View Full Version : To the Empire and Back - ExoCowboy goes Fantasy

26-01-2007, 06:37
Hey all

I have finally lost all the last signs of sanity, and I will start yet another project. Now, I am going back to my roots, after many years of absence. That means, starting to play fantasy battle, which some 9,5 years ago started all this miniature-playing nonsense in my part.

But back then, it was the orcses that got my full attention. Now, the new empire book has come out, and I have always liked the idea of poor humies trying to survive against the cruel world - be it the chaos, undead, orcs or other super-skilled monsters of perilous type. By some luck, I also have some 1000+ points of empire in my bits box, some of whom I have already painted (but still they need some repainting, as back then, some 4-5 years ago when I bought them, I was not so good with the brush I am now), so I can start to play.

After some research through the book, I realised that I want to do a Stirland -force, their rurality (is that a word?) somehow having an effect on me. But, the cunning people at GW made one obstacle, through which I will finally face my Great Nemesis: Stirland -scheme has yellow in it, and I have NEVER painted yellow succesfully. So, I went to GW, bought some yellows, took my brush and started to fight the odds: the overwhelming numbers of the models + the thrice-cursed yellow.

"Stop writing this nonsense, we need pics", I hear you say. So, here goes the first picture of this episode of "To the X and Back" -projects, the first tests to paint yellow (and yes, I paint it over black, because where would the fun be painting over the undercoat of white?):


There might be some tiny variations with the tone of the yellow from model to model, but these are poor stirlanders, who do not care.

Stay tuned. I hope you will!

26-01-2007, 11:07
The green is very nice, very vibrant, better than the yellow in fact. But maybe that's only me, cause I don't like yellow washed with brown.

26-01-2007, 11:42
four and counting exo :D
nice work there, you need to stay faithful to black undercoat :p
the yellow looks fine and the green is excellent so good job there mate


26-01-2007, 12:03
yellow is just a pita to paint. Its a strong color, but getting it right just drives you crazy. The green is excellent, but the Combo green - yellow is kinda strange.

26-01-2007, 14:30
Nice to see that you're moving onto fantasy too, ExoCowboy. I'm looking forward to seeing what you can do in THIS universe:D

Are you sure you are going with yellow and green? The combination seems abit off somehow.

26-01-2007, 14:40
those are the stirland colours, do not blame me! :D

Also give me a chance to prove you all wrong ;)

29-01-2007, 05:58
Managed to finish first 3 models for the stirlanders, here is a pic


I am really happy the way they turned out. The yellow was quite fun to do, and I am proud of the tone it got.

Remember that these are for playing, so I will keep them relatively simple, no point to make each model a golden daemon -winner if they come in blocks of 25 :cool:

Next in line is a witch (death magic wielder). Yep, some sorceries will get involved in the games to come.

29-01-2007, 13:24
Another day, another project log from Exo... :p

So empire next huh? That scheme of yours fits the empire really well, and the yellow on their coats/sweaters you pulled of really nicely! It's just so rich yet simple.

Though if I'm allowed to make a little suggestion I'd like it to be to give their metallic bits a black and/or brown ink wash. I think it'll make their armour suit the other "earthy colours" quite well.

Good luck with this project, I'll keep an eye out for the witch your talking about :).


29-01-2007, 16:15
Laughed when I saw the title - Exo's at it again! I was a little unsure about the yellow in the WIP shot, but seeing the completed models everything looks great to me. The flesh and eyes are particularly nice.

One thing: You forget the feather on the right guy?

- Salvage

29-01-2007, 17:24
Very, very nice Exo.

I'm loving the mustache on the middle guy. And yellow from black? It's turned out nice. My only comment? I feel the metal on the breastplates is just a wee bit too bright. Well on the guy on the right anyhow. Or maybe that's just camera flash.

29-01-2007, 18:26
Nice to see more Empire blogs springing up!

These look like a nice army standard. To make them fit with the Stirland theme a little more you might want to green stuff a few tears and rough beards for a poorer, more rural looking force, rather than the foppish look they currently have.

Looking forward to seeing more.



29-01-2007, 18:42
As always, fantastic work!

Any chance you'd be willing to share your magic yellow recipe for us? I've rarely seen yellow-over-black done so well, and I am called upon to paint yellow on my Black Templars every so often.

29-01-2007, 20:30
Yes please tell us how you did your yellow. Pretty please.

29-01-2007, 22:43
Whoa! The green is incredible!
Tutorial please?

