I found this compilation of tips/advice from the Privateer Press forums.  It provides a really good overview of how those brilliant studio models are painted. 

How to seal metallics so that they stay brilliant: Quentin

The figures are sealed with a standard “dull-coat.” I personally love the way sealant dulls the metallics, but I also really like the look of NMM (call me crazy?) A lot of the studio figures play with the relationship of the “shiny highlights” vs the “dull shadows.” This is achieved by laying down a base coat of metallic paint then shading with watered down P3 paints to build up opaque non-metallic shadows (on steel I usually use a mix of exile blue, battlefield brown and armor wash with some matte medium mixed in.) Make sure you don’t cover up all the base coat with the shading mixture, only the areas that would be in shadow! The highlights are then added with a lighter metallic color on only the areas the would be most exposed to light, the shiniest bits. Think of it exactly as you would NMM, you need to choose an imaginary light-source and use this to decide where the reflections would be. By painting metals this way the shaded parts aren’t really metallic anymore while the highlights “pop” by being the only reflective areas on the model.

Thrall Flesh in Prime Remix: Quentin

Hmmm the mechanithralls in the Prime Remix book where a brutal bunch of guys to paint, did 10 in a week which is pretty fast for me! Anyway I came up with a series of “controlled” washes in order to get their skin done in a short amount of time. These were painted in the pre-P3 days so I’ll try to approximate the colors as best as possible. The idea is that you paint on the base color and then use a series of washes that lead to a nice-rotten skin tone. Each successive wash is done on a smaller area of the figure, deeper in the shadows!

1 Base Coat all the skin including the wounds with Thrall Flesh

2 Wash (This is a mix of paints, water, and matte-medium. Thinned down to a runny “skim-milk” consistency) almost all of the model except the areas that would recieve the brightest highlights with a 1:1 mix of Arcane Blue:Ironhull Grey

3 Wash (once the previous wash has dried) a slightly smaller area than before with 3:1 Greatcoat Grey:Trollblood base mix.

4 Wash with a 50:50 mix of Battlefield Brown:Umbral Umber. Make sure this wash is a thin one and only in the deepest parts.

5 Wash with Beaten Purple the very deepes areas and some of the details on the face and the wounds. This will help the details “pop”, remember these are “washes” so only a little bit of the pigment should remain, it should be subtle.

6 Wash the wounded areas with Skorne Red, this wash can be a bit thicker and can go outside of the wound a bit, this will make the wounds look puffy and inflamed!

7 At this point all of the shading is done but the figure might look a bit messy. To clean this up we use the Base Color, Thrall Flesh, the blend back up the highlight areas and smooth out any washes that may have left puddles or rings.

8 Next I mixed 1:1 Thrall Flesh:Morrow White and did highlights on only the “brightest” areas and details.

9 To the previous mix I added bit of Carnal Pink to create a nasty rotten pink color (yuck) this color is then used to highlight the wounds (especially around the outer areas.

That’s it, might seem a bit complicated but it’s really not that bad and all the tones that the washes bring to the model are very interesting.

Khador Red basing colors: Quentin

I’ve been basing the Khador figs with a thick coating of pigs blood. To this unholy mix I’ll add rendered lard to create highlights.

In all truth I’ve been thinking that Skorne red would make a nice base to start from, maybe with a tiny dot of Sanguine base to cool it down a titch.. Or Khador red with a tiny dot exile blue or umbral umber??

With red colors I’ve found that the actual paint colors don’t matter as much as getting a nice dark to light gradation. A lot of the times I’ll bring highlights up to a nasty light salmon color. What is important is getting a vibrant red ink (like the P3) and glazing ALL of the red areas after the shading and highlighting have been done. Keep this glaze thin (with water) and use multiple coats. The glaze will bring all the colors together into a nice smooth red. Remember that inks tend to be shiny, the way to get around this is to use some dull-coat to seal your figs. Dull-coat will knock out any shine that inks may have created!

Studio Menoth White: Kruzie

I just want to say that the Menoth were Ali’s work almost exclusively. The “Menoths cream color” as you can see has gone along a bit of a journey in its life from brownish tones ( Pre Ali ) to now a grenny-blue shade….. Now that the P3 line is established we here at the studio are using this range and sticking with it so to create a solid “This is how its done” with P3. In the past we / Ali mixed color to create the Menoth white base and HL, and now its a color in a pot. We use MW Base as the base, than we mix into it the needed colors to get the shadow that we desire… ( you / we like browns, greens, blues as the shadows,… use those colors ). Than we use MW Highlight as the highlights, its that simple. The whiter than white is probably just in the lighting, the 75 different computers it traveled to get to you, monitors, illusion, magic, etc. so often the real minis looks much different that on screen. If you go to Gen-Con or other cons you will see the minis and understand this is often the case.

Now back to the shade, Ummm try Thrall Flesh first then mix in a bit of battle field a spot of Exile blue some saliva and dirty paint water , wait, then maybe a titch of Skorne Red to warm it up and then a shmeer of black to muddy it, and then a smiggin of ink to destroy those weird clumps and don’t forget the drop of Matte Medium.

…. Some times it gets just like that and how do you tell that to some one, its much like cooking or makin love.

On Matte Medium: Quentin

We use standard acrylic matte medium that you can pick up from any art store. It’s basically just a bottle of pigment-less paint! Anyway I tend to add it to almost all of my washes.. Let’s say I’m painting a piece of wood on a figure.. I’ll base coat it in a mid brown (guncorps) then create a wash of a darker color (umbral umber) + matte medium +water. This wash will be pretty thin maybe 2:1:3. Then I’ll wash all the wood areas with this mix, once dry I’ll higlight as I would normally. By adding medium into a wash you reduce “pooling” and the nasty rings that typically show up as the wash dries. You will see the difference before you even put any paint on the fig, a wash with matte medium included will look smooth and silky (not just like some paint with water mixed into it!)

On Brushes: Quentin

For typical mini painting I exclusively use Winsor and Newton series 7 brushes. At first these might seem a bit expensive but man are they worth it! They last a long time if treated well but most importantly they hold a VERY fine point, so much so that it’s possible to do the bulk of your figures with a #2 brush, my new favorite!

I’ll use #2 for almost everything on a mini then a small (0 or smaller) to do the finest details and highlights. The benefits of using a large brush like the #2 are having more paint “loaded” into the brush (not so many trips to the pot) as well as creating smoother blends (not exactly sure why this happens but it does!) with less tendency for paint to dry out on the brush and get clumpy.

Also pick up a bottle of acrylic brush cleaner.. This stuff is fantastic! I’ll hang my brushes (so that the tips are in the bottle but not touching the bottom or sides) into a small bottle of cleaner overnight, in the morning all kinds of old, dried paint has oozed out and the brush is as good as new! sooooo exciting!

Madhammer and troops: Kruzie

-Colors for Madhammer and his troops are in NQ #11, its basicly, Hammerfall Khaki and Guncorps Brown, mix black with GB for shadows and Menoth White HL with HK for the High lights. its simple.

Trollblood colors: Kruzie

-TrollBlood colors are, Base= Trollblood Base+spot of TB Highlight, Shadow is base+Coal Black, HL is base+TBHL then progresivly adding more TBHL and Menoth White HL. Those are the colors I have in my book…. ITs really hard to just type to some one how its done, but these are the colors used.

Nyss Black Highlighting: Kruzie

Thamar Black as the Base then work from dark to light starting with Coal Black than mix Menoth White Base ( more blue ) or Hammer Fall ( more nuetral ) in with Coal Black for next stage ( KEEP the highlights sharp and tight !!! , No slop !!! or it will look like soupy Dark blue ). with this before mix add MWHL ( use straight white and it will look chalky ) up till a tinny sharp line or dot. Again, sharp clean German lines, thin your paint, use a good brush. If you HL black with gray it will look gray in the end. Look at the cover of NQ #3 study the way the armor is painted on the Nyss

Pink/Red on Troll faces: Kruzie

ITs a mix of TrollBlood Base, Menoth White HL, and red Ink. And yes an Ink wash or a Ink glaze will also work.

There always more than one way, often we have to match colors that another painter did years ago to, say bring a 6 troop unit up to 10 and we just do what ever works to match the colors. This has taught us that there is more that one way to match… Hope this helps ya

Mariner/Shae/Buccaneer blue-grey: Kruzie

A base of Ironhull Gray, then its shadowed with mixing black into the base color and the Highlight is Menoth White HL mixed with Ironhull.

On Brush Cleaning and care: Quentin

I’ve been using Winsor & Newton “brush cleaner and restorer.” I picked it up at the local art store and it’s for use with acrylic paints. I’m sure that any brand of acrylic cleaner would work but my results with W&N have been great!

