Anyone who’s glanced through the Warlord Games website and looked at a vehicle or two will probably recognise some of Darek Wyrozebski’s work. As the Design Studio’s resident vehicle painting and modelling specialist, Darek is a master of all things wheeled and tracked, so it was something of a surprise when his latest project made an appearance in the office. Trading armour plate and artillery for feathers and scales, Darek has just completed a stunning Quetzalcoatl for Mythic Americas! Naturally, I had to grab him and get the low-down on the hows, whys, and whats of this beast, being unlike anything I’d seen him paint previously!
As it turns out, this was actually a special project, as it’s a birthday present for the resin team’s Luigi, who was later seen heading home with his prize safely cased up and wearing a very big grin! As a fan of big flying beasties and the colour green, Luigi’s specifications gave Darek a base to work from, and from there he went to town!
While he’s painted some big monsters before, they tend to be of the late-war German armour variety with ridiculously large guns, so this was a little outside Darek’s wheelhouse. Nevertheless, as a veteran painter, he rose to the challenge, making good use of his airbrush to achieve smooth transitions and subtle colour variations across the model, really making the chosen palette work for him. Darek described the biggest challenge as the sheer scale of the Quetzalcoatl, but that was also a great opportunity to utilise some techniques that don’t really apply to vehicles. He was particularly satisfied with the metallic armour, as he deliberately aimed to follow the example of fellow Studio painter Kirsten Williams (who painted the studio’s own display model – see this video for more on her brushwork), and the face, which captures the baleful expression of the model perfectly.
Outside of his professional work, Darek finds himself painting models mostly because they look like they will provide an enjoyable challenge. He finds most of his inspiration in seeing other hobbyists’ meticulously painted models, pushing him to understand and replicate the techniques used therein. He says this is the best way for him to learn and improve his painting and recommends this same advice for any painter, regardless of experience level. When painting real-world vehicles he will usually work from a huge stack of reference images, but for fantasy figures (of which real-world photographs tend to be understandably few and far between!), he likes to compile a catalogue of other peoples’ takes on the model, to reference and compare his own ideas with.
Darek says that his favourite part of painting is the satisfaction felt when the finished result feels ‘just right’, and I think it’s safe to say that that satisfaction is well-earned in this case! As for what’s next… more tanks, jeeps, and vehicles of all shapes and sizes for the studio, but I’m sure we’ll see something equally weird and wonderful come off Darek’s desk before too long – the perfect opportunity to sit down and pick his brains once more.
In Mythic Americas, the Quetzalcoatl is a powerful spellcaster. With the special rules Fast and Flies, the winged serpent can move around the field with ease and reach most parts of the battlefield with its spellcasting ability. The Quetzalcoatl’s multiple melee attacks, high stats and Venomous ability make it a force to be feared in melee as well. However, its most appealing quality is surely its battlefield presence – it provides a fine centrepiece model for an Aztec warband or simply on a Collector’s mantlepiece and provides a superb painting challenge for any hobbyist!
Or try your painting hand at these other stunning Mythic Americas monstrosities:
That’s very nice! Really like the shading achieved on the feathers and a different direction take a Quetzalcoatl in.
Is Warlord still going to continue supporting Mythic Americas going forward? I believe they have a new rules set and factions inbound.