Just thought of a title for your life: To the couch and back: ExoCowboy watches Television

30-01-2007, 07:14
Thanks for the kind words. Indeed, Exo is at it yet again - I should get my own reality-tv -show :D

I will make the tutorials for both green and yellow, as you seem to be interested in them. Thankfully both of them are relatively easy and fast to pull of, especially the green was quick.

@Boss_Salvage: I did not forget the feather, just painted it black and highlighted it lighly - maybe it is a feather from a raven or a crow to ward off evil spirits (Stirland is right next to Sylvania..). And also I tried to make the same models look a bit more individual by painting them differently.

@CMDante: Those details of general ragtaggyness are a good idea, I have to think about them, maybe give some of the models of the front row them - other models are not so visible after all in the unit.

@DarkStarSabre: I did not use flash, but the lightbulp reflects from the armour a bit. I gave it a wash of black ink, might give it one more. Although varnishing tends to dull the metallics a bit, taking some of the shine away.

Stay tuned, some WIP shots from the witch should come in a day or two.

30-01-2007, 07:34
they look good. like you, i have had many years of 40k and just started an empire army. you can check my project log here. keep up the good work.

02-02-2007, 06:47
Some WIP-action, may I introduce you to Nighthag Gehenn, the Witch of Reinstat:


Still lots of work to do, but she (yes, she! I thought the model was a male, but it has breast-like bumps on its chest, so apparently I was wrong?) is progressing nicely.

As Stirland is a rural backwater-province right next to Sylvania, the superstition is rife and some of the local people have been known to be tasked to keep away the evils of the night. These "witches" (the term being used very cautiously and even avoided when Templars of Sigmar, or any other strangers, are in the village) live a life of hermits, which can often lead to rumours of secret arts and also a neglection of social skills and personal hygiene.

Gameswise Gehenn is a 2nd level wizard, using the Lore of Death. Fluffwise she has helped many a battleforce against the enemy invasion by unleashing the powers of Death against them, and has even lost her left eye in a fight against the sylvanian undead. Despite her tricks with the Dark Arts, she is also a trusted councel of the Yet Unnamed General, who in return uses his political skills (some gold as a donation to the church is often enough) to keep the witch hunters at bay.

02-02-2007, 15:20
That witch is looking very good, ExoCowboy. Is it a classic Citadel miniature, or some other company?

02-02-2007, 16:36
That witch is looking very good, ExoCowboy. Is it a classic Citadel miniature, or some other company?

It's Mordhiem. She's a hired sword (http://uk.games-workshop.com/storefront/store.uk?do=List_Models&code=301105&orignav=300808).

02-02-2007, 19:12
Looks fantastic so far! might I suggest doing an off-white colour for the feathers - maybe with some small streaks of black in as it would break up the vibrant yellows and greens and create a more 'naturalistic' look to them. All in all a great start and can't wait for you to do some more.

04-02-2007, 16:48
A quick update, here is a current state of the Witch:


And also, a picture of the six more halberdiers, I am quite getting quick of doing these:


Should finish all these in the coming week. Stay tuned, I tell you!

04-02-2007, 17:02
she's purdy... ahem no she's not Good job Exo!

the empire stuff seems to be coming along nicely mate.
keep it up :)


05-02-2007, 15:54
I am quite getting quick of doing these
Are you getting quick at painting them or sick of painting them? :confused:

Either way, things are really looking good, and I look forward to seeing the whole unit of yellow and green lads. What's up next for the army?

- Salvage

05-02-2007, 17:45
I am getting quick, you know, learning how to paint them fast by cutting some corners.

But I will definately get sick of painting them in the near future. The amount of models in the fantasy armies is a big number.

Next I will finish this unit, then maybe reward myself with a nice warrior priest, and do some cannon + helblaster -stuff. Or some knights. Or some handgunners. And free company -guys. + a couple of characters. And buy some pistoliers.

Lots of stuff coming up it seems.

09-02-2007, 12:04
A big update this time for your eyes only.

First, here is the witch, ready to wreak some havoc through death magic. Still varnishing needed, but otherwise she is done.


Then, I finished 6 more of the halberdiers, here they are marching to war with the witch:


And also a WIP shot of the warrior-priest. He looks even more deranged than any of my chaos models :D


I have been quite productive, lets hope I can keep it up.

Hideous Loon
09-02-2007, 12:11
That witch looks truly wicked and ugly, like a witch should. And that Warrior Priest looks... crazy. Yeah, that's the word, crazy. Nice work, Exo.

