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Army in a Weekend – Speed Painting Varangrrr

The Counter Charge paint an army in a weekend was last weekend. I posted pictures of my freshly painted armies and a number of people asked for tips on speed painting and details of how I painted the models.

My first consideration was choosing a suitable colour scheme. I use basic colour theory to help choosing colour combinations that work together and I use an interactive website to assist me. The main colour I wanted for the armour on the models was a dark blue. The adjacent colours to blue are purple and turquoise/teal; these colours would provide the accents to the army.

The “triad” colours for blue are green and brown so I decided to use these colours on the model bases. This would make the blue models “pop out” from the background. After priming with Halfords matt black primer, I dry brushed GW Kantor Blue all over the model. I then applied a light dry brush of GW Macragge Blue to the model. I then applied a wash of GW Drakenhof Nightshade over the whole model and left it to dry. Next step was to paint the chainmail, weapon blades and cloaks with GW Stegadon Scale Green and the fur, weapon handles and horns with GW Naggaroth Night. Last base coating step was to use GW XV-88 on all the skull parts.

Once all the base coats were dry, I then highlighted each bit. Starting with the base colour, a small amount of a highlight colour was added, blending up to the pure highlight. I highlighted in a specific order:

  • Base XV-88, highlighted up to pure AP Skeleton Bone and then washed with AP strong tone
  • Base Naggaroth Night, highlighted up to pure GW Screamer Pink
  • Base Stegadon Scale Green, highlighted up to pure GW Temple Guard Blue
  • GW Kantor Blue, highlighted up to Macragge Blue (on plate edges mainly)
  • AP Gunmetal was applied to the edges of the weapons and washed with AP strong tone

The advantage of highlighting in this order is that you can paint over any mistakes you make earlier and thereby you can paint quicker, and perhaps with a little less care. You’ll also notice that the colours I used (with exception of Temple Guard Blue) are from either AP or GW Base. I like the stronger pigment levels in the base colours as I know I can use a single coat to cover the area. I’m not a great believer in watering down paints – whilst the very top painters do this to ensure even blending, as a mere mortal, I just resent doing multiple coats! One thing I will add is that I tend to apply the highlight stages on to each other whilst they are still wet. This can give you a really good blending effect *and* saves time: Win/Win. My other tip is that if you want a wider range of GW colours with good pigmentation, look to their “air” range. They are noticeably thinner than the base paints but the coverage is nearly comparable.

The other colours used where:

  • Horses / Gorebeast: GW Eshin Grey , Drakenhof Nightshade wash, Eshin Grey + GW Celestra Grey highlights
  • Skin tones / Wolves: Celestra Grey, Drakenhof Nightshade wash, Celestra Grey + white highlights
  • Tongues and eyes: GW Khorne Red, GW Khorne red + AP Pure Red highlights

Note on paints. It was only when I wrote this out that I realised that the majority of the paints I used were from GW. I use a range of different paints but the nearest hobby store to me is actually GW HQ in Nottingham (12mins away) so I tend to grab paints from there. I do also buy paints, models and hobby bits from my FLGS (Black Dragon Miniatures, Hinkley) and would encourage everyone to support their local gaming store.