Painting Vikings and Saxons

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Painting Vikings and Saxons

Postby Primarch on Tue Apr 18, 2017 1:05 pm

As part of the Battle of Fulford project, I offered to show Krobrawlg a quick and easy way to paint Dark Age Warriors. I will admit that I am not the best painter in our little group, but I can knock out minis at a respectable rate. So, think of this not so much as a way to paint minis, but as a way to paint units/armies quickly and with minimal fussing about. You will not find any technical styles or unique painting advice in this thread, if you want to learn about Non-metallic metals or wet blending, I'm sure there are others far more competent than me at explaining such things.

You may notice that in some of the pictures the shields of the models get painted without any info on how this was done. The shields didn't turn out how I had hoped, so I have decided to go back and do them again. They will follow along in due course.

One quick tip I have is to keep a spare brush on hand. If you make a mistake and get a spot of paint in the wrong place, wet the spare brush, shake off some of the excess water and quickly wipe the paint away. You may not get 100% off, but it's usually enough to hide all but the most terrible of errors. If you have painted a large area in the wrong colour you're usually better off letting it dry and going over it again later.

If you find colours showing through your paint from underneath, wait until the model is dry and then go over it again. Yellows, Reds and Whites are terribly transparent colours and may need a couple of coats. It's usually better to thin your paint slightly with water or a tiny drop of medium to help it flow better rather than to keep dolloping paint onto a mini. Wash your brush in water regularly and wipe it on a paper tissue, then rinse in a clean pot of water. Once it is clean, repoint the brush by cupping your hand and gently turning the brush back and forth in one of the folds in your palm.

@M_i_J - You may want to look away now. The horrors that will be shown in this thread may offend your delicate painting sensibilities. :lol:

Step One.
Priming your minis.
Once you have your minis assembled, put them in a box and go outside with a can of spray paint. Give them a light covering with it. Once they are dry, turn them around and do the other side of them.
Image

Step Two.
Metal parts.
Viking and Saxon minis feature a large amount of chain mail. It's easy to get this over and done with asap as they have belts and suchlike on top of their armour. You can be as messy as you want at this stage, just make sure you cover all the armour, helmet, shield boss (the round part on the front), blades, spear points and sword hilts.
Image

Step Three.
Metal wash.
Once the metal work is dry, go over it with a black wash. Brush it on and avoid letting it pool up. In this picture the model on the left has been washed, but the one on the right has not. Again you can be fairly messy.
Image

Step Four.
Trousers.
With the metal work out of the way, it's time to work on the clothing. Uniforms were non-existent at this period in time, so you want to avoid painting all the clothes the same colour. I use a 'rule of 3' for making minis look different without adding too much work. Choose 3 colours which you will use for each set of clothing and divide your minis into 3 roughly equal batches. Do each batch in one of your 3 colours.
At this stage, paint the trousers and the underside of the tunics. You don't need to be too careful, just try to avoid any of the metal parts.
Image

Step Five.
Wood.
Moving over to a different part of the minis, paint the rear of the shields, weapon shafts, sword hilts and the like in your chosen wood colour/colours. Again, you don't need to worry about being neat so long as you are careful when working around the parts you've already done.
Image

Step Six.
Tunics.
Back to the cloth again. This time do the tunics around the waist and the arms, being careful now to avoid the armour and trousers. Again I have gone for a rule of 3 type approach. Mix your minis together and divide into three new batches, with a mix of trouser colours in each batch. Now use three other colours for the tunics. This should give you 9 different colour combos, more than enough for the wild and disorganised dark ages. Make a note of which colours you use here.
Image

Step Seven.
Leatherwork.
Using a medium brown colour, go over the scabbards, shield rims (front and back) and shoes. Take care not to miss any of the small daggers or other accessories you may have added to your figures.
Image

Step Eight.
Belts.
Using a different shade of brown, go over the models carefully and paint in the belts and straps on their armour. Most of the Saxon/Viking minis have necklaces on as well, so don't miss those. If you can't get at the back parts easily don't worry. Helmets and hair will mean that you can't see those parts from a distance anyway.
Image

