Wargaming Tradecraft: Step by Step - Eldar Guardian in plate and chain


Step by Step - Eldar Guardian in plate and chain

Here's the walkthrough for (what I call) my mark 1 Eldar armour. (as it's from the day when they used chain mail and plate.

I begin with a single medium thickness white base coat of Krylon White Primer.
First thing I do is get the black undercoat for all things metal since they're mostly beneath the rest of the model. (ex: his armour, is easily accessible, while his chain mail is harder to get at and we wouldn't want to chance getting black on anything else)

I then paint his face (Elf Flesh), the cloth (Vomit Brown) and the leather. (Tallarn Flesh)
Next I darken these areas with washes of complimentary but darker colours. This gives some depth and clean blends to the shadows.

Face: Tallarn Flesh
Cloth: Bestial Brown
Leather: Vomit Brown

Now that things have a little shadow, I lighten them again by highlighting all areas but the cracks and crevices. (locations of shadow) At this stage, you're just looking to do a basic highlight away from the shadow.

Face: Elf Flesh (same as the original layer)
Cloth: Leprous Brown (a little more intense colour than the original)
Leather: Desert Yellow
So I've darkened everything, then lightened it. Now I can see a little contrast and decide what needs some more shading / highlighting.

Face: Tanned Flesh is used to darken the shadowed areas.
Cloth: Vomit Brown as shadows look good, but needs more highlighting.
Leather: Bestial Brown is washed on to add another layer of colouring. (as faded leather often will)

Face: I finish with a Bleached Bone highlight.
Cloth: IF you want it to look a little lighter, dry brush Elf Flesh.
Leather: Desert Yellow can be painted or dry brushed on to highlight.

I've then begun the armour with a Regal Blue base coat, the gun body with Bleached Bone and some Scab Red shadows on the gun front.
Armour: Enchanted Blue dry brush / paint on to highlight.
Gun Body: Snakebite Leather wash. (or appropriate medium brown)
Gun Front: Go Fasta Red is thin enough that when painted on, the Scab Red shows through.
Armour: I'm still lightening it with Festering Blue, closer to the edges.
Gun Body: I highlight with Bleached Bone and use some Bestial Brown to age it some.
Gun Front: I've used Tanned Flesh to highlight here, but you may have your own preference - just try to avoid making it look pink.
Armour: I use a Space Wolves Grey dry-brush to highlight the edges, but this is optional depending on how much you want to highlight it.
Gun Front: Elf Flesh can do the same here.

Chainmail: I've dry brushed the chainmail areas with Polished Blue metallic. (You may need a fine brush you don't might ruining with dry-brushing to get into the smaller areas)

Chainmail: I've used some Tin Bitz to shade and age it. You could also follow this up with a little Silver.
Jewelry: Used a metallic red fabric paint as a base.

Hair: I've based it with Bad Moon Yellow, then followed it up with a few layers of a Golden Yellow wash (thinned right down) to blend it down to the roots and finally Golden Yellow painted into the roots.
You could wash the yellow with flesh tones or light brown, and even highlight with Bleached Bone or White, but by skipping that, it remains very vibrant.
I paint the gems with layers of green, getting smaller and lighter each time.
Dark Angels Green, Emerald Green, Scorpion Green.

You could even dot it with white to finish, or mix in a metallic agent for a different look.
At this point, I've decided the armour needs a little shadow, and use some Necron Abyss to shade the crevices and places where shadow should be.

The final touch are some pupils!

I'm not sure if the left side of his mouth is a modelling defect, a war wound, or if he thinks he's Stallone.

  • An acrylic (water based) Metallic Red can be purchased from your local craft store such as Michaels.
  • Metallic and Pearl agents can be bought at art supply stores and are mixed into an existing colour or on your palette.


  1. Wow, those work in progress pics are amazing! You have an amazing eye for detail. I particularly enjoy the highlighting work. It stands out without being blotchy. Very nice.

  2. I don't think it's Stalone, i think all the stress of war gave him a stroke

  3. Yeah, I'd have a hard time picturing Eldar (from DoW) talking like Stalone


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