Tuesday 12 April 2011

Medieval Russians - part 2

Painting figures need not be intimidating, especially when the collection depicts a less than well known army. I usually find, researching shield patterns, clothing colours, helmets and armour demands more time than the actual painting, but all that time spent searching does unlock some gems.

This posting is not meant as a tutorial, but rather a guide line for organizing your time. Most often a nice collection can be completed quickly by devoting an hour or less on a daily basis. In this example, one or two colours each day, over a few days and the Russians are now prepared for their clothing and details.

Up to this point, I have painted only the basic; face and hands, boots, armour, and spears. Shields have been painted white to accept some vibrant colour for a later. At this point, I have applied an ink wash on the leather armour and dry brushed the metal armour. I do this so as not to overlook the straps and buckles which I will paint last. There is a surprising amount of detail on these figures.

Horses. I love painting horses, but I do not spend a lot of time on them. With the mid-gray undercoating I can apply a thin coat over the entire horse. As I finish the last horse, I will apply a thin wash of black mixed with a bit of brown to cover the tail and mane. After this step, with the same thin mix, I will give all the horses socks and darken their nose, up to the bridle. You will immediately notice the muscles are better defined as are the nostrils and mouth. I need only dry brush (bleached bone) the horse to pick out muscle, tail and mane and they are done. This step will also highlight the leather harness for later painting.

Clothing and Shields – next posting


  1. Very interesting, I like the ideas about painting the horses, I may give that a go, thanks!

  2. A tip when dry brushing the horses. I use GW Bleached Bone.

    Begin with the hooves as these will pick up dust first, then let your brush strokes move from the bottom up. With this method you will pick out leg, chest and back muscle, plus hair in the mane and tail rather easily.

    Lastly, if you want to paint a white sock here and there, use a thin coat of white and apply this as a touch up. White socks or legs did not remain white, but turned nearly gray from dirt, dust and mud.

    Gray horses, substitute white for bleached bone. With a gray undercoat, black wash and white dry brush, this technique makes painting horses a breeze.