Cloth, Flesh and Ink ... A Wargamer's Cosy Night In

I thought I'd break from the Palladian theme today to share some of the work I've been doing on historical miniatures: specifically, some of Wargames Foundry's Gladiator models.  These are some that I've been painting up for fellow blogologist and general history buff Headologist, and although not strictly related to 40K, there have been some very useful trials of new painting techniques focussing on flesh and cloth, and various shades of brown.

Flat base colour
After washes and highlighting

These two pictures show (as well as my iPhone and shaky hands will allow) what I've been practicing.  The left is the flat colour model, the right, highlighted and finished off.  The photo doesn't do the left one justice; because of the patchy lighting this photo was taken in the light makes it look shaded, when in fact it's just flat colour.
Claudius Araelius shown here turning
his back on the foe, forgetting the first
rule of Gladiating.

Anyway, the technique I've been using isn't compacted or even new (I've used it on the Hardened Veterans, as per the post of a few days back).  It simply involves a steady and successive build up of washes.  The colours and density of these washes are what dictate the final appearance, not the base colour.

Obviously the base colour is needed for, say, the red shield since that's a very vivid colour you can't replicate with washes.  But the padded armour and cloth is all done with heavier washes of Ogryn Flesh.  For variety, the loincloth has a few washes of Badab Black in there as well, so it looks like different material.

I think this technique is only appropriate for models with either a lot of flesh, or a lot of natural-coloured cloth or leather.  It's also quite time consuming, but looks good on individual models.  Compare this to the Mordians I've been working on.  The Knarlock Green highlights are a very stark contrast to the Dark Angels Green base coat, but Imperial Guard models only need to look good in rows of fifty and a hundred, where such contrasts will be visible.

I can't see myself getting too much traction out of this technique for the Mordians for the reasons above, but experimenting and adding to your paint-technique armoury is where the fun in painting is to be found.

Over the next few days, I want to carry on a few more of these Gladiators so the Mordians will have to go on hold.  I'm building up my paint skill for a very impressive display piece that I'll be putting up in the coming weeks, but ... I've said too much already!  Watch this space ...


  1. Excellent stuff as ever, better than my work in progress work

    Definitely going to add more lines to edges as I did with the armband, and will add it on the balteus/loin cloth. I'm not going to ink this one now but definitely going to try it on the next one. Going to try and mix up the skin tones to represent them being shipped in from different corners of the Empire


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