Today, Chris has a guide for his technique for painting ninjas for Warlord Game’s Test of Honour. You can check out his finished miniatures here in the store, where you can also find a wide assortment of products for Test of Honour. Perhaps you’ll discover the beginning of your own ninja enclave or samurai clan…
Taking a look at Test of Honour, I knew I wanted to do something a little different than the usual samurai. Something… stealthy. Sneaky. Unexpected.
Oh hey, a box of ninjas.
The metal sculpts here are quite nice – lots of evocative detail, plenty of different weapons and well-cast with little flash. Assembly for each figure typically requires attaching one of the arms and goes together smoothly, with well-fitting parts.
My first thought was to go with classic black all over, but I concluded that it wouldn’t be that interesting to paint or to look at on the tabletop. I quite liked the dark blue tone used on the box art so I decided to emulate that style. First off, each figure was primed with Citadel Chaos Black spray.
The large areas of cloth received a basecoat of P3 Coal Black to form my main color. Areas like the socks, wrist guards and sandals were based with Vallejo German Grey. This is a favorite trick of mine – German Grey is almost-but-not-quite black and, once shaded with a black wash, will look black while still showing some depth and lighter tones on the raised areas.
I chose Vallejo Burnt Red for the weapon grips to contrast with the Coal Black. Metallic areas of the weapons were painted with Vallejo Gun Metal (there are a lot of little shuriken poking out of belts and folds to look out for). The final base color was the cords holding the saya (sword scabbard), which were picked out with Vallejo Medium Grey. It’s easier to not bother being especially neat when painting the thin cord, compared to simply tidying up the Coal Black underneath afterward.
The next step was to give the figures an overall wash of Army Painter Dark Tone, thinned 2:1 with water.
I chose Citadel Ungor Flesh for the areas of skin. There’s not too much to paint since you can only see the hands and the areas around the eyes on these figures. I first put down a layer of Citadel Bugman’s Glow so that the Ungor Flesh would cover more easily over the dark blue base.
After a coat (or two where needed) of Ungor Flesh I shaded the skin with Citadel Reikland Fleshshade. This added some warmth to the yellow tone of the Ungor Flesh. More Ungor Flesh was used to highlight the skin, paying closest attention to areas like the nose ridge and fingers.
The edges of the weapons received a thin line of Citadel Stormhost Silver to suggest the sharpness of the blades.
Lastly, highlighting the clothing. This was done in two steps: first, a broad highlight using Coal Black mixed 2:1 with Vallejo Field Blue. To bring out the folds and texture of the cloth, I added another finer highlight by mixing in another measure of Field Blue to the previous highlight color.
The bases (and accompanying unit trays) were textured with Citadel Stirland Mud. A couple coats left the bases nicely textured and served to hide the metal base linking the legs of each figure. The bases got a wash of Dark Tone just as the figures had. The final touch (after a protective layer of Testors Dullcote) was patches of Army Painter Steppe Static Grass, and a few Mountain Tufts. Done!
My opponents will never know what hit them…