To “hang” the brushes I first poured some cleaner into a small glass bottle (an empty glass paint-pot) I then bend one of my articulated lamps so that the arm of the lamp is horizantal above the paint pot. Next I tape the dirty brush/brushes to the arm of the lamp so that they “hang” down into the pot with the entire bristle area emerged in the cleaner yet without touching the bottom of the pot. That’s it. Leave it overnight and when you come back in the morning all kinds of old paint and crap will have worked it’s way out of the brush (it’s very exciting for some odd reason!) I use my fingers to try and work out any last bits of paint then run the brush under warm water until it’s clean. Presto, newish brushes. The cleaner also works on dried up glue and other “brush killers”

Modelling icicles and snow: Quentin

Hmmm.. To make an icicle I’d cut a very thin, wedge of clear plastic (like the stuff from a blister of figs.) I’d cut it smaller than you want the finished icicle to be so maybe 1/2 mm wide (at the wide end,) 1cm long (actually I’d make it a bit longer so I have something to hold onto during the next stage.) This piece of clear plastic should be very small (like an icicle) and pointed at one end. Next I’d mix up some envirotex two part “water” effect. I’d dip the thin clear plastic into the envirotex and pull it out slowly and let it dry. The idea is to get the random bumpy look of a real icicle. You could probably dip it multiple times (letting it dry between dips) to get it looking really nice. I’d think that you could use anything clear and thin and pointy to replace the plastic if you wanted (something round like a thin clear rod could be nice if you could get one end pointed.) Also you could try dipping into matte medium (which dries clear) for faster results?

For frost, I’ve seen people sprinkle a very fine snow effect on figs from above (not much snow!!) They then carefully sprayed the model with sealent to secure the “frost.” Looked pretty convincing!

Skorne Flesh: Kruzie

The Skorne flesh tone, First I would like to address that their are more that one skin color for Skorne much like Humans. The Skorne go from a pink to a warm parchmen, the newer Skorne that I have been painting have this pale warm parchment affect. So here I will shoot you both types of skin tone depending on which you prefer.

This is from the notes in my painting Journal,


Base- Khador Red Base+Rucksack+Menoth White Highlight ( ratios… ? feel it )

Shadow- Khador R Base+Ruck

Highlight- Add more Menoth WHL to the Base and progresivly add more MWHL until the Menoth is pure

Sharp HL- Pure Morrow White

Skin Tone as on Xerxis:

Base- Jack Bone’

Shadow- ? added Umbral Umber and Battlefield ? ( notes here are after tought )

HL- Jack Bone’ + Menoth WHL

Glazed with Gun Corps Brown

The skin tone that I like is on Zaal and like a Ding Dong I didn’t record my actions….

But looking at it, the skin tone is paler that Xerxis, so maybe more Menoth WHL to the base color , the shadows have more Red/salmon undertones so that might be a bit of color that was washed or blended into the skin after it was highlighted but also could be achieved with the shadow having more Khador Red Base in the mix.

There is room to play in the skin tone department…

Wood-Grim Angus Gun: Kruzie

Wood, Hummm…. Base: Bootstrap+Rucksack tan, Darklines are Umbral Umber, HL lines are pure Rucksack then onto adding Menoth WHL to the Rucksack for the sharpness. After this is all finished is fun to then give wood a glaze or two to create the wood stain effect. But in Grim case, no glaze.

On Painting model vs basing: Kruzie

For studio we paint, then put on base, then base. I used to base, base then prime but have found out that the gravely stuff soaks up diluted ink / paint mixes much better when you don’t have primer all over the gravel.

If you decide to do fancy bases then you it will work better if you get into a habit of painting the mini not on the actual base that you will be using as the finally base. Often for us here, how we do it is dictated wether or not if we need to take a photo of the mini off the base for box cover shots.

Personally, if I am doing solid gaming minis I will glue mini to base, primer, paint mini, then do up the base.

On Holding models while painting: Kruzie

I have hot glued them onto the tops of paint pots ( don’t do it ), I have cut the tabs off, pinned the feet and stuck them into a cork toped with plastic card ( good if you like to do really nice bases ). Now days I ever so sightly glue the 30mm base to a 40mm base so to give me a better grip of the mini. When finnish I just crack the 30mm off the 40mm. Anything works if it helps you hold the mini with out touching it. Every one has a different way, In fact Quentin over here now is painting Borka ( He’s HOT !! )

and Borka is on a alluninum rod that is attached through his foot into a larger paint dropper that is full of small rocks. Strange…. ( he says use a pin-vice as a handle for this kind of work) I’m painting a unit of ???? that are pined to 30mm bases that are glued to 40mm bases. This allows me to handle them with out rubbing the paint off the feet. Seeing that they are pinned to the painted bases they will be pulled off and stabbed into terrain to be photo then they will be pinning into their proper pre-based 30mm for showoffin. One character on a hemo works just fine, but a unit. Their is a great local painter here that puts her minis on based cork and using that two sided spongy like tape keep the minis on the cork. It works very well for her.

On mixing paint: Matt Dipietro

First off there is no “correct” way to mix paint. I’ve found that each painter does it alittle differently. I like to have a old brush handy to scoop paint from my pots thus I measure in “brushfuls” I then transfer the paint to my pallete. often I will put a brush full of water on my pallet first and then mix on top of this because it helps the paint flow out of my brush. then I wash the brush out and go for the next color. If you’re having trouble with your paint drying too fast I suggest picking up a six-bowl pallete. Matte medium will also slow drying but also affects the coverage of your paint. The uses for matte medium are extensive and would require an article unto themselves so I’ll have to leave that for another time. Never tried glaze medium so I can’t really compare the two either.

Titan Bronzeback bronze: Quentin

Here is something I typed up a while back…..

…Anyway as far as the paints go (I did look at a lot of elephant photos, including the brown tint on the back, which in real life is from dirt they throw up there to protect the skin from the sun.)

– The base color for the skin was “bastion grey.”

– I then faded “idrian flesh” from the hair line down so that it became almost transparent by the time it was near the shoulder.

– Shading was done on the “bastion grey” sections with a thinned-down mixture of “exile blue” + “battlefield brown” + some matte medium (helps the washes to stay even and not pool-up so badly.)

– Shading was done on the “Idrian flesh” sections with a thinned-down mixture of “battlefield brown” + matte medium

– Highlights on the “bastion grey” sections were done with “trollblood highlight” then “trollblood highlight” + “menoth white highlight.”

– Highlights on the “idrian flesh” sections were done with “khardic flesh” then “khardic flesh” + “menoth white highlight”

– The dots near the hair line were done by carefully painting on thinned down patches of “rucksack tan” these were highlighted by adding “menoth white highlight”

That is the bulk of it. I tried to make the skin look as real as possible so this meant lots and lots of time spent painting it. I think I may have done some additional shading the deepest parts with a dark purple/grey and some very fine highlights with a really light grey/menoth white mix. I also put some of the grey highlights over the idrian flesh sections and vice versa as it looked more realistic that way.

Winter Troll: Kruzie

Base: Frost Bite+ spot of Trollblood Highlight

Shadow: add to base, Coal black, Cygnar Base, and Exile Blue… as far as you want to go down.

Highlight: Same as base but add, Yes thats right, Menoth White Highlight and as you go higher add Morrow White.

The Commodore metallics: Kruzie

Such a hard question, a lot goes on with metallics. Its almost a completely different style of painting. There are many articles in the NQ on painting metallics, but start working with Inks mixed with paint thinned with water. Again its very intuitive, but practice mixing blue and brown ink with a brown paint thinned with water and paint in the shadows. I’m sure this adds to your confusion…. but I hope it helps. Let me know what happens and what paint line are you using, this makes a big difference.

Earthborn Dire Troll: Matt DiPietro

The base color for the flesh was a mix of trollblood base and ordic olive although I definately tweeked this mix a bit with some others (sorry can’t remember to get it just where I wanted it. To shade I mixed armor wash with the base coat. For hte highlights I mixed the base in with underbelly blue and menoth white highlight. For the stones I used bloodtracker brown base and shaded with a battlefield and umbral umber mix with a dot of exile blue. The highlights were a mix of rucksack tan and sulfuric yellow with menoth white highlight added in stages.

