The one Cthulhu Wars miniature you know you’re going to need in each and every game are the gates. And lots of them.
After painting up a regiment of zombies for my Kings of War army, I needed a break from panting rank and file so I decided to try out a test colour scheme ad techniques for a Cthulhu Wars gate.
Here’s how it turned out:
The gates were originally 2D card counters, which work perfectly well, but as one of the stretch goals from the first Cthulhu Wars kickstarter campaign, fully sculpted plastic gates were unlocked. I think these are superb. The detail of the sculpt is great and the design is clever too, as you can fit both a Cultist on the gate to control it or one of the larger monsters (in the very rare circumstances that a monster can control a gate).
Here’s the original card gate and on the right, an unpainted plastic gate:
I decided to try and replicate the blue/white glow of the card gate on the plastic version and I’m happy with how this has turned out. Some more photos from different angles first so you can see the effect I’ve achieved:
I love the skull that’s been deposited in one of the four… ‘receptacles’ on the gate. Just had to paint that skull sitting in a pool of fresh blood for a nice bit of contrast with the cold grey and blues.
The gate was quite simple to paint and I’m happy it didn’t take me too long to do, so I feel I’m able to paint all my gates (or enough for all the possibilities in a 3 to 5 player game, as I don’t have any of the larger sized Cthulhu Wars maps) to the same standard.
The gate was undercoated in black, with a Vallejo Dark Blue Grey #70.867 base coat. I then washed the whole miniature with Army Painter Strong Tone ink and applied two layers of drybrushing. First a 3:1 mix of the Dark Blue grey with white, then a 1:1 mix of the same.
I then picked out all the skulls (I didn’t realise just how many there are until I started painting ’em all!) in Army Painter Skeleton Bone and then washed them all with Army Painter Strong Tone ink, adding a bit more wash to any areas of the grey rocks where the drybrushing was a bit too heavy.
Next up the blue glow. I airbrushed on Vallejo Andrea Blue #70.841, working from the centre of the gate outwards and working my ‘around the clock’ so all the gate was bathed in a blue colour emitting from its centre. I gave a quick blast of this blue onto the sigils on each of the gate’s four raised columns. I mixed white in with the Andrea Blue in a 4:1 mix and then carefully airbrushed this much brighter blue around the circle in the centre of the gate and over the pentagram, with a quick blast again around the clock so the lighter blue was spilling out from the centre too.
Lastly, I used a fine detail brush to paint pure white into the central circle, pentagram, and various sigils and then drybrushed pure white onto the rest of the gate, again working from the centre outwards.
A quick retouch of bone colour here and there to the skulls and a daubing of my blood effect onto the skull in the receptacle ( a 1:1 mix of Tamiya X27 clear red and Army Painter Strong Tone ink) and the painting is done.
I need to varnish the whole thing, but will use my tried and tested method of using spray gloss varnish followed by a coat of spray matt varnish to dull down the shine. I’ll cover the bloody skull with a blob of blu-tack so that the fresh blood effect isn’t ruined by the matt varnish.
I can see me losing the will to live a little when it comes to picking out all the skulls when I come to batch paint a large number of these gates in one sitting, but looking forward to playing with the glow effect with the airbrush should keep me going.
I briefly considered painting a few gates with the light effect of the colours of the different Cthulhu Wars factions (green for Great Cthulhu, red for Dark Goat etc) but then this would mean having to sift through the box of gates to find the correct colour to use and then doing so again should a rival faction take over that gate and frankly, that all seems to be too much of pain to bother. I’m pleased with how this gate looks, so will paint all of them in the same way, although I will (eventually) paint the Colour Out of Space gates in their respective colours, so those gates still work with those additional rules.
Thanks for reading! 🙂