I think it would be extremely generous to call me a good miniatures painter. Or even an average one for that matter. I’d probably say I am about at the upper end of a casual beginner. That said, I do enjoy painting miniatures. I have a habit of buying a few model kits every year to try and build up some confidence to start painting up my board games. I generally buy a squad of some cool-looking model that resembles something I want to paint in my collection. I’ve also tried a few of the older painting sets that Games Workshop offers. I’ve finished the Ultramarines Warhammer 40k set as well as the Age of Sigmar Stormcast Eternals set. But now I’ve been sent one of the Nighthaunt starter sets as well as a box of Myrmourn Banshees easy-to-build kits to see how I get on.
Something Ghostly This Way Comes…
So, first of all, what are these models? These are two different variations of basic foot soldiers for the Nighthaunt army. The models found in the starter kit are actually Glaivewraiths. The Nighthaunts are a very cool looking army in the Grand Alliance of Death in the Age of Sigmar universe. Now, I don’t play Age of Sigmar so I can’t talk much about the lore around these models. All I can say is that they look cool. The Nighthaunts are a sort of ghost faction. They are mostly flying units with melee weapons but there are some mounted units available too. Obviously, there are also the usual vehicles and character models.
I’m coming at this review more as a beginner. What would your experience be if you decided to pick up these kits to start collecting and painting models? The first thing I can say is that thanks to the new Citadel contrast paints, it is incredibly easy to get a nice-looking finish on these models. As I said, I am not a great painter, and I am quietly impressed by how nicely I’ve managed to paint some of these models.
I’ve treated the two kits a little differently. With the paint starter kit, I have started off by using only the materials in the box (well, sort of, but we’ll get to that). I’ve then started using some extra paints and brushes, as well as a few slightly more advanced techniques such as dry brushing. With the Myrmourn Banshees, I decided to try and get as good a finish on them as I could in an afternoon and, as I said, I’m quite pleased with the results.
Not So Easy To Build
Step one of painting is building! And this is where we get off to a bit of a bumpy start. You see, these are push-fit models. They come on sprues like most Games Workshop models, but the idea is that you don’t need to use glue to put them together. Firstly, I would suggest that if you don’t already have some, you should buy some fine detail clippers maybe a mould line remover too. Without those tools, getting the models off the sprue in a good state is nigh on impossible. Also, use glue. I know you don’t need to, but you should. The models sort of come apart a bit at the seams if you don’t use glue and it doesn’t look great.
The painting itself is relatively straightforward. The guides on the Nighthaunt box are simplistic, but they do show you what you need to do. The models themselves are very beginner-friendly. There aren’t really any deeply recessed details that you need a rock-steady hand to be able to reach. On the whole, the areas to paint are large and the boundaries are very well defined. Each of the bases is also a unique sculpt too, which looks fantastic. It really gives the models some personality.
The one aspect that I did find a little tricky was the spectral bodies. As ghosts, the Nighthaunt models sort of phase through matter. This means there are a few models where you may struggle to transition from a ghostly body to a gravestone, or whatever it is floating through.
Nighthaunt - Paint Me A Picture
The paints you get in the kit for Nighthaunt are all good quality. I was even more impressed with the quantity of paint in the kit. The older model and paint kits used to have fewer models and smaller paint pots. These are full-sized citadel paints in this set, so they will last you for a fair while. The starter brush is also pretty good. I found it a little too big to really paint some of the details on the bases of the Myrmourn Banshees. However, for the starter models in the suggested paint scheme, it works perfectly well.
Speaking of the Banshees, these models really shine with some contrast paints. For those not in the know, contrast paints are a strange beast, something like a wash. They cover surfaces but also gather in nooks and crannies. The upshot of contrast paints is that (with very little effort and talent) you can get an effect similar to shading and highlighting all in one go. I think the model bases best show this. Normally, I dread doing fine details but, in this case, one coat of contrast paint gave me a very good finish!
The models themselves are a little more advanced than the Glaivewraithes found in the starter box, but not that much more complicated. I found that dry-brushing the cloaks and cowls gave a very cool ghostly effect, which made it look as if they were blowing in the wind. On that note, can we take a minute to appreciate how dynamic these poses are? They really do look as if the models are swooping across the battlefields, as opposed to some of the more stilted poses you get with other factions.
Rules, And Ready To Fight
The Banshee models also contain the rules and stats to enable you to use them in battle right in the box. These models are a nice ‘next step’ if you enjoyed the start painting box. You’re going to need a few extra paints and maybe a fine detail brush in order to get the most out of them. Nothing too extreme - but you will appreciate having them.
After I was done painting, I started wondering what I would do with these models. I’ve got very packed shelves and you have to earn your place there. These models look nice, but I don’t really have a use for them. As much as I like the look of Age of Sigmar, I don’t have any friends who play it, and I definitely don’t have space for at least two whole armies. Plus I tend to prefer Games Workshop's smaller skirmish games, rather than the large-scale war games.
A Small Warcry
Back in the 90s when I used to play these games more often, I really enjoyed Necromunda and Gorka Morka as well as a little Blood Bowl. More recently, I have enjoyed playing Kill Team in the Warhammer 40k universe. And that is when I discovered Warcry. This may be the answer I was looking for. Warcry is a small-scale skirmish game set in the Age of Sigmar universe and all of these models are compatible. In fact, these 8 models are pretty much all you need for a small warband. I could definitely see myself picking up a few models from a few other factions as well as the Warcry rulebook. Hopefully, then I could be able to get a few friends around to play a game over a few drinks and dips.