunately gluing them on later was not as easy...  There are also hands on the other parts of the model. Even though they were inside the feathers, I found that the airbrush was still okay and I didn't need to paint them by hand. If you are just starting out airbrushing, small details will be hard, but once you know the brush well, it can do almost anything.


I wanted a sickly/non-human look to the skin so I shaded with with Com-Art Transparent Purple.


I had no idea where the hands would do so I just shaded the palms.


Next step on the fleshly areas was a highlighy of the aptly named Tanned highlight.


To get shading and to blend the colors together, I used a wash of Citadel Shade Reijland Fleshshade. This was again thinned with water and airbrush thinner.


Same thing again but with Carroburg Crimson.


Here's that the finger talon things on the wings look like.


Finally, I did one more highlight of Tanned Highlight.


For the claws I applied the Isaeli Sand Primer followed by Vallejo Game Air Bone White, and Com-Art Opaque White with and airbrush.


For the beak, I used the airbrush to blend Minitaure Warning Yellow with the flesh.


The yellow was further blended to Hazard Orange.


Finally the tip was airbrushed with black and the whole beak was washed with Citadel Shade Seraphim Sephia.


And finally a completed Phoenix!




And quick Satan mini from the resin line I did while back (I think I only spent an hour on her so don't judge).


I had this picture from our last photoshoot, but this is a 54mm Twilight Knight. My first ever Kingdom Death mini.

Viet Nguyen1 Comment