It’s taken me 18 months, but finally my Eldar Avatar is ready!
I actually bought the second-hand all-metal model back in about 2008/9, but didn’t really start painting it until April 2014. I’ve worked on other models in that time, but the Avatar has always been sat on my painting desk since, just slowly getting more and more done.
Due to the size of the model, and the complexity and detail of him, I had to paint this in sections. I started with the legs and torso, which I wanted to reflect the molten magma that his body is supposed to be made of. So all the recessed parts were painted white, and the raised plates black. The white gave me a good base to then paint orange, then on top of that yellow down the middle of the orange, to try to give it a ‘glow’. The black parts were then edged with a few coats of dark red to add to the ‘molten’ feel. These steps took the longest of any – trying to get the recessed parts painted in light/bright colours, then touch up the edges of the plates in black without getting into the recesses and having to redo those, and getting into an infinite loop of touching up. I was surprised how long this took, but I guess there’s a lot to it!
Next was all the gold, which was done using the trusty gold technique I found on YouTube, which gave a nice layered look.
As it’s a Biel Tan army, I wanted to include some green, so the hair, helmet and sash are all green.
Again, with the horns (is that what they are??) I wanted to reflect the heat and molten magma feel of the model, so I went for the red-to-yellow fade. A coat of crimson wash over this helped pull the colours together and make it appear more of a gradual fade, but I did find the yellow ended up looking a bit brown-ish. So that was then re-painted to brighten it up a bit.
The hand was given many coats of dark red, highlighted with red and orange, then a few coats of crimson wash. I wanted this to have quite a bit of depth to it, and the several different coats, plus a few coats of wash, has done that for me.
It took me a while to decide what I wanted to do with the sword. Eventually I decided on a blade that reflected the Avatar’s body, black with the glow of molten metal – hence the red/orange/yellow edging, with just a tip of white. Then I couldn’t figure out what to do with the runes on the sword. I tried a few things on another model, including a base of orange with a yellow highlight, to look like they were ‘glowing’ with heat. This did not look good. Just the opposite. It almost looked child-like with its bright colours! Glad I tried it on a spare model first! So I took a chance on the light green (I tried the runes on the bottom of the sword first, just in case!), but I’m pretty pleased with the result. It was a black undercoat, so I then painted the top of the runes white, then light green. The result is quite a strong, striking colour, I think because of the contrast against the black.
Overall, I’m pretty pleased with the end result. I’d be disappointed if after 18 months I hated it! All I need to do now is be quicker – 18 months is a bit much!
(There might be a few bits I’ll touch up as well. In writing this and looking at the images, I think the hilt of the sword (boltgun metal on top of black) looks a little flat. I might need to just add a little wash to that. I’ll probably find a few other bits too, but at least for now, it’s ‘finished’).