A Gentleman’s Renegades

Back in early 2010, I was pretty heavily invested into blogging, at least time-wise.  I spent a lot of work tweaking my site (then hosted on wordpress.org, and frankly a far better site than I have nowadays), and spent quite a bit of my free time reading other blogs, scouring for ideas, posting comments, constructive criticism, etc.

One of my favorite blogs at the time was by a guy named Brian, who was new to the blogosphere.  You’ll know him better as the proprietor over at A Gentleman’s Ones.  Though he’s notorious for exploits like his work on the Heroes of Armageddon project, his amazing Adepticon Tables and, of course, his work on Special Operations: Killzone.  For the rare person who hasn’t seen his blog, it’s worth stopping now, to go read.  It’s ok, I’ll wait…


Now wasn’t that worth the trip?  But, back to my story.   When Brian was just a fledgling blogger, I was head-over-heels for his site.  It was full of new content, and constantly updated with new models, painting techniques, terrain ideas, and a whole lot more.  It was easy to say that he was one of my favorite blogs around (and remains so, to this day).  So, when I saw him posting on the comments of another blogger that he was thinking about taking commissions, I was quick to send him an email.

As I told him in my original email:

“I dunno what I’d want painted, but depending upon the prices and availability, I could send {him} an entire army… as I have several waiting around naked.  :)”

Well, after some discussion about what I had laying around, and what he was interested in, he lit up at the idea of painting an army of Rogue Trader era Chaos Renegades, so that’s what we went with.  We negotiated a reasonable price (which was higher than I really wanted to pay, to tell the truth, but I was happy with it in the end), and I blissfully sent away a force of 40+ figures that haven’t been produced in 20 years.

That was over two and a half years ago…

Did I make anyone wonder if it had taken two and a half years for him to paint 40 figures for me?  That was what I was hoping to accomplish; did it work?

Of course not, we set a timeline (which ultimately wound up slipping), but he got them done reasonably quick and had amazing communication.  He even threw up some great WIP posts, to give me status updates.  As I stated, the price was higher than I was expecting it to be, given what online painting services charge, but it was within reason, and I’m more than pleased with the final result.

So, if I got these done years ago, what took me so long to post them?  And what have I been doing with them since?  Well, the answers to those are easy:  I don’t know, and nothing.  Literally nothing.  This is the first time they’ve all made it out of their foam since I received them.  When I got them done, they were an army that I knew I wanted to play one day, and that I’d been collecting for years to get the exact models that I wanted, but I hadn’t played them ever (well, that is to say I’d never played these specific models… Chaos/Cult have been one of my favorite armies since the days of 2nd edition).

In truth, I really didn’t love Chaos since the sterilization they faced in the codex update at the end of 4th.  I fell into the same feeling that many of you share, I’m sure, in that they became Space Marines with spikes.  Gone with my demons, and crazy demon princes.  Gone was the real chaotic nature of chaos.

The new ‘dex has gone some way to inspire me to bring them out: the inclusion of cultists and plague zombies, which are both dear to my pox-ridden heart.  It hasn’t inspired me so much to go out and buy a copy of the book, or to actually field an army, but I think that’s largely my cheap nature, coupled with my personal goal of only playing painted models in 6th edition (frankly, 40 space marines just isn’t sufficient…).

One day though, I’ll paint up the rest of my forces, but I’m guessing I’ll make a post about them sooner than that.  Until then, bask in the glory of Brian’s painting:

wh39kAgentlemansrenegades (1)

wh39kAgentlemansrenegades (2)

wh39kAgentlemansrenegades (3)

wh39kAgentlemansrenegades (4)

wh39kAgentlemansrenegades (5)

A sample of the color schemes I had him test out…

If you’re at all curious what colors he used to paint these models, the recipes he gave me are posted below (with his permission):

Pinkish Flesh Color:

I start with Liche Purple as the base (as you noted, this looks entirely too purple, but it makes a solid dark hue to sit underneath it all). I highlight this with a mixture of Dwarf Flesh and Warlock –again, keeping an eye toward the flesh tones and away from the purple. The mix comes out pretty pink with only just a bit of Warlock, so I tend to use it sparingly. Also, Warlock tends to make the flesh tone a bit odd –gummy and thin- which doesn’t always cover very well for tricky spots like the striations. This step can take a bit of finesse.

Then, Dwarf Flesh. By this point, the coloring should look much less purple and much more fleshy pink.

The second to last step is a Baal Red (with a touch of Purple) Wash. The purple will push down the shading, but the red keeps the mixture properly pinkish.

