We used the Army Painter range of paints for this tutorial. They have great surface coverage and a wide range of colors. Make sure to shake the paint pot before you apply to your palette to make sure it’s properly mixed. Once you’ve applied the paint to your palette you will need to thin your paints down with a small amount of water. About a 1:1 ratio will work for most paints.
Due to the size of this miniature, you are going to want to use a smaller size brush with a fine point. The majority of this miniature was painted with a Size 0 brush, going down to a Size 00 or even 000 for the ultra-fine details.
If this is your first time painting a miniature, then this probably seems a bit intimidating. No worries! You can stick to Step 1,2, and 3 and then base the miniature. Practice makes perfect and you’ll be up and running in no time.
The most important thing to remember when painting miniatures is HAVE FUN!
Step 1 - First Layer: Apply Your Base Colors
Coat – Deep Blue
Trousers – Ash Grey
Flesh – Tanned Flesh
Metal – Rough Iron
Coat Trim – Desert Yellow
Gold – Weapon Bronze
Gloves & Collar – Ash Grey
Hair – Banshee Brown
Leather Belt, Pouches & Boots – Oak Brown
We start by blocking out all of the different areas of the miniature with a dark basecoat. These colors act as the shadows for the final colors, and make them a bit easier to apply. We want to apply a couple of thin coats of paint instead of one thick one so we don’t obscure any of the details.
Percy has a mix of large open areas and fine details. Firstly, you’ll want to fill in the large areas first and then paint the small detail on top. It’s simpler than trying to paint around the fine details later on.
Let’s start with Percy’s coat, gloves and trousers. After these areas are blocked in we can move onto the coat trim and the gold details on the leatherwork. If you slip when painting these fine details its ok, you can go back and neaten up with the appropriate color.
You might need to do two thin layers of paint rather than one thicker layer in order to get a solid coverage of paint, when painting the lighter colors.
Step 2 - Second Layer: Brighten up your Base Coat
Coat – Deep Blue mixed with Alien Purple (50:50)
Trousers – Stone Golem
Flesh – Kobold Skin
Metal – Gun Metal
Coat Trim – Daemonic Yellow
Gold – Greedy Gold
Gloves & Collar – Stone Golem
Hair – Skeleton Bone
Leather Belt, Pouches & Boots – Oak Brown mixed with Werewolf Fur (50:50)
Now that we have our different areas all blocked out, we will start to add depth to the colors by brightening them up. Concentrating on the raised areas and sections that would be exposed to more light, we start to apply the brighter versions of our base colors. This is generally on the tops of an area, the ridge of a fold of cloth, and on the more pronounced details of a face like the eyebrows, nose, cheeks and lips.
When applying these we want to be careful to leave a small amount of our basecoat in the folds and recesses of the area we are working on to act as a shadow.
Just like step 1, we want to start applying paints to the areas closest to the skin and in the centre of the miniature. This will help to avoid slipping and getting paint where it’s not supposed to be. No worries if you do though – just wait till the paint dries, grab that original basecoat and touch up the mistake. Good as new!
Step 3 - Third Layer: Applying Some Washes
Coat – Purple Tone
Trousers – N/A
Flesh – Soft Tone
Metal – Strong Tone
Coat Trim – Strong Tone
Gold – Strong Tone
Gloves & Collar – N/A
Hair – Strong Tone
Leather Belt, Pouches & Boots – Strong Tone
These washes will help to add shade to the miniature and increase the definition on highly detailed areas. Mix them well, but don’t water them down too much or they can dry leaving a very chalky finish.
The amount of fine detail on Percy makes him perfect for a series of washes. Areas like the leatherwork with gold detailing will benefit the most as we increase the definition between the leather and the gold.
Due to the nature of a wash they are much thinner than the paint we have been using and can be harder to control. Don’t overload your brush or allow the wash to pool in the creases as it can run into other areas of the miniature. We want to keep Percy’s trousers, gloves and collar very pale, so we don’t want to apply any washes to those areas - take care when painting near those areas. No worries if some accidentally goes on there though. Just like with the highlights you can go back and touch up slips.
Step 4 - Layer: Edge Highlights and Touch Ups
Coat – Alien Purple
Trousers – Matt White
Flesh – Elven Flesh
Metal – Plate Mail Mmetal
Coat Trim – Babe Blonde
Gold – Bright Gold
Gloves & Collar – Matt White
Hair – Drake Tooth
Leather Belt, Pouches & Boots – Werewolf Fur
After we have applied the washes to add depth and enhance the details of the areas, we can do a layer of color to brighten it up again.
Just like before, we want to concentrate these colors on the raised areas/details of the miniature such as the tip of the nose and cheekbones for the face, the top ridges of the folds for the cloth, and the sharp edges of the daggers.
The highlights at this stage are quite small and pronounced. They cover only the uppermost areas on cloth folds and the sharpest of edges. We do this to add more contrast between the light and shadowed areas and increase the look of light shining on black.
It’s best to use the smaller Size 00 or 000 for this stage as you need to be very careful, especially on the Yellow coat trim on Percy. Take your time and remember it’s easy to go back and cover up any slips and mistakes if you do make any.
Well done! You now have a painted Percy to join the party.
Step 5 - Optional Final Highlights and Finishing Touches
This is an extra stage where you can choose to add another layer of highlights or go back to the miniature and pick out small details, paint in eyes/mouth, or enhance the details by taking the Size 000 brush with Matt Black to carefully paint in the lines between each different area. This technique is known as “black lining” or “lining in”. This will really add to the contrast for the black areas.
With your miniature painted, you can choose how you would like it to be based. It’s perfectly fine to leave the base black, but just make sure to clean up the edge and give the base a nice even coat of black paint to really help the miniature look finished. Alternately, you can use sand and glue or pumice gel to give the base some earthy texture and then paint it to match whichever setting you like. You can then add some static grass or grass tufts to bring the base to life.
If you plan to use this miniature for gaming, it is a good idea to seal it with either a spray-on sealer such as Testor Dullcote or Army Painter Anti-Shine. There are brush-on options available if the idea of using a spray can on your freshly painted miniature is something you’re wary of. In either case, be sure to follow the application instructions provided. Always test your sealer before applying it to your miniature to make sure it cures correctly.
We would love to see your results so post them up on Twitter using #CrittersPaint hashtag!