Sunday, April 7, 2019

Underworlds Warband - The Faceless

Finally, my 'Stormcast' warband for Underworlds is finished. They are an effect of an idea I came up with maybe a year ago, to turn some of those golden champions into creepy and enigmatic knights in ornate, but neglected and faceless armor. The conversion process, both the design phase and the sculpting were the most taxing part of the whole project - you can see it all explained HERE, with all the inspirations, concepts and plans for the future.

The painting process was much simpler in comparison. I used this image as a direct example of what I wanted to recreate, inspired by all the miniatures and artwork that gave me this idea in the first place. I started with a dark metallic base, added several layers and colors of rust pigments, then applied some additional shades and bright silver highlights. More typical painting work was used on all the fabrics and leather - and then also covered in pigments and sprinkled with washes to get the dirty look. They turned out mostly how I envisioned them - the only problem that I noticed is that they are easy to mistake on the tabletop when standing near my Garrek's Reavers - they are both dark, muted and dirty! Well, I'll have just to deal with it, because I don't want to change the aesthetic concept just for gameplay convenience!

It always starts the same. First, all the vampires, undead, chaos worshippers, heretics and similar become too much for the nobles to deal with. Not wanting to use their own warriors and troops, leaving them weaker in internal conflicts, they instead organize a ragtag militia of peasants and poor townspeople to hunt them in exchange for money, titles and land. Those bands soon become obsessed with their mission of ‘cleansing’ Vechernya of filth, heretics, undesirables and they start a cult around it. Not long after that, strange knights start joining their ranks - ones that believe their purpose so much that they forge a whole military order around it. Frighteningly effective in combat, they achieve great results in fighting the dangers lurking in the land. All is well until they run out vampires and ghouls - then they start turning on the folk of Vechernya - slaughtering villages and burning people on the slightest of offenses. Growing in numbers, they soon turn out of control, forcing the warring dukes and nobles into forging an alliance and destroying them, usually at a great cost. Then, many years later the whole cycle will start again, spun by the dreams of the Withered King.

This time the knights are known simply as the Faceless - they hide their faces and identities behind elaborate masks and helmets, believing their mission to be more important than their old personas. The fact that nobody ever saw their faces or heard them speaking and lived to tell the tale only strengthens their enigmatic and sinister reputation. Small, yet dangerous groups of those ominous warriors wander through Vechernya searching for any sign of corruption and heresy, no matter how slight or hidden.

First all three faceless as the whole warband. They are all different and turned out pretty characterful, so below this one, you will find much more pictures of them individually.

Heavily converted miniatures, a Stormcast Eternal warband Steelheart's Champions for Warhammer Underworlds: Shadespire, turned into grimdark, rusted, faceless knights, in an aesthetic resembling Dark Souls or AoS28.

Now, all the members - first, the leader. I turned Severin Steelheart into the Crusader, an unrelenting champion fighting to purge Vechernya of all the undesirables. The piece of cloth (backskirt?) behind him was a perfect canvas to really try out some dirtying techniques, with pigments and washes.

Heavily converted miniature of Severin Steelheart for Warhammer Underworlds: Shadespire, turned into a grimdark, faceless knight, resembling Pyramid Head from Silent Hill, in an aesthetic resembling Dark Souls or AoS28.

The next one is Obryn the Bold, which is known in my warband as the Bull - a very diligent, but impatient warrior. He was interesting to paint thanks to the combination of flat and highly sculpted areas on his armor. Weirdly enough, when I was reading the Shadespire cards recently, I was surprised to see that Obryn is described as "bull-hearted". Now I don't know if it subconsciously inspired me a long time ago (and/or I forgot about it) or if it was just an interesting coincidence.

Heavily converted miniature of Stormcast Eternal Obryn the Bold for Warhammer Underworlds: Shadespire, turned into a knight hiding himself in an armor resembling a minotaur, in an aesthetic resembling Dark Souls or AoS28.

And the last one from the band is Angharad Brightshield, turned into the Vulture - a vicious warrior willing to prolong the fight if it means hurting and tormenting her enemy more. Her shield was a delight to paint (as wood usually is for me) and the freehands on the ribbons flowing behind her were a welcome variation from her freehand-less bandmates.

Heavily converted miniature of Stormcast Eternal Angharad Brightshield for Warhammer Underworlds: Shadespire, turned into a grimdark knight hiding her face beneath an elaborate, bird-like armor.

I would love to have a much larger force of Faceless, but seeing how taxing and difficult it is to convert every single one of them, I probably won't be doing that very soon!


  1. Great conversions and painting.

  2. Nie wiedziałem, że Ana Polanscak publikuje na Twoim blogu. :)

    Świetne konwersje, piękne malowanie. A Piramidogłowy i Minotaur to moi ulubieńcy.

    1. Patrząc na Twoje modele na prawdę można pomylić je z pracami Any. :)

    2. Uznam to za komplement :) Wielkie dzięki, cieszę się, że się podobają!

  3. Drewno zachwyca jak zwykle. Konwersje fajowe. Ale najpiękniej toś pobrudził ten płaszcz. Zrób no na to tutka!

    1. Wielkie dzięki! Co do płaszcza, to w zasadzie tylko pryskanie szczoteczką do zębów, wpierw washami takimi jak Agrax, Nuln Oil i Camoshade, potem bardzo rozcieńczonym, jasnym pigmentem, a potem znowu ciemnymi washami. Spróbuję zrobić jakiegoś tutka jak następnym razem wezmę to na warsztat ;)

  4. These are so awesome, spectacular idea and execution. Very inspiring!