My goal with this army has always been to assemble and paint the miniatures as fast as possible. I don’t work in very many conversions, instead focusing on distinct poses, basing, and a unique color scheme to make the miniatures stand out. In this post I’ll show you how I finished a recent unit of Man-O-War Shocktroopers. This is the same painting process I use on my entire Khadoran force.
A note on the colors: My paint collection includes both Formula P3 and Citadel colors. I name the actual colors that I used, but if you’re using this as a guide to paint your own models, you shouldn’t have much trouble finding the equivalent color in whatever paint range you prefer.
Assembly and Basing
Assembling the Man-O-War troopers was pretty straightforward. The only adjustment I made was to the length of the halberd handles. To keep them from extending below the base plane, I clipped out a 1/8-inch section and pinned the handle back together. I also pinned the miniature’s weapon hand to strengthen the small attachment point. The shields were painted separately, and I glued them to a dowel so I could hold and paint them all simultaneously. The base tabs were also clipped away to accommodate my basing scheme.
To make the snow bases, I taped over the slot and super glued some small patches of sand onto the base. Then I mixed up a batch of modeling putty and pressed it onto the center. Using my fingers, I spread the putty out over the base and pressed it down around the edge of the sand. Once I was happy with the shape of the snow, I smoothed away any fingerprints.
By pressing the model’s feet into different areas, I created footprints and kicked up snow so each base would be unique to the figure standing on it. I didn’t glue the figure in place, and instead relied on the putty to secure it. That way I could pop the figure off and paint the base more easily.
I let the putty set up for a few hours before priming and painting.
Painting the Figure
Over a black undercoat, I began by drybrushing the entire figure with Pig Iron. By wetting the brush just slightly I got a more even coat. The next step was to wash the miniature with Armor Wash, and once that was dry, I gave it a proper drybrushing with a little Cold Steel to pop the metal highlights.
To give the halberd blades a nice shine, I basecoated them with Cold Steel and highlighted the edges by running Mithril Silver along the blade.
The gold trim was first based with Rhulic Gold and then washed with Bloodstone. The highlights were drybrushed with Solid Gold, taking care not to mar any of the silver. To get the perforation holes nice and dark, I carefully poked Armor Wash into each one.
With the metal areas out of the way, I moved on to the armor color. The first step was to basecoat with Shadow Grey.
Next, I washed the recesses of the grey armor with a mix of Armor Wash and Coal Black. During this step, I also washed any of the metal spots I missed in the deep recesses (most notably, the screws on the sides of the chest plate).
Then came the most tedious step: blending the highlights on the grey armor. I used Shadow Grey to recapture the mid tone. The highlights were blended up with a mix of Shadow Grey and Frostbite, never taking it all the way to pure Frostbite. To ensure consistency throughout the unit, I worked on a portion of each model at the same time. So, I started with all of the shoulder pads, then all the chest plates, the heads, arms, etc. I continued in this way until all five miniatures were complete.
I painted the markings on the shoulder pads and numbered each model on the back of its boiler. The letters were blocked out with straight Frostbite, and the edges were cleaned up with Shadow Grey (at times using a lighter mix of grey to match the underlying color).
Painting the Base
With the figure completed, I carefully pried its feet out of the putty and set him aside. This allowed me to paint the base without the figure getting in the way. I began by bascoating the patches of sand with Battlefield Brown. Then I drybrushed the sand, first with Gun Corps Brown and then with ‘Jack Bone.
I basecoated the snow with Frostbite to provide a solid undercoat for the white. Three or four coats of Morrow White were applied to get a smooth, solid white surface.
I moved on to shading the snow once the white was thoroughly dry. (And trust me– when you start blending, you don’t want to pull up the lower layers of paint because they’re still active.) Using thinned Underbelly Blue, I carefully applied it to recesses of the snow. While it was still wet, I softened the edges of the blue with a damp brush.
Finally, I washed a little Battlefield Brown into the snow around the dirt patches and into the footprints to muddy things up a little.
The final step was to super glue the miniature back onto the base and add the shield.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my painting process. Check out the finished Man-O-War unit in my Khador gallery!