Over the last few months I’ve been steadily honing my painting skills by watching youtube videos, reading forums and other hobbyists tweets and of course practicing. I’ve definitely noticed a big improvement when I compare my first first Rohan Warrior – which I painted back in November – and my biggest project to date – The Green Knight. Overall, I’ve found the whole process, from assembling to painting, a lot of fun but it has been a steep learning curve and I’ve made a lot of school boy errors along the way.
So in this blog I will cover how I made the Green Knight. This blog in no way is intended to be a definitive guide on “how to paint The Green Knight” as quite frankly I’m nowhere near the standard of painter that can lecture others on how to paint. I want this post to be a “how I bumbled my way through my first project” guide.
So why did I chose The Green Knight as my first project? I suppose the biggest reason is that I love knights, medieval knights, fantasy novels, RPGs, magic wizards and swords. I also really love the Arthurian tale of “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight”. So when I first saw the Green Knight miniature I knew it was the miniature for me, In short he looked epic.
There was however, three things that niggled my about the miniature which I knew I had to change. The first was that he was carrying a sword. The Green Knight does not carry a sword he carries “the mother of all axes“. This meant that I would have to carry out my first conversion if I wanted the Green Knight to look as I wanted him to. The second issue was the standard that attaches itself to the Green Knights back. I hated it, it just seemed a little too oriental for how I envisaged my knight, it had to go. Finally, the third issue was the armour and horse colour, everything had to be green as that’s how the Green Knight is described in the tale and not how Games Workshop had painted him in their promotional material.
“No soul had ever seen
a knight of such a kind –
entirely emerald green.
and in the other hand held the
mother of all axes,
a cruel piece of kit I kid you not:
the head was an ell in length at least
and forged in green steel with a glint finish”.
The construction of the model was fairly simple. I constructed the horse and knight but didn’t glue them together as I was going to paint them separately. After the construction I decided to tackle the conversion of the sword into an axe. I started by cutting the top off the sword I then thinned the sword blade down so that it looked like an axe shaft. After creating the shaft with a craft knife I smoothed off the sharp corners with a file. After this I attached an axe head to the shaft with a combination of “green stuff” and glue.
As I’m new to the hobby this was my first experience of using “green stuff”. I found it a difficult medium to work with. It was either too tacky or too sloppy, when I used it with gel to stop it sticking. It was akin to using chewing gum to sculpt with. I’m sure I’ll get more confident in it’s use the more I use it but if anyone has any tips then please share!
Once the glue and “green stuff” mixture had dried I then primed the model by using chaos black spray paint followed by a touch up with Imperial Primer where needed.
I started off by undercoating all the cloth sections with Privateer Press’ Menoth White. I diluted the paint with a small amount of paint thinner, I applied three coats of Menoth White to the cloth sections.
Like most people knew to the hobby I still struggle with getting the thickness of my paints right. It’s either too thick or too runny, like a toddlers nose, all of which are nightmares when painting faces. I have found that paint thinner seems easier to use than water as the consistency is easier to judge and the paint stays wetter for longer.
I then moved on to painting the base of the horse flesh. I wanted the colour to look as natural as possible, which is difficult with green horse flesh. The horse flesh mixture was made from 2 parts Straken Green, 1 part Warpstone Glow, and one part paint thinner. The flesh received two base coats.
I then went back to the cloth parts of the horse and the knight. I wanted the cloth to be a fresh radiant green to contrast the dark green of the horse flesh. I mixed a 50/50 mixture of Averland Sunset and Straken Green with a small amount of paint thinner. The cloth areas received three coats of paint. Once the paint was dry I applied two thin layers of Coelia Greenshade to the cloth.
For the knights armour and shield I wanted an olive green colour that also looked metallic. To achieve this I mixed two parts Coelia Greenshade to 1 part Leadbelcher with a small amount of paint thinner. The armour received two coats followed by a coat of Coelia Greenshade when it was dry.
I then went on to paint the the golden areas of the knight. I wanted a warm gold colour so I started by first applying a coat of Screaming Bell to areas the areas I eventually wanted to paint gold. Once the screaming bell had dried I mixed 1 part Averland Sunset to 2 parts Gehenna’s Gold and painted over the golden areas. Once dried I coated the gold areas with a coat of Agrax Earthshade and then a dry brush of Golden Griffon. I then dry brushed the raised detail on the knights shield with Averland Sunset followed by a dry brush of Golden Griffon. After that is was just a matter of painting a few details, the saddle, axe shaft etc and the painting of the knight was done. Overall, I’m pretty happy with the end result. If you have any hints and tips please feel free to leave a comment.