Step 3: Painting the Main Areas
Now it's time to add the main blocks of colour; cloaks, shields, surcoats and the like. The basic idea here is using a size 1 brush, to paint the item a base colour, but leave a little of the black showing around the edge to help it stand out. Then just add a lighter highlight colour on any raised areas, such as folds in cloth, which would naturally catch the light.
The cloak on this War Host of the North (below) is a good example of what I'm talking about. Here I've used #502 Field Drab for the base colour, and highlighted it with #222 Horse-tone Roan. The fur trim was done with #236 Horse-tone Grey and #526 Tank Light Grey.
The only reason I've used different colours for the highlights is because I had them to hand and it saved mixing up a highlight colour. However, if you don't want to go to the extra expense of buying highlight colours the same effect can be achieved just by taking your base colour and mixing a little white with it (as with dry-brushing, if you're an inexperienced painter it's worth spending a couple of minutes practising on a cheap figure).
In general, I've only highlighted the larger areas on the figures, and just painted the smaller details such as belts and bows in a single colour. The only smaller areas that I've highlighted have been the blades of weapons and the faces to emphasise them a little.
Step 4: Details and Bases
I haven't tried to paint every conceivable detail but just picked out a few of the main ones, like belt buckles, boots, gloves, and beards, using a size 0 brush. Where I did spend a few extra minutes was on the leaders, such as Gregor Clegane's surcoat and Addam Marbrands's shield, but whether you want to go to those lengths is entirely up to you.
The last area I paint is normally the base and this is just done using #230 Cammo Green as a base colour, with #125 Putrid Green dry-brushed on to add highlights.
Step 5: Dipping and Varnishing
The last stage of the painting process is what's called a 'dip'. This is done by applying a polyurethane wood-stain (available from any hardware store: Minwax Polyshades is a well known brand in the US). This comes in various shades; walnut is what I've used on my Westeros miniatures. The reason for applying a wood stain is twofold. Firstly, it pools in the recesses and crevices and gives an extra level of shading (you can see this especially well on the bases of the Stark leaders).
Secondly, it acts as a hardwearing varnish which will protect and preserve the paintwork on the minis.
The reason this technique is called the 'dip' is that when miniature painters first started using it they used to just dip the whole figure in the tin of wood-stain and then shake off the excess. However, I've found that you get much better (and less messy) results by just painting it on with a large, e.g. size 4, brush. The only problem with wood stain is that it can start to pool in unwanted areas, like at the bottom of shields. To alleviate this problem I just dry the brush off a little on a piece of kitchen tissue, and then use the brush to soak up some of the wood stain in the problem area while it's still wet.
The very final stage, at least for me, is to give the miniatures a quick spray of Testors Dullcote varnish, which gives them a matt finish as opposed to the gloss finish of the wood stain. Whether you prefer a matt or gloss finish is just a matt of personal opinion though, so I'll leave it up to you to decide.
A Final Word
You've probably noticed that the shields on my Lannister troops and some of the leaders have various emblems on them. This was done by using decals, originally available from Hobby Products GmbH. Sadly these are no longer available, however other manufacturers (for instance I know of Veni Vidi Vici Decals and Little Big Men Studios here in the UK) produce shield decals for 15mm miniatures which should work equally well.
Anyway, thanks for sticking with me and I hope that some of you have found this article useful and will be persuaded to try your hand at painting miniatures, if you haven't already.
Finally here's a list of the Cote D'Arms Paints I used and what they were used for:
|Armour||232 Bronze (dry-brushed)|
|Buckles, Sword Hilts, etc.||232 Bronze (paint on)|
|- highlight||106 Enchanted Silver|
|Stark Cloaks||502 Field Drab|
|- highlight & hounds||222 Horse-tone Roan|
|Stark Trim and surcoat||236 Horse-tone Grey|
|- highlight and leash on hounds||526 Tank Light Grey|
|Lannister shields, cloaks, and surcoats||129 Vampire Red (highlight with white)|
|Lannister gold/ yellow trim||229 Dark Sand (highlight with white)|
|Faces||506 Desert Sand|
|- highlight||213 Flesh|
|Hair||235 Horse-tone Brown|
|Wood||501 British Khaki|
|Straps and Belts||519 Chocolate Brown|
|Leather (boots, gloves, and quivers)||524 Tan Earth|
|Bases||230 Camouflage Green|
|- highlight||125 Putrid Green|
|Robb Stark's Wolf||504 Panzer Grey|
|- highlight||533 Slate Grey|
|Fletching on arrows and mixing highlights||101 White|
|Horses||any above Horse-tone, highlighted white|
Thanks, Giles! Do you have miniatures, articles, game aids, or other content that you’d like to share with FantasyFlightGames.com’s readers? Email [email protected] and tell us about it, and maybe we’ll feature your content right here!
Set in the rich and vibrant world of George R.R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire series, Battles of Westeros is a board game of tactical battlefield combat for two players. With scenarios that include beloved characters and settings, players can recreate the most significant battles from The War of the Five Kings.