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In this follow-up article I will go through the approach I have to  painting the plastic elf soldiers, the techniques would also apply to any of the vast numbers plastics now available. INSPIRATION I had in my minds eye the sort of colours I would go for, and  after seeing Andrew Taylor’s wonderful painting of them I  realised I would do, keeping to a similar palette but more grey,  and using less blue. Also I decided to use the very nice shield  decals made for the plastic elves by LBM studios, as I had not  really used the before, preferring to paint shield designs.  UNDERCOATING With the elves carefully assembled as detailed last time, when  they are fully cured, you can go straight to the undercoating.  Undercoating is essential as it provides a consistent surface on  which to apply the next coats of paint. For the undercoat I used  Humbrol enamel matt black. I usually undercoat in oil based  paint as I find they give better coverage on the plastic. I brushed the paint on with a Warpaints Small Drybrush brush  making sure I covered the entire model. Don’t let the paint pool  anywhere as this will dry very thick and could obscure details.  Also watch out for any stray hairs detaching from your brush  and sticking to the model during undercoating. Pull them off  with tweezers before they become permanently attached! Take  particular care not to clog up the face and similar fine detail  areas, don’t be afraid to go back and clear runs or blobs of  undercoat off with your brush. I then let the undercoat dry  completely before going on to paint the models. THE PAINT I used Army Painter War Paints to paint the elves, mixing up  colours to suit my style and preferences. The names here  reference The Mega Paint Set provides an adequate range of  colours for almost all needs, but you will always need to mix  colours to get the desired results, however I have tried to work  out colour combinations to reduce mixing if possible.   PAINTING The figure painting follows my well known method of working  from dark to light shaded up from a black undercoat. This three,  four or more colour painting method uses successive tones of  colour (shade, middle and light) which are added to the model  in layers, working up from dark to light. This creates a bold  three-dimensional effect of shadows and highlights, the layers  of colour giving greater depth and subtlety to the model. It may  seem counterintuitive if you haven’t painted this way before,  but bear with me.  THE SAME COLOURS Although I painted up the five elves on the sprue they are  painted up as unit, so I will concentrate on describing the  painting of just one elf as the colours on the rest of the elves are similar. I will show (lots and lots of) relevant pictures of the  rest of the elves from time to time.  THE METALWORK Now, normally I would do the flesh first on most models, but  there is a significant amount of armour and chainmail to do on  these models and one of the techniques I use for metalwork can  be a bit messy, I find when using this method it’s easier to get it  all done at once first off. Then you can tidy up and carry on  with the rest of the painting knowing one big job is done.
North Star Military Figures OATHMARK: BATTLES OF A LOST AGE. Fantasy Mass Battle Game from Osprey Games. Miniatures by North Star and Osprey.  The painted Elves.
Painting Elves
Above. The painted Elves.
Undercoating is essential as it provides a consistent surface on which to apply the next coats of paint. For the undercoat I used Humbrol enamel matt black. I usually undercoat in oil based paint as I find they give better coverage on the plastic.
Undercoated elves
DRY BRUSHING The armour is painted using a technique called dry brushing.  Essentially this is done by using a stiffish, short, brush with a  lot of the paint removed and touching raised sections. Dip the  end of your brush in the paint and make sure all the bristles are  well soaked at the end then remove much of the paint onto a  tissue.  Draw the brush back and forth over the high spots of the model.  You will need to brush back and forth several times as  the best effect is achieved with slow gradual build up of paint.  Be wary of the paint drying on the brush. (Dry brushing is a bit  if a misnomer actually, as you will find the brush needs to be  quite wet with paint; however the paint itself needs to be dryer  and thicker than if you were painting normally).  Like normal painting I do three or more layers of dry brushing  as follows. Also slightly confusingly I use a layer of ink  between first two layers. 1.  Gun Metal is applied most thickly, going over all of the  area to be steel type finish. 2.  Dark Tone Ink is then sloshed all over that first coat to  deepen any shadows that might have inadvertently got filled in  by the first coat and to give the metal that, a bit worn, slightly  rusting feel.   3.  Gun Metal again, lightly brushed over again. 4.  Plate Mail Metal is then dry brushed on 5.  Shining Silver is the top coat, well almost, dry brushed  on vary sparingly. 6.  Matt Black is then used to tidy up around where the  paint has gone over where it shouldn’t have, see how neat it  looks now. 7.  Matt Black again, but this time in very small and fine  amounts to add distress and damage marks on the helmets and  swords, each of the marks is highlighted with Shining Silver.  
