Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Tabletop Fantasy Miniatures by Ana Polanscak

Blood Simple.

Now that the days are getting shorter and the leaves are falling from the trees in the United States (and October is starting to wind down), it is hard not to think about Halloween! It is a time to carve Jack-o'-lanterns and watch John Carpenter films. With these thoughts in my head, I wanted to paint some miniatures that put me in the same state of mind. It dawned on me that I had a collections of miniatures from Ana Polanscak’s Kickstarter that fit the theme excellently. I particularly like the Blood Fiend and diminutive Skull Familiar included in the set. The lore Ana created for the Blood Fiend is particularly evocative: it harbors the tortured spirit of an old warhorse that was fed on the diet of a carnivore! For these two models, I decided to see if I could paint them quickly using Games Workshop Contrast paints.

I was impressed with how easy it was to create additional depth on the model by darkening the recesses with different Contrast paints after the initial base coat.

By dramatically thinning Contrast paints with Contrast Medium (or Lahmian Medium), you can achieve a wide array of different colors and effects, like creating the grey/white hair on the Blood Fiend with Black Templar (some additional dry brushing was done to further emphasize the effect).

Both models were single piece metal models that were easy to clean up with an x-acto blade and some sand paper. They were primed using the Wraithbone base paint GW developed to work with their Contrast paint line. After this, I used four Contrast paints (along with the Contrast medium) to paint the majority of both models, including: Black Templar, Cygor Brown, Skeleton Horde, and Flesh Tearers Red. The vast majority of the Blood Fiend was painted with a 1:1 mix of Flesh Tearers Red and Contrast medium. This provided a great starting point for the red, creating shadows in the recesses and leaving the raised areas lighter. To provide more contrast, I applied undiluted Flesh Tearers Red to the recesses. After this dried, I carefully applied Cygor brown into these same recessed areas, and finally 1:1 Black Templar with Contrast medium to these same recesses in a more selective fashion. The bone was approached in a similar way, starting with a 1:1 mix of Skeleton Horde and Contrast medium to apply the base coat, before going back with additional contrast paints to darken the recesses. To achieve better transitions between the much darker Cygor Brown and lighter Skeleton Horde, I applied the Cygor brown first, and with a separate brush applied Contrast medium. This allowed me to easily blended the two together directly on the model, creating a smooth transition. Like with the red, I also applied a sparing amount of Black Templar to some of the darkest recesses to create more contrast. To finish the bone, I did a few minor edge highlights with a mixture of Ushabti Bone and Ulthuan Grey.

Using Cygor Brown and Black Templar after the initial basecoat of Skeleton Horde helped to add depth to the skull.

Although the model was painted primarily with Contrast paints, the silver was done with traditional metallic paints.

It was really fun to get the opportunity to paint some of the model’s from Ana Polanscak’s Kickstarter. The simplicity of the single-piece metal sculpts made them really easy to assemble and paint. This also made them a great place to try out some of Games Workshop’s Contrast paints. With relatively little time or complicated methods, I think I was able to capture and emphasize the enigmatic and chilling character present within the base models. I would highly recommend that you get a few of Ana’s sculpts if the opportunity avails itself. While I do not think they are available for purchase at the moment, when all of the Kickstarter backers receive their models, I believe they will be sold via Harwood Hobbies.

- Eric Wier


  1. Very nice indeed. The contrast paints seem to be useful and you have got a good result with them here.

    1. Thank you! I am pretty happy with the contrast paints. They have been fun to use!