The Immortal Tribunal are Stormcast Eternals that are forged to face the horrors of the dead, and to bring the light and judgement of Sigmar to the darkest corners of the Nine Realms. They wear porcelain enameled battle plate, resembling marble statuary. The Daybreaker Warhost is the vanguard, led by Lord-Celestant Anomandus Daybreaker. They fight in lands trapped between life and death, where the realms of Ghyran and Shyish bleed into each other, in the region known to the aelfs as the Black Sloth Hell.
There was no light, no moons or stars in the sky. The lanterns didn’t burn, nothing would stay lit in the unnatural damp. The warhost advanced with caution; each footstep taken in unison, their shields forming an unwavering wall of sigmarite. The nights here were dangerous and there was no time to rest. Something was out there, in the darkness. Aurios cursed as a sudden flash of light illuminated the rotten forest, almost blinding him. With a warrior’s instincts he took in his surroundings in an instant – the mangrove roots, the malformed, dead trees… and a silhouette: a tall, thin figure with a crown of antlers. He let out a cry of warning, but the others had seen it too, the shield wall turned, hammers raised.
More blinding light and Aurios realised it was Sigmar’s lightning, reclaiming the souls of dead Eternals. The forest lit up again and again and he saw the dead trees moving, reconfiguring like clawing fingers, reaching for him. He felt impacts on his shield, branches or arrows, it was impossible to say. He pushed forward and struck out, his hammer shattering wood and he heard it scream. Branches like knives clawed at him, wood like iron cut grooves across his armour. More impacts and he saw cruel, black arrows embedded in his chest. He brushed them away.
The sky was alive with lightning as Sigmar reclaimed his fallen warriors. Aurios fought – wide eyed – desperate to catch glimpses of the enemy among the twisted trees. He stumbled forward, feet snared by the ever-present mangrove roots. The shield wall was broken but he didn’t care. His hammer rained blows down wildly, and he greeted each impact with a roar of defiance, shattering wood or bones, he knew not.
In the heat of battle he could almost see her. A face, forever on the edge of his memory. He knew it was a fragment of his previous life, a half-formed recollection and he knew that the harder he fought, the more blood he spilled, the closer he came to remembering.
Something cold and hard slipped between the armour plates on his midriff, broke through the skin and pushed up into his stomach and chest. Aurios was blind in the darkness, he dropped his shield and hammer and grasped for the weapon that pierced him. He felt the rough bark of living wood and he felt it growing inside him, the tip splintering and splitting. He fell, tears in his eyes. He had almost remembered and now it was too late, the lightning would take what was left of her, he was sure of it. He waited for it to come, but it didn’t.
The battle raged on in the distance, the sounds growing fainter. The forest muffled all noise, made it unnatural. He felt himself being dragged slowly through the mire, the living branch still inside him, scraping against the bone. Lightning flashed in the distance. He tried to count the flashes but his thoughts grew dull. He tried to fight, but each movement was met with piercing pain. Dawn began to break and in the crepuscular light he became aware of the silent regard of the figure with the crown of antlers.
A voice like a man drowning: ‘What is this storm you bring us?’ The aelf cocked his head, small fetishes on the antlers rattled. There was no other sound in the forest, no birds to greet the day.
Aurios replied through gritted teeth: ‘Sigmar takes us when we die, we are reborn…’
‘You believe there is a way to escape this place?’ The aelf almost sounded surprised. ‘Then cut your throats. Bite off your tongues and choke. We tried once: there is no way out.’
‘My god will reforge me … Restored, I’ll bring you death!’ A gesture from the aelf and the branch in Aurios’ chest began to grow. He felt the needle tips pushing into his lungs and towards his heart.
‘Tell your god that those that suffer here, suffer alone. Tell your god we will drown you in darkness so deep that his lightning won’t ever find you. Do not return.’
Aurios screamed as his insides were shredded. He looked to the sky, waiting for the lightning to come. He didn’t fear death or the agonies of reforging, but he knew he would be remade without her, without any memory of his life before this. Would he truly be a man then? Or just a weapon?
Twisting black branches, wet with blood, snaked out from the eyes and mouth of his helmet. Then, in a flash of lightning, he was gone.
I pretty much loved the Stormcast Eternals as soon as I saw them, and knew how I was going to paint them. I actually really like painting gold and metals, but I saw the Eternals as living statues, the ‘Eavy Metal paint jobs just look too clean to me. Something about death masks and porcelain – I tried to do something similar with the Prima Carnifexa ages ago. I think the Eternals have potential to be quite interesting – each death takes them further from the person they once were, and in the Black Sloth Hell – my Fantasy setting originally made for some Wood Elves but now re-purposed for Age of Sigmar – strange things happen to memories, and identities bleed away. Like the elves (aelfs) the Eternals are doomed if they stay in the Hell, doomed to forget themselves, to fight and die in an endless cycle. Unlike the aelfs, the lightning allows them to escape for a time, but can they ever truly leave?