EYES I normally paint the eyes first so I can get them right before  doing the rest of the model, (but here I did it after the armour as  detailed above), if the eyes are not great it will spoil the rest of  the paint job! I also took the opportunity to paint in some teeth  
1. Gun Metal is applied most thickly, going over all of the area to be steel type finish. 1. Gun Metal is applied most thickly, going over all of the area to be steel type finish.
1. Gun Metal is applied most thickly, going over all of the area to be steel type finish.
2. Dark Tone Ink is then sloshed all over that first coat to deepen any shadows that might have inadvertently got filled in by the first coat and to give the metal that, a bit worn, slightly rusting feel. 2. Dark Tone Ink is then sloshed all over that first coat to deepen any shadows that might have inadvertently got filled in by the first coat and to give the metal that, a bit worn, slightly rusting feel.
2. Dark Tone Ink is then sloshed all over that first coat to deepen any shadows that might have inadvertently got filled in by the first coat and to give the metal that, a bit worn, slightly rusting feel.
 3.Gun Metal again, lightly brushed over again.
3.Gun Metal again, lightly brushed over again.
 4. Plate Mail Metal is then dry brushed on.
 4. Plate Mail Metal is then dry brushed on.
Above. 5. Shining Silver is the top coat, well almost, dry brushed on vary sparingly.
5. Shining Silver is the top coat, well almost, dry brushed on vary sparingly.
Above. 6. Matt Black is then used to tidy up around where the paint has gone over where it shouldn’t have.
6. Matt Black is then used to tidy up around where the paint has gone over where it shouldn’t have.
7. Matt Black again, but this time in very small and fine amounts to add distress and damage marks on the helmets and swords, each of the marks is highlighted with Shining Silver. 7. Matt Black again, but this time in very small and fine amounts to add distress and damage marks on the helmets and swords, each of the marks is highlighted with Shining Silver.
7. Matt Black again, but this time in very small and fine amounts to add distress and damage marks on the helmets and swords, each of the marks is highlighted with Shining Silver.
7. Matt Black again, but this time in very small and fine amounts to add distress and damage marks on the helmets and swords, each of the marks is highlighted with Shining Silver. 7. Matt Black again, but this time in very small and fine amounts to add distress and damage marks on the helmets and swords, each of the marks is highlighted with Shining Silver.
on a couple of the elves. I painted the eyes in with a Warpaints  Insane Detail brush. 1.  The whites are Matt White. 2.  The irises are Deep Blue with a tiny amount of Oak  Brown  
FLESH I did the flesh next. I wanted the elves face to be mostly smooth  and with few wrinkles or blemishes, no baggy eyelids, also I  wanted a light skin tone so I used the colour combinations  below. 1.  Fur Brown   2.  Tanned Flesh, this follows very much the layer before.
1. The whites of the eyes are Matt White. 1. The whites of the eyes are Matt White.
1. The whites of the eyes are Matt White.
2. The irises are Deep Blue with a tiny amount of Oak Brown. 2. The irises are Deep Blue with a tiny amount of Oak Brown.
2. The irises are Deep Blue with a tiny amount of Oak Brown.
3.  Barbarian Flesh, you can see starting to really pull out  the details. 4.  Barbarian Flesh plus Matt White, now the face really  starts to zing. 5.  plus more Matt White 6.  plus a tiny bit more Matt White 7.  and finally a tiny touch of Pure Red to the flesh mix for  the bottom lip and that is the faces all done.
1. Fur Brown. 2. Tanned Flesh, this follows very much the layer before. 3. Barbarian Flesh, you can see starting to really pull out the details. 4.Barbarian Flesh plus Matt White, now the face really starts to zing.
