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Fat Wally's Horse Painting Tips
#1
Painting Horses

Hi.  Darren asked me yesterday if I’d do a quick bit on painting horses.  I’m no expert on this on either my knowledge of horses nor my painting skills, (despite what you say).  I get away with it in 15mm let’s say. 28mm I have absolutely no experience any more.

Painting horses isn’t rocket science.  All you need to do in my opinion (mostly) is get the right colours.  You paint a basecoat and then paint the muscles on the horse with successively smaller lighter strokes to highlight them.  Finally, and very importantly you paint the muzzle and socks/hooves.  More on that later.

Below are my list of horse types.  Whether they conform to equine definitions is beyond me.    I tend to do a lot of variety in my horse because personally it only gets boring painting them when the horses all look alike.

The first colour listed is the basecoat with successive colours as highlights going from darker to lighter. C = Citadel/GW.  V = Vallejo.  

A thing to bear in mind is that I magic wash my figures after all the highlights are done on a horse.  This darkens the finish slightly but also blends the highlights a little too.  I usually retouch the manes and tails with a very light drybrush of the last highlight for that colour horse after magic washing.

1. BLACK* – C- Abaddon Black.  V – Black Grey
2. BROWN* – C- Rhinox Hide. C- Doombull Brown. V – Black Grey mane/tail.
3. DARK BAY - C- Rhinox Hide. C- Doombull Brown.  V – Black Grey muzzle, mane/tail and below the knee.
4. DARK CHESTNUT* (i) - C- Rhinox Hide. C- Doombull Brown, C - Mournefang Brown
5. DARK CHESTNUT* (ii) - C- Rhinox Hide. C- Doombull Brown, C – Martian Ironearth
6. BAY/DUN - C - Mournefang Brown.  C – Skrag Brown. V – Black Grey muzzle, mane/tail and below the knee.
7. LIGHT BAY/LIGHT DUN (i) - C - Mournefang Brown.  C – Skrag Brown. C- Ratskin Flesh.  V – Black Grey muzzle, mane/tail and below the knee.
8. LIGHT BAY (ii) – V Brown Violet.  V Khaki, C – Karak Stone. V – Black Grey muzzle, mane/tail and below the knee.
9. CRÈME* (i) - V Brown Violet.  C Steel Legion Drab, V Khaki Grey.
10. CRÈME* (ii) - V Brown Violet.  V Khaki Grey, C – Karak Stone.
11. CRÈME* (iii) - V Brown Violet.  V Khaki, C – Karak Stone, C – Ushabti Bone.
12. LIGHT CHESTNUT* (i) - C - Mournefang Brown.  C – Skrag Brown. C- Ratskin Flesh.
13. LIGHT CHESTNUT* (i) - C - Mournefang Brown.  C – Skrag Brown. C- Ratskin Flesh, C – Cadian Fleshtone.
14. BLACK ROAN – V – Black Grey. C – Eshin Grey, C – Dawnstone. V – Black Grey muzzle, mane/tail and below the knee.
15. GREY (i) - C – Eshin Grey.  C – Dawnstone, C- Administration Grey. With or without V – Black Grey muzzle, mane/tail and below the knee.
16. LIGHT GREY* - C – Eshin Grey.  C – Dawnstone, C- Administration Grey, C Ulthuan Grey.
17. WHITE - C Ulthuan Grey. C -White Scar.
18. DAPPLE GREY* – Paint a grey horse from the list above but add small dots of C – Admin Grey or C- Ulthuan Grey to the upper hind quarters and neck.  Looks a bit fairground but works in 15mm.
19. PIEBALD – Paint as Black horse but add patches of C – Ulthuan Grey to particularly upper hind quarters, chest and neck/head.  Manes and tails should be painted lighter when next to patches of skin painted lighter. After magic wash add a C – White Scar highlight.
20. SKEWBALD - Paint as 4,5, 11, 12 or 13 but add patches of C – Ulthuan Grey to particularly upper hind quarters, chest and neck/head.  Manes and tails should be painted lighter when next to patches of skin painted lighter.  After magic wash add a C – White Scar highlight.

MUZZLES -  One of the things which makes horses look better is painting the muzzle, the mouth and nostril area.  Unless mentioned above Muzzles can be C – Eshin Grey, C – Warpfiend Grey, C – Mournefang Brown, or C- Cadian Fleshtone

BLAZES – Horses in the list above marked with a * can have a white spot, white vertical stripe or white face.  I do this after the magic wash.

SOCKS –  Horses in the list above marked with a * can have white lower legs/socks.  Few horses have one.  Few horses have four.  Two or three is typical.  Paint small verticle stripes of varying length from the hoof towards the knee. I do this after the magic wash.

HOOVES – Hooves I usually have as V – Black Grey.  However a golden rule for horses is that the hoof of a leg which has a white sock will have less pigment.  Typically I use V  Khaki Grey or C Kharak Stone.

I hope that helps.

Please make this a sticky Phil

Cheers,

Kev
Figure painter, house husband, living the dream.

http://www.fat-wally.com/
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#2
Ta Kev,

I once showed an army to my wife. Her first reaction was "The horses are all wrong. You'd never have that colour mane and tail with those colourings!". We spend hours on getting our uniforms correct and forget to do our homework on the cavalry mounts. I would only add that manes and tails will be the same colour and can be radically different form the coat. A typical EG New Forest ponies that are chestnut/dark bay tend to have have black manes and tails. Even Greys (anything from grey to white) may have very dark manes and tails. Its what Google images are for!
Regards
Mark

Dib Dib Dob Fish Tricycle!
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#3
Spot on. It is indeed what google is for. The main thing I've found though is getting the right colours for the right scale of figure.
Figure painter, house husband, living the dream.

http://www.fat-wally.com/
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#4
One of the few advantages of growing up around horses is that I have usually got the colours right from the minute I started painting.

A couple of things I would add would be that chestnuts and bays are the most common colours but you can still get plenty of variety within that. True blacks are as uncommon as white horses; most are very dark bays but in 15mm who cares!
Bays quite often have the black leg marking extending up beyond the knee/hock even as far as just shy of the main body or barrel of the horse.

Piebalds and skewbalds I would only use for non european irregular type cavalry, the most obvious example I can think of is the Native Americans of the Plains.

Kev's guide is an excellent tool to getting the nags right and tackles details, like muzzles, that I don't normally do in 15mm but it is up to each person what level of detail you want.

Just don't paint them all one colour Sad  Sad  Sad  Sad  
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#5
Thanks Paul.

I've read that Piebalds and Skewbalds were relatively common place actually in Western Europe prior to the end of the 18th Century when they were essentially bred out. There was a belief that a multicoloured horse was a sign of weakness.
Figure painter, house husband, living the dream.

http://www.fat-wally.com/
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#6
I knew about the rarity in Western Europe but not the reason why. Goes along with the old saw about the more white socks the worse the horse "..... four white feet pass him by", as always judging by appearances only.
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#7
Blimey I'd forgotten about that saying....Thanks.

There is also a theory in the horse racing world about greys. They're either fantastic or rubbish but seldom average....

Bit like my dice rolls.

:-)

Kev
Figure painter, house husband, living the dream.

http://www.fat-wally.com/
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#8
Thanks for make this a Sticky Phil.
Figure painter, house husband, living the dream.

http://www.fat-wally.com/
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#9
Re Greys. Also Skewbalds! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g_GLVpnTy5I&list=RDg_GLVpnTy5I#t=25
Regards
Mark

Dib Dib Dob Fish Tricycle!
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#10
Tune!
Figure painter, house husband, living the dream.

http://www.fat-wally.com/
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