The boyz
09-02-2007, 12:21
The warrior priest is looking pretty good so far ExoCowboy, I like the crazy,mental look in his eyes.

09-02-2007, 12:50
You've really go a nice drawn, harrowed look on the priest. And the colours on the Halberdiers are spot on. Very nice all round. :)

09-02-2007, 12:52
Looking great! Nice work, now you got me looking at my yet-to-paint block of 20 spearmen :cries: ooh well better get the stormtroopers im working on right now finished before i start... Thanks exo! :D

12-02-2007, 08:22
I have been active again, been working on the priest and some 5 halberds which are progressing nicely. To keep me focused and to get some feedback, here is a WIP shot of the priest. At the moment it seems to be cool to make these models look unshaven, I jumped into the bandwagon and tried to get that effect for the very first time. Hope you like!


20-02-2007, 06:32
Have been painting again, here is an almost-finished model of the warrior priest. Some tidying for the highlights on the black needed, and varnishing also, but otherwise he is done :)


And also, I managed to finish 5 more of the halberdiers, here is a picture of the unit in its current state:


Hope you like them, stay tuned!

20-02-2007, 17:49
Nice looking work there exo, consider me subscribed :)

02-03-2007, 06:00
I really really like that warrior priest. What model is he exactly?

Crazy Ivan
02-03-2007, 22:33
The greens en yellows are really nice (and really bright!). They look very good! So do the hag and the priest (although I have to say that the witch looks considerably more sane than the cleric). Also, Stirland has some of the coolest fluff (with Sylvania so close by), so I'll be watching this.

03-03-2007, 00:05
very nice work, up to your usual standard. im looking forward to seeing more, hopefully on some of the shiny new empire plastics

03-03-2007, 21:57
i believe that is just a stock warrior priest model? nice work exo!

03-03-2007, 22:10
How could I miss this log!? Cheers to your new project, Exo, I hope your Word bearers and your Tyranids won't suffer any delays resulting from this one.;)

Anyway, seems like you're having a strong theme, colour scheme (very well executed so far). This witch miniature looks great; where do you have it from? It looks very GW-ish, yet I don't remember having seen it before. Is it a Mortheim miniature?

The shaven hair on the head of the Witch Hunter looks very good; seems like I should start experimenting with such effects too; you see them quite often these days because of all the new Empire armies around these days. The highlights on the blacks on your miniatures (namely robes and such) could be a bit smoother but since you're painting an army and not a few showcase miniatures, they aren't a neccessity(sp?).

Could you please post a list of which units you're planning to put into this army?

I definitly will keep an eye on this log so keep on updating.;)

14-05-2007, 05:47
I have been lazy with this project, but at least now I have some progress. 4 more halberds done, here their groupshot:


Also I have been putting together more infantry, should get some more models done hopefully soon.

14-05-2007, 07:18
Fantastic log, this looks great. Really distinctive paint scheme and the colours just *pop*.

The colours stir a national pride for all Aussies though. Any signifigance in Finland?



14-05-2007, 08:13

never seen stir look so good, of corse there not ment to, well done. I must say the colours work so wel together:)

keep this up it's great

14-05-2007, 13:45
I've seen this a while back was waiting for you to update this on your own time, and my wait is over. Just like your word bearers these guys look awsome(except not red). I really like the warrior preist and was wondering if you could tell me how you got that kind of dirty rustyish look on the armour?

14-05-2007, 14:33
They look great! :D keep it up.

14-05-2007, 15:01
I really like the warrior preist and was wondering if you could tell me how you got that kind of dirty rustyish look on the armour?

Brown ink mixed with water and washed over the metals (also the black ink is your friend to make nice metals, although not dirty and rusty - I used both). If you end up with too much of that brown, the varnishing with a brush helps to get rid of the excess ink. Works for me :)

Also thanks everyone for the nice words. And Sheep, those colours do not mean anything for us finns, we are more white-blue people (Middenland and -Heim, that is ;)).

28-05-2007, 05:21
Some more models for all you nice people to see. Again, more halberdiers, this time the sergeant and 4 others.


Next in line will be the standard and musician. Stay tuned!

28-05-2007, 11:53
Great work Exo, I'm impressed by how bright those colours are, without looking artificial. Very nice looking models all round.

12-06-2007, 06:08
Some WIP action again, this time the standard and musician. Only bases and varnishing left, here is a pic:


The banner has S from "Stirland" and a black 4-leafed clover, to show some connection to the neighboring province of the Moot.

Hope you like!