1. Fur Brown.
2. Tanned Flesh, this follows very much the layer before.
3. Barbarian Flesh, you can see starting to really pull out the details.
4.Barbarian Flesh plus Matt White, now the face really starts to zing.
5. plus more Matt White.
5. plus more Matt White.
6. plus a tiny bit more Matt White.
6. plus a tiny bit more Matt White.
7. and finally a tiny touch of Pure Red to the flesh mix for the bottom lip and that is the faces all done.
7. and finally a tiny touch of Pure Red to the flesh mix for the bottom lip and that is the faces all done.
7. and finally a tiny touch of Pure Red to the flesh mix for the bottom lip and that is the faces all done.
HAIR Had to be blonde elves for me! The hair repays careful painting  delineating the hairs as much as your brush will allow. Colours  are as follows. Be aware you don’t need much brown to darken  this yellow.
Undercoating is essential as it provides a consistent surface on which to apply the next coats of paint. For the undercoat I used Humbrol enamel matt black. I usually undercoat in oil based paint as I find they give better coverage on the plastic. Undercoating is essential as it provides a consistent surface on which to apply the next coats of paint. For the undercoat I used Humbrol enamel matt black. I usually undercoat in oil based paint as I find they give better coverage on the plastic. Undercoating is essential as it provides a consistent surface on which to apply the next coats of paint. For the undercoat I used Humbrol enamel matt black. I usually undercoat in oil based paint as I find they give better coverage on the plastic.
1.  Desert Yellow plus a small amount of Oak Brown   2.  Desert Yellow. 3.  Desert Yellow plus Matt White. 4.  plus more Matt White.
1. Desert Yellow plus Oak Brown. 2. Desert Yellow. 3. Desert Yellow plus Matt White. 4. plus more Matt White.
1. Desert Yellow plus Oak Brown.
2. Desert Yellow.
THE BLUE BITS These are the trim to the chainmail, details on the gloves and  boots and the shoulder pauldron. Colours as follows:
3. Desert Yellow plus Matt White.
4. plus more Matt White.
1.  Wolf Grey and Matt Black.  2.  plus Wolf Grey and Matt White. 3.  plus Matt White. 4.  plus Matt White.
THE BUFF BITS Boots and gloves. Take care to delineate the fingers carefully if  you can, even if you have to go back and neaten up between  them with a tiny bit of Matt Black. Colours as follows: 
1. Wolf Grey and Matt Black. 1. Wolf Grey and Matt Black.
1. Wolf Grey and Matt Black.
4. plus Matt White. 4. plus Matt White.
4. plus Matt White.
THE WHITE BITS Just a tiny bit of tunic, it is a bit of a pain to do neatly but worth  it as it provides a nice bit of delineation. There is more tunic on  show on the archers.
1.  Desert Yellow plus Oak Brown   2.  plus Matt White. 3.  plus Matt White. 4.  plus Matt White.
1. Desert Yellow plus Oak Brown.  2. plus Matt White  4. plus Matt White.  4. plus Matt White.
1. Desert Yellow plus Oak Brown.
 2. plus Matt White
4. plus Matt White.
4. plus Matt White.
1.  Ash grey plus Matt White. 2.  plus Matt White. 3.  plus more Matt White. 4.  pure Matt White.
THE DARK GREY BITS Trousers, colours as follows: 1.  Uniform Grey plus Matt Black.  2.  plus Matt White. 3.  plus more Matt White. 4.  plus more Matt White.
1. Ash grey plus Matt White. 4. pure Matt White 4. pure Matt White 4. pure Matt White
1. Ash grey plus Matt White.
4. pure Matt White
4. pure Matt White
4. pure Matt White
THE GREY BITS Helmet plumes and arrow flights, colours as follows:  1.  Uniform Grey.  2.  plus Matt White . 3.  plus more Matt White. 4.  plus more Matt White.
1. Uniform Grey plus Matt Black.
1. Uniform Grey plus Matt Black.
1. Uniform Grey.
1. Uniform Grey.
2. plus Matt White .
2. plus Matt White.
 4. plus Matt White. PART2: Shields, varnishing & basing
4. plus Matt White.
PART 1