Kalyustar of the Gilded HandThe alchemists of the Gilded Hand lost their faith in Sigmar when the God-king retreated behind the Gates of Azyr. Ever since, they have learned to trust two things only. Their knowledge of the elements and the magicks that rule them and the skills at arm of the best mercenaries that wyrd-gold can buy. Kalyustar is no exception in this respect. Where he differs is in that, since the onset of the Storm of Sigmar, he forwent the safety of his laboratory in Venithya. Since then, he has traveled the Realms to collect the rare substances so crucial for his experiments. In Ghur, at the head of a motley host of ogors and orruks, he sacked the vaults of the Lofnir Lodge. On the Sky Roads of Chamon, he led a charge of Demi-gryph Knights to capture one of the Olwyr Stonehorns and grind its bones. He spirited away a chunk of Shyishian Realm Stone from Voldyr Keep, the Scourge Privateers he hired fighting their way through ravening flesh-eater hordes. Countless of times he has clashed with Chaos Lords and Sorcerers whose keeps held secrets worth the lives of many a man. Equally celebrated as a hero and reviled as a villain, he has collected the rarest of substances, but one. Sigmarite, the celestial metal, still eludes Kalyustar. As the Eclipse engulfs the Realms, he knows the vilest of Chaos servants can channel its dark energies and trap the precious metal. He will stop at nothing to seize their secret, whether this means ripping it from those he can vanquish or struck a bargain with those too powerful for him and his mercenaries.
As a nod to the old Dogs of War fluff that placed the mercenary armies in the Warhammer version of the Italian peninsula, Venithya is loosely based on 16th century Venice. For the first member of the Gilded Hand I modeled, I therefore choose the colours of Venice flagg, gold (for the barding) and red (for the mantle). I didn't want to overdo with the gold, so I've broken it with the blues and greens of the vials. Again, not to have too much gold, I kept Kalyustar's armour a dull silver, but decided to paint his mask white to make it stand out more.
I've painted the Militia banner bearer and musician using the same palette of the unit they will join in larger games. The colours work well also alongside Kalyustar, with the red tying the models together, but the brown and beige marking the two men as less wealthy than the wizard.
The flagg was painted blue with red sigmarite symbols to match the dress of Lothar Valdemius, the Excelsior Warpriest that leads the Church of Sigmar's Retribution.