Tag Archives: saxons

Real Miniature Painting


As you may know from earlier posts, I have been using the quick-dip method of painting my miniature figures. I’ve been working on my 28mm vikings, and I thought I’d give legitimate three-tone mini painting a try. It’s been a mixed bag, so far, and I’m not sure the effort (and time) is worth it, but I thought I’d put up a quick post with the method I’m using for the faces and other skin areas. This method has totally been cribbed from the Victrix Miniatures website.

Step-one: the base coat

Of course, you’ve primed your figure beforehand, and most guides seem to suggest black primer for 28mm figures. I find it difficult to pick out detail with black primer, which causes no end of the repainting, touching up, and “Oh, so that’s what that is!” moments. I may go back to tried and true white primer on the next batch.

In any case, I’ve selected Burnt Sienna as a nice ruddy dark color for shadows on skin, and applied it in two or three coats of thinned acrylic paint.

Step two – Mid Tones

With the dark base coat applied, the Victrix guide suggests using Dwarf Flesh (Citadel) as the next layer. I suppose this serves as a mid-tone for those surfaces receiving diffuse or reflected light. I think it’s a good idea to consider the direction of the light at this stage. For my minis I tend to select up and to the left for the location of the sun, which means highlights are going to be in that location. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

I think you could probably stop at this point for quick and dirty projects. You get some nice definition with only two tones, particularly at these small scales. 28mm is still a small scale, right?

Step three – Highlites

Good ‘ol Victrix guide suggests using Elf Flesh to do your final highlights, though adding a bit of white to your Dwarf Flesh (or mid-skin-tone of choice) would do the trick. I had a pot of Elf Flesh, so on it went.

I may have over-highlighted on this figure, but with that caveat out of the way, it’s helpful to consider the shape of the face. Brows and temples are generally going to be highlighted (though not the center of the brow!). The ridge of the nose will also be lighter in color-not the entire honking blob like I’ve done here. I lack the motor skills and rods and cones necessary to do eyes correctly, but doing eyes properly certainly brings a lot of personality to the figure. I may invest in a jeweler’s loupe visor to see (ha!) if I can do something about the situation.

Anyway, there are several hundred rambling words describing how to do three color layered Caucasian flesh. The whole article could easily have consisted of three pictures and words, (burnt sienna, dwarf flesh, elf flesh) but that’s just not the way I roll. I do roll with half-a-decade-old slang, though.