Thursday, February 27, 2014

How I Paint - Irish Warriors

A little background on myself - last summer for my birthday my wife bought me the DNA test from the popular genealogy web site.  It was great fun, and I found out some interesting facts about my ancestry.  About 90% of my DNA matched to three areas of Europe: Northern France, Ireland and Scandanavia.  So apparently, my genetic stock is composed of the Normans and Vikings that invaded and settled in Ireland.  Not the nicest bunch of ancestors, but it might explain my enthusiasm for this particular time and place.

The wargamer and miniature collector in me noticed a problem.  Viking ancestors? Got them. Normans? Loads of them. Irish?  Uh oh, nothing there. I had a few random Crusader Irish from a grab bag purchase, so to fill out a small warband I ordered some extra packs from Age of Glory.  They are a good source of Crusader Miniatures in the U.S., and my order arrived within a week.

I don't rate myself as a top painter by any means, but some of my students interested in gaming and miniatures have asked about how I paint, so here is a summary of the process:

First step is priming.  Testors white primer if I am painting lots of flesh tones and fabric, black if I am painting chainmail and fur.  

Block painted. I would like to say that I always think about selecting a color palette for a unit to create visual cohesion, but I am more intuitive than that.  I try to think of colors and patterns that are historically appropriate yet visually appealing. 

Washing and shading.  I generally apply a sepia wash to whites, yellows and tan colors, and mix a darker shade on colors like reds, greens and blues. 

Highlighting, fabric patterns and eyes

Glued onto circular bases. I then add a mix of white glue and sand or railroad ballast.

Bases with static grass and Army Painter grass clumps.


  1. Interesting approach. I need to try out individually mounting figures to paint. Normally I have 5 or 5 infantry on a hobby stick.

  2. Love the blog! I've linked it on mine.
    I also mount several on a popsicle stick, like Robert does. It's usually 4-5 identical figures, and then I prime uniformly black white or grey depending on the colors that will dominate the figs. I use the rows and lineups to organize the paint scheme for the batch. I'm explaining at "Spear to the Strife" my Dark Ages blog. I've both 40mm and 25mm figures. The 40mm is new so it is featured in the blog which is also new. Most of mine are 25mm that were based for DBx / Medieval Warfare, but I'm converting much of it to SAGA-compatible basing. I'll keep tabs and explore the blog some more! best, Alex

  3. Thanks for your nice words, Alex. I will be sure to look in at your work on ECW. 40mm intrigues me, and I hope the offerings in that scale expand in the future.