As you can probably guess I spent a while on the marble/porcelain texture and did the rest quite quickly! It was a fun experiment and involved lots of careful applications of chemicals, varnishes and paints, waiting to see if there would be some horrendous reaction. But luckily it all went well I think. I’m kinda hoping the Stormcast Eternals don’t get any really cool new units because I am not sure I can face painting more of them.
Amazing stuff, Jake! You’re take on the Stormcast is very similar to my own. I’m almost afraid to post mine. Baha!
I really hurried to get these done in case anyone else had a similar idea!
Ah yes, the eternal struggle! Well it definitely doesn’t show in the paint job. Great execution. Can I ask about your secret behind basing? I’ve always loved how you base your models and I’m curious as to the technique behind materials used and how you apply the paint. Are they airbrushed?
I really would have preferred darker bases but they have to match my game table at least a bit. The secret ingredient is mig enamel paint, but yeah there is some airbrushing too, mainly just for speed. Maybe I should do a tutorial one day?
Thanks for the info! I’d love to see a tutorial personally.
Can you give us a breakdown of how you did the porcelain armor?
it is just crackle paint, airbrushed white and washed with some brown and teal
Thanks! I don’t know what “crackle paint” is, but I assume some googling will do me well.
I used a crackle paint by Tim Holtz but Games Workshop make one called Agrellan Earth – when it dries it leaves cracks. Then you just paint over it. I airbrushed white and I also airbrushed a little Nihilakh Oxide for the green tint.
I would kill for a mini tutorial on this. I’m in the process of trying my hand at it. Did you put the crackle on the bare plastic of the model and then airbrush over it? I’ve found the crackle to be very brittle and it will flake easily. Did you seal it over with a matte spray or gloss varnish before painting?
Such a killer paint job and a wonderful inspiration for other hobbyists.
yeah you definitely need to use some varnish. I used several layers between coats, in order to seal the oils and protect the crackle. I didn’t paint onto bare plastic.
Incredible and very original. I love the overall colourscheme and coherence of the unit! Pure eye candy and a welcome step away from the (otherwise beautiful) golden look of the original Stormcast.
Wow, these look awesome! Almost ghost like, great paint job and colour scheme. Did you write the story? Its really cool!
Funny how i always think you have to convert a model to make it ‘your own’, but an original paintjob has the same effect!
Thanks, yeah I wrote the story.
I think these are some of the only unconverted miniatures I have done. My thinking was that I really wanted to try this marble effect but I didn’t know if it would work or just wreck the models. I like the basic infantry unconverted and just wanted to see them in a gritty paint scheme, the heroes though – I should really have converted them. I figure that they are really starter box models and if I do develop this army I will maybe make new, more unique heroes one day.
That makes sense, make the starter up and then add converted minis later! Really impressed Jake, they look ace!
Coolest Sigmarines I’ve seen so far. Love the unrealistic colour scheme and “dirty” painting style. This should be in the next Warhammer Visions.
Thanks. I think the porcelain is quite realistic but the bright red is a bit surreal. It’s a bit like a Roman marble statue draped in a Roman red cape.
I absolutely love these. I’ve held off painting mine, waiting to be inspired. I’m now glad I did and I’m going to have to steal a few ideas from you ;)
Thanks, steal away… but don’t do the same thing as me only better! I have a fragile ego.
Don’t worry about that. I don’t think I could beat that paint job.
well you could add some fancy freehand at the very least. I was too scared to try freehand on these.
Wow! Brilliant colours on these. What did you use for the crackling effect, Vallejo’s stuff?
It’s Tim Holtz stuff and a lot of careful applications of varnish.
These are awesome, so much better than the GW gold versions, these just look really gritty, great stuff!
So beautiful! I love how they both realistic and gritty and yet very ethereal and otherworldy. The greenish marble color is perfect and the flat bright red works so well. These remind me a bit of Migsula’s wolves in a way. And once again it’s amazing how good heavily ornamented models look when their ornamentation isn’t called out with different colors.
Thanks – it’s also much easier to paint if all the ornamentation is the same colour!
I was trying to convey some dichotomies – life/death, delicate/brutal, gritty/ethereal. Strong contrasts are a good visual trick. I actually did a whole bunch of highlights on the red (I hardly ever highlight) but they don’t photograph so well, probably due to the dramatic lighting. Some similar painting techniques to Mig’s wolves, although executed with less finesse!
Signature piece i would say… nice work Jake.. the ruby red armour inserts and the black shrivelled mummy are a great contrast to the perfected porcelain.
