Native Warriors – A Painting Guide

The Warriors are here! It’s great to finally fill out the model options for the Native factions with these melee-focused Warriors.

This painting guide will help you get your minis looking a lot like the examples Firelock Games uses for promotional material, although I’ll be aiming to imitate the general look of the Natives in NPbtL rather than the paint jobs on the Warriors themselves, just because I like that look better.

One of the things that makes the Warrior unit fun is the variety of weapons you can equip them with. They come with heavy melee weapons by default, but you can give them bows, thrown weapons, pistols, and even sidearm muskets. That variety can be hard to represent on a one-piece metal mini but luckily, the Warriors’ release has coincided with the release of a Weapon Pack from Firelock!

I’m not big on slicing and dicing and modifying models, but in this case, these models seem perfectly set up for extra weapons being added. Three out of four of these models have an awkward empty hand, perfectly set up for holding anything you want.

Before I get into paint, I’ll share some mods I did to 3 of these models using the Weapons Sprue Kit.

Step 1 – Prep, Mod and Prime

I’ll be using Spears and muskets from the Weapons Sprue Kit you can find in the Firelock web store.

The spear needed a good amount of cleanup with a knife.

Then I simply drilled through the closed hand with a 2mm drill bit, using a small hand drill.

Is slow and careful work.

The spear slides in perfectly and a drop of glue holds it in place.

This running model is holding a club, and he looks fine but I wanted to change him up so I sniped off the club and drilled out his hand to hold a spear.

Getting the Spears perfectly straight seems to be my biggest challenge!

The Warriors can take Muskets as side arms so I drilled out another hand on the model standing tall and opened it up so he can grasp a musket.

I put a drop of glue in each hand as I slid the weapon in, then let it dry for plenty of time.

I primed the models with a grey.

Then applied the white zenithal highlight from above.

There are many ways to mod these minis using the weapons in this set but here are the four I settled on for this post.

From L to R: added a musket, added a spear, replaced club with a spear and no changes to the 4th model. You can obviously paint the models they way the come as well, but I like using the Thrown Weapons option when I play the Warriors so I was highly interested in adding the spears.

Step 2 – Base Colors

Compared to my last guide on the Zeelieden, these guys are easy! I basically used all the same colors on every model.

Paints I used include:

    Vallejo Tan Earth (not pictured above)for the skin tone.
    German Grey (also not pictured) for the hair.
    Screaming Skull for the loincloths and headbands.
    Zandri Dust for the arm and leg wraps.
    XV-88 for the base.
    Rhinox Hide for the rim of the base and the stripes on the clubs.
    Mournfang Brown for the musket wood.
    Dryad Bark (also not pictured) for the clubs.
    Old Wood for the spear shafts.
    Leather Brown for the knife handles.
    Skrag Brown for the loincloth belts, necklace cord and club/spear bindings.
    Metal Color Steel for the knives, spear heads and musket metal.
    Brass for musket trim.
    Mephiston Red, Averland Sunset, Caledor Sky, Turquoise and Sick Green for all the various feathers.

You could go with simpler colors for the feather for a less flamboyant look. I’ve done some with white feather with black stripes.

The skin tone looks really pale at the moment but the shades will help out a lot. the Tan Earth paint is a little thin and needed two coats.

It’s easy to miss some of the bands on the legs and arms.

All based and ready for shades.

Step 3 – Shades

This step is fairly easy on these models and it really pays off. I’ll be using all Citadel shades.

Seraphim Sepia is our secret weapon here. I apply this pretty heavily over all the skin areas and it gives if that interesting, rich tone that’s hopefully close to some of the indigenous skin tone of South America.

After the first coat.

After the second coat.

I let a little too much pool there on his upper leg.

Compared with an unshaded model.

