You’re a firework.


Since they were first teased last year, at Gencon I think, I have been salivating at the prospect of there one day being Yànhuǒ Invincibles in my collection. Whilst it was the HRMC profile that raised eyebrows, being I think the third sighting of the weapon in game, and the first not attached to a TAG, the 2x Missile Launcher variant was bestowed upon us first. Sometimes overlooked due to it’s  comparatively low B value, rare indeed are profiles with the potential to cause more than 6 wounds with one short skill. If it ever happens in game I will be sure to make a post.


Visually, it’s a stunning sculpt to behold. I had always wanted a centrepiece unit for the collection and this definitely looks the part. I can only imagine how dangerous Nomad Geckos must feel in your hand. I’m also very happy to start seeing the future Invincible Army Sectorial taking shape.


When I painted the Hac Tao, I felt like I was painting  a big model. When I painted the Yànhuǒ, I felt like I was painting a small statue. I primed and painted him all in one piece, but looking back I wish I did the backpack assembly with the weapons as a separate bit. I managed not to snap them off but it was quite fiddly working around the launchers and by the end of it I was so fed up with them that I rushed highlighting on them. Other than that you get some lovely smooth surfaces that even an amateur like me could get a good finish on. That said, for the time being I am too chicken to put the freehand green markings on it. Besides, while the number of models for the Invincible Army is small, I’d rather he look coherent with the Zúyǒng. When they release more Yànhuǒ models, I will hopefully be skilled enough to pull it off.

As I do with almost all models, I painted this one section by section. I find this gets me more excited for the finished model and keeps me motivated. It also skips that pit where the unfinished model looks worse than it did with just the primer.


Being such a big model, it naturally took longer to finish, but I also never got a decent stretch of time with him and basically had to fit in a quick session wherever I could. Not my favourite way to paint for sure but it did mean more WIP shots to share than normal. In the following photo you can see the different stages involved. I followed my usual recipe for orange very closely with the exception that I have started highlighting with bleached bone rather than skull white. You can’t really see a difference in the side by side shot of the two Invincibles earlier in the article, it’s just that I have more Bleached Bone left than Skull white at the moment.


This ought to build the confidence of aspiring painters out there. It’s hard to believe the difference between the crude looking torso and the finished legs is a thin layer of Scrofulous Brown. It truly is the best paint in the world.



Now let’s look at the name. CB did most of the work for me this time, and a good job at that. From the website:

Any who have seen the Yan Huo Regiment in action, unloading their terrifying firepower, know just how fitting their nickname is. The regiment’s name means “fireworks” in Chinese, written with the characters for “smoke” and “fire” (烟火) although the latter also means “rage, anger”.

…Yep, that about covers it.


It’s also pretty easy to pronounce compared to some of the other things I’ve written about. “Yàn” rhymes with “Pan”, as in “Pan-Oceania”. The ‘uǒ’ sound  is pronounced as “war”, so just put a ‘h’ in front of “war” without taking anything away and you’ll have “huǒ”.

If you look closely at the characters themselves, you’ll notice some interesting things; The 火/huǒ character for fire is a fairly non abstract (by Chinese Character standards) pictogram of a flame, and that it is also present on the left hand side of the 烟/yàn character for smoke. It turns up in several characters related to fire. You can also see both characters in the logo.

Yan Huo logo


7 thoughts on “You’re a firework.

  1. Hi! Love the orange, it looks awesome! Got my own yan hao getting built up presently.

    I was wondering if you had any blog posts covering the parts between the armour panels? the cables and pipes etc. I haven’t found anything other than the Hac Tao post, I’m just curious if there is any difference between those models and this new one?


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey, thanks for reading!

      The cables and interior panels were done using four Citadel colours: Chaos black, Shadow Grey, Fortress Grey, Skull White.

      I used a Chaos Black spray undercoat so that’s the starting point.

      I then painted a layer of Shadow Grey on each servo muscle segment and panel, aiming to leave some black separating each segment.

      I then painted a smaller area, entirely within the area painted of Shadow Grey with Fortress Grey.

      Finally I painted a smaller area white.

      If there was some areas where the colour went on too heavy I tried to correct it by flowing some dilute black paint into the affected recess using a detail brush.

      This was all kind of rushed on the narrowest cables, almost successively lighter dry brushes of the three layers. This leaves each layer in concentric rings. On the plates, and the best example is his biceps, I tried to be a bit more aware of light sources, which are more likely to be coming from above than below. If you imagine his biceps was running horizontally, and divide it into 5 rows, it would be a bit like this:

      Shadow Grey

      Fortress Grey

      Skull White

      Fortress Grey

      Shadow Grey

      Shadow Grey

      On his calves however, it went, from top to bottom, from light to dark. I kind of winged it, none of this is hard rules, and it’s very reactive. If the Fortress went on really well, I might pull my punches instinctively with the white for instance, because I’m just not that confident the next step will look as good as the last. I always consider going for a metallic effect to be a roll of the dice and can never be sure it will look good when I am doing it. I do believe, at least at my level, that contrasting with the black is key to a passable result.

      Hope that makes sense!

      There is also a much lazier second style of NMM I use over a grey undercoat on my JSA. You can that out here:

      Liked by 1 person

  2. “The ‘uǒ’ sound is pronounced as “war”, so just put a ‘h’ in front of “war” without taking anything away and you’ll have “huǒ”.”

    So… huo is pronounced “hwar”? Uh, wow, are you sure? Not knowing anything about Chinese I didn’t think that something could be spelt so differently from what it looks like on paper.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Wow that link is really good! I got it now, been practicing on my way to work.

        I really like languages and also like to make sure that I pronounce foreign words correctly even in something as insignificant as a tabletop game 🙂 Have to have a look at Hac Tao, Rui Shi and Lu Duan next!


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