View Full Version : Project: Ciaphas Cain

07-04-2006, 07:17
I won a limited-edition Black Library "Ciaphas Cain" diorama off of eBay a week or two ago. It's one of 500 made, and I'm looking to make it the best miniature I've done. We're talking, like, Golden Demon standards here.

The miniature:

Here's what it looks like assembled (from the Black Library website):

The objective:
I want it to look like the cover to the first Cain book, 'For the Emperor':

What I've done so far:
- removed all the flash and primed it black
- did the coat in a dark grey, highlighted it in lighter grey
- did some details in red, highlighted with a lighter red
- painted the standard banner in a sandstone color, highlighted with white, and did the fringe in red (and highlighted with lighter red)
- did copper detailing all over the place, such as the edges of the coat, the tassels on the miniature and on the standard banner, etc
- painted the bolter a dark grey, highlighted with a lighter grey, then drybrushed it with chrome
- painted the banner pole in a light grey, then chromed it

What I need to do:
- paint the face. I'm not looking forward to this at all. I've never painted a face before
- do a black ink wash everywhere to darken the coat up
- paint the diorama base. It's got a bunch of piled corpses, like a Necron Warrior and Necron Scarab, two Ork heads, a Tyranid or two, and some other stuff I don't recognize easily.

I wish I could post in-progress pics, but I don't have access to a camera. I'll try and hijack one from a friend and post pics of the finished product, though.

07-04-2006, 07:29
hey, first of all congrats on getting that model! it would make anyone happy to get a limited edition piece.
try to find a camera, i love seeing wip shots of other peoples works
note to self buy self a camera for own project...ahem

One thing bothers me though, the base. i love using other pieces of armys 2 show the dead on the ground, but why have you used orks, nids and necrons? i think one foe or 2 small foes of the same race are enough for a base, unless the model is used for a campaign where multiple races/armies have been fought/fighting against.

Just my 2 bobs worth

07-04-2006, 07:39
That's the base the miniature comes with. It's a diorama base, and it is supposed to show off the random enemies that Ciaphas Cain has fought in his career. The miniature is not really meant for gameplay -- the character doesn't even have any stats for the game.

07-04-2006, 07:46
oh ok, thats fair enough then. if it is only for display , has no rules and you don't plan on using him in battles then i say put as many bodys on that base as you want!

old guard
07-04-2006, 08:36
Of course some of the Cain books feature more than on race of bad guys, tau and genestealers in the first, Orks and Necrons in the second.

Two things I think this needs:
1 that chain sword needs to be replaced by one that comes with one of the SOB sister superiors (looks more like the one shown on the cover) Cain is always shown on the covers (inspirational pictures of the 'hero') with a bolt pistol but he carries a laspistol, but thats being picky.
2 and probably more important JURGEN and his trusty melta.

Good luck with this and as has been said photos!!!!!!!!!!
I must confess to being exceptionaly jealous, I've wanted to do the Valhallan 597TH for a while now complete with figure of Cain so I will be watching closely

07-04-2006, 09:03
that chain sword needs to be replaced by one that comes with one of the SOB sister superiors
There's a problem with that; in looking at the Sister Superior model, she's actually holding the chainsword. The chainsword for the Cain miniature is just on its own (and meant to be jammed into the ground, as far as I can tell). I can paint things, but when it comes to custom conversions, my skills kinda come to a dead stop.

probably more important JURGEN and his trusty melta.
Any thoughts on some miniatures I could kit-bash in order to make Jurgen?

Any tips on painting faces? I've put down a coat of Delta Ceramcoat "medium flesh" on the face, and right now it looks really crappy. I've got some GW "brown ink" coming in the mail and should be here on Monday, though.
Also, tips on painting the Ork heads on the base? I've done a coat of Delta Ceramcoat's equivalent to "goblin green" thus far. I'm just not sure how to do the teeth or the inside of the mouth and tongue, etc.

old guard
07-04-2006, 13:36
You need to have a look at the old metal valhallans. there is a melta gunner, the question is can you make him look as disgusting as Jurgen, alternatively (looking at the list of valhallan figures) ice warrior 7 (running with rifle held upwards) and stick a melta accross his back.