If necessary, I hit one more highlight of Dwarf Flesh to punctuate the process.


 I start with a generous base of Shining Gold. This color gets gummy quick, so I try both to be careful, and to be certain that I get good coverage. If the mixture gets too thin, the color tends to run all over and cover poorly, so there’s a bit of a balancing act going on here.

I generously wash the gold base with Chestnut Ink (although I think a generous layer or two of Sepia would have a similar effect). If I want to muddy or darken the mixture, I can add some Brown Ink to the stew.

Once dry, I highlight this with Burnished Gold.

If I want a bit more sparkle, I will add another highlight with just the smallest drop of Mithril to the Burnished Gold. I’ve said this before, but just a drop will do the trick. Mithril will overwhelm the gold pretty quickly, and I generally don’t like to lose the rich, golden tones that the ink establishes. Too much Mithril will make the coloring look too polished in my humble opinion.So the idea is to brighten the Burnished Gold without losing its inherent golden hue.


Chaos Black starts the process, obviously. I then highlight pretty widely with Midnight Blue, followed quickly by another more selective and delicate highlight of Midnight and Regal Blue blend.

This is followed by another highlight that is more selective of just Regal Blue, and then potentially one more of Regal Blue and Codex mixed. (One note: I used to always highlight black with gray, but will never do so again. Now, I much prefer either brown hues or blue tones. Again, the trick here –in my humble opinion- is not to get carried away with highlighting. A little color will do a lot to make the black look rich, deep, and complex.Too much highlighting will invariably just make the black look either gray or blue, which is the exact opposite of my goal).

I finish this by washing a mixture of aggressively thinned Blue and Black Wash over the whole surface that I want black. I should mention that I tend toward much more Black than Blue in the washes again to be sure that the final result looks sufficiently black and doesn’t drift from that purpose.

If necessary, there is always room for one more extreme-edge highlight of the final highlight from before the wash.


This one is fun…

I start with Merchite Red mixed with either Chaos Black or Dark Angels Green (or both) to make a sufficiently muddy-brown red for the base color.

I revisit this with a more direct mixture of Merchite Redfor the first highlight, followed by just Merchite for the next layer.

I then worked some Red Gore into Merchite for a more subtle highlight, followed (in a similar manner) by a selective highlight of just red Gore. Note, on quite a few figures, I’ve been quite selective about this. In areas that are naturally shaded rather than try to highlight each panel exactly the same no matter where it appears on the mini. Instead, I’ve tried to give the illusion of highlight but also to limit the range of tones in areas that shouldn’t appear bright necessarily.

The final highlight is a mixture of Red Gore and Blood Red.

I then wash the red with Baal Red Wash, mixed with a bit ofBlack Wash and/or Green Wash to find the darkest shades again. I try to stick to the edges with any mixture that has green in it, as this will have a pretty dramatic “deadening” effect on the red. It’s best for the deeper shadows.

If necessary, I come back with one more highlight of the final Red Gore-Blood Red mixture –but again I should note that I try to keep the Blood Red from dominating too dramatically the mixture, as it will inevitably look more orange than red.


This “Bone” recipe is the one that I’ve been using not only for skulls and bones and the like, but also for stone. When called upon to do so, I simply move the spectrum over slightly so that less of the whites show and more of the browns and yellow peek through. Apart form that, the bonerecipe is identical to the stone that I’ve been using.

Also, this recipe is largely a foundation affair.

It begins with Calthan Brown. Then a mix of Calthan and Tausept Ocre. Then Tausept. I follow this is Iyanden Darksun. These steps tend to be reasonably subtle in the final bone palette, but much more notable in stone.

I then work some Bleached Bone into Iyanden Darksun over the course of a two or three layers with a bit more Bleached in each mix; however, I never reach a layer pure Bleached Bone, as this will contrast too dramatically with the rich tan colors that precede it (again, my humble opinion).

Once I’m satisfied with the way this looks, I wash the whole area with a mixture of Gryphonne Sepia and Ogre Flesh (with more Sepia than Ogre –also, note: for bone I avoid Devlan in this stage as it will brown out the yellows; however, for stone I may hit the extreme shaded edges –and only the edges- with Devlan in this mix to make sure they are sufficiently dark).

I then pop back a thinned layer of the last highlight once again.

