Thursday, 7 May 2015

Rogue trader fishman - Zhar d'uin, piscean prince

After painting a brutal demon of violence and malevolence for last post, I decided to go with something a little more elegant and refined. I've had this piscean warrior model for quite sometime, (actually got it with my Space minotaur) and had yet to make something of him. The model is a fishman based on the original piscean warrior from the first Rogue trader release and sculpted by Diego Superstar Serrate.

picture from Solegend
Now, Diego's version, though inspired by the original, is a lot different in the details. The sculpt is taller, thinner and it has a very noble pose with his hand on the hilt of the sword (instead of holding a boltgun) and its elongated limbs. I'd even go as far as to say I prefer this one to the original (good thing for me since getting my hands on one of the originals would make my wallet bleed).

Now, I do like to paint a model with fresh eyes but Axiom's and Suber's versions have already set a high standard on top of taking the cool ideas for skintones... (damn you guys), that meant I had to find a way to make my own fishman look a little different !

Well since the exotic skintones had been covered by brilliant painters before me, I thought I'd have a go at something really plain and common but that I would try to make it realistic to compensate...
Well that was the plan at least, so I pretty much had THAT in mind :

I have to admit this was the very first time I was considering fish skin on a model and I therefore didn't know how to procede. One thing I knew though was that I wanted the skin to be shiny but not in a glossy way. I wanted the irridescent look of fresh fish skin like above.
Tha lead me to start with a dual basecoat of beige for the more "fleshy" parts like the belly and humanoid limbs and some metallic (GW Leadbelcher) for the rest of the scaly parts. That made the model look like that :

From that point it could turn out either as a complete disaster or as something rather cool so  I followed with some big marine blue wash (diluted with medium to desaturate it and water to make it flow nicely) and green glazes on the middle part (junction between the metallic and beige base coat. That lead me there :

I have to say I was very pleased with the result though it seems nigh impossible to photograph properly... With some added highlights of a mix of mithril silver and beige and some more glazes here and there, I really had a skin that changes depending on the direction you look from.
The eyes were then painted with pure mithril silver with just a black was and a dot of black in the middle and anothe rone of white to make the reflection.

To enhance the very Noble attitude I find in this model, I decided I'd paint his power sword as being made of red coral, this would emphasise the marine origin and it lifts the apparent social class a bit I find.

 The rest of the equipment was painted in fairly neutral colours of bone and brass as I wanted to avoid steel and iron as much as possible (first of all, it rusts and on top of that the whole body is already based on that) I think it helps give a strange look to that already singular model.

One thing, though, the model being taller than average, I first based it on a 40 mm base but it was a little too big for him. After grabbing a fistful of 30 mm bases from EM4, I rebased him on that and found it looked much better (in fact, any slightly taller model looks better on 30 mm and I'll be rebasing my terminators on 30 mm bases instead of oversized 40 mm ones)

Bad 40mm base on the left and few friends

From the picture above you can see I had some companions ready to join but I've found some more to add to the crew !
Apart from the 2 early RT fishmen (bought from the Foundry) and the old beastman rider on the far left, I've added 3 Asgard Trimotes. I know those are meant to be 3 armed apes but with their retro sci-fi look, their strange suits and weapons, they looked just the part and I cannot wait to try and paint them (Just check out Don Hans' on his fabulous blog).
Good 30 mm base and more friends
Zhar d'uin is the prince of the Watatsumi planet from the Nammu Empire. He and his brother Sui j'in have managed to establish outposts for his species of higher fishmen on many planets of the surrounding sectors. He and his brother can rely on the many other marine species that dwell on Watatsumi and their colonies. Zhar d'uin is the most level headed of the 2 brothers and he's therefore more often sent for delicate missions.
Zhar d'uin is ever exploring for new opportunities to secure the fragile empire they have and for that purpose he tries to build treaties with ground species when he can and he sometimes resort to more extreme direct actions whe he must.
All in all, his role is not far from that of a rogue trader for the Imperium, his mission only a lot more delicate due to the fragile empire of his. The limited population of his empire (planet wide compared to galaxy wide for other races) also means it's firmly bound together and he can count on the utter support of his people... Wherever there is life on this Galaxy, there is water and the Nammu empire needs sources of clear and  pure water (which is getting rarer and rarer in this galaxy).

Zhar d'uin is currently investigating about evidence claiming long time ago, more than 2 thirds of Terra were covered in water... given Humankind's poor understanding of the true value of seas, there could be some treasures there... But to make sure of that, Zhar d'uin would first need to reach Terra...

Still don't know what I'll paint next but these days I feel like painting models from other fellow hobbyists so that may influence me for the next model to paint...


  1. Lovely painting, I think you have done excellent work on the skin. I like the muted colours and brass for the equipment. A really great looking miniature.
    Do you know if these Pisceans are still available?

    1. Thanks a lot Lee, I wante dto achieve something a little different here both with the skintone and with the equipment that had to look "alien".

