Monday, 28 February 2011

A Dwarfs Tale: From King to Clansman - A painting guide

Another step in the growing of my dwarf army, I have decided to do a tutorial on how I paint my dwarfs.  Click below to continue....

This guide might well be quite long, with lots of pictures.  I felt like I needed to do something a little different this time and so I have catalogued how I paint a single dwarf warrior.  But before we jump into the guide I have a little bit of preface I want to discuss.

I never paint miniatures one by one, unless they are character models.  Instead they are done in batches of fives, each pinned to a cork.  For those that understand why, this might seem like sucking eggs, but for those who don't; the cork provides me with stability.  A cork allows me to turn the mini around to almost any angle without having to touch the mini itself, which of course means I can get to almost any part of it. 

You will also notice that I leave the mini off from its base and the arm(s) off.  The base I prefer to do separately and in doing so means I have no risk of getting paint onto a newly painted mini and will allow me to do anything special to the base if I want to.  The arm(s) I leave off so that I can get to all the parts, as you will see with the finished product the arm (in this case a great weapon arm) crosses the body and makes painting parts of it difficult.

I always use a black undercoat.  The dwarfs have a lot of metal, the black works very well with them.  It does however make layering some of the colours pretty difficult to get a solid, even coat over.  Black also gives me instant shading and is more forgiving than white I find.

 Them all stuck to their cork bases...
The arms and their bases.  Pinned enough apart to give me room to work.

There are six arms here because one already has his attached and I have two other dwarfs fully painted, minus arms already.

With that out of the way... onto the guide.

A quick acronym guide:
GW - Games Workshop
GWF - Games Workshop Foundation
GWW - Games Workshop Wash
VGC - Vallejo Game Colour
VMC - Vallejo Model Colour

The numbers in brackets represent the ratio between colours I have used. 


Step One
This base colour is Tallarn Flesh (GWF) mixed with Calthan Brown (GWF). (1:1)

 Step Two

This stage I washed the skin with Ogryn Flesh (GWW) to shade.  I use to use a brown wash, for these dwarfs I found the red flesh tone to work better.
 Stage Three

The first layer highlight I added Elf Flesh (GW) to the base layer, applying to to all areas of the face that are not shadows. (1:2)
Step Four

The final skin layer involves adding Skull White (GW) to the highest sections of the face.  The cheeks, lip and nose for example. (1:2)

The Beards

You'll notice that there is no section on beards here.  There is a reason for that.  I have also uploaded a tutorial on the Trading Post about painting beards.  The thing I find with beards is they are supposed to look varied and different, so each time they are not exact and I like to mix it up. 

The Cloth

 Step One

The base layer is Turquoise (VMC) and Chaos Black (VGC), it might take a few layers to get it smooth over the black undercoat. (1:1)
 Step Two

In this layer I add more Turquoise, leaving some of the shade behind.  (2:1)
Stage Three

The final, highlighting stage involves adding Skull White (GW) into the mix. (2:1)

The Sleeves

 Step One

The basecoat is Sombre Grey (VGC) mixed with Chaos Black (VGC).  (1:1)
 Step Two

The basecoat is placed over this by mixing in more Sombre Grey (3:1), as usual leaving some behind to shade the recesses.
 Stage Three

The highlight is added by a (2:1) mix of Skull White (GW).  Apply to the raised edges of the cloth and I often add a thin line to the top of the arm near the shoulder.

Silver Metallics

Stage One

The first step here is to use Boltgun Metal (GW) as the base

Step Two

In this layer I have no photo, but I use a wash of Smoke (VGC) and Badab Black (GWW) (1:2).  Layering it one either quite heavy, or do multiple thin ones.  The idea is to shade the detail on the chainmail and the axes.

Step Three

This layer I add Chainmail (GW) to Boltgun and layer it up (1:2).  The chainmail modelled on the mini can be hard to deal with, as too watery and the paint gets into the gaps.  Drybrushing comes in use here, or careful overbrushing.

Step Four & Five

I didn't take photos of these two.  The final layer is adding Mithril Silver (GW) to the mix (4:1), or as bright as you want it to be.  The last bit to the silver is a final wash of very thinned down Badab Black, to tie all the layers together.

Bronze Metallics

 Step One

The base to the bronze is a mix of Hammered Copper (VGC) and Scorched Brown (GW).  Applied to the adornments on the wrists, helmet and any in the beard.
 Step Two

Bright Bronze (VGC) is added to the base (3:1) for the next layer.  Being careful, avoid the recesses.
 Stage Three

Mix in a little bit of Mithril Silver (GW) for the highlight (1:2) and apply to the upper parts of the wrist, helmet and adornments.
 Stage Four

A very liberal wash of Devlan Mud (GWW) is applied to the bronze sections, bringing the colours together and dulling them a little bit.

Woodgrain and Leather

 Stage One

The first layer is a mix of Bestial Brown (VGC) and Vomit Brown (GW) (2:1).  It takes a good few layers for this to go on well.

For the leather is is pretty much the only layer, the belt is the only real leather on them, for some there is a bag to shade but not many.  They them go on to the third stage.
 Stage Two

For the woodgrain layer, here I shade it.  Using a mix of Chaos Black (VGC) and Burnt Umber (VMC) (2:1), I make thin lines along the wooden handles.  These act as the darker parts of the woodgrain.
Stage Three

Deneb Stone (GWF) is added to highlight between the gaps of the shade (2:1)  and finally finish it off with a light wash of Devlan Mud (GWW).

The cloak I haven't included in the pictures, but it is done by mixing Scorched Brown (GW) with Terracotta (GW) (2:1), then shaded with either the shade tone from the woodgrain or Dark Angels Green (GW) plus Chaos Black (VGC) (2:1), then finally adding Deneb Stone (GWF) to highlight (2:1).

And this is the finished Product...

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