Grey Scale Painting with Warcolours by Reaver

Hello denizens of the Dark Lands. I’ve been working on a new style of painting recently and others (@MichaelX) have prompted me to give a bit of an overview on the process. So far Bloodborne the Board Game has been the subject of my experimentation but I think this minimalistic palette could be of interest to folks looking to battle their legions of grey Dawi-Zharr and turn them… well… grey.

This scheme has really been an exercise in “how can I best leverage @warcolours paints”. A quick glance here will reveal that I’ve fallen in love with the Greys set which gives a nice array of cool grey, warm grey, and blue grey.

Enough blathering, let’s leap over the gunwale and get on with it!

  1. The main subject will be the Kirkhammer hunter. A mini that despite his church aligned garb, hunts beasts with the spirit of a Chaos Dwarf, addressing his problems with an overlarge hammer. Even Hashut might be pleased with his hat/helmet hybrid. I started by airbrushing a zenithal black and white prime followed by a base coat of Vallejo Game Air Sombre Grey.

  2. With the airbrushing out of the I way quickly put down the base colors, not worrying much about coverage or transitions. The goal is to block in the areas and let the airbrushed base coat breathe in areas that could stay medium/dark grey. Warcolours main line of paints have an opacity rating but in general they will not go on as thick as a Citadel paint, which for this process will work to our advantage. I always keep a bit of black and white on my wet palette and continually cheat that onto the darkest and brightest areas while the current area is still wet with the main color. I’ve found the creamy consistency and the slightly lengthened working time of Warcolours paints to be excellent for this cheeky bit of blending.

  3. Apply DIY equivalent of nuln oil. This irons out a lot of the poor transitions I left behind in the last step. On this mini I only did one wash but he has lighter garb. On some other Bloodborne minis I have done multiple washes as needed or tuned the pigment of my DIY wash, one of the great freedoms afforded by DIY wash making, but that’s a topic for a different time.

  4. This is probably the most time intensive step.

  • Using the array of cool greys all on the wet palette at once, I wet blend some transitions into the cape and clothes. Often a very iterative process but a lot of the time I lay down the white/light grey roughly along an entire ridge and then work out of the shadows toward it to muddle the transition. One tip I heard recently (although its feasibility is subject to the geometry of the model in some cases) is to have the end of the brush pointing toward the color that is currently on the brush. This should hopefully avoid leaving behind a bead or a line as you blend. In this case since the model is lighter the emphasis is really on keeping the ridges from darkening.

  • As part of this step I tend to feather and edge highlight a bit after my initial blend has dried FULLY, lack of patience wrecking a blend is a rough circumstance that should be avoided. It’s much easier to tune a blend with a second pass than it is to have an odd blotch that gets lifted up by repeating an area too soon. Warcolours white isn’t too opaque so it’s pretty forgiving while highlighting without disturbing the blends. If I dislike a highlight I tend to blend it out with another brush with water or with the grey tone the highlight disturbed. Working time is your friend here, as well as taking on small enough areas on the model.

  • Repeat this with the smaller brown areas like the boots and gloves. The lack of opacity in some of the paints gives the model a cohesion from the original airbrushed base coat and freedom to tune the shading in subtle ways without impacting the blending work.

  1. Warcolours Ochre paints clean up the golden helm by working around the edges with the lightest tone and then blending around those highlights with the darker tones and even a bit of brown 4 in the most shadowed places. Again a bit of feathering of the lighter tones helps sell the look and fix up the first pass blend. The same paints were used for some of the ornate gold filigree trim.

  2. I use these Vallejo Greys for drybrushing the base from dark to light. They act more like a traditional Citadel paint in terms of consistency and are quick for this task. I also used these paints for the stone hammer, first with a dry brush and then some stippling and edge highlighting.

  3. Put a bow on it with a black base rim, grab a lawn chair, and fosche the mini to your evil heart’s content.

Some other examples that follow this process are in my BATG, and hopefully more to come soon! Thanks for reading, feel free to ask any questions or provide comments. I’m looking forward to trying some of the other paint types Warcolours has to offer like the one coat range and good ol’ gravy.