Nagash; the road to a table top-ready model!

Hi, Pezman here!
When I saw the Nagash model was being remastered, I knew I was going to have to pick one up.  Not so much to play battles of the End Times, but just because the model looked too good to pass up.

Before I talk about the painting process, I have to address how well this model goes together.  Nagash is a prime example of what can be done with modern CAD design. I would estimate that about an hour after sitting down, I had built all of the sub assemblies and was ready to start the business of painting the model. He is honestly a joy to assemble. You almost don't need the instructions because he goes together so smoothly and intuitively.  What is more, because Nagash is such a large model, over 9 inches to the top of his head, he has very few fiddly pieces to slow down the process.

Once I had Nagash into his sub-assemblies, it settled in with the rattle cans and the airbrush in my usual way.  I divided the pieces into those that would receive black, white, or grey primer and set the airbrush to go to work on the robe and ghosts which make up the lower half of the model.  In the picture above, you can see that the cloak and ghosts were largely complete at this phase with out having done much more than some simple airbrush work and paying attention to directional spray.  As for the body, I made liberal use of a  traditional 3 step tabletop painting approach.  A base coat, a layer of highlights, and a wash to unify the base coat and highlight while adding shadows.  Another benefit of Nagash being such a large model is he takes to washes incredibly well.  The recesses in his sculpt are deep enough to really provide a lot of texture for the washes to settle in on.

Once the bulk work was done, I settled in to picking out the details like his scabbard, books, sword, and the details of his armor.  I also experimented with adding glazes of color to help bring the look of the model together in a more cohesive way.  If a painter were so inclined, I think this is the point where he or she could spend years painting Nagash.  The model is not unnecessarily crusted with intricate details like so many other GW kits, but rather thoughtfully balanced between a few key details and large open areas, but more on that later.

In the above photo you can sees some of the glazes I put in on the armor and book to help unify the colors a little by bringing some of the blues from the ghosts on the base into other areas of the model. This was my first time working with GW Lahmian Medium to create glazes.  I have to say, again, I was pretty impressed.  It does exactly what GW advertises it to do.  It allows you to "thin" your paint without losing any of the control you would typically have.  As a result it's very easy to build up gradual transitional layers of color like you can see in the blue I applied to his book, eyes, and shoulder armor.

You can see in the picture above a combination of all of the techniques I've mentioned above coming together on the books in his ghostly trails. It's at moments like this that limiting how many colors you use can really pay off.  I primarily used 2 shades of Minitaire blue (Troll Hide and Lagoon Blue) on all of the ghost areas.  Most of the books were painted in a traditional 3 step manner, but the ghost trails were painted with an airbrush.  As a result, the two components clashed when joined together.  I went back in with the airbrush and the glazes mentioned above to help make it look like the books were either part of the ghost trails or, at least, caught in them.  Because I had only used 2 shades of blue, it was easy enough to color match and keep things looking unified.  

The last major step to take on was his base.  I added a few Secret Weapon Miniature ruined pillar bitz along with some slate and various sizes of grit and sand to create a bit of visual interest on the base. Once all of the components were in place, painted, and dry; I went back in with the airbrush and added a ghostly glow on the ground and to some of the raised elements.  This was an effect I'd seen another painter online add to the model, and I think adding that glow adds a lot to the feel of power conveyed by the model.

I predict we will see a few amazing Nagash models gracing painting competitions in the next year or two.  Nagash has all the essential elements required for a painter who wants to really spend some time and effort on a show piece.  He has some beautiful iconic details in the form of his crown and back spines as well as some lavish organic shapes and open areas which master painters will take to new hights.  What might be most impressive about Nagash is what isn't there.  Through the use of negative space, he really does look like he's floating over the table on magical winds of necrotic power.  As for my paint job, I wasn't thinking show piece, I just wanted to see a nicely painted version of this iconic character in my collection as soon as possible.  After all, if  GW could take Nagash from his early days as a Liche King Clown, then the least I could do was give him a proper paint job to match his newly empowered form.


 As always, thanks for reading, and please let me know if there are any questions about techniques or approaches to painting I've mentioned above.




  1. Beautifully done Mike! Table top ready...ha. Way nicer then tabletop :).

    I have to agree with you, one of the most exciting thing about all these new wonderful releases is seeing what everyone is going to come up with. It's a treat!

    1. Greg, it's actually painted by Pezman, the real paintmaster of SCWH.

    2. Glad you liked the post Greg!

  2. Great post! I've got this guy in the 'to do' pile and this helps cut down the intimidation factor of the model. I especially like the discussion of the GW Lahmian Medium which I have only just begun experimenting with.

    1. Thank you. Honestly, this Nagash model is easy to paint. He is a great example of a model you can spend as little or as much time as you'd like on. As for the Lahmian medium, it is really unlike anything else I've ever worked with. Perhaps I'll do a product review at some point if there's interest.


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