I don’t remember what I used for the rest but I hope that helps

On Blending: Matt DiPietro

Hey guys, I just wrote this short blending tutorial for doing shades and thought I’d post it here as well since I thought you guys might find it useful

The truth is you can do either. One method is called pushing and the other is called pulling and they are often used in conjunction. You can also just run your blending bush (you’re using two brushes I assume) along the edge of your fresh paint and just smooth the transition. Pushing paint is kind of like using your second brush like an eraser. Highlights are much harder to do than shades using blending so if you’re just starting out you should start with shading. lay down a mid tone as your base coat and make sure that there is absolutely no patchy bits. Then choose a color for your shadows. glob a bunch of paint into the a crevice of your model then use a second brush that has been wetted with blending medium (aka saliva*) use it to pull some of that paint out of the crevice. If you pull too much or too far just push the paint back in to the crevice/fold repeat until satisfied. A few tips… if you get water marks/bath rings when you blend adjust the consistency of your paint; too much water and you’ll get a ring not enough and the same thing happens. Use your best brush as your blender and your more worn brush as your paint applicator. It often helps to use a bigger brush for blending, I use a #2 almost exclusively, even for fine details. Once you’ve mastered blending your shading then move on and try highlighting at least that’s my advice. Good Luck!! Blending is the way to go

*Privateer Press does not officially condone the use of saliva as a blending medium

Highlighting Red: Quentin

I like to start with a darker red base (skorne red, skorne red + a little exile blue or sanguine base for the deepest cracks) then highlight up to Khador red (you could also start with a Khador red base and shade down to Skorne red) that’s your call. It’s the highlights that get tricky with red. I like to add colors that are “salmony” in nature. So to my Khador red I’ll add something like Khardic flesh and highlight until my mix is just Khardic flesh. Then I might add a dot of Ryn Flesh to that and do my final highlights (edges and rivets, ect.) At this point your model is going to look like some strange, dull fish.. Don’t worry that is the nature of Red. Next you will take the new PP red ink and make a glaze by thinning it down with a lot of water and some matte medium. Brush this wash across all of the red areas of the model. If you have thinned it properly it will start to slowly tint all the salmon areas into a nice bright red. It may take more than one coat of the glaze to get the proper red. Sometimes I’ll go back after all the glaze layers and do just a few final highlights again on only the most important areas of the fig. By sealing the model with dullcoat after it is finished you will loose any of the unwanted “shine” that ink glazes can give

BoneGrinder Flesh: Matt DiPietro

The flesh started with a mix bloodtracker brown and bloodstone for a base coat. From there I took bloodstone and mixed in exile blue until the mix looked more blue than brown. I used this mix to paint the shadows onto the model they should look a little blue. Then I mixed bloodtracker with ember orange the mix should look pretty orange. I use this color to paint the highlights. The contrast between blue and orange can really make the highlights B).

Red/Gold Exemplar armor in NQ 8: Matt DiPietro

Those little guys were actually painted before P3 paint was around so they were infact painted in gw and vallejo colors. As I like P3 so much though I will also give you a method of painting the armor using our paints that should come out looking even better!. The way I painted the originals I first based in GW beaten copper then I mixed a paint wash using vallejo darksea green. Follow up with a light drybrush of beaten copper again followed by a drybrush of gw dwarf bronze. Now for my new and improved P3 method: Base the armor using Molten bronze and once you achieve a solid basecoat glaze the color with watered down P3 brown ink add a dot of matte medium to the ink and apply in multiple thin coats aloowing for drying in between until the metal is the desired shade of red-brown. Shade the srmor using watered down Greatcoat grey to define the shadows. To highlight do a light dry brush of Molten bronze followed by Ruhlic gold.

On Lighting for painters: Matt DiPietro

In the studio we use a light called the LSF-150BLK. I’ve also bought one for home and love it to death

I bought my one for home from lighting universe online. Here is a link straight to the listing…


If you have the cash it is well worth picking up since having good light can not only help improve the quality of your work but more importantly it will cut frustration and stress.

Nyss Flesh and Warbeasts: Matt DiPietro

The Nyss flesh can be a bit tricky to to get right but I’ll do my best to explain. Both warbeasts and infantry are painted in the same fashion with the exception of the pinky bits and brown “bleeding” that are unique to the warbeasts.

1.)base with Frostbite mixed with a few tiny dots of Khador red base and Exile blue. Keep the amounts of KHB and Xblue minute compared to the frostbite. The color should be purplish grey. Mix up alot of this color as you will need it throughout the process.

2.)Add more Khador red base and Exile blue to the mix and use this color to shade your mini.

3.)Take your original mixture and add Morrow white to it for your highlights. Add more white for each highlight stage.

4.)Final highlight with Morrow white on its own.

The pinky bits were painted with a mix of murderous magenta, Khador red base, and carnal pink. Add more red to this mixture for the area surrounding the mouth. On the studio legion models I used the two brush blending method to easily blend this into the crevices but a similiar effect could be achieved by watering the paint down to a glaze and adding matte medium. Apply this in multiple coats with the idea of tinting the area

Two brush blending: Matt DiPietro

Well, perhaps the reson it was skipped is that, at least on the studio models, the effect is achieved using the two-brush blending method. With the two-brush method one brush is used to apply paint and a second brush is wetted with some sort of blending medium and used to blend the still wet paint into a gradient. In this case a mix of Umbral umber and Battlefield brown is applied in a line and quickly the blending brush is run in a parallel motion along one side of this line causing the paint to “bleed” out over the finished white skin. If you haven’t tried two-brush give it a shot you might really like it. That being said it can take some experimentation to get used to the technique. There are two key challenges that the fledgling two-brusher needs to get used to. The first is simple muscle memory. At first the body is not used to the motion of switching brushes and this switch needs to happen quickly since acrylic drys quickly. This obstruction may only be overcome through practice and repitition. My only tip for this is to hold the brush you are not using in your mouth instead of on the table/in your lap. The second challenge is finding the correct paint consistency. Unlike layered blending which uses multiple coats of extremely thin paint to achieve a smooth transition two-brush uses paint that is by comparison quite thick. If your paint is either too thick or too thin you will get tell-tale rings where the outer edge of the paint has dried prematurely. The best thing to do when this happens is to adjust your paint consistency, try to shoot for a consistency similar to milk, just try again by painting over the ring and attempting to blend again. Once you have these two things down you’ll be blending like a pro in no time. Be Warned however once you get past these two challenges and get you first perfect blend the chances are you’ll be addicted and then there is no turning back.

Bone/Kromac headpiece: Matt DiPietro

I came up with this formula for bone while painting the gatormen and have found myself using it quite often lately here it goes…

1.)Basecoat with ‘Jack Bone

2.)Shade with Bastion Grey.

3.)Line with a mix of Umbral umber, Bastion grey, and a small dot of Thamar Black to get it to seperate from the back ground. I used this mix to define the swirl design on the head piece

4.)Mix Menoth white highlight with ‘Jackbone for your highlight stages with the last highlight stage being a line highlight of pure Menoth white highlight.

Mariner: Matt DiPietro

There are two main colours on the mariner, tan and blue-grey. The tan is based in a 50/50 of rucksack tan and bloodtracker brown. Shade by adding umbral umber. highlight by adding menoth white base followed by menoth white highlight. The grey is based in greatcoat grey. Shade by adding exile blue and thamar black. Highlight by adding menoth white highlight and underbelly blue.

Gnarlhorn skin: Matt DiPietro

The skin on the Gnarlhorn was actually a bit of an experiment for me. I’d had this idea in my head for quite some time about how to add texture such as a fur, wood, or bone to a model. On the Gnarlhorn I added a fur texture to the smoothly sculpted muscles. The Gnarlhorn was my first attempt at the technique. I started by laying down a solid brown midtone in this case the color Beasthide mixed with Idrian flesh. Next comes the tricky part I paint a texture on over the base coat using a very bright color. In this case, using ‘Jack Bone, I painted a multitude of furry lines in such a fashion that they accentuate the volume of the muscles. After this stage the model looks terrible because the contrast is very pronounced. Then I “bury” the basecoat and texture under a series of shades. Starting with a shade just darker than the original base coat I use the first few shading steps to separate each muscle from its neighbors. Each layer is two-brushed so that the color is pulled out over the muscle. I add a bit of matte medium to my mixes, which lends the paint translucency. The next few layers are used to define the shadows. Lastly highlights are added with an extremely fine tipped brush (I suggest WN series 7 *miniature size 1or2) try to highlight sparingly so that it appears that light is glinting off the hairs. I also used this technique on the horns of the Gnarlhorn basing with Menoth White Base and texturing in lines of Morrow white and then shading with many layers. If you are planning on trying this technique be sure to learn to two-brush blend first since it is the key to success.

