Nights Watch conscripts - step by step
A request on my facebook page has lead me to try and start doing the painting guides I previously did on my old website and now existing in the "Old Blog" section. These were mainly for WW2 28mm figures but I decided that the Nights Watch conscripts were similar enough to start again. These are meant to show a reasonably good tabletop standard as with everything I paint. When looking at the pictures remember these are taken on my very old phone (except the last one) and in a hurry so the quality is often not great! Lastly all colours are Vallejo model colour or model air except when noted.
Step 1 is Stynlrez black primer which I apply individually with a stack of waiting minis behind to catch any blowthrough primer to save waste. I use Stynlrez as i find it clogs less than the Vallejo I used to use.
So I wnt with browns for the leather starting with vallejo mc earth which is quite warm and then highlighting up on the shoulders and tops of the hoods to this stage which is artificially bright on purpose as i then give them a thinned down wash of army painter brown wash. This takes the edge off the highlights and gives a nicer leather brown as below... I dont worry about the glossy look as I will deal with that later
Next up (as below) is to go over the black bits again. These are Nights Watch after all and need to be coherent with the rest of the guys. Any bits i miss I'll catch later especially on the arms between the wrappings.
Airbrush back out to put some dark sea grey and light sea grey highlights on the cloth and leather as below. This is an effect which is a bit paintery I think as it looks good but isnt realistic. Rule of cool wins here for me. I also brush in the dark brown on belts etc.
and as can be seen below the dark brown is highlighted with flat brown and then the orange brown on the edges.
Then its back to Flat Brown as a base colour for the skin. Hull brown works just as well but i like Flat Brown for no good reason. See below.
Second step with the flesh is cork brown with a tince of flat brown. this is the main flesh colour leaving the flat brown in the creases and cracks such as the eye sockets. A second pass with pure cork brown follows then a highlight layer of cork and sunny tone flesh on the nose, cheek bones, knuckles etc leading to the effect below.
and with highlights here..
This is ok as it is but can be a bit harsh and show the layers edges too clearly so i go over with a glaze of hull red which sort of humanises the flesh. The picture below almost wholly fails to show the difference which is subtle but worth it. The glazed guy is nearest the camera - nice picture me!!
Next up is weapon hafts which i use a sombre tostada with a bit of grey and then lighten on the upper surface of the hafts. I also retouch the blacks on the weapons at this point. Starting to see the end of the tunnel here!
Hair, fur and wrappings next. For hair i tend to split each pose into two groups one will get darker brown hair and the other mousey brown. later they will have a gentle drybrush in a lighter colour. Im not a big drybrush fan but hair and fur can benefit and saves hours. The fur bits were painted in sea grey again and the wraprs in the nice flat earth with some desert yellow to give a bit of punch as visible below.
Metals. Easy enough, I mix aluminium with black to get a dark base metal then highlight the top edges with pure aluminium. I also do belt buckles, studs etc in the same mix and highlight as these little details make a lot of difference. Also here I have painted the guards and pommels on swords and daggers with GW retributor gold as a sort of strong brass colour.
Last stages now. The fur is highlighted with an almost white, not drybrushed as this would mess up the rest of the paint and distribute bits of paint everywhere in a chalky spray... White edge highlights are added to the black leather to give an impression of shiny leather like a motorbike jacket and some final checks. Black highlighted with sea grey on some arms, the hair drybrushed lightly and sand PVA'd to the base as per my article on basing here https://www.firstcommissionpainting.co.uk/post/basic-basing . Everything is then Matt varnished with Vallejo mecha matt varnish - which is as matt as it gets. The final non base work is to satin varnish by brush the black leather to give a better shiny leather effect.
and the final finished guys. I hope this was of some use.