Painting wise, well I've never heard of the stuff your using. personally I start from a dark flesh dwarf flesh mix and layer and highlight up to bleached bone. but there ar far better guides than my method out there try surfing through some of the many sites or some of the threads here
for the orks my son succesfully paints them (i'm useless with Orks) using again dark flesh ot scorched brown for the inside of the mouth and then picks out the teeth with bubonic brown mixing in bleached boen and highlighting up to shull white (but only just since these boys tend not to follow the dentists advice)

07-04-2006, 14:00
You need to have a look at the old metal valhallans. there is a melta gunner, the question is can you make him look as disgusting as Jurgen, alternatively (looking at the list of valhallan figures) ice warrior 7 (running with rifle held upwards) and stick a melta accross his back.
Hmm... I've never seen the Valhallan miniatures. Where can I see pictures of them?

Painting wise, well I've never heard of the stuff your using.
It's acrylic paint that I bought at a local Michael's craft store. Instead of spending $3.00 for a 0.75oz bottle of Games Workshop "Citadel" paint, I can spend $1.00 for a 2oz bottle of Delta Ceramcoat. I've got some friends who swear by the stuff, and have gotten quite good at doing on-the-fly color-matching between the Delta paints and Citadel equivalents. Thus far, I'm very pleased with the results I've gotten with the Ciaphas Cain miniature.

Edit-- also, I've posted a thread in the main painting/terrain forum, showcasing some of my Necron army. Go check it out (http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=31222)! :D

old guard
07-04-2006, 15:44
best bet is try the GW website and go to the online shop.


They are not on the Oz site go to the UK one there is a valhallan bundle go into that and you can see the individual figures.

checking out Ebay might be worth a try too

07-04-2006, 16:06
On the matter of the chainsword, it's meant to be put in between a gap in the sash around his torso, the gap is near his waist on his left.

I've got one of those and I've been meaning to do something with it, and this looks like what I was planning. I only got so far, and my painting could never be described as very good in the first place, so keep on with the project, and I hope you get further than I do! :)

07-04-2006, 20:36
On the matter of the chainsword, it's meant to be put in between a gap in the sash around his torso, the gap is near his waist on his left.
I don't see how the chainsword fits in there... the gap is too narrow.

08-04-2006, 10:03
On the chainsword I got, there was a small rectangle of metal sticking out of the side of the hilt, which fitted into the gap perfectly. It goes at an angle to the body, it's even visible on the picture:

08-04-2006, 11:10
Weird... mine doesn't seem to have that. Any chance of you taking some close-up pics of your chainsword?

Also, any tips/thoughts on painting Cain's mutton-chops? I'm not sure how I'm going to do that. He's got black hair.

08-04-2006, 17:29
Got no camera. :( I'll see if I can scrounge one off a friend, but I can't promise anything.
On closer inspection of my model, I can see the bit to put it onto the waist is an angled part sticking out when you look at it from the side. It's on the side with the winged skull on.

On the face, well, it's where I messed up and stopped myself from doing the project, but it's either helped or hindered (Depending on how you see it) by the high collar, so you have less face to paint, but it's hard to avoid. The eyes might be the worst part, they're mostly obscured by the hat, so you'll have to be careful. The hair I thought I did reasonably well, and a good guide is to find the ear and paint behind it black. There's no space around the ear, so it makes it easier. The mouth is also hard, I just painted the interior dark red, but I might change that and put ink in the back. One other thing to note; there are teeth barely visible around the mouth, which I missed.

I might start mine again now that this thread has come up.

I'll see what I can do about the camera, but until then, has anyone else got one of these they can show us?

08-04-2006, 19:24
I mean, I see where the hair is, and it's already black (since I primed it black), but it looks... goofy. The collar is already painted (and trimmed with copper) and the cap and face are painted. I simply didn't paint the hair. I'm just not sure what to do about it so it doesn't look as goofy.

11-04-2006, 06:42
My order of black and brown inks finally showed up, so now I can continue painting. :D I'm going to do a brown ink wash on the face, and a black ink wash on pretty much everything else.

