Painted Army Focus: Martin Crawford’s Night Lords

We’re busy squeezing some games in for our ongoing Urban Conquest campaign, so whilst we wait to write up some of those, let’s have a look at the forces of one of our favourite painters. Martin Crawford came back to the hobby around three years ago and has made incredible progress with his chaos armies. Last year, his army performed exceptionally at Chesterfield GW’s Armies on Parade event, and today we’ve got an interview with the brush wizard himself.

Okay Martin, why Night Lords, what makes them cool?
MC: I love all of the Traitor Legions, both in terms of lore and aesthetics, but I chose to collect Night Lords after reading Aaron Dembski-Bowden’s Night Lords omnibus. That book is still my favourite in the Black Library. I also think they are a great example of the brilliant ridiculousness of the Warhammer 40K universe – their armour looks like the front cover of Metallica’s ‘Ride the Lightning,’ which appealed to the long-haired fifteen year-old version of me that still resides somewhere in my psyche.
When I got into the gaming side of things, I also liked the idea of building an army that was all about speed, deep-strikes, and a gung-ho attitude. The unit that best typifies this is my Meltagun wielding Raptors – they drop in, destroy something, then get shot to bits. I don’t know why, but I find this hilarious every time it happens.
So how do you start about painting these fellows?
MC: I use an undercoat of Mechanicus Standard Grey, and then base the whole model with Kantor Blue. After that, I wash all of it with Nuln Oil and go back and lighten up things like shoulder pads with the blue.
The gold trim uses Balthasar Gold followed by a liberal cover of Agrax Earthshade. I then layer with Gehenna’s Gold.
Guns are kept simple with Abaddon Black. I also like to get a bit of Khorne Red on the model for areas like the casings of chainswords. Finally, I often paint a skull over the face using Zandri Dust layered up to Screaming Skull.
I use a variety of paints to highlight, including: Alaitoc Blue, Hoeth Blue, Auric Armour Gold, Eshin Grey, and Wazdakka Red.
Are those lightning effects tricky?
MC: Not really – it was the part I most looked forward to. It’s a lot easier on larger models, such as the Dreadnought and Rhino. You just have to make sure that you’re using a good quality detail brush. I use Windsor and Newton brushes, which seem to do the trick. I used Duncan’s Warhammer TV tutorial to help me do it. The colours are Lothern Blue followed by White Scar.
The bit that I found to be a pain in the neck was the base coat stage. I find it very boring – especially when painting a lot of infantry. I don’t have an airbrush, which makes the process take a lot longer. If I painted any more Night Lords models, I think that I would use dry brushing a bit more to speed things up.
Tell me about this winged sorcerer fellow. What was your process when painting him?
MC: He has a name; I wrote a booklet outlining all of the lore and background to accompany my Armies on Parade entry, and decided to give him the terrifying moniker Olzhas the Dreadmancer. This has since changed to Perils McGhee, as he has a great record of blowing himself up every time he attempts any psychic powers.
I’m not much of a converter, so thankfully this one was very simple. I used the Dark Vengeance Sorcerer model and attached a winged backpack from a Possessed model. Very easy to do. I painted the wings with Khorne Red and the wing membrane with Abaddon Black followed by a blue dry brush.
Whilst I never got round to it, my plan was to make a Night Lords Daemon Prince using some parts from the Flesh Eater Courts range to give it a vampiric look. I wanted to make up some rules wherein Olzhas could finally achieve ascension mid-battle and transform into this Daemon Prince – a bit like Morathi, of the Daughters of Khaine. I’m sure I’ll do it at some point.
Anything else to add?
MC: Using this army, I was very lucky to win ‘Best Painted 40K Army’ at my local store’s Armies on Parade event. I’m really looking forward to entering again this year, but this time I am collecting Iron Warriors.
If anyone would like to read the lore/background for this army, the link to the booklet is here:

Excellent stuff Martin, thanks for the interview! We’ll be back over the next few weeks with some updates on our campaign, amongst other things, so keep your eyes peeled! Happy hunting!

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