Monday, 12 March 2007

Getting Started

1. So, having cleaned up 8 of the Cataphract horses, it was time to get started. I tend to paint in batches of about 6 to 8 at a time. First was to stick the horses to a strip of wood. Then they were undercoated in black (I use Citadel Chaos Black spray - produced by Games Workshop).

2. Once the undercoat was dry, I then drybrushed all the horses with silver, using a largish brush. I have a brush I reserve purely for drybrushing, because it is a technique which will destroy a brush in a very short space of time, rendering it no good for anything else!

3. The next stage was to paint in the exposed horse flesh - not forgetting the ears! In the past I have happily painted an entire army of cataphracts, only realising at the end that I forgot the ears! Thus my own Parthian army consists of horses with silver ears!! At this stage I also painted in the reins and the lower edge of the caprison in white. I did the same for the chin strap behind the horse's face armour. The reason for this is that I planned to paint these red, and the pigment in red acrylic paints is not especially strong, so doesn't show up well against a dark background.

4. I then painted a bright red band along the lower edge of the caprison. Following that the reins and chin strap were painted maroon. I have no idea if this is an authentic colour, but it shows up a lot better than a standard mid-brown leather colour (which I suspect is more historically accurate). I also painted the saddle cloth white. This was for the same reason as for the reins etc - the cloth will be red, I wanted a white base so that it would show up well.

5. The saddle cloth was then painted using the same red as for the base of the horse armour, leaving two stripes where the white base was showing through, for decoration.

6. The final stage was to paint the horse's tail black, and with a little thinned down black paint to trace a line around places like the edge of the saddle cloth, the face armour, and other areas to add definition and detail.

...and there you have it, one complete Palmyran Cataphract horse. The rest will be done all together one stage at a time. If I am going to be painting a quantity of the same figure, I always paint one completely from start to finish first. This lets me get used to the figure and "suss out" the nooks an crannies etc. I find this makes the painting of the rest quicker and easier because I know what to expect.

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