Painting Rust: Matt DiPietro

Ron painted the Mariner and Buccaneer but seeing as I painted the new Freebooter warjack I figured I’d be able field this one. Rust can be a really fun effect to apply to your warjacks and can look great if placed in the correct places and used sparingly. The color of rusr ranges from bright orange to dark red with almost infinte variation. For painting rust I like to use either Bloodtracker Brown or Bloodstone as a starting point and from there I add either Khador Red Highlight or Skorne Red to get the exact color I’m looking for. In the case of the Freebooter I mixed Bloodstone with Skorne Red and a dot of Sanguine base (added to deepen the color). As most of you proably know rust is caused by water and builds up over time so we want to apply our paint to the crevices and undersides of our model where water would naturally run to and gather. If you are simulating paint chips they also get get rusted since there would be no protective paint coating to inhibit the rust on your jack. The best way to get a feel for where these areas would be is to check out some realife examples of old rusted materials there is also a plethora of good refference material on the internet. I apply the paint to these areas and then quickly use a second brush wetted with “blending medium” to pull a dripline down in a natural fashion. The important thing to avoid with with you drip line is a “ball” forming at the end of your drip as this is unrealistic; if done correctly your drip should fade smoothly into the background color.

Wolfrider Mounts: Matt DiPietro

Unfortunately, in the mad frenzy of painting that was Hordes:Evolution I failed to record the methods I used to paint those darn wolves

Here is a method you might try though… Base the smooth parts with Greatcat Grey, shade by adding Coal Black, highlight by adding Trollblood Highlight followed by Hammerfall Khaki. For the furry parts base with Beasthide, wash with a mixture of Brown and Green inks with Battlefield brown mixed in. Highlight by mixing Beasthide and Menoth White Base.

Cracks in Skorne Ancestral Guardians: Matt DiPietro

The bluish color is Coal Black. Oh how I love Coal Black.

Paint half of each section with coal black mixed with thamar black leaving the other half black under coat. The next highlight is coal black by itself. Then do line highlights with coal black mixed with MWB and MWH for sucessive highlight stages

5th Border legion: Matt DiPietro

Traitor green is quite close to the “olive drab” of the 5th border legion though I’d add a little bastion grey to dull a bit. Battlefield brown or CXB would be good shade colors and coal black could be mixed in for deeper shadows. The highlights could be achieved by adding CXH followed by MWH. Give it a try and tell me how it goes.

Gudrun Fleshtones: Quentin

Here is what I used to get a natural “red-brown” skintone..

1- basecoat the skin – beast hide

2- 1st shade – 1:1 mix of bloodstone and bloodtracker brown (I add matte medium and blend it into the shadowed areas)

3- 2nd shade – add umbral umber to the above mix until it’s quite dark (try to just apply this shade to the deeper areas)

4- 3rd shade – umbral umber + black + exile blue (only in deepest cracks and for seperating skin area from surrounding areas.

5- 1st highlight – 3:1:1 mix of rucksack tan : bloodstone : blood tracker brown (use this on only the areas that would catch light)

6- 2nd highlight – rucksack tan (try to keep this for only the brightest areas, if you want it to go lighter add some – menoth white highlight)

That should do it. I was quite happy with the result and think it would look great on any type of troll or tharn beast!

Mariner blue-grey: Matt DiPietro

The bluish grey is gretacoat grey. It is shaded by adding exile and coal to the greatcoat. To greatcoat add underbelly blue for the the highlights. For further highlights add MWH.

Everblight Raptors white fur: Matt DiPietro

For the fur on the raptors I based in hammerfall.

Then highlighted by adding MWH to the hammerfall and highlightinf the raised areas in sucessive feathered highlights. The feathereing technique gives the impression of fur.

Next I shade using greatcoat grey and matte medium. The shades were applied using the two-brush method.

Legion Carapace: Matt DiPietro

I lay down a solid base coat of 50/50 blattlefield brown and umbral umber

then I highlight by mixing ‘jack bone in with the previous mixture. I highlight in multiple layers adding more ‘jack bone to the mix with each layer. If the plate is fairly flat, like with the raek, I’ll apply the paint in a series of parrellel lines and in multiple layers. Then I take thamar black and useing the two-brush method I blend a layer of black over top. Its the black fade laid over top that really sets the carapace off and gives it character and it is also the most advanced step. Add mixing medium to the black and apply the paint in a broad stroke covering half the plate then with your blending brush (a second slightly wet brush) push the paint back into the crevice of the plate if done correctly it will leave a smoothe fade to black. The two-brush method can be a tricky technique to master but when you do it is the single most useful technique. Maybe this will give you a reason to try it!

Cygnar Trenchers: Matt DiPietro

For the blue base in cygnar base, shade with a mix of exile blue and battlefield brown, then highlight with cygnar blue highlight. Further highlights can be applied by mixing MWH with cygnar highight.

For the brown you should try basing in bootstrap brown then give the area a light wash of brown ink mixed with water and a dab of armor wash. Then highlight up to rucksack tan.

Painting Yellow: Matt DiPietro

Yellow can be a hard color to get the hang of particularly when painted over large areas. To get the paint to coat better over black try first coating the model in in a layer of ember orange followed by sulfuric yellow mixed with cygnus yellow. make sure you get your base coat even and solid before moving on which may take a few coats. Once the base coat is done try giving the whole area a wash of equal parts battlefield brown mixed, umbral umber, and sanguine base, mixed together lots of mixing medium and water until the desired wash consistency is achieved. then to do the rust try bloodstone mixed with skorne red mixing medium and water to keep it translucent. You could try adding umbral umber or sanguine base as to this color if the color is not to your liking. Hope that gives you a satisfactory result.

Mariner dive bell “Eye”: Matt DiPietro

Paint the recessed areas of the diving bell first…start with a base of KRB. Shade with sanguine base and concentrate you shade in one of the lower corners of each window. Add MWH to KRB for the your highlight stages and concentrate your highlights in the opposite corner as the shade ie. lower right to upper left. Take red ink and dilute it 10/1 with water to get a glaze and apply in multiple thin layers until the desire shade of red in achieved. Now probably the most important stage when making your diving bell look good is the clean up stage…use thamar black to paint the sides of the grate that goes over the eye so that the eye is nicely seperated from the grate and each window appears square. lastly paint the grate in the same fashion as the rest of the silver metalics on your model. Good luck and hope that helps… just remember the clean up stage and keep trying until you get.

Superiority E-Butcher Grey Armor: Matt DiPietro

That great looking butcher was painted by Mike Mcvey so I don’t know the exact mix. That being said I’d start with a mix of greatcoat grey and exile blue for the basecoat. Shade by adding umbral umber or battlefield brown. Highlight by adding ironhull grey to your basecoat mixture. Hope that works for you

Rhinodon: Matt DiPietro

The Basilisks and Rhinodon were painted by Ali and Quentin respectively but I thought I’d try my best to field this one since you mentioned you wanted to get started ASAP and Quentin won’t be back in for another week or so. The carapace of the Rhinodon is painted using warm browns Umbral Umber and Sanguine base were mixed together for the base coat, and were shaded by simply adding a bit of coal black, to highlight bloodstone and menoth white base were gradually mixed with the basecoat and applied in layers. The skin of the Rhinodon is a greenish grey color and for this I’d use colors such as cryx bane highlight, thrall flesh, cryx bane base, traitor green, thornwood green and bastion grey. With those colors you should be able to mix up a wide range of green greys also you’ll want the umbral umber used on the carapace to add in for you shading. The underbelly of the rhinodon is pale and yellowish. Menoth white base, menoth white highlight, moldy ochre, ‘jack bone and rucksack tan should get you started mixing up the necessary colors. These colors should give you everything you need to mix the colors of the used on the rhinodon as well as most other natural tones. Hope that helps and isn’t too overwhelming

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Hair Colors: Matt DiPietro

Wow thats a tall order… there are a infinite variety of hair colors and I really don’t have fomulas for them in my head since I prefer to just mix them to match the individual so for each hair color I’ll list some colors I might use and with some experimenting you should be able to find a mix that looks good to you.

Brunette: Battlefield brown, bootstrap leather, and beasthide

Blonde: Moldy ochre, rucksack tan, Gun Corp brown. Try to stay away from bright yellows when painting blondes since it looks unrealistic.

Strawberry Blonde: Use the previous list of colors with khador red highlight, khardic flesh, or midlund flesh added in Ryn flesh may be useful as well for doing highlights

Jet Black: Thamar black, coal black, as well as one these colors mixed in for highlighting…hammerfall khaki, menoth white highlight, or underbelly blue. You’ll also need menoth white highlight to add in for the final highlights.

Redhead: Khador red highlight, ember orange, bloodtracker brown, bloodstone, umbral umber

Ginger Redhead: As above except with sanguine base, skorne red, and heartfire used to make more vibrant colors also for some glazes of red and yellow inks can help get really firery colors.

