When we first saw the incredible Triumph of Saint Katherine, we knew straight away that it would be a hit with miniatures painters. With that in mind, we decided to hand-pick a group of top painters from around the world to see what they could do with the kit. Today, we’re showcasing the results of their hard work and hearing from each of them to learn more about how they went about producing their finished projects.
Ever since I first got my hands on Contrast paints, I’ve been experimenting with them to see what I could make them do. When the Triumph of Saint Katherine came along, it gave me the perfect excuse to see how Contrast paints would look when used on a more intricate, centrepiece miniature.
I opted to go for a painting scheme based around the Order of Bloody Rose as I really wanted to take advantage of the colour intensity of Blood Angels Red and Flesh Tearers Red. With the exception of the metallics, everything on the model was painted with Contrast, applied in a single coat taken straight from the pot. Washes were also added to the metallic areas, as well as a few sparing highlights here and there, to help some of the more important details to stand out.
The Contrast paints definitely made the painting process much easier and considerably faster, with little compromise in the overall finish. I think that the multiple models that make up the Triumph of Saint Katherine add to this impressive finish. There’s just something about a full squad of painted miniatures that looks better than a lone miniature, and the way the individual Sisters of this piece are arranged into a mini-diorama really taps into that feeling.
This is my first model using the Triumph of Saint Katherine kit, representing Sister Olora – a shieldmaiden champion for a minor Order I’ve created, the Priory of Cygnus. The bone-coloured armour represents a swan’s white plumage (cygnus being the Latin word for swan), the animal which is the symbol of the order.
Like all my Sororitas, the model was undercoated with Zandri Dust spray, and then given a zenithal spray of Wraithbone. This provided a nice creamy base colour to work from. The model’s armour, cloak and habit were sponged with dark brown to provide weathering. The armour was drybrushed with White Scar, then given a generous coat of Apothecary White mixed with Skeleton Horde and some Contrast Medium to dilute it. The deepest recesses were painted Basilicanum Grey to provide contrast, after which the edges were highlighted with White Scar.
The part I enjoyed most about painting the Triumph of Saint Katherine kit was the shield. Freehanding can be really intimidating, but when you break it down into basic shapes and establish the perimeter of your logo, you can then work inside it with all kinds of shading and highlighting!
For the white power armour, I tried to build up subtle blue shadows with glazes. I was mimicking the sort of white accents you’d see ’Eavy Metal painters apply to miniatures such as Raven Guard. White takes colour extremely easily, so I had to dilute my paint a lot. I confess that there were a few times where my attempts resulted in a streaky mess and I had to reapply the basecoat and give it another try!
When I saw this model teased for the first time, it answered a question I’d been struggling with – how do I base my new Sisters of Battle army? Seeing the Triumph of Saint Katherine, it all clicked together. Marble. I already knew of a method for painting marble with an airbrush that used wet wipes as a masking material. I’d never had a chance to try it out but this was the perfect model for it. It turned out better than I’d imagined and has defined the basing style for my entire army going forwards.
While painting the rest of the model, I looked up reference images of funeral processions from lots of different religions. However, the elaborate Gothic stylings of the Ecclesiarchy meant I was drawn towards a lot of Roman Catholic influences. I contrasted the Saints’ heavy, black, velvet robes with a shinier, red, satin material and lots of gold details. I also painted the casket to resemble the deep, dark wood of church pews so that it didn’t draw focus away from Katherine’s remains.
I’ve still not completely finished the model, with the scripture on the scrolls still left to go. I’ve already clocked up more than 150 hours on this kit over the past two months, and I’m still not tired of it. In fact, I’m even more excited about painting the rest of my army as a result!
“As the procession moved sedately down the streets of the dystopian city, the crowd gathered and grew more and more dense. The crowd began to boil!”
This encapsulates the idea behind my Saint Katherine piece. As soon as I saw the kit, I knew I had to do something special with it – just looking at it makes you think of a scene, a diorama. A painting, even. It’s a picture in 3D. And that’s exactly how I handled it. Instead of thinking of The Triumph of Saint Katherine as a single miniature or a collection of miniatures, I constructed it as a picture, building and painting it as a whole. It’s kind of an unusual way to make miniatures, but I think it paid off here. I assembled the whole scene, only omitting the cherubs and the outermost layer of people.
I was quite inspired by paintings of artists including Rembrandt and the like, so I focused a strong golden light source on the Saint herself and let everything else fade into indistinct, grey darkness the further I got from the centre. It was a great and challenging piece to work on, but I’m pleased with the result.
Thanks, everyone! That was a pretty stunning showcase, we’re sure you’ll agree! Have you painted your Triumph of Saint Katherine? If you have, be sure to show us on the Warhammer 40,000 Facebook page or on Instagram by tagging it with #PaintingWarhammer. And if you haven’t painted it yet, order yours today!
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