Step Nine.
Leg Straps.
Some of the models wearing trousers have strings tied around the lower half of their legs and some are wearing leg wraps. Paint these in carefully.
Image

Step Ten.
Brown Wash.
Time to add some shading to these minis. Carefully paint a brown wash over everything that isn't metal. Don't worry if you do get some on the metal parts, they will just look dirty/rusty/covered in dried blood. As with the black wash, be careful not to let it pool up anywhere.
Image

Step Eleven.
Tunics part 2.
Remember I said to make a note of which colours you used for the tunics? Get those colours out and go over the tunics again. This time you only want to hit the raised areas of the cloth rather than painting everything. The goal is to leave some of the areas darkened by the wash showing to give an image of depth and folds in the cloth.
Image

Step Eleven B.
You can do the trousers and leg wraps in a similar fashion to the tunics at this stage if you want. I didn't bother because you won't see much of those parts of the models anyway and I'm a lazy good-for-nothing wastrel.

Step Twelve.
Shiny bits.
Get a small amount of gold or bronze and paint the icons on the necklaces of your warriors. You can also add some bling to raised parts of the helmets or the hilts of swords if you'd like. Don't go overboard.
Image

Step Thirteen.
Bases.
At this stage, I started doing the bases, but you can actually leave them to the end if you'd like. I just did them here because I was doing some work with PVA glue anyway. Put a blob of PVA/White Glue/Bondo onto your pallet and paint it over the bases of the models with a cheap/old brush. Put it around the feet of the mini but try not to get it onto the mini itself. If you do, get a wet brush and wipe it away. Once you cover the base, dip the mini into some sand and give it a gentle shake. Again, wipe away any sand that is in the wrong place with a wet brush. Don't let it dry somewhere you don't want it. Leave the models to dry for at least 12 hours, if not more.
Image

And now I'm getting tired. More to follow when I get time. :D
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Re: Painting Vikings and Saxons

Postby Krobrawlg on Wed Apr 19, 2017 4:45 am

Thanks Primarch! Very detailed and helpful. I'll be waiting on the rest :mrgreen:
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Re: Painting Vikings and Saxons

Postby The Other Dave on Wed May 17, 2017 1:59 pm

Speaking of horrors that offend MiJ's sensibilities: Since my first couple units are done, I thought I'd share my own approach - it gives a bit rougher results than what Prim has outlined, but is dead easy and looks good from two or three feet away.

I started with an off-white undercoat, but white or grey would work equally well. Then I just blocked out all the areas of color in an exciting selection of greys, browns, and greens, and put sand down on the bases, giving me this:

Image

(You can see where, since the undercoat went on a bit glossy, some of the colors came out streaky. Frustrating, but mostly taken care of with the next step.)

Next I applied the Magic Sauce:

Image

Water-based stain, 500 yen the bottle from Kahma. I chose the darkest shade they had available, walnut, since I wanted these guys to look shaded but not filthy and rusty, which is what you get with a lighter brown - like I did with my goblins:

Image

Rusty and filthy works great for goblins, but less well for for-reals soldiers. So, walnut (they had ebony also, but only in oil-based and I like water-based for cleanup). Basically you just slop the stain on the whole model indiscriminately, just being careful not to get too much pooling in the recesses (I could have done a better job of that, as you'll see below), and going over the sand as well - this not only turns the sand to a nice earthy color, but glues it down nicely too. Et voila!

Image

Not bad! Some flock on the bases will help too. The stain on its own is pretty glossy, so I hit them with a light coat of matte sealer, and they're basically good to go. The big lessons learned here were first that the dark forest green was a bad choice, as it just gets altogether too dark with this method, and second that the creases at the bottom of their tunics are really ripe areas for the stain pooling up. But everything else? I'll take it!

