Murder in the Cathedral - painting The Blind Bishop by Archvillain
"You would bar the door
Against the lion, the leopard, the wolf or the boar,
Why not more
Against beasts with the souls of damned men, against men
Who would damn themselves to beasts."
Like many kids who studied English Literature at A level I hated some of the books. Dombey and son I never even read and know nothing of the story, learning the themes and reams of quotes off by heart instead. In fairness to me it was really thick and dull. On the other hand Murder in the Cathedral was a corker. I still remember many quotes 30+ years later such as “The last temptation is the greatest treason: To do the right deed for the wrong reason.”
Anyway this is a long winded way of introducing the subject of this painting guide - The Blind Bishop 3d STL print by Archvillain games who will be the leader of my ratmen force in my personal ratmen army. A character who I have no doubts has committed much Murder in the Cathedral..
Step one was the usual black priming but due to the size of the figure i then added a zenithal highlight to make life easier and give me a bit of a reference for later. I dont use quick wash paints so it was more as a reference really and to pick out details you can lose with a black undercoat.
The first proper painting was the skin tone. Archvillain ratmen are not the jokey ratmen with pink skin of GW fame. AV ratmen are vicious and predatory. These are ratmen who are sculpted mean so I wanted to get the skin tone right and found a real rat reference online of a pinky grey skinned rat. I laid down the dark tones of the main areas and started on the fleah.
The flesh base was a dark purply grey which I then successively lightened in the airbrush with small amounts of pink and light grey to the stage above. From here it was a matter of glazing back in with the original colour and alternately dotting the boils and growths with the lightest colour.
Skin done, I went for the robe and carpet. After comprehensive research ( 5 minutes google) I decided red seemed a Bishopy colour as clearly he has raided the vestry for raiment! I started brushing on VMC burnt red, then highlighted up with the brush through flat red and vermillion. Final scarlet highlights were added then i airbrushed the whole area with thinned scarlet/vermillion to smooth out any rougher blends. You might here spot my mistake whereby I left the area of cloak beneath the arm holding the staff and had to do this later...
I had also done the first parts of the base at this point very roughly just so I wouldnt forget. I was going to do grey paving but decided I liked the black and white as it reminded me of cathedrals I had visited in Belgium. Possibly Utrecht? Anyway it also looked more interesting.
"The pattern is the action and the suffering, that the wheel may turn and still be forever still."
Now more progress and the wheel turns... The waistcoat and trousers were airbrushed up to their final colour and the sashy thing around his neck base coloured. You can see the skin better in this picture as well for some reason.
Lightened up the sashy thing to its final colour and highlighted the mitre down the centre and towards the top. Again the result of extensive research on Bishops' hats.
The Fur has been darkened with a proper dark wash and the Gold base colour which is gold with dark brown and a bit of black added has been painted across all the bits which will be gold except the hat which I forgot.
The gold was then successively highlighted using a mix of vallejo metal colour gold, scale colour antique gold and silver to lighten. I didn't want super shiny clean as these are ratmen after all and I wanted a dark soiled look at the end. The Iron work was treated similarly with a dark gunmetal then highlighted up. Rust to be added later.
View from the back shows the gold nicely and that I have also started the coins and goblets. The worn out washed out colours on the cushions were done by adding white to the base colours through the airbrush.
Metals on the base now completed in the same way as on the Bishop. The broken metal cup is not deliberate and I think it may be a fail on my print but I went with it as if it has been hit with a sword and knocked to the ground.
The face was finished at some point here as well with a black bandage, a single sand then ivory eye and teeth in desert yellow, sand then ivory. The waistcoat had some shadows washed into the creases with a thinned brown and stains added as its tricky using a goblet with a snout!
The fur was successively stippled with sand and light sand, then washed with very dark brown on the sides especially in order to get both a dirty look and depth from bottom to top. It is an easy technique which I will use whenever i am painting bigger figures I think. Its harder to do on normal 28mm. Rust was added to the iron parts with very controlled washes of flat brown and dots of orange brown. Scratchy marks and highlights with aluminium. The coins were abstracted with dabs of brighter gold in the middle area as sort of faces but really just to make more interesting.
The tail by which I had been holding the mini through painting was now finished in greys as the Blind Bishop is old as well as huge. The spilled liquid was lightened where it was running on the white tile and some pure white highlights added as well as gloss varnish. Highlights were painted down the nails and gloss added to the mouth and eye. At some point I had obviously done some work on the tiles running dark brown down the sides and washing over with a grey brown for dirt.
And so a tour around the Bishop. This will not be the last paintthrough of an Archvillain Ratmen mini, next up will be one of the Ratmen Cavalry.
and back to..