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Kingdoms Painting Guide for Beginners


This painting-guide is intended for people just starting out with painting. It covers some basic techniques. the steps and techniques described will not enable you to produce 'Eavy Metal-like painted miniatures but will (hopefully) lead to a satisfying result. However. At this point, I should say that I am not the greatest painter myself.

As an example for my paintings I use an BloodBowl Orc Lineman. This guide was written for the purpose of painting a BB-Team, but I think the tips can be applied to any Table Top Game.

If you want to contact me go to my fumbbl account and PM me. I won't publish my mail here, because I don't like spam.

Starting out

What does one need to paint? Paint and brushes and a miniature of course. But there is more to that. First of all, one needs a good underlay to paint on top of. I prefer to use old newspapers, as they are ideal for wiping off paint for drybrushing (we come to that later) and it doesn't matter if one accidentially spills paint on them. Other accesories are: Paper towels or an old rag to clean the brushes after using and a glass of clean water. Another point of interest is good illumination. This may sound like an overkill, but good light helps to paint better. I always like to have a strong light in front of me. As I'm lefthanded, slightly to the right makes it even better. If the light comes from behind you, you cast a shadow on your artwork-to-be which makes some details hard to see.

Other Tips

As I write this guide to prevent other newbie-painters from the mistakes I made, here are some other tips that prevent madness or a nervous breakdown ;)

  • Start with your least favorite model.

Why? Tempting as it may be to start with your newly aquired ultra-detailed Black Orc Blocker, i suggest to start with a simple (and ugly) plastic lineman. This gives you the chance to learn your skills on a simple model with not too many details. And if you mess up the whole thing... Linemen are for the compost anyway.

  • With colors Fewer is More

As you probably want your ball-chasing mob to look like a team, you should think up a color scheme for the gang. Now it is tempting to come up with a violet-yellow striped scheme, that has some blue-green-black-white tartans in it combined with shiny brass-armour. But such a color scheme would be incredible difficult to paint and to apply in various forms, but still consistent, to the team. My tip here is, stick with few simple colors. Three should be about right. This gives you some freedom to vary the uniforms but the bunch of creatures still look like they belong to the same team.


Some basic techniques are described with a simple plastic Orc-Lineman as an example. The techniques, with the exception of the base coat, do not need to be applied in this particular order for other models.

Base coat

Well I will not go into detail on the base coat as I usually just take a spray-can with some nice color. Off course the color for the base coat is important, so i would not spray an orc with red. As a rule i use black for dark models, like black orcs, (goblin-) green for the other orcs and white for light models like humans or snotlings. But this should not restrict you, to use other bases. Important when spraying is - beside the usual stuff like well vented rooms etc. - to keep the base coat thin enough, so the details still stand out. This can easily be accomplished by keeping the distance from the can to the miniature big enough. About 30cm works fine for me. On the image you can see our Orc-Lineman with only the base coat.


Inking is done with ink. (Who'd have thought...) Once applied inks look a bit translucent and let the color underneath shine through. Off course one can completely cover a surface with ink, but that is usually not the point. I use regular paint for this. Antother feature of inks is, that they flow into the deeper areas, like the crevice between the fingers, of the model. Inks can either be used pure or thinned with water. The thinner the ink, the more the color underneath shines through. For the lino I use pure green ink for the parts where the skin is visible. For this i dip the brush into the ink and stroke once or twice over the old newspaper to wipe off a bit of paint. Now I just got the right amount of ink on the brush for a nice tan for my lino. Don't worry if you cover some other parts of the miniature. Ink can usually easy be painted over. below is the lino with inked arms, legs and face.

Painting with regular color

After the inking of the skin we can actually paint the lineman. As this guy is destined for the Shattered Skulls team the main colors are yellow, orange and bleached bone. After dipping the brush into the paint always wipe it on the rim of the flask, to get rid of some paint. Rather than apply a thick layer of color, paint several thin layers. Especially with the lighter colors like yellow it is necessary to paint more than one layer. Try to paint as accurate as possible. Metal colors can be applied like all other colors, but for a better result I sometimes use the drybrush technique for metal parts, but more of this later. Off course the colors can be blended and all that, but we leave this to the pros for the moment. As usual, our lino is below, but now he looks almost done. They eyes are simply two red dots.


Now we like some finishing touches on our greenskin. As a preamble: drybrushing is very useful for painting rough material like fur, hair and chainmail. On flat surfaces the effect is a bit minimized, but can be used to make things look well-worn and dusty. Now to the technique. Take the largest brush you still find useful for the size of the mini. Preferably take an old brush, because drybrushing is quite harsh on the bristles. Now dip the brush into the paint, then wipe off almost all paint (yep, the newspaper comes in handy again). Now to drybrush lightly scrub the brush over the surface. After a few strokes the paint should be faintly visible, if you see your brushstrokes, you had too much paint. I usually test the brush on a bit of paper (newspaper again) or on the back of my hand before applying the paint to the model. Again it is better to apply more than one thin layer than a single heavy one.

Orc-Armour can easily be painted by drybrushing boltgun-metal over a black or dark gray surface. Since our lino is a plastic-figure and has very few rough surfaces (and my camera is not the best) the effect of the drybrushing is hard to see. At best it's visible at the hands and on the shoulderpads which look a bit worn and chipped at the edges.

finishing touches

Our lineman is now ready to storm onto the pitch. Now is the time to add any details like blood splatters, sand to the base etc. But I will not cover this now.

Last update: August 15, 2011