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Family, Duty, Honor…
Welcome back, Poor Painters! Today, we’re going to be looking at how to paint one of the expansion Units from A Song of Ice & Fire, the House Tully Sworn Shields!
These guys are the defensive unit of the Stark faction, and as such, they all carry large kite shields with their house insignia on it, however, not all of the shields are sculpted the same way. As such, I’ll be showing you how to paint the different shields and get these guys ready to defend the North.
Let’s jump in!
1. Gameplan, Prep, and Prime
So, the Tully’s were really a minor player in the HBO series, and we never even really got a good look at their infantrymen, so today, we’re going to be basing their appearance off of the in-game art.
Though I couldn’t find any examples of their military, I did find a great example of their banner:
Yeah, sure, it’s on a dead guy, but BEGGARS CAN’T BE CHOOSERS!
So, between the two bits of source material, I’ve assembled the following colors:
Yeah, that’s a, uh… That’s a lot going on… I’ve got Basic Skin Tone, Gunmetal Blue, and Flat Earth by Vallejo, Plate Mail Metal by The Army Painter, and dark blue and dark red from Target. I’ve also got white from the craft store, and I was able find a metallic red there as well, which I think will serve us well for painting the house colors on the shields.
As always, I’ve gone ahead and primed all of the figures with a good coat of spray on Matt White primer by The Army Painter, and I think we’re off to the races!
Okay, so once again, there’s a lot going on here, so we’re going to start off with the biggest chunks of color in order to be as efficient as possible. Again, only painting about 4 figures at a time and remember to thin all of your paints 50/50 with water.
We’re going to start off with the gunmetal blue by Vallejo. This is available in the Vallejo Metallic Colors bundle, which is a STEAL on Amazon right now.
Paint all of the scale mail, which includes the upper arms, on all of your figures at once before you move onto the shields.
You’ll want to try to mimic the pattern of the banner draped across our dead friend above, which means using the gunmetal blue on the two sections beneath the “Waves” on the shield.
There is another shield with no “Waves” will be painted all metallic blue like this:
If you get a little bit of blue on the fish or the banding of the shield, don’t worry too much about it, since it will be covered with the plate mail metal.
The next thing you’ll paint will be the red portions of the shields with your metallic red. If you don’t have a metallic red, simply painting it with your dark red will work just fine.
Either way, you will probably need to apply two base coats, so be prepared for that. Emotionally.
Now, we’ll move onto the faces, using your basic skin tone. For the above sculpt, it’s a fairly straightforward affair, however, for the figure below, it can be a little more complicated.
Using your detail brush, you’ll want to get the little bit of face that is visible through the figure’s visor. Don’t worry about getting it on the visor itself, because it’s going to happen, and we’ll just have to paint over it.
Okay, now that that’s done, we will paint the skirt and the middle portion of the flag of the standard bearer with the dark red.
When painting the flag, try to avoid the “Waves” and leave them as white as possible. More than likely, however, you will have to repaint them white when you’re finished with the base coating.
Now, you’ll take your plate mail metal and paint the armor, which includes the gauntlets, the helmets, the boots, the chainmail skirt, the gorget, and the pauldrons, as well as the front and back of the shield, including the fish insignia, the waves, and the metal banding around the outside of the shield.
There’s also the very top and very bottom of the flag staff as well as the sword blade, hilt, and pommel.
Using your flat earth, or any basic brown will work, honestly, you’ll paint the belt, scabbard, and of the pouches on the figures. If you’re painting the standard bearer, make sure you paint the flag pole as well.
You’ll also use this to paint the handle of the swords, and the wrapping around the base of the blade, where it meets the hilt. Side note: These kinds of wrappings were common on claymores and bastard swords, both two handed swords, as a way to give the wielder options in battle. I find it funny that the Sworn Shields are holding such a MASSIVE sword so easily.
By the way, if you want, you can also paint their facial hair this brown color as well, just to make it easy.
The last thing you’ll do is take your dark blue and paint the blue field of the flag, like I did above. Again, try to avoid the “Waves”, but if you do color some of them, or the fish, you can take this time to bring them back up to white before we move onto shading.
Okay, so we will only be using two different washes for the Sworn Shields: Flesh Wash and Dark Tone, both by The Army Painter.
You’ll only need a small amount, probably only one drop, of the flesh wash for all of the minis, but for the dark tone, you’ll need much more.
Apply the flesh wash to all of the faces. This includes any of the small slits of the faces of the sworn shields with their visors down.
Don’t apply too much, especially on the figures with their visors down, as you don’t want the wash to pool in any one particular area, you just want a thin coat to blend everything together and give some dimension.
The rest of the figure is going to be coated in the dark tone. This includes all of the armor, leather pouches and belts, swords, shields, skirt, and the flag.
Again, like with the flesh wash, you don’t want to use too much, especially on the flag, just enough to give a little depth to the miniature. Once that dries, you’re ready for highlights and finishing touches!
4. Highlights and Finishing Touches
So, just like our other minis, we won’t be highlighting any of the metal, which is a large portion of the Sworn Shields, so that’ll save us a good amount of time!
The first thing you’ll want to do is highlight the nose and cheekbones of the faces of your Sworn Shields using your basic skin tone.
If you’re painting the particular sculpt above, you’ll also want to do a small amount on his chin as well, just remember to avoid any of the darkened areas, such as the eye sockets, the side of the nose, and directly beneath the lip.
Next, we’ll want to highlight all of the pouches and satchels the figures are holding. You could use the same standard brown as before, but I mixed together a 2/1 mix of flat earth (standard brown) and white in order to achieve a more dynamic highlight.
When applying, you want to mainly stick to painting the center of each sack or bag, and only about 75% at that. This creates a nice rounded look and makes the sacks look full.
Then you’ll take your dark red and highlight the skirt up, but mainly just the areas covering the legs, again, staying away from the areas that were the most darkened by the wash.
Since, you’ve already got your dark red out, now would also be the time to highlight up the red part of your flag. Just highlight the portions of the flag that are billowing outward, or the folds in the flag.
This effect will be very subtle, and honestly, if you don’t want to do this part, it won’t make THAT much of a difference.
What you won’t want to skip however, is highlighting the fish insignia and the “Waves” on the flag. Using white and your detail brush, just paint a line running along the back of the fish on both sides, and a small highlight on the billowing “Wave” portions of the flag.
This may look like a really drastic looking highlight up close, but when you look at it on the tabletop, it’ll really pop.
The very last thing we’re going to do is add a little wear and tear to the sworn shields. These guys are called the Sworn Shields, that’s their thing, so it makes sense to me that they know what they’re doing, and can stop a sword or an axe on occasion.
So, we’re going to take our plate mail metal and our detail brush, and we’re going to get MOST of the paint off of it by wiping it on the side of your easel. Now that there’s only a little bit of paint on your brush, only a little more than you would if you were drybrushing, using the very tip of your detail brush, gently pull the brush in small, light lines across the shield. This creates the look of nicks and dings in the shield and makes it really look like it’s seen combat. Once that’s done…
5. Raise the Shield Wall!
Now, the Tully’s are complete! Spray them with your matt spray after you put on whatever basing you want and you’ve got one of the toughest units in the A Song of Ice & Fire Miniatures Game all painted up and ready to go.
As always, you can always find all of my tutorials for A Song of Ice & Fire on my blog here, and make sure to check back with us regularly as we continue working our way through this great game.