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Steppe by Steppe Dothraki (Redux)

This is a repeat of an earlier Blog which unfortunately Wix has maimed by removing the fotos so I've redone it.....

Just completed the Targ starter set for a customer and amazingly managed to remember to take some snaps on my phone of most of the stages. In truth i got a bit ropey taking snaps towards the end when doing details but the bulk is sorted. I used a mix of the guys as I was obviously painting them all as a batch so whatever was in front of me at the end of each stage was what i photographed.

As always all colours are Vallejo model colour thinned with flow improver unless i state otherwise.

Step one as usual is spraying with Stynlrez black primer. I wear a mask and have an extractor leading out the window as primer spray can get literally everywhere in the room.

Next its horse time. when doing a batch i basically pick 3 brown colours and basecoat 1/3 of each batch randomly so the full unit has a mix of colours. I always add in one blackish horse and a grey for variety. I know nothing about horses beyond the fact they are big and quite scary close up so 3 colours it is.

My mobile phone camera fails to show it here but at this stage i start roughly highlighting the muscles and get lighter higher up the horse just by spraying on more coats. You can see the guy at the back's horse shows this best. The shadowing is not caused by the light it is by varying the spray to different parts.

I then spray a thinned coat of wash on just to add a bit of depth. I mix a bit of army painter strong and brown washes from the droppers and thin with some flow aid. It makes the colours a bit more vibrant but has the negative effect of dulling the differentiation in tone previously described so at a later point i go back and just highlight up the muscles again.

Flesh starts with flat brown over all the skin. here i took the photo before realising they were barelegged but corrected that afterwards.

This was the mixed with cork brown in stages and sprayed on as per the horses with lighter tones at the top and concentration on the muscles.

Lastly the cork brown was mixed with flesh and the process continued. Khal Drogo makes his entry here on his grey horse. My mobile being old struggles with blacks and light colours. Drogo is not riding an albino horse...

The guys above are clearly overly white in places and have librarian skin rather than murderous nomad skin but this is once again toned down as per the horses with the same wash process but using thinned flesh wash as can be seen below.

Also below i have gone over everything else in german camo dark brown as a base for the range of browns (and red) to follow.

The browns i used were flat brown for the reddish leather colour you see below and a mix of burnt umber, flat earth and chocolate brown as bases for the rest. Highlights were achieved with desert yellow and orange brown mixed with the above.

The stages start getting smaller now and my ability to remember to take photos similarly reduces.

Below we have several small stages. Firstly on the veterans and Drogo I have added red leather armour using burnt red and vermillion. This is to represent the painted leather armour. Drogo also has horse stuff, reins and bridle in red and the chanfron.

Those areas needing a black base were also done at this stage. Black hair is universal in my dothraki highlighted with light grey and swords also blacked up. Horses eyes are done with black and a tiny white bit in the back corner part. Thinned down black is also washed around the bottom of the horses legs below the knee as this part always looks darker in paintings of horses and possibly in real life. Manes and tails also darkened.

You can see I've also highlighted the horse muscles again by this point. I dislike the hard edge muscle painting approach on horses or people so try to keep it looking smoother and more natural and airbrushing makes this easier.

Manes and tails given a light drybrush then glazed to remove the powdery effect of drybrushing. If you look closely i have also glazed over the highlights on the mens' hair for similar reasons. Fur gets a similar treatment but without the drybrushing as there is enough relief to use 3 colours, dark to light and a glaze down.

Metals are started with dark brown mixed into bronze and black into model air aluminium to get a darker base. This is important for smaller parts as its hard to highlight up from a bright start.

Lastly came the tattoos which were applied using a blue black mix with my winsor and newton series 7 number 1. The designs for the tattoos were based on googling mongol tattoos but every figure has the one on drogo's left shoulder usually on their right breast. a second different shape is on their left shoulder blade.

Basing was done as per my blog on basing using a mix of flocks i have plus some steppe type tufts.

As always i hope these jottings are of some help. These guys are trickier than they look due to the very limited palette using browns basically but if you try to make sure you put a light brown by a dark brown you can get some contrast and remain realistic with your dothraki/mongol/huns!!

Random picture of Danaerys for no good reason


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