Slaanesh Flawless Host Discolord by Matt Aaron
Slaanesh Lord Discordant riding a charging mechanical daemon-powered steed.
AoS Mortarch steed
AoS Varanguard rider
Terminator or Varanguard Shoulder pads
40k CSM Raptor Chainsword
40k Forgefiend shoulder pad
40k Discolord tentacles and exhaust
40k Deathguard Cannon from PBC
40k Talos injector needle
Base: Resin, cork, pumice, glue
AoS Khorne blood warrior head (optional)
AoS Daughters of Khaine hair (optional)
The hardest part of the is entire project is lowering the large profile of the AoS Mortarch Steed down significantly, while also angling it to be more horizontally parallel to the ground. The goal is to simulate the steed leaping off the rock onto the ground as it chases after its target. While you can certainly skip this step but be advised the model and rider combined will stand WAYYYY too tall and some tournaments might not let you play with it.
Steed tail and legs
The first stage is the hardest and will drive you bonkers fussing with the alignment, but the effort and frustration is well it. So be patient and take your time. Cut off all the extra ghostly parts from the Mortarch steed’s spine and tail. Assemble the core body and full spine, leave off steed’s head and legs. (Hobby Tip: If you want to add LEDs to emit from the body, be sure to add them before assembling the body.)
Next, drill a pin into tail at the point at which the tail makes contact with the ground. Be sure to drill up the tail towards the body to best support to weight. Take a moment to strategically select five different points along the spinal column to cut, take out a spine or two, then pin back together, all while ensuring you can spiral the tail to continue the fluid “cork screw” appearance of the tail without being too jagged. Take too many spines pieces out of any one point and it looks too sharp of an angle and doesn’t flow right and looks pretty weird. I suggest taking from the following points; the spine first starts to separate from the body, about 5-6 spines down from that, another 5-6 spines down, about 4 spines right before where you pin, and then one or two spines after the pin. Take about 2-3 spines out towards the top of the tail and only 1-2 as you get closer to the tip of the tail to get the right amount of flow. Just be sure you are twisting the spine to look smooth as you position the pin. Next, add the feet to the model and pin the left foot at the palm as it will be leaping off the rock. You might need to cut off the toes and reposition them to be flush with the rock. Hard part done!
At this point, you have to build up the base to meet the steed. The tail is not strong enough to support the weight of the model by itself, so the pin in the foot will help to take the weight off and bear the majority of the load. Take an oval base, build up some layers of cork in disk shapes so the bottom of the tail of flush with the ground and so foot can be attached to the top. You may have to cut down some of the cork to be sure that the rock is short and thin enough for the tail can go around it and curl in front. Try dry fitting multiple times. Once you have a cork spire high enough but thin enough to have the tail wrap around it, add a thin layer of pumice to the cork. This make it look like lava rock, while also adding strength to the cork and make it less vulnerable to dings and scratches while playing. I added some glue to the base to simulate lava flow. While not critical, a resin base adds weight to the bottom of the miniature and helps to keep it from tipping over once the steed is built with the rider. The model is very top heavy with thin anchor points, so be careful.
Steed Arms, Head, Saddle, and Weapons
Once the model is secured to the models’ base (or I recommend a large piece of wood/cork for easier painting), assembled the arms and pin into position to give a stretched out running appearance. Add the Forge fiend shoulder pads using Green stuff to secure it to the small Mortarch steed shoulders. Important, leaving enough space so the riders’ legs can fit between the body and shoulder pads. Attach the Varanguard stead’s chest armor to the bottom of the stead. Shave down the spikes on the thighs and add Chaos Deamon Prince armor to the lower legs. Add the death guard PBC cannon coming out of the chest. The cannons generic shape allows it to be used as either an autocannon or baleflamer (make sure you are very clear with your opponent about which it is). For the saddle, make sure you reverse it and cut it down so the rider fits not too high. Be sure to place the top saddle as far back on the bottom saddle as you can to help save height. This step takes a little trial-and-error to make it work. For the exhaust, I used a few different bits (Discolord exhaust, leg piston from a GK Dreadknight, Chaos Wardog Exhaust, etc.) and all fit well after some trimming and green stuff. For the head, cut down a Dark Elder Talos injector and attach it from beyond coming out from inside the mouth. Attach head to body. Boom! The steed is done. Go have a beer.
Build the Aos Varanguard rider legs and torso. Be sure not to attach him to the steed until you’re done painting but ensure they can rest on the saddle and legs fit between the steed and shoulder pads. Use green stuff to build up the saddle if you have to make it fits snug. Drill a hole into the left hand holding the steed so you can add chain. To attach a thin piece of chain to the rider’s hand. For the connection point to the steed, you can use anything. I drilled a hole into a resin dreadnought finger I had laying around and attached it to the steed’s anchor point (you’ll know what I mean once you see the model). I used chain from Green Stuff World but you can use any generic chain. Discolord chainglave is made by pinning the Varanguard spear and CSM Raptor chainsword together. Add either the Varanguard shoulder pads or some Forgeworld terminator shoulder pads to add bulk. Using the Greater Possessed backpack as a base, attach a Discolord tentacle to it and attach to the rider. Use some green stuff to ensure it’s a good fit. The head was made by pinning AoS Melusai hair and Khorne Blood head. Be sure to file down the Mark of Khorne symbol on his forehead first. The rider is now complete. Maybe add some elaborate greenstuff trim to the armor or add plasticard pipes to the backpack to simulate an music windpipe (see my Noise Marines) if you are feeling extra excessive!
