Tuesday, 10 January 2012

More on painting

As there has been some interest in my method of undercoating I may as well give more info on my painting method/ style. This will further explain why I like the method so much.

After undercoating/ oil rubbing (as explained) let the figure dry.
Firstly I matt black all the metalwork (any acrylic matt black you use – I use Vallejo Gamecolor black just because I have one) and any other black items such as hats, trousers, shoes ..... where appropriate.

Next (when dry) I carefully ,with a small brush, dry brush all the metalwork (scabbard tip, any armour, pike top, musket barrel, buckles ...) with Vallejo Oily steel. This just picks out the detail. The worst bits are done now – worst as in this is purely preparation up to here.

Now the fun bit.

Next I paint all the detail – belts, socks, cuffs, collar, ribbons, flesh ..... with brown undercoat you automatically have a subtle shade and don’t need to get to close to all the edges unless you want to. A this stage the figure still looks tidy and neat.

 Next I highlight the detail – belts etc and you get what you see in the pic below.

Lastly  paint the coat/ jacket (and trousers unless left brown and just lightly painted or dry brushed with a Vallejo brown sand colour) and any final touches such as Citadel Chainmail on metal work and Bob’s your uncle (whoever Bob is!)

Now for me (and this may be hard to explain) The whole process is pleasurable – I never go through that ‘ this looks rubbish’ or ‘will this turn out ok’ phase that I used to when first starting to paint figs. I know this is psychological but can take some of the pleasure away from painting and after all it is a 'fun' hobby for many of us - I use to call this the painter's 'wall' (like runners get) which can be hard to get past. The figure slowly comes to life and gets better and better the more you do. Hope this makes sense. I’m sure working on a black undercoat is similar and I’ve painted many figs that way but it’s the eyes that find black undercoat difficult to work from – some of the time - especially when the light is poor or my eyes get tired.
I digress. This bit about painting has given me time to work on Kirke's regt of foot coming next. It has avoided a lack of posts as I wanted the blog to get off to a good start. Who knows where it will lead!!

After the prep stage (matt black and dry brush...) first thing I do is paint the belts (for example ) Vallejo Red leather and highlight with Vallejo Light brown or Orange brown and the fig looks great .

Hope this is some of  interest for those wanting to try my method. Thinking about it – it’s like use Army painter dip technique but in reverse. Oil wash/rub first then paint as opposed to paint then wash.


  1. How long are you leaving it after you have done the oil wash before starting the painting of the armour?


  2. Usually oil wash in morning or afternoon and good to go by afternoon the following day - I've never had to wait much longer than that but wash must be very runny and a good wipe off.
    One point, occassinally the fig dries with a sheen (not a problem to paint though Matt is better)and I don't know why. Some say temperature but I've no idea why it can be Matt or Have a shine!!! Let me know how you get on.