It's Not a Turtle

A little while ago I got an email soliciting a donation to help save the sea turtles and I was impressed with the patterning on the shells of the turtle photos shown. I remembered a model of a siege beast with Idoneth Deepkin figures riding a large turtle. So that immediately became my next project. I wanted to recreate the shell patterns I was seeing. 

Well, as it turns out the model is not a turtle but a leviadon (yes, Games Workshop calls it a leviadon, not a leviathan). It turns out this model has 6 legs and no turtle has six legs. However, I decided to go ahead and paint the model. I also decided that I would do a variation where only one figure is riding bareback since I thought this would show off the shell better. 


The assembled leviadon was primed with matt black and given a base coat of Shifting Sands. Then I started to play with the mottling on the shell. I pulled out a bunch of paints and started to randomly apply them one at a time to the large scales on the leviadon's back.

I quickly realized that what I was doing would not recreate the pattern I had originally wanted. So I went with the flow and the composite photo below documents what I eventually did. 

  • upper left - Shifting Sands
  • upper right - Ground Is Lava
  • middle left - Life on Mars
  • middle right - Gold Rush
  • lower left - Death By
  • lower right - Black Ice



The final additions of Death By and Black Ice were applied more heavily to the flippers than the shell itself. Lastly, the armor was done in Gordian Knot and Radium. 




The Idoneth Deepkin riding the leviadon is wearing a Gordian Knot skirt with Radium trim and Tin Star armaments. The "leash" being held by the missing arm was also done in Tin Star (not shown)




The base was modeled with air-dry clay to resemble waves. It was then painted with blue and green Contrast Colors followed by a heavy sprinkling of sand and a few plants, seashells, and a mini starfish. 


Since this model is destined to travel to shows assemble was a bit different. The leviadon and base were made to fit together snuggly rather than glued for easy separation for packing. Then some very small magnets were glued on either side of the mouth as well as to the ends of the chain that the figure was holding. Voila! the precariously stationed figure is readily removable. 




I definitely got my wish to come close to painting a natural-looking pattern on a turtle (even if it had six legs). Hmm --- what interesting schemas should I tackle next?