Murin and Drar - Alternative colour painting guidePainting Murin and Drar using an easy three layer techniqueIntroduction
Up until now I painted all dwarves as suggested by GW in the green colour scheme but, to be honest, I did not like it very much. So when Murin and Drar came out I decided that I wanted to go for another colour: Blue.
Why? First, because I like blue. Also, I think its more compatible with Moria or under other mountains (where I base my dwarves) where it could work better as camouflage. Second, because I liked the way GW painted their Murin and Drar minis in a blue scheme (although I did not like the shiny gold parts). They are described by GW as two friends that like to travel a lot so I wanted to go more in a darker, dirtier, battle worn direction and the gold would give them away for miles.
And last but not least I found a very inspiring thread on a German LOTR fansite that went in the right direction for me. So this is my version of what Murin and Draw look like.
The three layers technique
Space Wolves Grey
For the gaming table I paint my models using a three layers technique as it is a fast and easy technique yet still leading to a visually satisfying result. This is a short explanation of what I do.
I first coat the required area in the base medium tone colour
. I repeat this step if the layer is not opaque yet.
Then I water down a wash
mix of the base colour with darker tones (or black). I use a white ceramic plate for mixing. The water mix is right when you can see the white of the plate shining through. I add dish washing soap to make the water mix more fluid. This happens because the detergent breaks the water surface tension and helps to avoid border lines once the colour is dried. For a first wash I just run the water mix over the required area. After this, I load some wash on a brush making sure that it's not too much by brushing it off on the plate until the brush leaves a light colour line. Then, carefully, I give a wash on the shadow areas to darkent special areas and finetune the shadows. These are all areas like borders (where a piece of cloth ends, under the belt etc.) and the creases of cloth. If you think you have too much liquid paint dry the brush with paper and use it to take paint off the mini. Experience will tell you how much is too much but, if the paint is watered down enough even a lot of paint will not be bad.
Finally I do the highlights
drybrushisng with a lighter tone. I brush off the color from the drybrush on a paper towel until there is no more (or almost no more) colour coming off when pressing the brush lightly onto the paper.
This is a very easy, fast and safe technique I love to use when I don't want to spend a lot of time to create a hero (ie heroically painted) mini.
Remember that for gaming your minis will be about one arm length away from you so you should see the shadows and highlights from this distance. The result might not look that great when looking at your mini through a magnifying glass but will give great color contrast on the game table.Step 0 - Basing
I started with cleaning the miniatures and glueing them to the base using superglue. I decided to go for a Moria base as all my other dwarves are done in the same way. So, again with superglue, I first add some larger stones and then once the glue was dry I added another layer of glue and dipped the base in bird sand (a cheap and beautiful alternative for ground texture as it has a nice mix of larger and smaller grain (at least the one I get)).Step 1 - Undercoating
I sprayed the minis with Chaos Black and once it has dried I check if any areas have been missed. These I hand painted with thinned Chaos Black making sure that doesn't ruin the fine detail of the sculpting. Again I let it dry.Step 2 - Skin Base colour
I started painting all the skin areas with Dwarf Flesh. In order to get an opaque layer you might need to give a couple more of coats. I did not paint the hands on the archer as I wanted to try a glove interpretation.Step 3 - Face Wash and Armour
I watered down Scorched Brown and washed the skins parts. Don't worry if the face looks too dark now. While these dry I started drybrushing the metal parts , like the chainmail and the metal ring of the shield, with Boltgun Metal and then with Mithril Silver to highlight.Step 4 - Cloth base colour
I corrected areas that should not be drybrushed by the metal colours with Chaos Black. Then I started painting the textile areas with Shadow Grey. I also painted the base with Codex Grey. I left the parts under the mini in black as they are difficult to reach with the brush. I see it as a shadow area.Step 5 - Washing the Cloth
Now I watered down a mix of Shadow Grey and Chaos Black and washed all over the clothing parts.
Once dried I repeat this step but this time I use the brush shape and only lay the brush into the creases to darken the shadows a little bit more. Also I paint along all shadow lines. These are along belts, under gloves etc. everywhere a shadow might fall. Step 6 - Painting the Leather
I used Scorched Brown for the bow, the handle of the axe and the boots. For the little bags, gloves and sacks I mixed the Scorched Brown with Bestial Brown. For the blanket I used Codex Grey.Step 7 - Washing Leather and Base
Watered down Chaos Black was used to wash the base, the leather parts and the blanket. Again, once dried, repeat the washing but concentrate on the shadow lines (under the bag lids, next to the blanket belts, where the bags touch the cloth etc.)Step 8 - Highlighting and Details
Using drybrushing I highlighted the face with Elf Flesh, the cloth with Space Wolves Grey, the leather parts with Bleached Bone, the base and the blanket with with Fortress Grey.
Then I painted the feathers on the arrows with bleached bone and the remaining metal parts (the axe, the sword, helmets, arrow heads and belt buckles) in Boltgun Metal, washed them with Black wash mix and highlighted them with Mithril silver. The edge of the axe and sword blade I painted with Mithril Silver.
For the border ornament of the clothing I used Space Wolves Grey and then did some light washing with the clothing wash again in the creases.Step 9 - Hair
For the hair I just used Sunburst Yellow. It looks terrible now, I know, but it will turn out well. For the hair on the helmet I used Skull White.Step 10 - Hair Wash and Go ... Final Steps
Now I mixed Sunburst Yellow with Blood Red and watered it down. Wash the (head) hair with this mix. Water down a mix of Chaos Black and Codex Grey and wash the helmet hair.
Drybrush the head hair with Sunburst Yellow again. If you want more highlight use a little bit less Skull White on the head and on the helmet.
If you have not painted the shield before, do it now. I painted the inside in Shadow Grey and the Raven sign in Chaos Black. With the cloth wash mix I painted the lower parts of the shield and the shadow lines to add some more texture.
I added a little white to the open eye of the archer (I figured the other one was squinting as he aims) and a small dot of blue (I used Space Wolves Grey) in one corner. representing the iris. If you feel insecure about this (a big colour blob now could ruin the whole thing) just omitt the eyes. You don't really see them on a gaming table as you would not see the white of the eyes or the colour iris on a warrior on the warfield.
As the Dwarves run around in Moria (at least with these bases) through the dust of rock and stone I drybrushed the lower parts of the boots with Codex Grey. Also I washed the helmet with a black wash a couple of times so that the ornaments stand out in lighter silver giving the helmets more contrast.
Now comes my secret ingredient. I let the minis (and me) rest overnight and have a look at them the next day. It helps me to have some distance to get a more objective look.
I found out that the blue glove look for the archer did not look too great so I repainted the hands with Dwarf Flesh, Scorched Brown wash and Elf Flesh drybrush layers. Also I noticed that I have forgotten to paint the ends of the arrow shafts. I used scorched brown for this. Finally I used some black wash/white drybrush combination for the arrow feathers to add some detail.Done!
Once I am satisfied with my mini I paint coat it with matt (or gloss if you like) varnish to protect it during gaming (esp good for metal mini's).
Leaving you with some images of the final minis I say thank you for watching and reading and I hope you enjoyed this article.