You should also have menoth white base and highlight handy to mix in for you highlights on most of these hair colors. Hopefully some time in the future I’ll get the time to put together a good article on the techniques used to paint hair since it can be a sticky subject for many painters to master.

Rhinodon: Quentin

Been out of the country for a bit and just got back to this thread. Sorry for the delayed response. The skin on the Rhinodon is really made up of two sets of colors, one for the darker shoulder, arm and leg areas and one for the lighter belly area. Here is what was used to achive the final look of “greenish-grey” skin (these are just the colors used on the skin, not the spines).

When I paint multi-tonal skin like this I’ll base coat all the skin at once, blending the darker and lighter areas together. This way I can paint my washes across the transition areas between light and dark making it look much more natural.

Darker areas –

1 – Basecoat with Cryx bane highlight.

2 – Wash this with Thornwood green + Matte Medium, focusing on the deepest parts.

3 – Wash just the deepest areas with a 2:1:2 mix of Cryx bane base : Sanguine base : Matte Medium.

4 – Highlight by adding Thrall flesh to Cryx bane highlight. Add some Morrow white to the mix for final highlights.

Lighter areas –

1 – Basecoat with jack bone.

2 – Wash this with bootstrap leather + Matte Medium

3 – Add some Cryx bane base and Sanguine base to the above mix and wash only the deepest areas.

4 – Highlight by adding Menoth white highlight to jackbone.

Skin spots-

1:1 mix of Cryx bane base : Umbral umber

Mortenebra: Quentin

As for the colors on her cloak.. I’ll tell you what I used but be warned that it is quite different from how it looks on the web (colors shifted quite a bit in the photos.) The following colors will produce a H.R. Giger type black..

1 – Base coat the cloak in a 3:2 mix of Cryx bane base : Coal Black

2 – Shade with Thamar Black

3 – Highlight by adding small amount of Menoth white base to the mixture used in step 1

4 – For final Highlight add Menoth white highlight to the above mix, use very sparingly.

I didn’t write down the colors I used on the skin…. ungh. Must have been in a hurry. I’m guessing it was done in a similar fashion to the skin on nyss models which should be written up somewhere else in this thread. sorry.

On “Feathering”: Matt DiPietro

This is a problem that you sometimes run into in the art world where two different techniques have the same name

I know two meanings in the miniature world for the term feathering. One has to do with two brush and wet blending. In this case it is when a second brush wet with blending medium is used to pull the still wet paint out over the model. It is called feathering because before the paint is fully blended you can see a series of soft parallel lines. In wet blending the a second brush is used to pull paint from two globs of wet paint and mix them in the center in the middle of this process the same feathery lines can be seen.

Whenever we use the term in one of the Painting Studio Style articles we mean a technique that is a bit different. When we say feathering we mean to apply layers of highlights in thin parallel lines. Around the office Game Developer Rob Stoddard is the King of feathering. His Khador army is something to behold.

As far as studio models go th best example of this technique is the Legion Raek

Caber throwers Caber: Matt DiPietro

The Caber was a fun little expiriment of mine that I think paid off handsomely.

I started with a base coated of TBH and gave it a few veins of bloodtracker brown. The veins were faded using the two-brush method. Then I used a special spatter technique to apply the black speckles that give the caber its cool texture. Many people prefer the old toothbrush spatter method but I’ve found the results of this method to be very inaccurate and messy as well as yielding a less random spatter pattern. Instead I take my paint (in this case Thamar black) with a little water added on a medium sized brush (I use a size 1) position the brush about half a inch from the model and blow forcefully on the brush to spatter the paint. Make sure to not over load your brush and have a second damp brush handy to clean up any over spatter. I suggest testing this technique out a bit before applying it to your figs because it requires some finesse but it is really great for blood spatter like on the incubi or mud spatter like on the tharn shaman. Now back to our caber thrower, after the Thamar black spatter the caber was shaded with a mix of CXB and a dot of thamar black mixed in with a lot of mixing medium added for translucency. The cracks were picked out with thamar black and then highlights were applied with a mixture of TBH and MWH with lots of mixing medium again being added for translucency. The cracks were also edge highlighted with the same mixture with out the mixing medium. The translucency is important so that the veins and spatter are buried but not obsured by the shading and highlights. Hope that sheds some light on things and wasn’t too confusing


Withershadow combine: Quentin

These models are really detailed, the sculptor did a fantastic job.

Here are the colors used. (all shading is done with the 2 brush (size 2 applicator and 3 blender brush) method with each progressive shade covering a smaller “deeper” area of the figure, highlights are minimal and done with thin strokes and small brushes along the sharpest edges and folds)

Dark Cloaks-

Base with a mix of – 3 parts Bastion Gray, 2 parts underbelly blue, 1 part Trollblood base

Shade 1 – Greatcoat Gray

Shade 2 – Coal Black

Shade 3 – Black

Highlight with the original base mix

Final Highlights with Tollblood Highlight

Red/brown Cloaks-

Base with – Hammerfall khaki

Shade 1 – Traitor Green

Shade 2 – Bootstrap leather

Shade 3 – Bloodstone

Shade 4 – Thornwood green

Shade 5 – Umbral Umber

Shade 6 – 1 part Umbral Umber, 2 parts Beaten Purple, 1 part Thamar Black

Highlight with Hammerfall Khaki

Final Highlights with Hammerfall + Menoth White Highlight

Metal areas-

Base with – 1 part Pig Iron, 1 part Cold Steel

Shade 1 – Cryx Bane Base (make sure you leave some of the base coat showing!)

Shade 2 – Thamar Black

Highlight with Cold steel

Final Highlights with QuickSilver

Blighted Gold areas-

Base with – Blighted Gold

Shade 1 – Umbral Umber

Shade 2 – 1 part Umbral Umber, 1 part Thamar Black

Highlight – Blighted Gold + Quicksilver in increasing amounts


Base in – Menoth white Highlight

Shade 1 – Jack Bone

Shade 2 – Bastion Grey

Highlight with Menoth white Highlight

Final Highlights with Morrow white


Base Glowing parts – Menoth White Highlight

Wash with a mix of green and yellow ink + water (make it the same color as necrotite green)

This can spill over onto surrounding areas to create “glow.”

Trollrider Bison: Quentin

Ron and I worked on those together. We “wet blended” the fur areas. This is a quick way to get smooth gradations of color on large areas. To achieve this you actually mix and blend the paints on the model, you need to work quickly!

The fur was a blend of Umbral Umber for the darkest areas, Idrian flesh for the mid-tones and Beast hide for the highlights. The colors are painted (rather thick) onto the figure and the areas where the “still wet” paint meets are blended together with the brush to make a smooth gradation. After this was done the highest tips were drybrushed with a mix of Beasthide and Menoth white Highlight. Lastly the entire fur area was given a wash of Umbral Umber + Thamar Black + Matte Medium + Water.

The skin was base coated with Idrian flesh and shaded with Umbral Umber. Highlights were… don’t remember. sorry.

Ayanna and Holt: Quentin

Aiyana is one of the paintjobs I’m most proud of. She has a load of colors so I’ll give you basics…

Cloak (dark areas)

Base in – Khador Red Base + Umbral Umber + Sanguine Base (this should be a nice deep maroon)

Shade 1 – Add Coal black to above mix

Shade 2 – Add Thamar black to above mix

Highlight – Khador Red Base + Umbral Umber

Additional Highlights – Add Ryn Flesh to the above mix in increasing amounts

Glaze with very thin passes of P3 brown ink and P3 red ink, this should make the color nice and rich.

Cloak (red areas)

Base in – Khador Red Base + Umbral Umber

Highlight up to Khador red Base then add go up to a mix of Khador red HL + Ryn Flesh

Glaze with thin passes of Red ink


Base in -Menoth white HL

Wash – 1 part frostbite, 1 part trollblood HL plus dot of coal black

Highlight with – Morrow White


Base in – Trollblood HL

Shade by adding Coal Black and dot of Sanguine Base.

