(Apologies for any typos, my word processor has gone insane and is flagging everything with a red underlining so any misspelled words are just going to get lost in the shuffle).
Whilst I did buy this Runemaster before the Kharadron Overlords were announced I am determined to paint him. However, he is absolutely not going to be ginger.
Part of it, I admit, is resentment. I've wanted a Slayer army since I started in this hobby and when it finally comes along in plastic they aren't Slayers. They've got the right god and the right hair but, essentially, they aren't the same army I ogled when they were unaffordable metals. They're wearing armour, for a bloody start. Cowards!
As much of their background and aesthetic as I like I do prefer to view them as the new concept they are rather than as a continuation of an old concept they don't quite fit. The Battletome has no shortage (if you'll pardon the expression) of alternative colour scheme but none of them inspired me. However, a description of the Sepuzkul Lodge from the short story Four Thousand Days by David Guymer really grabbed my attention:
“... this one's wargear was black, fluted and moulded into the appearance of bone. His face had been painted with white powder, except for the eye sockets where the brazen red of his skin showed through. His beard was an unnatural grey. The twinned plumes of his helm designating him a karl of his fyrd might have been a reassuring point of commonality, but the likeness crafted into the black helm was that of a skeletal wyrm and the plumage itself was short, white and brittle.”
Now, we don't learn much about this Lodge and its origins but given all the imagery and that some of its members swear using Nagash's name as well as Grimnir's I think its pretty obvious they're from the Realm of Death.
So let's break that description down and decide how the model will be painted: armour black, beard grey, crest white, I'll skip the face paint because that's too fiddly with the helmet and since I can't re-sculpt the dragon face on his helmet I'll simply paint it as bone. Also, to carry on the “Realm of Death” theme the flames coming from his brazier he's carrying will be that sort of luminous green used on Hexwraiths and Realmgates if I can find a tutorial. Also, to keep the model relatively dark any metal that doesn't have to be gold will be brass and bronze. Not sure what I'll do with the scale cape but I'm sure something will occur as I work through the other stages.
This is actually one of my favourite AoS models: commanding pose, lots of interesting and intricate detail and plenty of chances for experimentation. I'm really looking forward to tackling this for a bit of variety whilst I whittle away at the Kurnoth Hunters.