23 May 2022

Monster May(hem): Bathalian Centurion

It's a squid! It's a crab! What the hell is it?

I got the unusual paint scheme for this chap from this video tutorial I found on YouTube several months ago:

I've been wanting to try it out for ages, but as I don't own any Tyranids I had to wait until I got a suitable model. When ordering some crap from Amazon last month I did my usual search for a cheap mini to throw in the cart, and for $6 the Centurion was perfect. So off to the spare room I go, and...

OK, so it didn't go as well as I hoped. For starters the primer is supposed to be as smooth as possible, and mine wasn't. Despite spraying it on a cool and rainy day, I ended up with a rough finish to the white primer. Crap. I attempted to get around this by giving the model a basecoat of thinned Off-White, but it didn't make that much of a difference. Oh well. 

I watched the tutorial a couple of times and then cracked on with the painting. I did the Orange-Brown parts first and then filled in the middle with a mix of Chocolate Brown and Black, as I don't own German Camo Black Brown, which is used in the video. It worked well as a substitute shade, so yay.

And it's dotting time. I made a mix of 50/50 Off-White and water and used a 4/0 brush, overloading it with paint and gently dotting it where the Orange Brown met the white and then onto the Orange Brown itself. It actually went well, and I only messed up a couple, which were easy to paint out and replace.

More dots, this time of thinned Orange Brown, were placed, and then the Chocolate Brown spots to finish that part off. One thing I've just realised I messed up is not putting a few white spots on the darkest areas, but I'm happy with it.

I did wonder about doing the back of his torso the same way but then decided against it on the grounds that life is too short.

After leaving the model for 30 minutes to dry, it was time for the scary part. Happily I still have some Army Painter Soft Tone so I mixed it with water and matte medium and basically plastered it all over the Centurion, lifting off any excess with a second brush. This bit is a ton of fun because if you mess it up there's not much you can do except repaint the mini. After I was happy with the coverage I put the model back on the windowsill and left it for an hour.

The dried wash looked good, a sort of light tan/bone colour that really suits the figure. Yay! OK, it's time for the details. His eyes were painted Moon Stone, a pale yellow, then given a light wash of Casandora Yellow. The tentacles were based with Park Green Flat and then had layers of Scorpy Green and Yellow Green to highlight them, and finally the claws were painted Black and detailed with Neutral and Ghost Greys before getting a wash of Nuln Oil. A coat of matte varnish and he was done.

The base is appallingly basic; I usually tack my figures to an old crappy base to paint them, and then yank them off and glue them to their actual base. Unfortunately I used too much superglue and he wouldn't shift, so I just painted the base Warlord Purple, drybrushed it with a bit of Pink and then washed it with Carroburg Crimson. It's awful but it provides a strong contrast to the actual mini.

Despite the scheme not going as well as I'd hoped, I'm still happy with it. It's one of those that does require a bit of practice, I guess, and there's always the option of using different colours. I went with the brown/orange because it's got a good 70s vibe to it.

The major project is still moving along, and with eight days of Monster May(hem) left I need to put my foot down. Hwyl am nawr, dear reader(s)!


  1. Excellent work on the creature Matt, it reminds me of the Tyranid Red Terror. The patterns you've gone with work really well and add to the intrigue of the model.
    As for spraying when it's damp, it will cause no end of problems, rainy days are a sprayers worst nightmare (this comes from years of experience spraying for a job ) The sand paper texture is just one of the problems it can cause, you can also get blooming, and fish eye, or the stuff just sags all over the place due to the damp, give me a really hot day over a damp one any day.

    1. Cheers, Dave! I always thought it was the other way around, that humidity was worse for spraying than cooler weather. Live and learn! But this mini having a rough surface kind of suits it in some ways, it's just a shame it made the painting a bit of a pain.

  2. I rather like him, the pattern look good, one weird ass model though, not quite sure what it is, would work well as a giant monster in 6mm scale, I could see it fighting a little Godzilla!1

    Now will you please slow down, you're making the rest of us look bad!! (I will probably be saying the exact same thing to Dave next month during Forgotten Heroes! (Bl**dy overachiever's! 😁).

    Cheers Roger.

    1. The Bathalians are interesting minis, Roger, Reaper only does about five models but they'd make good alien monsters in any scale up to 28mm. One advantage of buying this chap in plastic is that he was $6; in metal he's $17!

      As for slowing down, I have two more to come, one of which is taking waaay longer than I thought, and I'm hoping I can get it done in time.

  3. Ohhh, there was much more than an attempt!! Cool, I think it's quite a difficult pattern, but you really got it!

    1. Thanks, Suber! If the primer had been totally smooth it would look better, but for a first attempt at such a pattern it does look good. I might try it again at some point in the future.

  4. Its always good to see you pushing yourself, mate! I think this mini looks nice and while the shade of orange varies from the Youtube video, I still like it :)

    If you can, I would suggest trying to avoid priming on humid days. Humidity can mess with paint or varnish applied with rattle cans and I've ruined a few minis because of it unfortunately. It is annoying but you need to have the perfect combo of a dry day in a certain temperature range. Perfectly easy to find any time of the year in Vermont or Chicago of course! ;)

    1. Thanks, Jeff, doing the pattern was definitely pushing myself to do something different. To be honest, if it wasn't for the tutorial video I'd never have bought this mini as I have no idea how to paint it :-)