Highlight with – Menoth White HL

Silk Sleeves

Base with – Trollblood HL + Carnal Pink

Shade by adding Sanguine Base

Highlight by adding Carnal Pink and Morrow White to Base color


Base with Ryn Flesh

Shade with all the darker Flesh tones

Highlight with Ryn + Menoth White HL all the way up MWHL

Beaten Purple + Magenta for eye make-up

Blush = midlund flesh + dot of sanguine base

Holt was painted for a tight deadline so unfortunately I didn’t write his colors down. Sorry

Holts skin: Quentin

Holts skin..

basecoat – midlund flesh + dot of guncorps brown (this makes the skin less pink, I usually add this to all male skintones)

shade 1 – khardic flesh + dot of guncorps brown

shade 2 – above mix + dot of sanguine base & dot of exile blue (this is very subtle goes into ONLY the deepest shadows)

highlight 1 – basecoat (reclaim any areas that might have gotten too dark with the shading)

highlight 2 – basecoat + dot of ryn flesh and dot of menoth white highlight (keep adding more of each color and doing more highlights

on smaller and smaller areas of the skin)

stubble – mix the above skin basecoat color with a dot of greatcoat grey (this color will look nasty Thin this mix down a lot with water. It’s way better to use multiple washes then to cover up too much with thick paint. Carefully apply the color over the area of the face that would be covered in stubble. Your mix should be thin enough that all the shading and highlighting underneath still show through. You may need to apply the wash a couple times to get it right (may need to add more or less gray.)


Legion artillery metallics: Quentin

The metallics are rendered with fairly advanced technique…. here goes –

All “silver” areas..

basecoat – medium metal (Cold Steel)

Shade 1 – Thamar Black + lots of water. This is the tricky part…. you need to apply thin washes of the black exactly as you would shade NMM (non-metallic metal.) What I mean by this is that you need to pick an imaginary light source and shade the model as if it was being light by this source. For my figure I picked a spot above and to the right of the model. Looking at real metallic objects will help you understand how they reflect light. You need to replicate this effect on the figure. Gradually build up the washes of Thamar black in the deepest areas. You should now have a figure with shiny metallic highlights and nearly black, matte shadows. This is good.

Shade 2 – Mix 1:1:1 Thamar Black:Beaten Purple:Sanguine Base. Mix this with lots of water like you did above. This stage is subtle and could be left out. Apply this wash over the areas in shadow. This will lightly tint the metals purple. You want it so thin that it’s hardly perceived. This stage helps pop the shadow areas from the gold sections.

Shade 3 – Thamar Black. In this stage line with pure black any areas that are in total shadow, like the bottoms of the metal plates etc.

Highlight 1 – medium metal (Cold Steel) use this reclaim any areas that may have gotten “over-shaded.” Be careful not to get this in your expertly created shadows (having metallic flake in your shadow areas will ruin the effect).

Highlight 2 – bright metal (quick silver) use this sparingly on only the brightest bits (the parts that would catch to most light, like the rivets, the line down the center of the plate and the edges that face our “imaginary lightsource.”

Add scratches as you would any other surface (use a tiny brush!)

Notes… Contrast is really important. The bright areas need to be BRIGHT. The shadows need to be DARK. The play of bright silver against black is what makes this technique pop! Most of your work is done in the “Shade 1” stage. After this stage the highlights should only be minimal. The gold areas were painted in exactly the same way but shaded down with Umbral Umber then Umbral Umber + Purple + Black. Highlights were created by adding Quicksilver to my Gold.

I finish the model of with a spray of dullcoat. I really like the way dullcoat pulls the figure together, others like having the metal areas as shiny as possible. A good solution for this is to paint the model just up until you are about to do your final metal highlights, then dullcoat. After this is dry apply the final highlights so they remain shiny.

On Blending techniques: Quentin

This is a very common question and the answer is a bit involved. Simply put Blending is any technique that is meant to ease the transition between two layers of paint. Almost every mini painter practices blending in one form or another whether they know it or not. To demonstrate I will provide a list of the most common blending techniques in order of what I consider the easiest to more advanced techniques and try to describe some of the advantages of each.

Drybrushing-Yes thats right, drybrushing is infact a blending technique. The biggest advantage of drybrushing is that it is relatively fast and easy to learn and for this reason it is almost always the first technique that miniature painters learn. Smoother transitions can be achieved by applying numerous very light and subtle coats and adding alittle more of your highlight color to your paint mixture with each coat. Expertly drybrushed models can have upwards of 20-30 very light drybrushes although most have far fewer.

Layering-The definition of layering is a bit fuzzy but when layering is used in the context of blending it means to use very thin paint applied in numerous layers to build up your highlights or shading. Thin paint is very translucent and the layer underneath is tinted rather than covered. With multiple layers the paint is gradually built up. The translucency of the thin paint is the property that causes the layers to blend together. The more numerous the layers used the smoother the blend but the more numerous you layers are the thinner your paint needs to be. When layering, P3 mixing medium or othe matte mediums can be really useful because paint that is thined down a lot with water will run unless applied in very light coats. By mixing in P3 mixing medium as well as some water you can make your paint more translucent while preventing it from running. There are many styles of layering and most painters use thicker paint and fewer layers just to save time/sanity and although the transition between layers is more noticeable the effect is still quite striking especially on the table top.

Feathering-Feathering is using layers of thin paralelle lines to build up your highlights. Layers of lines are painted one within another to gradually build up highlights. Check out the head of the Legion Raek for an example of Feathered blending. Its a technique you don’t see very often but it yields a very unique textured look while still blending your layers together. It is worth noting that there a some other techniques that are also called feathering so check out post #267 in this thread for a desciption of these.

Two-brush blending-As the name states you need two brushes to use this technique. One brush applies paint to the the model and the second is used to alter the translucency of the paint while it is still wet. Paint is quickly and messily applied in a line, dot, or glob with the first brush and then pushed or pulled into the desired shape using a second brush dampened with blending medium (blending medium is not the same thing as P3 mixing medium you can find blending medium in many art stores). There exsists a secret blending medium out there which just happens to be the very best but also a little dangerous/gross, yup you guessed it-saliva! If you do decide to brush lick and use saliva as your blending medium be careful that you are using non-toxic paint. P3 is non-toxic, but some other mini paints are. If your bottle doesn’t say non-toxic on it chances are at least some paints from that range contain cadmium, cobalt, or other heavy metals that can lead to cancer and other health problems. In any case always avoid getting paint in your mouth. The good news is that slaiva is a natural resister which means that paint doesn’t stick to it and you can most times blend away without getting paint on your blending brush. Two-brush blending allows a painter to make big jumps in color and still get the smoothest of blends this means fewer layers which results in a lot of time saved.

Wet Blending-One of the toughest techniques to do, wet blending is the mixing of two wet colors directly on the mini. It is easiest to do on large open areas. a blob/line of one color is placed on the model and then the brush is cleaned off and the second color is applied next to the first leaving some room in between then using a second brush is used to pull strands of each color into the space between them and mix them together until the transition is flawless. The end effect is like having a basecoat that changes gradually from one color to another.

I’m sure that there are many other blending techniques out there and other ways of doing the technique listed other than the way I’ve described but that just shows that art has infinite variation. I hope this gives people a overview of the possiblities of miniature painting and maybe even inspires some of you to try some of the techniques listed. Good luck, and Happy painting

Dirtying Meg: Kruzie

I used two-brushes to achieve this effect but really anybody should be able to do it fairly easily. Make a mixture of armor wash and umbral umber and add some water until you get wash consitency. Then literally dab a blob of paint in the shape of the stain onto the finished surface of the apron. Then take a second brush that is only slightly damp (you don’t want it to be bone dry only but dryer is better than not dry enough) and after waiting about 20-30 seconds place the tip of the second brush into the middle of the blob of paint. The brush should suck the paint up leaving a little stain of paint behind.

Kromac’s hair: Matt DiPietro

Here is a formula that may give you a fair aproximation.


Wash-brown ink+thornwood green

Highlight with multiple coats of paint adding more sulfuric yellow to bloodstone for each coat.

Satyrs fistwraps: Matt DiPietro

Base-bootstrap leather

shade-add coal black

highlight-beast hide

glaze-brown ink(for instructions on glazing see NQ#11 page 35)


Cryx Grey: Matt DiPietro

I’ve been experimenting with a few different ways of doing the cryx grey and the way I’ve settled on is one that seems to work really well for those who like to shade more than highlight. First base in Cryx bane highlight. I’ve found that CXH actually gets really nice coverage for such a light color so basecoating should only take 2-3 coats.

Next shade with Cryx bane base. Add coal black to CXB and shade again. Then add a little Thamar black to the previous mix and shade one final time.

That’s how I do it here in the studio but I’m not sure how well this will work without the two-brush technique.

Fell callers flame stack: Matt DiPietro

When painting flames the colors that work best are: Ember orange and heartfire. Mix with some skorne red for shading and MWH for your highlights then give the whole thing some subtle glazes with yellow ink and lots of water. Careful with that ink because it’s really concentrated and will wash out your contrast if you’re not careful.

