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Saturday, 12 May 2007

Using the Foundry 3-Colour Paint System

This is how I paint my rank and file models. The example figure is a West Wind Arthurian Romano-Britsh Spearman with a Foundry round shield and a Gripping Beast spear, mounted on a 20mm Games Workshop (GW) base. He's undercoated with GW black spray paint. I always use that!

I always use the Foundry shade, mid-tone and light in that order on rank & file models. Characters occasionally get additional highlights. Games Workshop colours are occasionally added. In the notes below, assume Foundry unless you see GW mentioned! Oh, by the way, apologies for the variation in background tone! It's because this chap was painted in with 7 others over a few days and some painting took place in the evenings, some in daylight...

I always use the same system. I start with mail armour if there is any as I drybrush that. None on this model so that's easy!! Then it's the flesh. I basecoat with the Foundry shade tone. I try to be fairly neat as it means less tidying up later. I aim for a reasonable coverage, but patchy isn't a disaster as we'll be building up the colour with the highlight shades. After the basecoat is dry, I add a little GW Brown Ink into the eye painting eyes for me, matey!! (Actually, I used to, but you can't see 'em on the table top so I no longer bother!)

Then it's the mid-tone and light, onto the raised areas of nose, cheeks, chin, etc, followed by GW Tanned Flesh applied to the bottom lip.

Then it's the trousers. Peaty Brown on this model, but I use a variety of browns in a unit of these chaps. Same as with flesh-use the three tones, each highlight successively smaller on the raised areas or where the folds might be if they aren't sculpted! That's a good tip actually, even if the sculptor hasn't sculpted folds in cloth, painting a few in with the highlight shade works well. Oh, while we are talking cloth, when painting cloaks and other large flat areas, really REALLY good painters do a technique called 'wet blending' where they blur the edges between highlights with a wet brush. Looks bloody great, but is a pain in the ass to do and I actually prefer the hard lines on the table top as you can see'em clearer. However, blending is GREAT for photos of characters, etc and lots of fantasy figure painters do it. Anyway, I digress.. Trousers...

Next, the tunic. See above for the 'how to'. You'll note that I've painted folds onto this. The colour is Storm Green. I always use muted colours for 'Dark Age' models for the simple reason that there were no colour-fast dyes back in those days and they'd be using natural plant and mineral dyes which would quickly fade.

This chap also has an undertunic which I've painted Madder Red as it's a nice complimentary contrast with the Storm Green tunic.

Next, the leather - boots, straps, belts, etc. I use two colour schems for this. On this model, it's Bay Brown, but a cool alternative is a basecoat of GW Scorched Brown, highlighted with GW Dark Flesh and finally GW Vermin Brown. I often use that for characters as it's more 'shiny'.

Next, the rear of the shield. I paint it as planks of wood (some are sculpted like that but not this Foundry shield) using GW Scorched Brown as a base with fine lines of GW Bestial Brown as a woodgrain highlight. At this point I usually paint any buckles, etc using GW Shining Gold.

After that, it's the shield. I am using 3 colours (white, black and red) in this army for shields so the army 'ties together' visually. This shield is done in a 'Roman' style using black and white 'rays'. The white is GW Bubonic Brown, highlighted with GW Bleached Bone and GW Skull White, as that gives a lovely 'off-white' colour. The black is simply Charcoal Black mid tone and light straight onto the GW undercoat. The highlight strokes can be fairly need to be too neat! For flat tone shields, I paint round the boss rather than lines radiating as I have here, but it's the same principle..fairly bold and brave strokes.

Next, the iron. I paint the shield boss and spearhead or sword blade. I use GW Boltgun metal as the base for this, highlighted with GW Chainmail and Mithril Silver, although I don't use the final highhlight on the spearpoint. I then give the shield boss (and helmet if he's wearing one) a wash of GW Black Ink (diluted 60% water) just to tie the colours together and to accentuate the moulding of details (rivets, etc.)

Next, it's the hair. I tend to put on the shade tone as a basecoat and drybrush (VERY CAREFULLY!!) the highlight shades. I use a wide variety of browns in a unit, but this is Bay Brown. If a model has a moustache and beard, I paint the basecoat on and then brush very fine lines of the light only to give the imporession of hair. It looks effective!!

After that, it's the spearshaft, which is done with a basecoat of GW Snakebite Leather and highlighted with flicks of GW Bubonic Brown. You could use Spearshaft Brown for this. I don't because, before I started using Foundry colours, I painted an entire Late Roman army using GW colours and did their spears with the method used here. I want the models to be interchangeable, so...

Then I base it by gluing on GW fine base sand and when the glue is dry, wash it with neat GW Brown Ink. When that's dry I drybrush GW Bleached Bone over it and tidy up the base edge with GW Chaos Black.

Then, stick on a few clumps of static grass and we're done!

So, there we are! How to paint a British/Welsh Arthurian spearman in my style. Unashamedly based on Kev Dallimore's (et al) style, but done in my own way.
One day I'll do a similar article about horses...the bane of my painting life!!!

1 comment:

Dave said...

He nice!

Ta for the review of the Westwind stuff. I've just seen some of the vignettes you mention painted up on E-bay. Look nice. Happy days for painters!