For the rest of the mini I used Agrax Earthshade for anything brown including the spears, knife handles, musket, rope around the waist and neck and the clubs. I put a layer of Nuln Oil over the clubs as well to darken them up. Nuln Oil also goes on the hair and metal bits. For the white cloth, I thinned a mixture of Nuln Oil and Agrax Earthshade with Lahmien Medium. I added a little more Agrax Earthshade and then used that same mix over all the feathers. I could use individual shades for each color but they tend to bleed and this is easier!

You could stop here and they would look perfectly fine. These minis don’t need bright highlights or high contrast to look good on the board. You can spray on your varnish and be done!

But I’m going to do some highlights because I can’t help myself!

Step 4 – Highlights

I always start with the eyes, using Ivory for the whites and German Grey for the pupils. Not necessary but I think eyes that are carefully done bring a lot of life to a miniature.

For the hair, I highlighted with Eshin Grey and Dawnstone but I didn’t take it too far.

You can push threes further but this is subtle and looks good to me.

Little dots of grey on the front of the hair.

For the loincloths I did quick highlights with the original Screaming Skull and more limited highlights with Ivory.

This is pretty easy on the cloth.

But harder on the headbands.

I used a different color to highlight the bands around the arms and legs but you could use the same Screaming Skull.

For these bands we based with Zandri Dust I’m highlighting with Ushabti Bone.

A quick stripe on these wraps makes a difference.

Usually I spend a lot of time on skin and use several different shades but here I’m just going to do some quick highlights with the original Tan Earth.

Just a few highlights gives the body more definition.

I’m just hitting the high points: nose, cheeks a, color bones, abs, ribs, calves, thighs and fingers.

Flesh highlights shouldn’t take long!

Next I worked on the clubs,

I used Leather Belt with increasing amounts of Skrag Brown to do some edge highlights on the club itself.

And I used some touches of Gorthor Brown to highlight the bands.

The feathers are the most work! But giving them some texture makes a big difference.

I used Evil Suns Scarlet, Flash Glitz Yellow, Moot Green and the original Vallejo Light Turquoise as highlight tones.

I tried to make upward slanted lines radiating from the center of the feathers.

I brightened up the spear shafts with the original Panzer Aces Old Wood eventually lightened with Ushabti Bone.

That gives the spear some depth.

For the ties on the spear, waist rope, and club grips, I used Deathclaw Brown.

Almost done!

I’m not sure this paint is available anymore but you could just lighten Skrag Brown with Screaming Skull.

Just a couple details left.

For all the steel elements, I highlighted with Metal Color Dark Aluminum and a few brighter spots of Duraluminium.

Highlighting the lock on a musket really brings out that detail.

At this point I thought I was done so I sprayed them with varnish and took final pictures but I forgot the tattoos!


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Down to the last little details.

I used Carroburg Crimson in all the open mouths. You could do teeth as well but that’s dangerous.

The tattoos are the hard part. If you mess up now, it’s not easy to fix. I used German Grey for these and I just used the patterns on the minis in the rule book. I tried to google South American Native Tattos but didn’t come up with anything helpful.

I would say these tattoos are entirely optional as these minis look fine without them but it makes the mini much more interesting. Be sure to thin your paint down and have just the right amount on your brush or you’ll either get blobs or it will run.

I wasn’t too neat with these tattoos. Some of them are messy but the world goes on. I’m not going to redo that entire section.

Can’t resist putting a little blood on these melee weapons. I just added it to this one dagger and one club. Too much blood is….too much.

Now we can spray these with varnish and they’re done!

I always use Testors Flat Varnish.

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These guys are finished and ready to terrorize your opponents with veteran 12″ hard charges, with rerolls with their thrown weapons and skirmish away when you’re done wiping out some unfortunate European unit with poisoned wounds blocking their chance to defend themselves.

In a brand new canoa.

Thanks for reading! I hope this was helpful for some people. I’ll be doing another Native guide using a different skin tone sometime soon.

Happy painting!

2 thoughts on “Native Warriors – A Painting Guide

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