Archive for Painting Theory

Warhammer 40K: Death Korps test

Posted in Miniatures with tags , , , , , , , on November 26, 2017 by Sean


Krieg test

Another new army for a client. This time it’s the famous Death Korps of Krieg, the grim WWI-inspired Imperial Guard “ahem” Astra Militarum regiment from Forgeworld. These two are the test miniatures for the army. I provided pics from several angles.

The Krieg models are nicely detailed, with great sculpting in the clothing and extra gear. I’m less enthused by the casting, since some of the mold lines are really hard to clean from resin without damaging detail. I like the mix of WWI inspirations: German coats, British leggings, and French helmets.

This particular group of the Korps have a color scheme based off World War I British uniforms. I dug up some good photo references of Tommies and my old painting guide from Flames of War’s Vallejo range, with some other colors as well. The effect is a drab, dirty look, reflecting a life in mud and battle.

Fatigues- English Uniform

Helmet and armor- Brown Violet

Leggings, packs, and gas mask- Dark Sand

Boots and gloves- GW Rhinox Hide

Weapon and tools- P3 Pig Iron

GW Nuln Oil was washed over everything to dull down and shade. The only other spot of color is the Mephiston Red right eyepiece, since this squad of engineers seem to have some advanced optics in their gas masks.

The bases for the army are churned mud, dotted with rubble, patches of dead grass and broken equipment, alluding to the Western Front. The effect is made with GW’s texture paint Stirland Mud and standard basing sand. This gets spread like butter, piled up and manipulated while it dries. The surface got brushed with a mix of P3 Battlefield Brown and GW Steel Legion Drab. Later on the bases will have more litter, and the big bases like for weapon teams will have bigger piles of rubble, emplacements, etc.


Now that these tests are done, I can get properly stuck into the army. It’s an IG army, so can expect much more work to come.


Wrath of Kings: Nasier!

Posted in Miniatures with tags , , , on January 22, 2015 by Sean

The Wrath of Kings Kickstarter reward has finally arrived… I pledged for a Nasier starter army, with some extras. I’ve been toying with color schemes for some time, using a few sample minies I had acquired a while back.

This Ashman is the first test model. I liked the red/black/grey color scheme that is standard for Nasier, but I didn’t want to paint it for my own force. Instead I opted for a different use of the same pallet.

-The cloak and armor is black, with gold trim and accents on the armor plates and sword guards.

-The arm and leg wraps are a cool grey, highlighted with white.

-The bloodmask and the back spines are white.

-The various bags, scabbards, and belts got a greyish brown base, with minimal highlights.

-The only real splash of color comes from a red rune on the mask and shoulders (the right shoulder got the kanji ‘jin’ meaning man) and striping on the spines. I plan on making the red runes/marks unique to the individuals.

-I made his skin a dusky brown, resembling Middle Eastern skin tones (the whole style of the Nasier resembles to me Persian Samurai).

I like this color scheme, as it gives the Ashman a stately, bold look. We’ll see how it pans out over a whole army.

Also: 200 posts! Wow has it been so long already? I hope my followers and myriad visitors have been enjoying my work.

Army Color Scheme Design

Posted in Miniatures with tags , on September 5, 2014 by Sean

A common question I’ve gotten is how to decide on color schemes for miniatures. For single miniatures, this can be difficult. For whole armies, it creates additional problems. Here I’d like to discuss how to choose the color scheme for an army. The colors are broken down into categories.

Primary- The overall color of the miniature, or at least the most prominent.

Secondary- Next in prominence. This color often acts as a visual contrast to the Primary.

Tertiary/Contrast- Usually this color is a strong contrast to the Primary and Secondary colors, or breaks up a miniature’s lines and shapes.

Detail- This is the unified color for the less prominent or smaller details. Often this is a collection of colors.

The examples below give some idea of color schemes and the breakdown of color choices.

For instance, the Imperial Fist Marine’s Primary color is yellow, with a strong red for the secondary. The whole army features the yellow power armor, with red shoulder pad rims, chest eagles, and assorted decoration. The Contrast color is white, used on some armor plates, either as part of squad insignia, helmets, or shoulder pads. Detail colors for the army include black (for bolters and most weapons), parchment (for purity seals and litany pages), and grey metal (weapon and backpack parts, armor joints). Red returns as a detail color for eyes, purity seals, and scanners.

Another example is a Dark Elf. His Primary color is a cool grey metal for his armor plates and chain coat. Purple acts as the Secondary color, used for the body cloak. The Contrast color is a warm yellow (a good complement to the purple). Finally Detail colors include gold for weapons and jewelry, white metal for weapons, and turquoise for bags.  Skin is usually not included in color scheme choices unless it either features prominently on the miniature, or is a color that would contrast strongly with any of the major colors. In the case of the Dark Elf, the pale blue skin is pretty low key so wouldn’t interfere with the other colors. On a unit of Witch Elves from the same army, it might influence other color choices. On the other hand, the Orc’s green skin is bold, creating a substantial distinction with the black and white Primary and Secondary colors.

When choosing the colors, one should take into account basic color theory. If necessary, consult a color wheel to determine color harmonics with analogous and complementary colors. A scheme that follows these suggested rules will ultimately have a better appearance to the eye, whereas colors chosen poorly can lead to garish or ugly looking miniatures.