A Song of Ice & Fire by CMON Games: Painting Poorly – Lannister Halberdiers

Halberds at the Ready!

Welcome back to Westeros!  In keeping with our theme of defensive units, today, we’re going to be looking at how to paint the main defensive units from the Lannister faction, the Lannister Halberdiers!

So, the good news about these tiny, tiny men with long and pointy, pointy sticks, is that they predominantly follow the same basic paint scheme as the Lannister Guardsmen, so you should be familiar with how to paint them.

The bad news is that they follow the same basic paint scheme as the Lannister Guardsmen, so you know how much of a pain it can be.

So, with that extra bit of motivation, let’s get painting!

1. Gameplan, Prep, and Prime

So, like most of the Units we’ve been covering, like the Stark Sworn Swords, I’m going to be doing my best to duplicate what’s found on the in-game art.  In the halberdiers’ case, like their unit card below:

While, yes, it pretty much duplicates the exact same colors as the Lannister Guardsmen, with dark red, black, plate mail, and brown with gold trim, which makes sense, when you think about it.  The Lannisters have enough money to make sure their foot soldiers all look uniform, right?  And while I could simply go with the exact same color pallette as before, I started thinking (dangerous, I know…)

Halberdiers would be even MORE removed from actual combat, since they’re fighting from behind a literal 10 foot pole, so their clothing would be even more pristine than the other troops!  As such, I’ve assembled the same colors as before, but with a few additions to help make the highlights pop:

First off, our MVP: Plate Mail Metal by The Army Painter.  As well as Gold, Basic Skin Tone, Flat Earth (which is not pictured above, sorry), and Chocolate Brown by Vallejo, and dark red, a lighter red, and black and white from the craft store.

We’ll be using the lighter red and flat earth to highlight the dark red and chocolate brown to make those sections look as clean and pristine and untouched as possible.

Again, I’ve primed all of my halberdiers with matt white spray on primer by the Army Painter, and they’re ready for basecoats!

2. Basecoats

Just like whenever I paint my units, I’m not going to be working with more than 4 figures at a time.  That said, they all have similar poses and sculpts this time, so it’ll be a little more straightforward when you’re batch painting them.

Again, remember, unless otherwise stated, all of your paints should be thinned 50/50 with water during the basecoats stage.

Starting off with the dark red, you’ll paing the flag of the standard bearer, and the tunic/doublet of the rest of the soldiers.  The kilt, the sleeves, everything that looks like cloth.

Red can be tricky, so don’t be afraid to do an additional coat of paint if you’re not happy with the consistency after you paint.  

Again, try to avoid any of the areas that will be painted gold, as red is difficult to cover with gold.

Now, we’ll be using the basic skin tone for the faces.  And make sure you get all of the guys’ faces.  Even this guy:

Use your detail brush to get your skin tone up in that crack…. (that’s what she said…)

You don’t want to have that small bit of skin be white or metallic when everyone else has an actual face.

Next, use your plate mail metal to paint all of the metal.  The helmet, gorget (neck armor), pauldrons (shoulder armor), and bracers on the wrists.  This also includes the blade/spear portion of the halberd, and the small metal portion at the bottom of the polearm.

The standard bearer will look something like this:

After all the metals taken care of, we move onto the “black” portions of the figures.

Mix up a 1/1/2 mix of black/white/water, which you should be VERY familiar if you’ve been following my other tutorials, and paint the leggings, the boots, and the gloves.

The next thing to do is using your chocolate brown to paint the pole of the halberd, the belt, the scabbard of the sword, and the square pouch hanging from the belt in the back.

The last thing to paint will be the gold, and for this, DO NOT thin your paint.  Use your detail brush to paint the lion insignia on the flag (both sides) and the bolts holding the flat in place.  You’ll also paint the lion on their chests, the sword handle and hilt, along with the metal piece on the scabbard and the trim along the bottom of the kilt and the edges of the bracers, pauldrons, and gorget.  There’s also a little gold trim at the top of the boots, as well, so don’t forget that.

Check out my Lannister Guardsmen tutorial if you want additional reference pictures, as it’s the same exact trim for both units, but once that’s all dry, you can get on with shading!

3. Shading

Okay, so we’re going to be playing it pretty easy with the shades and washes.  We’re only using two.

Flesh Wash and Dark Tone by the Army Painter will be all you need for your Halberdiers.

Start with the flesh wash and make sure you apply it to all of the faces, even the one who’s visor is down.

After that, apply the dark tone to everything else.  This includes the flag, the metals, the reds, the boots, the sword and belt, all of it.

Again, don’t let the black wash pool in too much in any area, as you want the wash to mute the colors, but not completely change them.

Once that’s all dry, though, we can move onto highlights!

4. Highlights and Finishing Touches

So, we’re onto the highlight section.  This is where we’re going to make the Halberdiers pop, and make them look cleaner than the Guardsmen.

Again, at this stage, we’re starting with the faces.  Take your basic skin tone and highlight the nose and cheekbones on all of your soldiers.  Well, all of them except for visor-face.  He’s so covered, you’ll never be able to highlight that properly.

Now, moving onto the reds.  Normally, I would say that we could do two or three level highlights like we did with Roose’s tabard or Theon’s skin, but let’s be honest.  There are twelve of these guys, and that’s a long process.  So, we’re doing to cheat a little.

We’re only going to use a single level of highlights, but we’re going to be using that slightly lighter red.  The color I’m using is almost a pink, even.

We’re going to apply this to each fold of the flag and each sleeve, along with where the doublet billows outwards near the belt/belly of the soldiers and on the back.  We’re also highlighting the kilt/skirt that is covering the most forward thigh with an even more thinned out version of your paint than normal.

Apply your first layer and cover most of the thigh, leaving the edges darker, and when that’s dry, paint another layer of highlight, slightly smaller, and again, and again, and again until you have the centermost part of the thigh the brightest.

The last thing we are highlighting will be the browns (ie. the belt, polearm, and scabbard) using the flat earth.  This is actually a simple process, just take your flat earth and paint a line along the top of the scabbard and polearm.

For the satchel in the back, outline the square shape and the flap before painting a small portion of the belt in the front and back of each soldier, preferably in the middle as that’s where the belts would, in theory, stick out the farthest.

5. Touch Them With a 10-Foot Pole(arm)!

Aaaaand that’s it!  Base those suckers, spray them with your matt varnish and add them to your forces. 

Again, I hope you found this tutorial useful!  This, along with all of my other tutorials can be found on my blog here, and remember to keep checking back here on MeepleGamers as well, for the night is dark and full of terrors…  See you soon, Westerosi!