Here, for me, is the trickiest last step of the bunch.I take that final highlight and mix in just a drop of Skull White –just a drop. This isn’t so much a highlight as a spot check. I’m not sure what else to call it. I don’t so much paint strokes of this highlight as dot a little bit over an eyebrow or cheekbone, just the most extreme of extreme highlights. The blue undertones in the Skull White should make the color really pop out and visually pull what might otherwise be a pretty tan-yellow-brown color directly into the dirty white zone.

Remember, if you loved that, go stop by Brian’s blog.  I hear rumors that he’s going to start commission painting again soon…

8 comments on “A Gentleman’s Renegades

    • I’ve always loved the classic missile launchers. Even the one on the beaky marines appealed to me more than the 2nd edition plastic version. I had thought Forgeworld released a version of the model, but I don’t seem to see it on their site…

  1. Way Hey!!! They’ve arrived. Thanks for the kind words. I’ve been a bit slow these last months but look for a return to proper form in the coming weeks!
    Thanks again.

  2. These look absolutely stunning!

    Do you envision using them as a particular style/type of army or God’s followers? Or are they really just ‘rogue trader stylee’ and who cares how they fit in with things now?

    Oh, cultists will look good, but I think you also need some daemons… And a chaos lord of some description!

    • They’re all Khornate renagades (well, technically speaking a couple of them are Slaneesh models–specifically the cow-head models with the powerfist in the air–but I thought they worked in well). I tried to limit the poses to just those that were ‘khorne marine with bloodletter head,” or something that looked very similar.

      Practically speaking, using heavy weapons in Khorne Berserker squads is a big no-no, but since I have them in 10-man units, I can easily use them as 8 man and just drop the HW trooper and someone else (depending upon whether they need a powerfist/weapon, etc.). Hopefully they also could pass as suitable unmarked/undivided units.

      As for demons, I had a bunch, but sold them (part of them to you, if I remember correctly). I still have some more, but I think I’ll ditch them in favor of using rats as demons. I have a bunch of plague priests (counts as plague bearers), rat swarms (nurglings) and storm vermin (counts as bloodletters). None of them painted so far.

      I also have a slough of rat ogres, a hellpit abomination, a doomwheel, and some other various Skaven units, that I can use as a various 40k/demon equivalents. Lastly, I have a few squads worth of Necromunda Ratskin Renegades that I was planning on using as traitor guard (I figured it worked well with the theme). The rat-theme really came about back when the Eye of Terror codex came out and you could use them as mutants, big mutants, etc. It was at that time that my theme was born, but I never really got around to painting the stuff up…

      • Ah yes, I remember… If you still trying to get rid of any daemons – particularly if you have any you haven’t already put up for sale – then let me know.

        As cool as the skaven things sound, I personally think it would be a pity to use them this way – with this army. They’re just too modern, and, I suspect, too big. I can totally imagine seeing these marines with the current bloodletters – which look a lot like the old, skinny ones. I think the skaven theme works well – if that’s what the them. Mixing them in with these old school marines is like mixing themes, and I think the skaven will probably overshadow these guys because of their size.

        By the way – I do miss the Eye of Terror codex and the lost and damned army in particular. I wish they’d do more themed / campaign codexes: they’re a lot of fun.

        Oh, and final thing, if you do want to use 10 man bezerker units, you probably could just use them, and ignore the heavy weapon. Either treat it as a plasma pistol or make sure the heavy weapon is always the first casualty removed. It’s not like anyone would get confused. And it’d be a shame not to field some of these models.

      • I’m not exactly sure what’s left for demons, but I know there’s a bunch of metal juggernauts, a variety of greater demons (1x Slaneesh, and several each of Khorne & Tzeentch), and I think there’s a box of daemonettes and maybe some screamers. Some of the stuff is painted rather well too. If any of that interests you, shoot me an email, and I can get you some pics.

        On the subject of size comparison, I hadn’t pulled these guys out since Brian sent them back to me, so I haven’t sized them up against the marines. I don’t think the size will be a problem, as Skaven are already short (so despite their growth, they’re bound to be more size-appropriate than other races/models), and besides, even if they were larger, they’re demons. I don’t see any issue with immaterial constructs being larger than mortals. Not sure if they’ll overshadow or not, but I’m guessing it won’t be that big of a deal, as any force would have considerably fewer demons than marines as well. Still, they’re valid points and I should check them out.

        I’ll work up a post eventually with a size comparison so you can properly judge.

        You’re probably right about the 10-man units, but I’m still fond of the classic chaos numbers, and they say that Khorne should be run in multiple of 8. Likewise, I’m planning on playing my nurgle marines in units of 7. The extra guys are there “just in case” I want to run them as undivided.

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