      I think Diego replied just under about his future release ;)

  2. That's a really nice job you've done. I agree, the 30mm base looks good. I may follow your lead on that one.

    1. Thanks a lot, The rebasing as necessary, looks better to me now. I'd love to see your version of this model at some point ;)

    2. You're giving me the itch to dig him out.

  3. A real pleasure to read pal!
    Love the explanations and all the pics, really get you into the read! And of course the paintjob is ace!

    PD: Goblin Lee, Im releasing all my RT inspired miniatures tomorrow, keep an eye on oldhammer facebook and oldhammer forum ;)

    1. Glad it pleases you, after all, nothing beats pleasing the sculptor of a model with your own paintjob !

    2. Thank you Diego, I will do. :)

  4. Cool JB! The fish scale pattern worked out great. And the back story's fantastic, as per usual :)

    There's so much untapped potential in the animal kingdom with regards to painting. I remember John Blanche talking about this very subject back in the day....I paid him no heed then, as my painting skills were extremely limited.

    I like that old beastmen too! Are you gunna RT him up? Or paint him up as is?

    Oh, and I noticed your bloodletter sitting alongside your painting cup. You haven't run out of storage space for your painted minis have you JB? :D


  5. Replies
    1. Cool, Glad people seme to like a more "casual" colour scheme, I was somehow fearing it would look a bit plain...

      The beastman has already been RTed up as his lance his a power lance (but from that angle you can't see it. I'll keep him like this to have a whole range of species with different levels of technology.

      The Bloodthirster is sitting amongst the other miniatures because the photo was taken at a time when it was not finished, I always work on several projects at a time to avoid getting bored by one model. That said none of my late painjobs have been stored yet as I have to varnish them beforehands... (table is starting to bend dangerously)

      Also glad you like the backstory, I've left some open doors open in case Diego releases another fishman ;)

  6. Fantastic iridescent painting on the scales! What a brilliant result :) I like all the little touches too - the pale laspistol, the bright red sword. I must dig up a 30mm base too - I think my 25mm one is too small.

    It's been a real treat seeing your painted version.

    1. Well I have to say it was a treat to paint from the beginning till the end ! It was fun to paint something else for once to.
      I don't know why it took me so much time to get some of those 30 mm bases as they make sense for so much models now (terminators especially but generally speaking , any taller than human model that is not a monster).

      Thanks a lot !

  7. F***, that's beautiful!! :O
    I wouldn't even dare to try a scheme like that, you have y total admiration.
    I also have to look for some companions to my couple of Pisceans, I'll be looking at your progress... ;)

    1. Thanks a lot Suber !

      I have to say, you and other like Axiom or Rochie are the reason why I went with this scheme because I just couldn't find another idea ox exotic skin ^^'.
      As far daring is concerned, I think you've proven to be quite open mind and audacious (with success) yourself.

      Thanks for those kind words !

  8. Great work on the more cold water fishman colour scheme JB. I find that I have many miniatures that benefit from the 30mm bases from EM4, particularly the many miniatures from the 90s that balance on their heels on the 25mm bases. Its definitely the way to go with the fishman.

    1. Thanks Paul, with all those guys taking the exotic schemes, I thought I'd be exotic myself by aimming at common !
      It's taken me quite some time to get away from the GW references about bases and to start using 20mm (thanks to your example) and now 30mm, This gives me 5 different sizes of round bases for 40k which is just perfect (though I haven't sourced all widths for the same height (not that it is a huge problem btw).

  9. He's awesome! I really like how you painted the skin. That's the type of figure I will usually buy but then keep in a drawer for 10 years because I'm afraid to paint it! So you're more courageous than me ;-)

    1. To be honest it felt a bit the same on my side. I knew it had potential but I didn't truly know where to go with it and I was reluctant to trying something that could end in a disaster... but with all the hype around Diego's models I felt the urge to get this one done and I tried what I had in mind. It worked in the end so I'm really happy with it. After all, we're always a dip in acetone away from fixing any issue ;)

      Thanks Iannick !

  10. Franchement les couleurs sont très realistes bravo!
    J'ai une petite question, j'ai vu que tu lisais Apple seed et cest le seul manga que j'ai réussi a lire et que j'ai beaucoup aimé mais apparement il est put of print, ça fait longtemps que tu l'as ou tu as réussi a le trouver quelque part?!? Merci

    1. Merci !

      J'ai acheté appleseed en 2000 je pense donc après, je ne sais pas si Glénat a fat d'autres réimpressions. Marrant que ce soit le seul auquel tu es accroché, c'est pas vraiment le manga le plus accessible (l'auteur a un délire très particulier on va dire) !
      En marché d'occase j'ai trouvé que des séries arrêtées ou même des tomes plus disponibles pour des séries de manga peuvent très vite monter très haut en prix (ce qui conduit parfois les éditeurs à relancer des impressions). AU delà de çà je ne peux pas t'aider malheureusement...

  11. Great job on the piscean! The skin is really "fishy". Great to see a few Trimotes joining the band as well. Love those old Asgard Sci-fi's.


    1. Ah cool, glad you like it ! I have to say I got the idea to use the trimotes from you ^^'

    2. Nice! And thanks for the plug!

  12. Oh please Hans, we're past that !!! ^^


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