I'll probably use this method for my whole force, except for the general who I'll take some time on and maaaybe the hearthguard.
Miniatures painted in 2017:
Fleet: 2 cruisers
15mm: 1 tank, 2 buildings
28mm: 180 infantry, 4 vehicles, 5 buildings
Currently focusing on: 40K, Malifaux
I started a blog! https://chubugamer.wordpress.com/
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Re: Painting Vikings and Saxons

Postby Krobrawlg on Thu May 18, 2017 2:27 am

@ Dave: Looks good!

Does anybody have tips on the filing step? I having trouble getting the excess bits where the mini attached to the sprue to look passable. Much as I file them, they don't seem to want to go away, and I'm afraid of filing too much and cutting in to the mini itself.
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Re: Painting Vikings and Saxons

Postby The Other Dave on Thu May 18, 2017 2:49 am

Krobrawlg wrote:@ Dave: Looks good!

Does anybody have tips on the filing step? I having trouble getting the excess bits where the mini attached to the sprue to look passable. Much as I file them, they don't seem to want to go away, and I'm afraid of filing too much and cutting in to the mini itself.

It's usually better to (carefully!) trim those off with a hobby knife than file them - and it's also true that painting will tend to cover up quite a few things that look really obvious on unpainted miniatures.
Miniatures painted in 2017:
Fleet: 2 cruisers
15mm: 1 tank, 2 buildings
28mm: 180 infantry, 4 vehicles, 5 buildings
Currently focusing on: 40K, Malifaux
I started a blog! https://chubugamer.wordpress.com/
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The Other Dave
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Posts: 2919
Joined: Tue May 18, 2010 3:46 am
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Re: Painting Vikings and Saxons

Postby Primarch on Thu May 18, 2017 3:14 am

You can use the clippers to remove most of the excess sprue, just keep the flat part of the blade close to the model. A file should just be used for the last few millimeters. It shouldn't take much effort to file the remainder away. The plastic doesn't need to be completely smooth, just enough that it's not noticeable.

Can you post a picture of what you are having trouble with?
Prims Painty Points > +924.5
Finished Minis in 2014: 510.....Finished Minis in 2015: 300
Finished Minis in 2016 (as of Nov 30): 369 + 2 Tables of Terrain
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Re: Painting Vikings and Saxons

Postby Krobrawlg on Thu May 18, 2017 1:49 pm

http://imgur.com/TVHDKOY

http://imgur.com/T9vPW46

http://imgur.com/c2OXLpH

You think paint will cover this stuff?

I think my clippers might not be so hot; they're too thick to get into tight spots. Is this the usual kind?
http://imgur.com/HH26S1Y
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Re: Painting Vikings and Saxons

Postby Krobrawlg on Thu May 18, 2017 2:36 pm

Ah looks like I didn't get the pictures there. I'll try again tomorrow.
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Re: Painting Vikings and Saxons

Postby Primarch on Thu May 18, 2017 3:15 pm

I've edited your picture links so they are viewable if people click on them. There should be an option in Imgur to generate links with pictures. I'll type up some instructions tomorrow.

Your clippers look ok. Keep the flat part facing the model and the V shaped groove between the blades facing away. If you can't get the clippers between the sprue and the model, just clip away the sprue from the frame and then trim it out of the way. A sharp box-cutter knife could also work, but be careful with your fingers and the surface you are cutting on.

You should be able to file down those parts easily enough. If you're worried about damaging the models, practice on some spare sprue first to get a feel for how much pressure you need to apply and how the plastic wears down. Once you get the hang of it, you'll be able to clean up those odd parts in no time.
Prims Painty Points > +924.5
Finished Minis in 2014: 510.....Finished Minis in 2015: 300
Finished Minis in 2016 (as of Nov 30): 369 + 2 Tables of Terrain
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Posts: 9063
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 9:33 am
Location: Nagoya

Re: Painting Vikings and Saxons

Postby Krobrawlg on Fri May 19, 2017 2:00 am

Alright, thanks @Primarch, I'll give it another shot.
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