Thanks Neil, I was really unsure about that Lord Relictor chap, I think he is too busy. I trimmed some of the trinkets off the relic and did a quick headswap, but I think if I was doing it again I might have done more to change him. I’ll admit though the candles have grown on me, at first all I could think was how impractical that must be.
Very excited and most impressed – taken the original concept I developed years ago to a stage so beyond anything I envisaged – I hope the mi colleagues and sculptors see these – inspirational ….
Thanks a lot. I thought the Stormcast were a cool concept right away but I just seem to have an obsession with those deathmasks being porcelain. Not sure where that came from!
Wow what a fantastic colour scheme – I must say that I had come to the conclusion that Stormcast had to be painted in gold or silver to look any good after seeing Eavy Metal’s hideous turquoise and purple variants. But then I saw these guys! I love the dichotomy here – ethereal yet enduring, radiant yet gritty. Love the faded grandure of them. They have a real Dark Souls vibe about them, an aspect of thee design that I’ve been wanting to see played up since AoS was released. Bravo!
(Cool fluff too :)
People often mention Dark Souls, unfortunately I have almost zero patience so I’m not sure it’s the game for me! Dark Souls is also often mentioned in the same breath as a manga I love called Berserk. The chest piece of the dragon-horse (I forget its name) really reminds me of this guy http://tinyurl.com/nlo7tct – so yeah I think there is a connection for me. It’s a darker sort of fantasy.
Interesting as I’ve never heard of dark souls nor any other manga – these dudes are justified and ancient …..
I’ve never played Dark Souls but I think that style is pretty rare – giant over the top creatures and a sense of epicness, but with a much darker feeling than in most fantasy. Berserk is just something that inspires me, dark as hell and the artist is incredible.
There’s really nice concept art book, Dark Souls: Design Works. I’ve got the japanese version, but it’s also available in english. And there’s a second one coming up in november.
Thanks, I might take a look at that. It is amazing to me how closely Dark Souls has copied Berserk (no bad thing really, if a bit cheeky) – I mean, check this out: http://tinyurl.com/ljc438v
They look brilliant!
I knew that eventually someone would knock these out of the park and while I’ve already seen some pretty awesome paintjobs I was not prepared for this. The effect of the armour coupled with that brilliant red as a spot color AND on stock miniatures. I’m simply put blown away Jake :) Now I really want to paint some of these I’m just afraid I’ll make an ass of myself as I’m not sure my style fits.
I think there is lots of room for different takes on the Stormcast. I’d like to see them in battered iron, in chipped white or in a glossy rich enamel myself.
Well starter set Stormcast are in my hands. Here goes!
Wow, these are the most stunning AoS minis I’ve seen. Absolutely breath taking detail!
just found out your Blog. Amazing work and such a great color palette. simple, but very effective. I was very impressed with the transcription you did of J.Blanche’s work on DreadFleet. I am now following this Blog,
Thanks Damien, although the Dreadfleet models are by Julian, not me.
Very cool… the paintjob is simple in nature but very artful in application… the color block of the porcelain transforms the far too busy details of the sculpt into something pleasing to the eye, and red parts and gore are placed perfectly. I would like to see what you do with the Khorne side if you ever get to that!
I think I might attempt the Khorne stuff next, I have some plans (involving more electrical appliances than usual).
Those are fantastic Jake…. Your minis are as inexpressive and full of character
This is brilliant! I was trying to figure some darker colors for this guys, but you really nailed it! You surely know the sculptures of Kris Kuksi? Those models remind me of his work, beautifully sober!
Thanks, yes I know his work. That guy has some serious skill and patience, I was barely able to glue these models together properly and even then my fingers were covered with superglue and cuts from being clumsy with the scalpel. No idea how he does it.
Long time lurker here and big fan of your miniatures. This is probably the best stormcast I’ve seen. Love the marble effect and grittiness of them. I am in awe. Great job Jake!
These are beautiful. And I absolutely love the theme and narrative you have designed here, inspiring me to return to fantasy. Can not wait to see what else you do with this project!
I’ve found Age of Sigmar to be so liberating in terms of what you can do with theme and narrative. I am not sure I will do more Stormcast though, I’m really undecided on this.
I’m curious about the application method of the blood? I struggle to make mine look like anything other than blood applied by a brush. Yours looks so much more realistic.
Also I love every single model on your blog, it’s a huge inspiration to all of my modeling efforts.
I think it is best not to use a brush for blood, and to try and splatter it on in other ways. I use an airbrush to blow the paint off a loaded brush. Another good method is to put the blood paint on an old toothbrush and flick the bristles, but it is a bit less predictable. There are some other tricks, I might do a tutorial at some point.