So now you have the base, the steed (attached to a large piece of cork or wood), and the rider (pinned to a small cork) all separate and sanded down to be Slaanesh smooth. Now you’re ready for painting. Alternatively, you could fully attach the steed to the base and still be find painting it, just annoying to work around.
Flawless Host follow the chaos god of Slaanesh and their color scheme is “suppose” to be dark purple and beige, which I’m not a huge fan of. I wanted to capture the clean Slaanesh look but also show the wear and tear of a deamon engine steed. So I decided to go all Slaanesh heavy metal and paint the steed purple metallic skeleton and glowing skulls. To contrast with the purple, I painted two with turquoise skulls. If you want to go complementally, paint the glowing skulls magenta/pink. The armor would be black, which pairs nicely with the purple toned metallics.
*big sigh* I can’t stress this point enough… paint the darn glowing skulls first! After that, go back and cut in the metal skeleton. After doing three of these big boys, my biggest regret is not doing the skulls first. You can certainly airbrush everything metal to get a head start and then start on the skulls but don’t try to protect the metals parts at any point. Allow them to get messy if needed because you will be coming back and cutting back in the metal anyways.
Turquoise skulls: Precision airbrush white on the skulls, followed by Sotek Green, Diluted Coelia Green shade/wash, light drybrush of Vallejo Turquoise, light drybrush Temple Guard Blue, then Baharroth Blue edge highlight with a brush. Add white to the mix for final highlight.
Magenta skulls: Precision airbrush white on skills, followed by Warlock Purple, diluted purple wash, drybrush Warlock Purple, then add pink to the mix to get the final highlight with a brush. Be careful not to go too pink. Vallejo Fluorescent Pink works great under a white undercoat as well.
The metallic on the steed and trim on the rider’s armor are the same. This step will take the longest but so worth the effort. Cut in all the metals with a base coat of Vallejo Air Boltgun Metal Mixed with Vallejo Air Silver (2:1 ratio). Wash with a slightly diluted Army Painter purple wash with ARMY PAINTER QUICKSHADE WASHING MEDIUM (2:1 ratio). Purple adds the darkness while contrasting very well with the turquoise skulls. Pick one section to wash at a time allowing it to dry before going to the next, this help to avoid pooling. While applying, use a water soaked brush to wick away any wash in areas you don’t want it to be or pooling too much. You also want to avoid the glowing skulls, so be very careful. Quickshade really helps with control at this point.
Pro Hobby Tip: Quickshade washing medium is my personal not-so-secret sauce to painting surface areas. It gives you much more control because it thickens the wash slightly for better handling and helps with “pushing” the wash around the model to ensure you place it where you want it. It also helps speed up the drying time and creates a super smooth transition as it falls into the crevices (which helps to avoid ugly coffee stains if you just apply a wash directly). Pick up 5 bottles of that stuff when you see them in your local hobby store and you will thank yourself later (Disclaimer: I am by no way supported by Army painter and their paints are not the best but their wash-game is just the best the in business.)
Next, very lightly drybrush Vallejo Air Silver Metal onto the surface to re-establish the metal look on the edges. Be very careful avoid the nice skulls you painted. Optional, at this point you can add a thin glaze of the color you used for the skills on to the metal armor to get an OSL effect. Then add a very very very very light drybrush of Vallejo Metal Air Silver mixed with a bit of Aluminum to really make the edges pop but not be too overpowering.
The part that will make you money is the final line highlight of Vallejo Air Aluminum metal. To represent scratches in the armor, make some very small perpendicular scratches along the edge to add texture. This does two things, it provides a very strong edge highlight and goes a long way to showing off weathering. Take your time with this stage.
Airbrush the rider and the steed’s armor plating was painted first with Citadel Black, then airbrushed with Vallejo Dark Sea Blue, then P3 Gravedigger Denim for highlights. Seal with a varnish to protect it, allowing it to dry overnight. Wash with Army Painter Dark Tone. Line highlight armor panels with gravedigger denim.
Leather straps were painted with Scale 75 Black Leather. Dark brown and black would also work fine. The hair was painted with Vallejo Violet, then Citadel Warlock Purple, then Fluro Magenta to the tips of the air.
Painting the lava base is a whole separate series but you should be really proud if you’d reached this point. Attach the steed to the base, then the rider to the steed, and your all set. Cheers!