6 Methods for Painting African Warriors

By Joseph Forster

I’ve been painting a bunch of African Warriors lately and I wanted to share 6 different paint combinations I’ve used with some success. Skin is always a little tricky to paint realistically and African skin tone is a whole different challenge. On top of that, these Firelock African Warriors models are mostly skin, making it that much more important! Here are a few different paint recipes I’ve used.

1. Citadel Doombull Brown and Tusgor Fur

African skin tone is wonderfully varied and this is one of the lighter combinations I used. These are based with Doombull Brown, then washed with Reikland Fleshshade, then highlighted with Tuskgor Fur mixed into Doombull brown in increasing quantities.


2. Sorastro’s Lando Recipe

I remembered painting Lando Calrissian for Imperial Assault a few years back so I went back to his video and mixed up his recipe.

He uses as base of 2:1 Mournfang Brown and Maccrage Blue and then highlights by mixing in increasing amounts of a 2:1 mix of Tau Light Ochre and Gorthor Brown.

You can watch Sorastro’s excellent painting video on Lando here.

3. Citadel Wyldwood Contrast

This is the easiest but it can come out a little splotchy on large areas like this. I found it needed at least two coats to look good. The model on the far left has only one coat and the model on the far right has three coats. I like the color but I found making it even and natural looking was a bit of a challenge.

4. Foundry African Flesh 126

I’ve done a post on this paint series before. Foundry has a great selection of skin tone paints that come in trios all designed for a good highlighting sequence. Here is their 126ABC set on these models.

I find these set of paints very rich and “African” while still having enough contrast to look interesting. You can find this set of paints here.

5. Foundry Dark African Flesh 121

This is a darker, greener variation on African skin tone. It works well but I find I find the 3rd paint a little too light and skip it in most cases.

You can find this trio of paints here on the Foundry website.

6. Citadel Rhinox Hide and Doombull Brown

This is probably my favorite combo. I have to assume most of the Africans coming across the Atlantic during the 17-18th centuries would have been fairly dark. This produces a deep, rich tone with some red in it.

My matte varnish didn’t get shaken up well enough before spraying that model on the right so he’s pretty glossy. But It works because he just looks sweaty.

That’s it! There’s the 6 paint combos and here there are all compared:

From Left to Right: Wyldwood Contrast, Rhinox Hide/Doombull Brown, Foundry 126, Sorastro’s Recipe, Doombull Brown/Tusgor Fur and Foundry 121 (my 5yo says he looks the toughest for I think he’s the winner).

I like having a little variation in my Black Carib force and having the couple basic tones lets you put together units that are a little unique.

I’m sure there’s other effective ways to paint African skin tone but I hope this can be helpful to some folks. I was unsure where to start with paint colors when I began painting these models and it has been fun exploring different methods.

Thanks for reading!  If you have a favorite method for painting dark skin tone, please drop a comment. I still have some African Warriors to paint up and I’m planning on painting up a Maroon force when Raise the Black comes out!

One thought on “6 Methods for Painting African Warriors

  1. Thanks for the article! This is a good description with pictures of painting these figures. I recently painted 20 of the African Warriors, so I may need to do a bit of highlighting to mine. Thanks!

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