11-04-2006, 20:52
Golden Daemon standards and speak of inks and not painting the black leave me concerned....I'd build the black up with some highlights of some black mixed with shadow grey or something, if you notice IRL black isn't straight BLACK.

12-04-2006, 12:31
Golden Daemon standards and speak of inks and not painting the black leave me concerned....I'd build the black up with some highlights of some black mixed with shadow grey or something, if you notice IRL black isn't straight BLACK.
Thanks for the tips - frankly, I had no idea what I was going to do with the hair, so I was kinda looking for advice like this.

15-04-2006, 13:50
Project update:

I inked the whole thing, and it darkened it right up (and even gave the jacket this nice glossy effect; it almost looks like leather) and then went back and re-highlighted the jacket and whatnot, and touched up anything that the ink screwed up (most of the red). I also bored out the barrel on the bolt pistol (something I should have done back before I started painting, but it didn't occur to me), so I need to re-paint about half the gun. I also need to do random touch-up stuff with the red on the brim of the cap and fringe on the standard banner, and re-do the highlights on the boots, since the ink kinda washed it out. I also highlighted the hair with some dark grey, per Nid's suggestion, and it looks a lot better now.

I'm still trying to figure out how I'm going to ink and highlight the face; I've only got one shade of flesh-tone, and I've got some brown ink, and I have zero experience with inks. I'd really prefer to NOT screw up the face and have to re-paint the whole miniature or something. I'm also not sure how I'm going to paint the open mouth.

My Tyranid-player friend is going to do the Tyranid detail-work on the diorama base, and I'm waiting for some green ink to come in the mail so I can finish up the Orks on the base. I'm not sure how I'm going to paint the teeth and inside of the jaws on the Orks, though; I've never painted Orks before.

16-04-2006, 23:09
Alright, any tips on painting faces? I did a brown wash over the flesh color on the Cain miniature's face, and it looked a lot better. Then I did some highlighting/drybrushing with the fleshtone and it looked even better. However, it still isn't really meeting my rigorous, unrealistic standards... and I'm really not sure what to do. I figure the face is what sells this miniature, and if that looks bad then the rest of it falls apart.

Otherwise, the thing looks awesome. Everything else is done except for some minor detail touch-ups, and the base is nearly done; I decided to paint the Tyranid bits myself, and they just need some highlighting and a brown wash and they're done. I'm waiting on some green ink so I can do the Ork heads, and then I need to clean up some details and the base (and thus the entire miniature) is done.

19-04-2006, 01:07
Uh oh, I've finally got PICTURES of the Ciaphas Cain mini work-in-progress.

http://img205.imageshack.us/img205/8207/picture0016kh.th.jpg (http://img205.imageshack.us/my.php?image=picture0016kh.jpg)

http://img205.imageshack.us/img205/8937/picture0029ah.th.jpg (http://img205.imageshack.us/my.php?image=picture0029ah.jpg)

http://img205.imageshack.us/img205/9445/picture0034vi.th.jpg (http://img205.imageshack.us/my.php?image=picture0034vi.jpg)

http://img206.imageshack.us/img206/3642/picture0046gj.th.jpg (http://img206.imageshack.us/my.php?image=picture0046gj.jpg)

19-04-2006, 01:08
Even more pics:

http://img205.imageshack.us/img205/3302/picture0052dd.th.jpg (http://img205.imageshack.us/my.php?image=picture0052dd.jpg)

http://img205.imageshack.us/img205/8952/picture0064du.th.jpg (http://img205.imageshack.us/my.php?image=picture0064du.jpg)

http://img160.imageshack.us/img160/3667/picture0074iu.th.jpg (http://img160.imageshack.us/my.php?image=picture0074iu.jpg)

http://img202.imageshack.us/img202/3162/picture0086ha.th.jpg (http://img202.imageshack.us/my.php?image=picture0086ha.jpg)