Make you took pieces of refined crude oil and turned into pieced of art. I thought the armor was jade for a moment. Your are talented man. I need a thousand by next week.
Thanks. I’ve thought about doing more (maybe not a thousand more) but although the armour is quite good fun I am not sure I could handle doing more of the same details and trims and things. I’m not an army painter, doing the same thing twice drives me nuts.
Absolutely wonderful! Really love the porcelain effect!
Would you have any advice on a colour scheme of my own? I’ve got absolutely no idea what to paint mine ;-; all I know is I want them have a dark theme.
Can’t wait to see what you do with the Bloodbound!
Absolutely brilliant! Love the porcelain effect!
Could you give me some advice on a colour scheme for my own Sigmarines? I’ve no idea what I want to do with them other than I want them to have a dark theme…
Can’t wait for your Bloodbound!
Oops. I’ve no idea what happened, but the first one I posted only appeared now.
Hi, thanks for the comment. My advice would be to figure out a scheme that you can do quickly and still looks good. I would never have the patience to paint things like the trim on the armour in different colours, let alone design a scheme that needed several basecoats or time consuming layering work. If you have an airbrush you could pick any colour for the base, but if not I would work from what you can get out of a spray can. Do as much as possible with spraying!
I like the idea of dark armoured Stormcast, and I think Stormcast look good if the visual clutter of the models is reduced somewhat, by keeping it all one colour, high gloss black enamel armour could look very cool. Also I think you could get some good ideas from looking at Forgeworld’s Horus Heresy paint schemes and guides, a bunch of Stormcast painted in Alpha Legion colours, maybe with black wargear and details, would look pretty great for example.
I’m curious, what brand of crackle medium or paint did you use and how did you get the cracks appear so clearly? I’m honestly having trouble with the mediums that are suitable for miniature painting and you seem to have crack(l)ed the code.
I used Tim Holtz crackle paint, I think it is all about how thick you put it on.
Hi There, gotta say I fell in love with the background story and look of these wariors and would love to field an army looking like this.
I know it’s probably stupid to ask, but could you please make a tutorial on how to achieve this look?
Thanks from Amsterdam!
Hi, thanks for your comment. If I paint any more Stormcast I will do a tutorial, but unfortunately I can’t really remember the process so I will need to remind myself as I go. It’s just crackle paint though, I am sure you can get something similar even just using GW Agrellan Earth with a bit of trial and error.
i Know you Said you would only do a Tutorial when you paint more stormcasts….
I have tried everything i could to replicate the colour scheme you used, without sucess.
Do you think you could Tell me what colours you used for the white porcellain effect and what Kind of washes or enamel colours?
I love your stormcasts and i want Mine to Look a Little bot similiar
well it is a few shades of white through an airbrush, with an oil paint wash – umber I think. And I think a glaze of some greens and brown inks. I don’t exactly remember more than this.
Jake! I was inspired by your work (again) and took a crack at your paint scheme. I don’t think I have a fraction of your talent, but maybe I made something of an approximation?
Ugh painting goals right here! These have inspired me so much, keep up the incredible work
Thanks a lot for your comment
You know what, this has made me willing to keep the AoS Stormcast side of the set! Bloody Brilliant! Do you know roughly how long it took you to do each mini?
I might get some mini’s and try a few different methods to get to what you have here. Keep up the good work!
They were very quick as it is all airbrush and washing really, only a small amount of layering with a brush. I couldn’t guess a time though.
Amazing and without a doubt the best looking stormcasts out there!
Ive long wanted to paint mine in a lighter color, fusing the stormcasts with undead somehow. Never thought it could be done though, never thought it would look good.
Seeing these just proved me completely wrong.
You got everything right with these ones, each of them a work of art!
If I ever end up painting my stormcast it will be with your host as inspiration, and I will make sure everyone knows where I got that inspiration from :)
Thanks, that’s a great comment to get. I thought that the undead => Stormcast link was an interesting direction to take things, maybe GW will do the same sort of thing when they explore the other Realms.
Where did you get those paints? They don’t look like something citadel supplied. Also what specifically from Tom Holtz did you use for the cracks? I want to get an ancient stone golem feel on my stormcast and this is the only example I have seen to work off of. Also I would not mind knowing how you got the gore, I don’t actually intend to add it to my models but I am a bit curious how you got it. I might want to use the technique on my Skavens (like around their mouths)
I think the Tim Holtz product was called clear candy, but there are lots of crackle paints available now, I think the GW versions would work.
The blood is Tamiya clear red and black.
did you varnish the whole mini? or just parts ..pics seem to show gloss on only certain parts of it ..
Did you paint the crackle medium on then paint on top ..or medium on top of paint job?
Wow. Holy cow. This is so good. How did you do them? Particurarly the crakeling effect is very good. How was that achieved?