Rezniks scroll: Matt DiPietro

To paint the scroll on Reznik I used a special technique that requires the use of mixing medium to change the translucency of the paint. Here is how it works: first basecoat the scroll with ‘jack bone mixed with moldy ochre and rucksack tan for a yellowed appearance. Then paint your writing and whatever other designs on the scroll using thamar black. If you mess up it should be easy to fix errors or start over since there are no highlights or shades. Once your freehand work is complete you’ll want to mix up a shade of bloodtracker brown and lots of mixing medium and apply some shading. Umbral Umber was added for subsequent shades. The mixing medium should give your paint a translucency that will allow the writing to show through. A similar technique was used for the fur on the Gnarlhorn Satyr and Bloody Bradigan’s tatoos.

Epic Goreshade Greens: Matt DiPietro

When painting some of the epic models I tend to do a lot of experimentation methods and mixes that I never intend to replicate for the rest of the cryx range. Epic Goreshade is one of those models. So unfortunately I don’t have exact formulas written down for his cloak and armor but I can describe for you the process and concept I used when painting them. For the green cloth I started with a very blue green. Coal black, exile blue, and meridius blue were mixed with gnarls green until I found the blue green that I liked. Purple tones were added to the base color for the shade steps. This use of purple gives the color some interesting tonal qualities. Yellow tones and MWH were added to the base color for the highlight stages and I made sure to exaggerate the highlights since for the last stage I used some very thin glazes of green ink to unify the colors. This glaze step is often necessary when adding contrasting tone (yellow and purple in this case) to increase contrast and adding tonal qualities.

The armor on Goreshade started with CXH and was shaded down to black from there. Alternateing shades of green and purple were used along with the normal cryx colors and matte medium to gradually shade the armor. This is all relatively advanced color theory stuff but at the very least I hope that it is interesting to read and if it inspires some of you to expirament more with color mixing and theory I’ll feel like my job is done

Madrak’s Armor: Matt DiPietro

For Madrak’s armor I started by basing in cold steel. Then I started shading using the two-brush technique and started with rusty colors first was bloodstone. Then I shaded with battledress green followed by brown ink with mixing medium added for body. Then since I didn’t want the armor to be too warm I glazed with a couple thin layers of blue ink. I gave the armor some final edge highlights with quicksilver and called it done. The skin was painted in a very complex manner that I didn’t bother recording. I started with a base coat MWH and shaded down from there. There were many turquoise and purple tones added in and I feel the overall effect looked quite nice.

Wroughthammer Rockram: Matt DiPietro

The Rockham was painted in standard rhulic fashion. The colors you’ll want to pick up are guncorp brown, hammerfall khaki, battlefield brown, Menoth white highlight, and bastion grey. For the khaki areas start with a base of hammerfall and highlight by adding MWH. Shade the khaki with bastion grey and battlefield brown. For the darker brown areas start with a base of guncorp and highlight by adding hammerfall. shade with battlefiled brown mixed with thamar black. Then you’ll have to add the rust and paint chips to get it really looking like the studio version. Good luck and if you need some more tips let me know.

Dire troll blitzer skin: Matt DiPietro

Thanks for the support toothy… The blue on the blitzer’s skin was certainly two-brush blended. the trick to getting the gun powdery color is to base in troll base and then take thornwood green and mix it with lots of mixing medium and slop it onto the skin then push it into the shadows. The colors will mix due to the translucency of the paint and give the desired effect if done correctly. At least I’m fairly certain this is how Ali did it. Just mixing the two colors together will also give you a similar color and is better suited for less advanced painters.

Cankerworm: Matt DiPietro

The bronze on the cankerworm’s belly was painted using the two-brush method and painted in the “forced highlight” style. Forced highlighting is great for painting plates that have triangular bends to them and gives them a dynamic look that is similar to NMM. Check out the legion scather catapult, and Reznik’s armor are a couple other examples of the technique at work. The colors used were as follows:

Base-beasthide+khardic flesh

shade-Umbral umber

highlight-add a couple dots of Menoth white highlight to the base color

Menoth White: Matt DiPietro



Shade-bastion grey


Some areas that are in deep shadow also get a shade of thornwood green. I think the mistake that most people make is to add black to the menoth colors to get the shades which never seems to yield the desired results.

Denim: Matt DiPietro

The base denim mixture I’m come up with goes something like this: trollblood base, exile blue, greatcoat grey. Equal parts of each paint. From there adding underbelly blue will give a good highlight color and mixing in either battlefield brown (for dirty pants) or more exile and some black or armor wash (for a cleaner blue) should work. try some expiriments with replacing exile with cugnar blue base or greatcoat with ironhull for some variation if you like.


Pirate Beach Bases: Quentin

Here’s what I did.

1- Clip the base tab off your mini. I then drill a small hole in one foot and glue in a short piece of rod. To paint figures I typically use a pin vice as a “holder.” I just insert the small rod from his foot into the pin vice and tighten it down. It makes a great handle to grab on while painting.

2- Carefully cut the center out of your base. Warning, this step is boring! Once finished, you should be left with a plastic ring. Sometimes I file the inside to smooth out any rough cuts.

3- mix up some putty “greenstuff” or otherwise. smoosh a ball of it onto some plastic-card.

4- Put your cut base ring over it and using a sculpting tool press the putty so it fills the ring, leaving a big depression in the center. I use a rubber clay shaper to do this.

5- sculpt the putty so that it looks like an ocean bottom. While the putty is still wet stick some rocks or wood or mini-crabs into it. lump up some putty where your figure will stand.

6- Wet the feet of your figure and press it into the base so that it makes a depression in the putty. You want it to look like the model is sinking into the sand a bit. Pull the figure out and set it aside. Let the base dry.

7- Once the putty is totally dry it should pop off the plastic. I then paint some thinned down glue in the ONLY the deeper areas and cracks (but not where you figures feet go!!). Dip the base in sand. Let the glue dry. Scrape off any sand that isn’t looking good.

8 – Prime the base white. Multiple times! You want it to be really white!

9 – Mix up 3 washes all at once. The first wash is Menoth white base + water + lots of Matte Medium. The second is Beast Hide + water + lots of Matte Medium. The third is Battlefield Brown + water + lots of Matte Medium.

10 – Apply the first wash rather heavily to the entire base (excluding the outer ring.) You want it to go into all the cracks and crevices. The raised areas should still have white primer showing through. While the first wash is still wet apply the second wash to the deeper areas. It will natureally blend out as everything is still wet. Do the same with the third wash only on smaller, deeper area. The effect should be quite subtle, not overboard. Let everything dry.

11- Paint any details that you may have stuck into the putty (rocks, wood, fingernails…)

12 – Paint the outer rim of the base black. Paint the figure that goes onto the base.

13 – Attach figure to base with glue.

14 – Spray figure and base with sealant, if you use sealant…. (make sure you do this prior to adding the water!)

15 – Now it’s water time….

16 – Mix up some water ( I use a two part epoxy called “envirotex” I bought it at a train shop and think it’s great) I add less than one drop of P3 turquoise ink to give the water a slight tint.

17- Using an old brush I slowly fill up the depression in the base with “water.” Brush by brush, trying not to spill any on the figure or the outer rim of the base. Really boring as well. If anyone comes up with a better way of doing this please let me know.

18 – Set the mini on something flat and let it dry. After about 10 mins exhale repeatedly on the water. This will pop any small bubbles. It’s the ocean so some bubbles look nice! It should take about a day to dry.

Presto… 18 steps later and your done. yikes!

Liquor bottles: Matt DiPietro

Well both of those models were painted by Quintin but I could tell you how I went about getting the colors for the green glass of Bloody Bradigan’s bottle. The blue green color is pretty easy to mix just get a good base color by mixing meridius blue with gnarls green. Mix in coal black followed by thamar black for the shading. Its good to get good and dark shading and bright crisp highlights when painting glass since this high contrast adds to the glassy look. Mixing iosan green, arcane blue, and menoth white highlight in with you base color will yield good highlight tones try to get very extreme and sharp with the highlights almost reaching white.

Bane Knight Golds: Matt DiPietro

Base with blighted gold. Shade with a mix of cryx bane base, umbral umber, and armor wash. highlight with brass balls.