19-04-2006, 01:09
Even more pics:

http://img202.imageshack.us/img202/5255/picture0101ld.th.jpg (http://img202.imageshack.us/my.php?image=picture0101ld.jpg)

http://img215.imageshack.us/img215/8125/picture0111qt.th.jpg (http://img215.imageshack.us/my.php?image=picture0111qt.jpg)

http://img295.imageshack.us/img295/9712/picture0123ua.th.jpg (http://img295.imageshack.us/my.php?image=picture0123ua.jpg)

http://img215.imageshack.us/img215/719/picture0131qd.th.jpg (http://img215.imageshack.us/my.php?image=picture0131qd.jpg)

19-04-2006, 01:11
One last pic:

http://img215.imageshack.us/img215/2025/picture0143kc.th.jpg (http://img215.imageshack.us/my.php?image=picture0143kc.jpg)

19-04-2006, 23:32
Just as a word of caution, GD standard as you mentioned earlier usually involves thinning paint.

20-04-2006, 03:16
So I've heard from other people. Any tips for that?

Believe me, I'm the first one you'll see who'll chime in and say that the pictures make the mini look, well, crappy. Oddly enough, though, it doesn't look nearly that bad when I look at it with my unaided eyes. The camera is probably picking up things that are too small for my eyes to focus on.

A good example is if you compare the first pic in my list of pics and compare it to, say, the fourth pic in the list. You'll notice that the mini doesn't look nearly as bad in the first pic as it does in all the others, for whatever reason.

The current course of action is to strip the paint and start from zero again. Frankly, I *am* pleased with what I'd done with the mini, and this has been one lengthy learning process, but the pics have me second-guessing my ability. The more I look at the pics, the less happy with it I am.

Yarick Zan
26-06-2006, 05:27
nice looking so far.

26-06-2006, 12:13
I think you have 2 main problems standing in the way of this being anything close to GD quality. Firstly, your materials. Cheap supermarket paints aren't going to cut it here, no matter what anyone tells you. Invest in some decent modelling paints, GW's work great I find, some people don't like them but I find them to be perfect with one or two exceptions, mainly the coverage of one or two colours.

Secondly, ink washing and drybrushing everything is never going to provide you with the results your looking for. Ink washing is something that should be done carefully on one or two areas such as metals, applying black ink to the entire model will just result in a mess making the mini look as if its just showered in treacle. Drybrushing should also be reserved to areas of rough texture such as beards and fur as it leaves a rough look not suited to areas which are in reality relatively smooth such as faces or leather. Such areas require highlighting through the use of techniques such as blending or layering to make them look realistic.

I knocked up this quick (and very poor!) little photoshop of a pic of one of my ogres I painted a year and a bit ago to try to explain how to highlight areas using the technique known as layering.


In this image I have roughly circled each stage in the process.

Stage 1 - Blue Circle

This stage is the darkest shade for the flesh of the model. As I wanted the overall look of the flesh to be a kind of "pinky" colour (dwarf flesh), I began with a mix of dwarf flesh and tanned flesh, probably about 30:70 in order to give me the darkest tone to work up from (note while some people choose to paint their mid-tones on first and then shade down and highlight up over them, prefer to start from darkest and work up to brightest). In this stage you must ensure you get a perfect smooth coverage with none of the undercoat colour showing through.

Stage 2 - Green Circle

This stage is the second darkest shade for the flesh. At this point we begin the transition from darkest shade to our mid-tone. As the mid-tone will be dwarf flesh and the darkest tone was 70:30 mix of tanned flesh and dwarf flesh, this stage was a roughly 50:50 mix of tanned flesh and dwarf flesh. In order to create a blended and smooth looking transition, the paint was applied in a series of thin coats (only a very small amount of the watered down paint on the tip of the brush at a time, it should appear as though there is almost no paint on it). Each coat was applied just inside the area the last coat covered in order to create a smooth transition. While this method is time consuming the effect is worth it. Be careful to leave a small area (we're talking a matter of millimetres) of the original darkest tone in the deeper recesses, in this example the joins in the muscles.

Stage 3 - Pink Circle

In this stage the mid-tone or base colour is applied to the flesh. As before, the colour (this time pure dwarf flesh) is applied in a series of thin coats working inward from the edge of the circled area up to the highest point of the muscle. This stage, while not the brightest, sets the overall tone of the skin as it covers the largest area (as can be seen by the size of the circle).

