A Painters Guide

I am an art teacher, so of course I like the hobby side of things as well as the game play.  I have always enjoyed playing with painted models, most locals can tell you it is a rare day to see me play unpainted.  In the 6 Warmachine/Hordes factions I own, I can build almost any theme list to tier 4 and 99% of everything is painted.

I am not by any means what I would consider a Pro painter.  I do not sweat every detail.  My models are meant to look good on the table from a few feet away. I could probably set records with the time my models go from NIB to table top ready.  My strengths lie in color theory.

Even before I start I generally plan out my attack.  I use colored primers, washes, inks, and drybrush techniques to get the job done. I generally restrict my pallet to 2-3 colors and 1-2 neutrals.  But I am also never afraid to break the rules a bit.  The important thing in my opinion is to create strong contrast and balance within your pallet.

I am working on a step by step as I paint Mash at the moment.  For now though, I would like to walk through my teams and discuss the theory behind why I painted them the way I did.


   Many times I like to break from the cannon color schemes, but sometimes I just have to admit it works. My base pallet was decided to be green and white with brown for leathery stuff.  One thing I recognized off the bat was that this team will have lots of other color details specific to individuals which is why I kept my base colors simple.

To start I generally paint models one base color and drybrush it up to bring out details and help see things when painting. This is not always the dominant color.  It is usually a background color like the pants.  Ultimately, my decision is made based on what makes life easier in the long run.

In this case I primed black and built a brown base that is most visible here on Mercury’s Gloves, but it is also the color of everyone’s pants/belts/etc.  My “plan” was to do shoes/gloves/dominate article of clothing green.  As this is a very individualistic looking team though, plans must be flexible.

As Calculus has a very long green apron, green shoes would be too much.  So I went with purple to match her hair and her poisonous nature.  Mercury has a massive green jacket so it makes sense to leave his gloves brown.  

The non-green aprons also can as a challenge  As I didn’t want them to blend in with other colors, but I also did not want them to stand out painfully

Finally I like multiple metal options.  One of my current favorites is the oxidized copper.  This adds a touch of random color and a touch of randomness is good at times.


My next team to paint was of course Union.  A tricky team because they have to fit in with others, but then again, not fitting in exactly is okay too.  Blackheart is the core model.  I wanted them to be mostly grey and red.  The grey in mixed with just a bit of blue and this was their base coat.  In most cases I decided I would at least keep capes unified.IMG_0042

Fangtooth was and extra joy because I love doing nasty fleshy things.  I do many under layers of purple/green/yellow washes to help build the gross.  Since he lacked much color, I went with the bright yellow mask, which of course needed to be a smiley.  Keep in mind, Fangtooth painted the mouth on himself, so it need not look perfect.  Finally, I spent a disturbing amount of time on his nipples because I want you to notice his nipples and I want it to disturb you.

So overall, I just tried to work within the small unifying parameters I set, But I also tried to attach colors that I assumed would match the teams they work with. Since this was only my second team, some of those schemes have changed.



My next team was brewers.  Since I am working on a detailed Mash I will keep this short.  Since yellow is actually one of my favorite colors to work with, I stuck with that as their main thing.  I had no desire to do plaid, but I wanted to add a little more interest to them.  With the stitchwork on their uniforms I thought that they would often have to repair them and it was likeIMG_0100ly that whoever they sent out to get more fabric would not have all their senses in tact.  When they show up with orange instead of yellow, everyone was like “close enough” so their look becomes more patchworked

.The green was a tough decision since it already existed in my Alchemists scheme, so I made sure it was a darker, earthier green.

One of my favorite things was painting the beer, just because I never have before. I am quite happy with how it turned out.


I was not suppose to have engineers.  i bought them for a friend to get him in the game.  He showed little interest at that time though and I was Jonesing to paint something so I took them back and promised him I would buy him a new team if he ever decided to play.  I primed them Bone then washed them with Earthshade so they look like Dickies.

Since most the models are earthy in tone, I went bright with their aprons.  I am not totally pleased with how the red and blue comes together aesthetically, but then again, engineers are not known for their high sense of fashion or care of aesthetics over function.



The fish I primed in blue, which is always a challenge.  As you paint you feel so overwhelmed by the blue.  But as you can see, it ends up not so bad.  In portraiture, one can undercoat the skin with blue to help build depth to the flesh.  I do feel that even though I am using the same flesh colors as the rest of my teams, Something about the skin of my Fish feels richer than the others.  But ultimately, I used the blue because they got a lot of junk on the models so their lowest layer of clothing should be the base. Plus I have lots of blue primer I use for my Skorne.

The pink is a must for one of my teams.  They seemed like they fit the color best.  Like my Alchemists, I find some models may have more of one color or another.  I used white as a tie in color.  There is a bit of green for variety, and many different browns for all the hangy crap.



This is the last of the teams I currently have.  I decided with them that I wanted to use only neutral colors and then cover them with blood, much like a real butcher may appear.My main colors are bone-white/grey-white/leather-brown.

I primed them bone with a very watered down Earthshade wash.  Then I just picked out the greys and the browns.  I actually enjoyed the very restricted pallet.  You can see Boar there before he was blooded.  I tried not to go overboard with hair, but did use it for a small touch of color.  I also decided to blood the grass so I wouldn’t have to oversaturate the models to get color out there.


Just a quick final note on bases.  Years ago I got sick of spending almost as much time on basing as I did on the models.  I would much rather have painted models than cool bases.  I have a giant bucket with a bunch of different flockings mixed in.  That is how I base.


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