|Variations in fur using the same techniques|
Killer Rabbits Painting Tutorial part 1: Furry basicsThis tutorial is set up to give you the basics on how I go about painting Killer Rabbits, in particular the fur. You will note that I am all over the globe with my choices of paint brands; the ones I use, with a few exceptions are more preference than anything else- feel free to substitute them with your favorite paints.
For painting I’ve broken the process down into 5basic steps. Feel free to jump steps as you wish. Ultimately whatever makes you happy, and getting them done and on the table is the real goal.
PrimingI’d be remiss if I don’t speak a bit about priming. Make sure to clean any flash or casting lines on the minis first, then use a primer to coat the miniature in preparation to painting which can be applied with brush or rattle can. I prefer the latter. Good primers are actually microscopically porous in nature and help the paints adhere to the mini. Primers come in all colors these days but, unless I have a particular project to deal with (say like painting a tank green) I stick to either white, grey, or black. Since these guys are a medium fur colored, I opted for a grey primer. In particular I am using Tamiya brand fine surface light grey primer. Let your primer dry for 24 hours before you start painting.
About Fur ColorsRabbit furs vary in colors from black to white, dark brown to light tan, and can be either solid, or showing a lighter color underside –even mottled. The monks seem to keep to a few variations- either due to the rabbits around them, or to the color choices available to work with. Primarily we find medium tone of brown and grey predominant, with some lighter underbellies, which better helps show the form.
True to the medieval manuscripts, these miniatures are not sculpted with a fur nap to them, but rather are smooth. Some of the marginalia show a painted fur pattern in sections to suggest a nap; I do this on the lighter sections, as you will see.
|Base colors for brown fur|
|Base colors for grey. Your pallete may vary|
Paint the base colorApply the base color on the majority of the miniature. If you want to do a lighter fur underbelly, leave the chest, under the chin, the cheeks, and the inner arms and legs (optional and good for variation) unpainted.
|Adding browns. Note colors used on the base as swatches|
Applying Under fur and skin colorsNext, paint on the lighter fur color. For browns I use a lightish cream or unbleached titanium color, such as P3 Menoth white base, or Jack bone.
For the grey painted rabbits, I use a lighter grey (Like Foundry light stone grey, or Reaper weathered stone (I don’t use white) or a very light cream color such as P3 Menoth White Highlight. This latter color is great for a fur warmth against the greys.
When applying the paint for the under furs, I start at the center of the chest and paint outwards to the edges. If you feel confident enough, you can blend the base fur and the under fur on the edges a bit, which breaks up the line and helps read as fur.
After you get the underfur on, take a medium to dark “flesh” color and paint the inside of the ears, around the eyes and inside the mouth if it is open. Should you prefer a pink nose, paint it as well, otherwise paint it black.
Now I use Games Workshop Tanned flesh, or Vallejo Dwarf flesh for this. Again, this is a step you can pass up if you want, but I feel it brings more life into the rabbits- and Drew did sculpt those really nice ears!
|Adding greys over light grey primer|
Paint up the other bitsAt this point you want to fill in the miniature pieces that are not exclusively fur. Spear shafts and heads, bows, clubs, arrows, etc. These are really subject to how you want to paint them so I won’t really go much into it here. I will say that I do prefer to show off a lighter colored wood for the most part, and use Games Workshop Bubonic Brown or Vallejo’s yellow ochre for the base, mixing either with a bit of white for highlights.
A note about eyes. In most of the marginalia, the eyes are similar to humans with a large white surface and a round pupil- usually making the rabbits look a bit mad. I go back and forth on painting just a black solid eye with a bit of a highlight, or white with a black pupil like the monks did, depending on the model and what they are doing. Rabbits beating monks get the crazy eyes! Either way, leave a bit of the flesh color around them to help them pop.
The Wash!After you have all your base colors in, let them dry fully, then give the entire mini a wash of Games Workshop Agrax Earthshade Shade color. This will help blend everything together and accentuates the lines in the sculpt like toes and face lines. If you think you’ve to too much on, just take a clean wet brush and pull it off like erasing. A small piece of a paper towel or your finger works too.
At this point your miniature is ready to be varnished and battlefield ready. Should you want to add a bit more to it, move on to the next step.
|Added details by repainting areas- note brush stroke fur|
|You can really bring out a lot with just a bit of paint here.|
Finishing DetailsAt this stage of the miniature I like to go back and touch up some of the details, picking out highlights on the miniature and suggesting a bit of fur on the chest.
Take the light fur color and go back to your chest and cheeks, painting to lighten them up. If you paint in small vertical strokes you can get a bit of a fur nap. Sometimes at this point I’ll add a bit of white and go back to do the line work. I also do this in a cross-hatching kind of way on the edges where the fur colors meet. If I get too carried away, I simply grab the base fur color and paint back the other way.
I then take the base fur color and repaint areas like the top of the head, edges of ears, shoulders and paws- things that stand out a bit. play around with it and see what you like. You can always hit it with a wash again. Same thing applies to all the weapons and accoutrement.
That’s all there is really; time to base the rabbits up and you are ready to go!
Here are some samples of finished models. You can see how much variety you can get by using these techniques.
For Part 2 we'll focus on basing.