Quentin’s NQ Pirates: Quentin

All the jacks had “hip surgery.” I feel that they typically look a bit better with a wider stance and more animated pose on the legs. This was done rather quickly and was not a “neat” conversion but as the hips are in fairly hidden area they do need to be perfect. To accomplish this conversion I drill holes for a thick pin (really big paper-clip) between the body and leg. The lenght of this pin sets the new hip width. Unlike typical pinning, you want your paper-clip piece to be long enough to create this space. The pin has to be very secure as it will be supporting the majority of weight at the joint. Prior to gluing I test assemble the legs and make sure I like the new width, at this point I can bend the pins around to adjust the position of the legs. Once you are happy with the position, glue the legs/pins/body together. Now you have to hide the pins! I did this by cutting little rings off of the plastic tubes that go over the tip of a new paintbrush. I had a number of different sizes of these tubes laying around, so I was able to find two of them that would slide together creating the look of a piston. I cut small rings from these tubes and made a slit in the bottom of each ring so that I could slide it over the pins. I then liberally applied superglue to all of it (I really globbed it on.) Once it was painted it looked fine. If you look at pictures of my figures this might make a bit more sense?

Buccaneer = Got a new head. The visor from Durgen was use to create the central part of the face mask. I drilled through the mask with a dremmel and it just happened to leave a nice raised ring around the hole (happy accident.) I then put a piece of plasticcard behind the hole to create the “eye.” I sculpted a rounded ball of putty and stuck the visor into the ball. This putty then became the back half of his head. I sculpted a couple of small hinges on the top and bottom where it meets the body. I carefully clipped away the old net and replaced it with a piece of bent metal mesh. I formed it into the right shape and glued it to that hand with lots of glue! I then sculpted the little weights on the end of it with putty.

Mariner = Got the vanguard head. (clipping off the mariners head SUCKS! be warned…) I then used a vanguard or cygnar jack arm? to attach the clipped off cannon to. I sculpted straps around the cannon and arm with putty.

Vanguard = Got the mariner head. I built a new neck around his head with the bottom of two khador shields.

Mule = He’s got a mule body and arms. Freebooter legs and head. The gun has been recreated using his old boiler and the stock wooden barrel. I prefer this gun to the stock version as it looks less comical. His new, replacement boiler has parts from a man-o-war, durgen, and a khador shield. Lots of glue and pinning was needed to pull this one off….

Bart = Bart with his head carefully removed (not fun either.) His mask was cut from on of the revenant pirates. I had to create a new front for his diving mask, this was done with a thin ring of plastic and some putty. The air tube coming out of his head is a guitar string. I used putty to sculpt new clothing/straps/buckles where the helmet attached the body.

Shae = Same deal as bart. This time I used a helmet from one of the mind slaves. I also cut down the bottom of skarre’s base and used it for Shae.

Jonne’s face was sculpted from a photo of a walrus. He had toothpick teeth. I didn’t get to spend much time painting him… oh well. bummer.

Herne is a combo of Rockbotom and Herne with Montador’s hat. I sculpted a bandana where the hat met the head to hide the gaps.


Kilt Lifter Beer Suds: Matt DiPietro


Wash-bloodtracker brown+MM

Glaze-Ember orange



Swamp Gobber Flesh: Matt DiPietro

This is just aguess since they were painted by Ali but at least its a place to start

Base-thornwood+battle dress

Shade-CXB+Sanguine base

Highlight-Khardic flesh+base color

Highlight-Midlund flesh+previous

Add spots of of thornwood

Stone Scribe Elder Cases: Matt DiPietro

base-brass balls

shade-brown ink+CXB

Shade-add coal black

highlight-brass balls

highlight-radient platinum

Horgenhold Forge Guard: Matt DiPietro

Base-Gun corp. brown

Shade-Bastion Grey

Shade-Thornwood green

Highlight-Hammerfall Khaki

Highlight-Jack bone

Epic Eiryss Base: Matt DiPietro

For the Granite:

Base-bastion grey

spatter-MWH and thamar black

Shade-greatcoat grey+CXB+MM



Base-skorne red+Khardic flesh

glaze-various bricks were glazed either exile blue or khardic flesh

Shade-Umbral umber+Sanguine base

Highlight-Skorne red+Khardic flesh

Cyclops Shaman Skin: Matt DiPietro

For the cyclops skin tone mix rucksack tan in with you skin tones for a dry and parched look. Umbral umber and sang base are mixed in for the shades and Ryn flesh is used for highlights.

Thorn’s white armor plating: Matt DiPietro



Shade-Bastion grey

Glaze-bloodtracker brown for the streaks and around the edges of plates

Cygnar Golds: Matt DiPietro

Base-rhulic gold

Shade-brown ink+CXB

Shade-Umral Umber+Sanguine base

Highlight-rhulic gold

Highlight-Solid Gold

Brine’s Skin: Matt DiPietro

I actually wet blended a multitude of browns together for the base coat. In this way I was able to transition from red browns line bloodstone and bloodtracker used on the back to colors like guncorp and beast hide on the chest. Then I shaded the model with thorn wood green and CXB mixed with mixing medium. This means that all the areas were shaded with the same colors despite having differing base colors and this is what helps to unify the surface.

Mettalic Forced Highlight technique: Matt DiPietro

Well one thing I’ve been doing is mixing some paint and inks in with my metalic base coats. This helps metalics get better coverage but cuts down the shine of the metal. Once I shade the metal I’ll highlight with pure metalic paint to add the shine back in as a highlight. The forced highlight technique is similiar to the technique used for NMM. It works well for angular obejects like swords and blocky amor plates. Try to break the object up into individual surfaces or faces. The easiest objects to paint in the forced highlight tech are those that are split down the middle into two equal halves such as a double edged sword or the front plate of the scather catapult. Choose one of these faces to be faceing the light and apply your shadows and highlights. THen the other side will essentially be painted in the same way only reverse. The idea is that this other face is not in the light and would be except of light that is reflected from the ground and surroundings thus the highlight that is palced on the undersides instead of the tops. I hope that makes sense, it’s had to explain in just words maybe a article could be written in the future

Skorne Black: Matt DiPietro

Skorne black is painted like so:

Base:coal black+thamar black

Highlight:add hammerfall khaki to base

Highlight: add more khaki.

E-krueger Fabric: Matt DiPietro

Base: Ordic olive+CXB

Shade:base+umbral umber

Shade: previous+coal black

Highlight:Base+wurm green

Highlight: Previous+thrall flesh

Wold Construct stone: Matt DiPietro

Base:bastion grey


Shade:greatcoat grey

shade: greatcoat+battlefield+coal



Juicing method: Matt DiPietro

Juicing is another method for blending. Like most other methods of blending the idea is to apply a gradient in opacity. Whoever came up with the juicing method noticed that their paint was thicker at the end of their brush stroke than at the beginning and this is the basic idea behind the juicing method. Load your brush up with thin paint and remove most of the paint from the brush with a cloth, then apply the paint using quick delicate brush strokes. Sometimes a blemish of paint will be left behind at the beginning of the brush stroke that needs to be repaired quickly before the paint dries so many juicers suck the paint out of their brush and quickly wipe this part clean thus earning the title “paint munchers”. Some things that will help you get the hang of this method is to use thin paint and a small brush. I like to use this method to shade metallic paint but many skilled painters use it for all of their blending.

Dawnlord Vyros: Matt DiPietro

Shiny Metal:

Base-Radiant Platinum+blue ink+turquoise ink

Shade-Blue ink+Turquoise ink+armor wash

Highlight-Radiant Platinum

Glaze-Blue ink+Turquoise ink


Dark Metals:

Base-Pig Iron+Red ink+blue ink

Shade-red ink+blue ink+armor wash

Shade-add coal black+thamar black to previous

Highlight-base color

Highlight-radiant Platinum

Military green:

Base-Traitor green+TBB


Shade-CXB+Sanguine base

Highlight-Base+Midlund flesh

Highlight-Base+Underbelly blue


Arcane blue+Necro green+carnal pink

Grey Leather:

Base-Greatcoat grey

Shade-add sanguine base+Umbral Umber

Shade-sanguine base+Umbral Umber+coal black


Highlight-add frostbite

Rusty Troll Armor: Matt DiPietro

So, rusted troll armor:

dry brush: cold steel

shade: bloodtracker+MM

Shade: bloodstone+umber+MM

edge HL: quicksilver

Wash: brown ink+ dot of thamar black

Fennblade belts and sword handles: Matt DiPietro

Base: idrian flesh

Shade: battlefield brown+brown ink

Shade: brown ink+dot of thamar black

Highlight: bootstrap brown

Runeshaper Flesh: Matt DiPietro

Base: TBH+underbelly

Glaze: murderous magenta on face/lips/knuckles

Shade: base+carnal pink

Shade: add greatcoat+dot of midlund

Shade: add dot of coal black

highlight: base+morrow+MM


Warpwolf solo flesh: Matt DiPietro

Here’s how I do it but I have to warn you the technique kinda depends on two-brush blending ink washes so your mileage may vary.

Base: umber

Wood grain texture: moldy ocher

Shade: brown ink (blend)

Shade: Brown ink+ dot of thamar black (blend)


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