How to paint Thorvald - advanced course
by Dimitri PEYRARD
After cleaning and assembling the parts of the miniature, I create a simple base by mixing sands with different grain sizes. I apply a basecoat on the model with a black primer spray. Wolsung miniatures are very thin and detailed, thus it is better to apply two fine layers (wait 10 minutes between each layer) to avoid losing details and textures.
To achieve good-looking "intermediate level" gaming minis, I think that zenithal highlighting is the best and most realistic approach. It gives the impression that the mini is enlightened from the top, creating much more contrast with enhanced shadows that helps to “read” the miniature better. To easily visualize how the light might "fall" on the model, just put it under a desk lamp.
I currently use the technique of pre-lighting on my gaming minis. It consists in painting the miniature with a dark basecoat and then in applying (with a spray or an airbrush) a grey and/or white layer from the top of the mini. This way, it will be easier to paint zenithal effect. For Thorvald, I apply two layers : I spray Codex Grey (or Dawnstone) Games Workshop with a circular motion centered on the top of the miniature, and then I spray pure white from the top of the miniature (vertically), and from much closer than for grey.
When you start painting a mini, you have to wonder what you should paint first. Here, I plan to paint the right arm with the drybrush method. It is better to use such "dirty" methods early in the painting process. I like painting copper because it allows making very nice oxidation effects. So, I basecoat the arm with GW Scorched Brown (or Rhinox Hide). I apply 2 thin layers in order to get a full and opaque coverage.
Then, I heavily drybrush it with GW Dwarf Bronze (or Hashut Copper) …
… and finally with GW Mithril Silver (Runefang Steel). I insist on the top of the arm and on the edges to reinforce the zenithal effect.
For oxidation, I wash small areas with diluted Emerald (70838) by Vallejo Color. At this step, the pipe under the arm is also basecoated with GW Dark Angel Green (Caliban Green).
I don’t try to obtain a very smooth blending on the pipe. I prefer to paint dots, lines... with a 50/50 mix of Dark Angel Green and GW Scorpion Green to simulate a magic or power effect.
I finish with a last highlight consisting in a mix of 50/50 Scorpion Green and Pure White.
Once this dirty work is done, it is time to basecoat the rest of the mini. I always basecoat all areas on my minis before blending, to ensure that the color scheme looks nice. I use VC Dark sea blue (48) + GW Space Wolf Grey (50/50) for the vest, VC Flat earth (143) for the pants, GW Macharius Orange for the scarf and GW Elf flesh for the skin.
For the jacket and the pants, I add shadows with Dark sea blue and VC Burnt umber (148) respectively.
I finish the deepest shadows with a mix of Dark sea blue + Black (for the jacket) and with pure black (for the pants). At this step, I also paint black linings everywhere to well separate the different parts of the mini.
Now, I highlight with Dark sea blue (1/3) + Space Wolf Grey (2/3) and with Flat earth.
Finally, I use Space Wolf Grey and a mix of Flat earth + VC Ivory (5) to paint small light spots and scratches.
Braces are quickly painted with Codex Grey, highlighted with GW Fortress Grey (Administratum Grey) and with white. The belt on the chest is painted with exactly the same colors as the pants.
On the shirt, the pre-light (step 2) gave a good result, so I only make small corrections with Codex grey in the deepest shadows, Fortress Grey in intermediate tones and white for the brightest areas.
I use VC Hull red (146) to darken the scarf…
… and Ivory to highlight it.
I apply a wash of GW Dwarf Flesh (or Ratskin Fleash) on the skin.
A second more controlled wash with GW Dark Flesh (or Doombull Brown) is necessary to increase the skin contrast.
Before starting the highlights, I paint the eyes with Ivory and I place a black dot. As Thorvald seems to turn the head to the right, the black dot is placed slightly towards its right side. Hair is painted with black to delineate the face perfectly, and I highlight the skin with Elf flesh…
… and finally with a mix (50/50) of elf Flesh and Ivory. All the remaining metallic details are painted with GW Boltgun Metal (or Leadbelcher), hair is highlithed with fortress grey and White, and the glasses are painted like the green magic areas on the right arm.
… I basecoat the whole ground with Burnt Umber, I heavily drybrush it with GW Bubonic Brown (or Zamesi Desert), and lightly with GW Ushabti Bone (or Bleached Bone). To finish, I fix small grass tufts, and the base rim is painted with Abaddon Black. Here is the final result, I hope you like it. It took me about 4 hours to paint this mini, but with practice, it’s probably possible to make it faster. Thanks to Frédéric, Loki and Mickael for english review and corrections :)