06 February 2012

Cossack style cavalry painting guide

This is not a real tutorial as such, but I thought I would share some insight into what paints I used to paint these guys and some of my thoughts regarding color choices.

We can start with the horses, I did take a couple of pictures of the horses before riders were attached. I spent a little extra time on these, and will most likely do just that on all future companies. The horses are pretty much painted according to my "15mm horses" tutorial posted a while ago - with the difference of me adding a third layer of horse flesh to make the contrasts even stronger. They were also given a slightly more thinned down coat of Vallejo Umber Shade.

As this unit type is a lot less regular than the Dragoons I wanted to make sure that both the details on the horses and the clothes of the riders were as different as possible. This does take a little extra time - but we are talking something like an hour of extra work which really pays off in the end.

The reins on the horses for this troop type and all following light cavalry type units will be painted in blue. The reins are as such basecoated with black, then painted with Vallejo Imperial Blue, then Vallejo Ultramarine blue, and given a final highlight of Ultramarine Blue with a bit of white mixed into it. I really wanted "texture" in the painting thus once again used the "patched" painting style which I think work really well for 15mm scale. Other blue areas, such as blue horse blankets and blue clothes are painted like this as well.

The red color on  clothes and horse blankets in this case is made up of a black basecoat, Vallejo Scab red and then Vallejo Blood Red. Vallejo Blood Red is a bit too orange for me so I also give the area painted with it a wash of GW Baal Red.

For this game, as the stands are made up of 3 riders each, I'm trying to sort the riders into groups of 3 so that each group has the right mix of miniatures. When it comes to painting the cossack style cavalry I also wanted each trio of riders to have mixed colors on their clothes, and having the riders painted in colors that made a good contrast to the horse blankets.

To have a bit of sense in the unit I decided upon a limited palette of colors. Red, Blue, Green and Purple was used on vests, coats, pants and hats. The unifying color was white - in which all the shirts were painted. I find that having one such binding color in a unit like this is a good idea to at least have one common thing among the miniatures.

The green is painted with GW Orkhide shade followed by Knarloc Green and Knarloc Green mixed with white. In some cases I also gave the green clothing a wash of GW Thraka Green.

When it comes to the purple clothes, I used GW Hormagaunt Purple, and mixed it with white when painting the second layer of highlights, followed by a thinned down wash of GW Leviathan Purple.

Some of the pistol holsters, and bow/arrow containers are painted to simulate fur. The area was basecoated with Vallejo Charred brown, then dotted with Foundation Calthan Brown, followed by Dheneb Stone dots.

Gold areas were painted with Vallejo Shining gold straight on top of the black undercoat, and then given a thin wash of Badab Black to darken it. Swords and metal details/areas were painted with Boltgun metal and then given a wash of Badab Black as well. The only exception are plate armor pieces such as the armor pieces on the lower arm, which is painted with Boltgun metal only. I have an idea of how I want to paint polished plate armor (such as on Winged Hussars), but I'll need to try it out first to see how it works.

Painting a bunch of irregular riders might sound like a pain, but it was actually a lot smoother than I might have anticipated. I also painted the riders one trio at a time from start to finish before moving on to the next trio. This made the painting of the riders a bit more fun and  it did feel as if stuff was painted up a bit faster.

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