12-06-2007, 10:23
wow, there looking great!

im feeling belittled with the banner the letter S looks really good, nice work with the colours, there sweet.

12-06-2007, 11:58
Those command models look very nice Exo :D

12-06-2007, 14:56
Well they're almost finished. Nice free hand paint job on the flag. Good luck on finishing them up.

08-07-2007, 11:44
For too long my project logs have been silent, but despite of that, I have not been just resting. I changed into a new job, which caused some new organising of schedules, but now I am having my summer holidays and have more time for all this :)

First, here is a pic of the finished standard and musician:

And also, managed to finished the final models for the unit, giving me a nice amount of 30 halberdiers:

Now I am making a movement tray for the unit; when I get it done, some pics of the finished unit will get taken..

...but my latest new project is coming into the way to ruin everything: I started a skaven-army to give my brave stirlanders an enemy..

Stay tuned!

08-07-2007, 14:49
Very nice. Can we see a pic of the whole unit? I love big units ^^

Oh and the S on the flag looks like a $ - looks a bit weird to me.

08-07-2007, 17:45
Hurray more stuff. Like always you never disappoint ExoCowboy. Whats next for youre Empire stuff?

11-07-2007, 05:02
Here is a pic of the first finished unit:


Next I will propably do the detachments for this unit, that is 10 handgunners and 10 free company fighters... the army really needs some reinforcements to fight the ravening rat-hordes currently planning to invade stirland.

11-07-2007, 09:04
Very nice work; a good, striking colour scheme well executed, and very good bases.
Great stuff :D

11-07-2007, 14:49
Wow, 30 Halbediers. Nice work man, and be shure to get youreself some cookies cause you deserve them. Oh one quick question if you don't mind, How hard is it to paint yellow?

11-07-2007, 15:32
WOW is right! You do deserve some cookies Exo, that's a very impressive unit!

Looking forward to more, this army should be fantastic en masse!

- Salvage

11-07-2007, 16:20
They look great!

13-07-2007, 23:38
They look mucho cool,

Did you ever post the tutorials on how to paint the yellow/ green ..... if so I am going blind as I cant see it :)

14-07-2007, 08:22
Awesome! Really nice painting, and good modelling! Great conversions..
The recipe for a stunning unit!

14-07-2007, 19:33
Thanks all for your kind words!

Lardidar: Nope, I did not post the tutorial. Thanks for pointing that out, I totally forgot. When I paint some handgunners, I will take some WIP shots to show how they were done :)

15-07-2007, 00:23
Exo, great looking stuff mate. I was a bit worried about the color scheme at first (during the first wip shot), but these guys are really turning out to be great. Also, love the witch and the warrior priest, they are done very well. I like the sharp blue highlighting that you are using on the black, sort of reminds me of the way tattoo artists highlight black.

Great work.

15-07-2007, 06:09
i can't wait for the handgunners

nice work on the unit.

07-01-2008, 16:27
The thread is not dead! I managed to finish one pistolier, here is a pic:


I have to say that I really like these models, very nice to convert, lots of bits and also fun to paint. Hope you like it too! :)

07-01-2008, 17:28
Nice! I really like the painting and the conversion. I really like your color choices.

09-01-2008, 04:02
looks good, nice solid yellow and greens

Count Sinister
10-01-2008, 03:25
Looking good, ExoCowboy. The yellow is painted really well - always a tough colour to paint over black, and you do it while still creating nice shading. Also, the green and yellow tones are just right - and I love that Warrior Priest! He looks like a real maniac - like they let him out of the madhouse to be a priest only because they knew he'd chew his way through the enemy if he had to. Brilliant! I've just started an Empire army myself, so this is great inspiration. Keep up the good work!

26-01-2008, 09:54
Here is some more stuff, 2 more pistoliers, of whom the latter is a unit's outrider:



Hope you like, only 2 more to finish that unit!

26-01-2008, 10:38
Very nice, very nice indeed; the yellow in particular is excellent :)

12-03-2008, 09:17
I managed to paint a helblaster (finally) for my Stirland -army. Here is a pic:


Hope you like :)

12-03-2008, 09:26
Gald to see that this plog is still moving! :) By the way, what happened to the rats?

12-03-2008, 23:58
this log is wonderful!! congratulations.. i never seen green and yellow so bright and good-looking :)

and the eyes and the faces are so mad.. really a good job.. hope to see more soon!!

13-03-2008, 09:03
Amazing paintjob there. Keep at it, beautiful to look at!