Painting Virai Dronescourge

Player Ben Fletcher gives us a step-by-step guide to his shimmering Virai army!

Painting Virai Dronescourge

I love the hard sci-fi aesthetic of Antares and the most appealing aspect for me is the more inhuman & alien looking factions.  My first army could only be the Ghar due to the fantastic plastic Battlesuit figures, but I am equally fond of the look of the Virai – their unique segmented design is reminiscent of both wasps and trilobites which is very cool.

Ben Fletcher Virai Painting - Downed Virai Warrior
A shimmering, downed Virai warrior drone

Most of the other hobby games I play at the moment tend to favour ‘realistic’ colour palettes which can be very subdued, earthy and drab.  For a change, I have decided to experiment and be more playful with the colour of my Antares figures since there is more license to be fantastical.

I recently discovered that Green Stuff World (GSW) has a range of ‘Chameleon’ paints which shift between two different colours depending on the lighting and so I was keen to see what effects I could achieve with them.  They are designed to be used with an airbrush over a glossy black undercoat in lots of very thin layers.  However, since I do not own and have never used an airbrush, I decided to improvise and experiment to see if I could get a reasonable effect with brush painting!  After abusing several left over bits of sprue with my experiments, this is what I decided on for my Virai.

[Ed: Like most of us, Ben uses a mix of colours from his workbench which he has mentioned below, together with some specialist paint from GSW. Similar colours can be obtained in the Warlord Games store.]

Undercoat:

  • Undercoat with GW Chaos Black spray primer.
  • Touch up with GW Abbadon Black by brush if you have missed any areas to ensure you have a solid and even coat.
  • All over layer of GW ‘Ardcoat gloss varnish. Since the figures are metal this should make it harder wearing in handling.

Green/Blue Metallic plates

  • Use 2-3 light layers of Green Stuff World’s Stormsurge Green until you get good coverage.
  • Recess/pin wash the crevices using GW Coelia Greenshade.
  • Edge highlights the extremities with a 50:50 mix of Greenstuffworld’s Stormsurge Green & GW Stormhost Silver.

Copper Metallic plates

  • Base coat with GW Warplock Bronze.
  • Layer with GW Hashut Copper.
  • Edge highlight with GW Ironbreaker Silver.
  • Overwash/glaze with Agarax Earthshade Gloss to tie it all together.

Silver plates & limbs

  • Base coat with GW Ironbreaker Silver.
  • Wash with GW Coelia Greenshade.
  • Spot glaze with GW Guilliman Blue for variety.
  • Edge highlight with GW Stormhost Silver.

Blue lens

  • Highlight with GW Stormhost Silver.
  • Layer with GW Soulstone Blue.
Ben Fletcher Virai Painting - A group of Virai drones
A group of Virai drones in Ben’s scheme

Varnish

Seal everything in with a Halfords Clear Lacquer (https://www.halfords.com/motoring/paints-body-repair/car-spray-paints/halfords-clear-lacquer-500ml). This has a glossy finish and helps protect the miniatures. You don’t want the bases to be glossy so I would suggest painting & sealing them separately with a matt varnish spray.  Remember to mask your clear flight stand before spraying unless you want it to fog!

Ben Fletcher Virai Painting - A Virai Warrior drone
One of Ben’s Virai Warrior drones

My scrapyard debris bases:

Use a mix of small and large slate spotted around the base.  Rummage through your bits box for pipes, deck plates, grates, etc to clip into small bits and scatter around.  Build up with Greenstuff to blend in the flight stand.  Most of the Virai can be top heavy so I’d recommend gluing a penny between the base and the flight stand for balance or a washer under the base.

Layer GW Astrogranite (or a simple sand + grey paint mix if you want a cheaper option) but leave any details bits semi-exposed. Following this, spot/recess wash with GW Typhus Corrosion and then when that has dried overwash with GW Agarax Earthshade (regular rather than glossy) to tie it all together.  Drybrush with GW Administratum Grey & spot Drybrush with GW Baneblade Brown to add visual interest.

Finally, pick out pipes or other exposed scatter details in any colours you fancy.  Spot with Army Painter Battlefields XP Tufts in a colour that is in tune with your gameboard – I like the Winter ones.

Ben Fletcher Virai Painting - Four Virai Warriors showing changes in hue
Four Virai Warriors showing the bases and subtle changes in hue

Virai on the Nexus and in the store.