Friday, February 20, 2015

Painting 7th Cavalry (Dead Man's Hand)

Hello all,

I've started painting my 7th Cavalry gang for Dead Man's Hand so I figured I would so a "step-by-step" painting guide to how I'm painting them.  I decided to use my phone to take the pictures ... I think it works (and is fast ... I'm already a slow painter as it is ...).

In this guide I'll be painting the guy pictured below on the right.  I painted the other guy earlier.

Let's paint some 7th cavalry!

The rest of the guide here will be in the captions of the photos.  I've included the specific paints I've used in the pictures themselves (as you'll see).

I started by painting the trousers light blue and the tunic
dark blue.  I then used a black wash on both the
trousers and the tunic.  Back view.

Front view.

I use the same base blue color to put the first
layer on the trousers. Front view.

Back view.

I use black to paint the stripes on the trousers.

Other side of the trousers.

Second layer of blue on the trousers.  Front view.

Back view.

Third layer of blue on the trousers.  Front view.

Back view.

Base yellow on the trouser stripes.

Other side stripe.

First highlight on the stripe.

Other side stripe.

Third layer of yellow on the stripes.

Other side stripe.

Base steel on the spurs.

I washed the spurs with black wash.

I highlight the spurs with silver/metal.

I use a black highlight color to highlight the shoes.
I don't like leaving things just plain black as it looks
unfinished to me.

First layer of Union blue on the tunic.  Front view.

Back view.

Second layer of blue on the tunic.  Front view.

Back view.

I use black to repaint the belts, holster and bugle.

I use my gold mix to paint the buttons, belt buckle
and put a base gold on the bugle.  Technically my
Foundry 36C "Shiny" is the highlight color for
the Foundry gold set.  I added a healthy amount
of silver into my gold highlight to get the pot of
paint in the picture that is not labeled.  Front view.

Back view.

I use a black wash on the bugle - not many details to fill
but it tones down the gold so I can highlight it.

I use my special gold highlight to highlight the bugle.

I paint a base yellow color on the tassels of the bugle.

First highlight on the bugle tassels.

Final highlight on the bugle tassels.

I use my black highlight to paint the straps and holster.

I paint the base colors on the knife handle (spearshaft)
and scabbard (drab)..

I use only a single highlight for the handle and scabbard,
using the "C" colors in the Foundry ranges.+

I paint the flesh a base color of GW Rhinox Hide (hands
and face), I use Foundry Spearshaft on the wood
of the carbine and GW Leadbelcher.on the metal parts
of the carbine.

I wash the carbine all over and hands with a black wash.

I use metal to highlight the carbine barrel and trigger.  I use
gold for a band around the barrel and use a first
highlight on the wood parts of the carbine.

I put the final highlight on the wood of the carbine.

I put the base yellow color on the scarf.

First highlight on the yellow scarf.

Final highlight on the yellow scarf.

First highlight on the flesh - face and hands.

Final highlight on the face and hands.

I use black and white to paint the eyes.  They look a
little strange because of how close the picture is
but "in person" it looks good.

I use a red brown to paint what little hair is visible
on the back of the head.

I use white glue and GW sand to sand the base.

I use GW Steel Legion Drab to base the entire base.

I use a sand highlight color to drybrush the base
drab color.  The crack you can see in the sand is
because I didn't let the white glue fully dry
before painting the base drab color --- but I don't mind
since I'll cover it with tufts.

I use yellow tufts on the base --- small and large sized
mixed together to hide the crack and edges of
the base that can been seen through the sand.  Normally
I use wall joint compound (pre-mixed drywall) to
fill around the thicker bases.

To finish the job I use the base drab paint to paint
the edges of the base to make it look cleaner.

The finished product - front view.

The finished product - back view.

I know it took a lot of pictures, but that is generally how I paint my own miniatures ... and when I look to contract painting out I use painters that can match or paint closely to my models.  I hope you've enjoyed looking through this!


  1. great tutorial man. you might want to consider using a blank white background or similar for this kind of thing to help bounce a bit of light around. other wise it was lovely and informative. i do a bit of paint at and i have a similar technique for my hero standard but your blacklining is amazing. i will be following your lead!

    1. Thanks Peter --- and you are 100% correct --- I'll get a little "quick photo setup" put together with a nice white background to make future ones better looking. thanks for the link ... I'll check it out! :-)

  2. So you prime in black - is this something you always do? It's always interesting to see how different people paint, you do your skin colors last while that's the first thing I do!? As you say you are a slow painter (a something I feel I am also), how long would you say that took you to complete, from priming to basing?
    Good stuff as always!

    1. Thanks Ivor. Yeah, always prime in black. Taking pictures slowed me down but based on the first guy I painted I'd put it at around 70 to 80 minutes.

  3. These fellows certainly look animated and ready for the fray. Nice modeling, sir.

  4. Nice looking dismounted cav. The basing looks very appropriate with the tufts of grass too.

  5. He came out looking really good!