Painting the 66th Nomad’s Tograh

Ian Ackerman Tograh Stage-6 Full Base

Ian Ackerman runs his unique, Isorian, 66th “Nomad” Division which we’ve showcased before. We asked him to see what he could do with the Isorian Tograh…

Ian: Having already developed my own colour scheme for my infantry using sand, bone and organic greens I had to replicate this with the two vehicles. My painting technique also had to fit around not having a dedicated painting area and having a hectic family life. Essentially I grab short painting sessions whenever I can and to facilitate this I maintain a project box containing everything I need in a compact area. When the opportunity arises the box comes out and painting hastily ensues. Under these circumstances using my airbrush is not practical therefore dry-brushing, blending and washes were the order of the day. The same overall technique was used for each model.

Ian Ackerman Tograh Stage-1
The parts to the Tograh laid out for assembly after tidying up (not that there was much to do) and cleaning

First off I washed the resin parts in a lukewarm detergent /water solution. Once dried off I then assembled the model using superglue. Pins were not needed and they went together very easily with minimal sanding. The only joint I felt needed filling was where the side ‘fins’ joined the tail, though this is personal taste.

Ian Ackerman Tograh Stage-2 Assembly

After assembly I decided to be lazy and go straight for the base sand colour (GW Zhandri Dust) which I applied using a spray can. This layer acted as both an undercoat and a base coat. I then painted over the base colour with another thin layer of the same colour but this time using a normal pot of paint and a brush. (I find that washes are problematic if they are applied directly on a spray can base coat).

Ian Ackerman Tograh Stage-3 Wash
Base coated and a dark brown wash into the recesses. Excess wash is cleaned up with the same base colour. The turret is on a brass rod to assist with handing during painting.

Once the sand basecoat was applied I washed all the details in a dark brown wash. I wasn’t too careful about this as any excess wash was covered up by a touch up of the basecoat. I then set to with the highlighting. This was done in two stages; one was a mix of the base sand colour and a linen colour then a final highlight of just the linen colour. I highlighted using a combination of dry-brushing and blending with a very watered down layer of the highlight.

I’m not a fan of clear plastic bases so I glued the bases onto a larger diameter MDF base (to make the model more stable) and painted that using textured paint and cork tiles to represent rock slabs. Finally I added various grass tufts to the base.

Ian Ackerman Tograh Stage-4 Highlighting
Highlighting using dry-brushing, blending, layering and edge highlighting. Non organic components are painted mid or light grey, washed using black ink and highlighted back up.
In the background is the clear stand attached to an MDF base, the join hidden with modelling putty. Chunks of broken up cork tile represent rock slabs.

After the highlighting was complete I then picked out the details that I deemed to be metal or nonorganic, like the guns or the main hatch. I used mainly greys for this stage. These greys were washed using a black wash and then highlighted back up, mainly using layering with one or two stages of lighter greys. Next I turned to the more organic areas. As the model was predominantly a light colour (sand and light greys) I needed some contrast. I achieved this using dark green washes in some of the recesses and layers of bright green glazes on some of the surface ‘blisters’ or panels. Parts of the weapons and the side fins had ‘ribbed’ sections. These I painted in a mid green, shaded with a dark green wash, then highlighted back up to a pale green. The ribbed sections then received a green glaze to tie the highlighting together and match it to the ‘blisters’ and panels.

Ian Ackerman Tograh Stage-5 Green Closeup
A closeup of some of the green sections of the vehicle. The ‘blisters’ on the top section received several layers of a bright green glaze straight over the base sand colour, then a dark green wash to provide greater definition of the edges.
The ribbed sections were painted in a mid green, washed with a dark green ink then highlighted up using successively paler greens. Finally the ribbed sections received a coat of the bright green glaze.
The ‘power orbs’ have been given a coat of bright blue and washed with a dark blue ink.

Weathering was problematic as the organic sections just wouldn’t look right rusted up or scorched. And I didn’t want to make it ‘oozy’ as that would detract from the dry chitin / bone look I was going for. Accordingly I decided to go for a light weathering and only the large metal areas (mainly the front door of the APC) received some paint chipping using the sponge method to dab on splotches of dark paint and metallic paint.

The final painting stage was to create the plasma glow on the weapons and the power ‘orbs’ (or whatever they are !!!). Each was undercoated in white, then a thin layer of a bright pale blue was painted on them. Then I used a dark blue wash to outline the glow. Once that was dried I highlighted back up to white. Once the painting was completed I used a spray matt / satin varnish to cover the models. I also picked out the green ribbed, panels and blistered areas using a gloss varnish.

Ian Ackerman Tograh Stage-6 Front Hatch Wear
The weathered front hatch, the scratches achieved by dabbing areas with a small piece of blister pack sponge dipped in a dark brown / black paint. Recessed areas were touched up with a pin wash of dark brown or green ink to heighten the contrasts and the green has been given a coat of gloss varnish to give a more organic look. The base is textured paint, drybrushed with small tufts of grass.
Ian Ackerman Tograh Stage-6 Full Base

In addition, Ian likes customising his Isorians to fit in with his background (see the 66th Nomads). So he had a go at customising the top hatch…

Ian Ackerman Tograh Stage-7 Personalisation
Customised Tograh

This is an alternative turret / hatch that I made up from an old WW2 tank hatch and an Isorian trooper cut in half.

The trooper is one of the ‘Company of the Infected’. A whole company of Isorian troops encountered an ancient alien (possibly Tsan Ra) bio/nano weapon. the nanites mutated the troops, toughening the skin and removing the pigment, making them look like walking corpses. The mutagen has also effectively made them into highly obedient drones, with extremely suppressed feelings or fears.

The mutagen has been successfully neutralised but its effects cannot be reversed. Unfortunately no one wants to work with ‘the Infected’. Being near them makes people nervous and uneasy. The only ones able to work closely with the Infected are Tsan Ra troops. Consequently the survivors have been posted to serve with the 66th Division, the Nomads.

Troops of the ‘Infected’ can be identified either by their pale, almost dead white skin, or the splotches of red paint daubed onto the right shoulder plates of their armour.

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