Stage 4 - Black Circle

This is the final stage of the layering process in which the highlight tone is applied. As the mid-tone was pure dwarf flesh, the highlight tone is dwarf flesh mixed 30:70 with elf flesh. Again keep the paint thin and work up to the highest point of the muscle in a series of thin coats to produce a blended appearence and smooth transition.

While the example provided here is for flesh, the same principles apply for any colour. The most important thing is the consistency of the paint and the amount on your brush at the point of application. Too thin or too much on the brush and you wont be able to control it and it will pool on the mini producing an unever coverage, too thick and the transition of the layers will appear un-natural.

It really is a trial and error sort of process and one which took me a long time to really get to grips with but once you do it becomes second nature.

Obviously different people use different processes, this is just the way I work but hopefully it will be of some help to you.

Hopefully this is of some use to you.

26-06-2006, 12:57
Yeh I've got a friend who swears by acryillics, wont ever use a GW paint because they cost too much, arent good etc etc

Then I remind her that she's being painting a year, and I've been doing it a decade (and over the summer plan to do it as a living! hooray for little men!)

The best thing to get is one of the basic starter kit if your not willing to invest in a wide range.
On top of that you might need say black ink (invaluable), gold (necessary), and some fleshy colors with an appropriate ink (my combination is vermin brown, bronzed flesh, and flesh wash).

These paints can be thinned with water and with some practice your painting will improve pretty much over night if you follow the advice thats available freely on the internet.

A good technique to try is undercoating a model with black ink so it purposefully doesnt cover the model - it gives you an outline for where to paint. Whilst simplistic, it does get you used to 'painting in the lines'.

I still now, even on comission work use a varient of this. I do a dry brush of bestial brown on the whole thing - it gives me a good idea of what needs painting and how to go about it, and if its something fantasy or a base, I'll usually give it a coat of vermin too.

Anyway I hope that gives you some help because I do see potential in your painting, but a workman will only ever be as good as his tools. And lets face it, if you can afford to get a ltd ed fig off ebay you've got enough to splash out on one good set of paints

Some guy (UK)
26-06-2006, 16:36
I really hope this doesn't offend you, make you upset or whatever, but honestly, I very much doubt that will win a GD- try again, strip the model, and practise your techniques on others. Take you're time, and look at what past GD winners have done :)

Later, Some Guy

26-06-2006, 16:53
im really sorry if im about to offend, but this is my honest opinion. its not going to even come close to golden demon.

A). i can see good parts to your skills, but there not being used properly.

B). dont drybrush, and add about 20% water to thicker paints to thin them. and for god's sake, buy some citadel paints!

C)start again. wait till next year, practise in the meantime on things a little less rare and precious.

D) strip the model. save him for a year or two.

27-06-2006, 03:04
it's a awesome model

27-06-2006, 10:02
Some very good advice has been given already. Not GD quality by a long shot. I know pictures make everything seem worse, but take a look at GD winners; they don't have that problem. It's not irrelevent; GD models will be extremly closely examened, so looking good "at a glance" does nothing for you.

So do what Marko said. Lay this project aside for a while, enjoy the hobby for a year or two while constantly challenging yourself. Try the painting competitions GW stores have; the competition is usually pretty good, but more attainable then GD. And you can get help from the staff there, who for the better part can paint better than you do now, so they can help getting the basics right (like thinning and layering).

Best of luck.

27-06-2006, 21:14
It's a nice model, but as many have said, is not GD quality. Just take your time, get all the right materialss together, (all your brushes and paints, probably from GW) look up guides, and especiall How To Paint Citadel Miniatures( Book from GW). They should give you all the basic tips and advice to painting. To get to GD quality will most likely take a couple of years, maybe months. But you've just got to practice, take your time, and enjoy yourself. Don't just try to go for GD quality straight away. Following the everyone else advice would be a step in the right direction too! :)
It's a nice model though, so don't feel down. Work on the flesh a little bit more too.
Nice work, :)