The Battle of Verneuil 17 August 1424

The Battle of Verneuil 17th August


Wednesday, 22 September 2010

English Men at Arms: Step by Step I

Having not managed to make a post in over a week and finding myself painting a few men at arms I decided to do a quick step by step of how I have painted the more generic men at arms/knights. These will go towards making up the final base for Bedford's battle

As you can see above we have four Perry Miniatures knights in the early stages of painting. Basically what we have before us is the figures cleaned up, given a dusting of black spray undercoat. This is then followed up with a 50/50 coat of Vallejo Matt Black and water. Into this I mix a small amount of Matt Acrylic Medium to give an excellent flat surface which nicely elucidates the detail on the miniature.

The next stage is to drybrush the mail and add a wash to the flesh. Any 'medium' flesh colour will do for a base- you will no doubt have your own preference. The flesh is given a couple of washes of Citadel Devlan Mud ready for highlighting later on. As for the drybrushing the mail, I start with a darkened mix of GW's Boltgun Metal (90% boltgun/10% Valejo Black) then progress to GW Chainmail then GW Mithril Silver. over the years I have found that the GW metallics are about the best in terms of quality. On the 'lesser men at arms' I then add a diluted wash of Citadel Badab Black over the mail. This helps indicate their status as the riguers of campaign and the lack of a page to clean up their armour means that they are likely to look quite shabby next to their gentlemanly superiors

The layering over the armour is done in much the same way but instead of drybrushing the paint is applied carefully in layers. It is important to take a look at a few suits of full harness before applying these layers. I have a collection of photo's that I've taken at various exhibitions and re-enactments but there is plenty available on the internet if you are stuck. Oddly enough the thing to do to get the impression of light bouncing off the surfaces of the armours is not to attempt to copy it direct from the pics. Instead try to create a general impression of what you see on your source material. This in my opinion gives the best results.

It is essential that the undercoat/earlier preperation is left showing through the different pieces of the plate. If you make a mistake, don't fret, you can easily rectify this by blacklining or in the case of the figures we are painting, just add some Vallejo Black to some Boltgun Metal and use this to line mistakes.

OK, that's it for now. Next I'll be adding the flesh tones and colour to the clothing and fabric covered armours.



  1. 'back to black' - good stuff this and I agree that the GW metals are very good and work nicely as a 'triad. Looking forward to the next instalment.

  2. Thank you for your tutorial. Great hints and I do like GW metals. I don't ahve them all, but will now.



  3. Simon & Helen,

    They're the best in the business as far as metallics go. some of the Vallejo Game Colour bronze and gold types are good too as is the Vallejo model colour Bronze. That covers about all the metallics I use.