Tuesday, August 17, 2010

28mm Medievals

A have had a couple of request to address how I paint figures. I think the question is "how do you paint so quickly?", rather than "how do you paint so well?" :)! For the last batch of medievals I did I kept a quasi photo-journal of the steps. For this purpose, I chose to use a bunch of old GW Bretonnian archers I was doing to make an 8Bw unit.

After building and priming, I usually drybrush the metal first (especially on figures in mail) and then carefully fill in the flesh. The idea is to put a few strokes down that catch the major planes of the face and hands but that leave a black area of shadow between them. This looks cartoonish up close up but great at a distance. Mistakes get fixed up during the wash stage below.

I then block in the main colours. I don't bother with highlighting and just choose a mid- to light shade. I generally paint in the direction that the folds of the clothing run so as to again create shadows. I use a fairly large brush for this and tend to go quickly so as not to over think it.

Same figure from the back. at this point, there are eight colours on the figure.

I then use the "dip", which is a mix of future floor wax, black and brown paint. This wash seals and shades all at once. I have heard good things about the army painter product but am not shelling out $30 a can! The dip darkens and adds a bit of shadow.

Compare the pictures above and below to see the degree of shading. The dip tends to run a bit so you have to wick it off at with a drybrush where it collects (hems of the clock, bottom of a shield). A bit of white glue mixed in will reduce how much it runs if the figure doe snot have a lot of etched detail.

I've dealt with how I base in an earlier post.

This is the result. I won't win a painting competition and my armies look a bit dirty (which is how I prefer them) but boy it goes faster. I think I did 19 figures in about 3 hours (not including drying or basing).

And from the back. Looking forward to giving this army a whirl once I finish a few more elements.

I also knocked off a base of spear from the Zvezda fantasy plastics range.

I like the figures but the building is a bit fiddly. I also did a base of crossbow.

Up next: Some 15mm AWI should be rolling off the assembly line tomorrow evening and I will prime some 15m dwarves tonight if the weather cooperates. I will also be basing some vikings up for an upcoming campaign. Then likely a few more 28mm medievals to complete this army plus some HoTT elements.


  1. Thanks for the tutorial, did you say in a previous post that you use craft paints?

  2. Almost exactly how I paint, minus the dip! Thanks for sharing.

  3. Yes, just paint old acrylics (Apple Barrel, FolkArt, Delta) in 2.oz tubes. Spray primer is just flat black indoor/outdoor spray paint (nothing special). In the winder I prime with black paint slightly thinned with Future. Doesn't seem to matter--spraying is just faster.


  4. Nice tutorial. I think the "dirty" look really works good for medieval armies. Can't imagine too many armies of the day looked like they came right from the mall. How do those Zvezda compare sizewise with the GW's "heroic" 28mm?

  5. Thanks! THe Zvezda are slightly (slightly) smaller but not really noticable. Assembly is a bit tedious though!