How To Paint Retribution Battle Mages: Guide Part 2

On to part 2 of the painting guide for Retribution Battle Mages.  If you haven’t read part 1, check it out here.

Step 7 – The Cloth

To start the cloth, I basecoat it with Knarloc Green, from the GW Foundation line.  I water it down just a little to get a smooth coat.

Try not to get any on the armor, but don’t worry about getting it on the leather parts.


After this is dry, I give it a relatively heavy drybrush of Camouflage Green.


When I say ‘heavy drybrush’ I don’t mean a lot of paint on the brush.  It may seem faster to just drybrush with more paint on the brush but that is where the sloppy look of most drybrushing comes from.  To make the effect more subtle you really want to wipe what appears to be all the paint off of the brush.


The circled part in the picture is the last of my wiping off of the paint from my brush.  You can barely see it in the thumbnail but if you click on it you can see how little paint is actually coming off.

Then, you just have to be patient but drybrushing on the model for a longer period of time to build up the color.

Whenever I drybrush, it’s like this and the description of how heavy the drybrush is refers to how long to drybrush, not really how much paint is on the brush.  If I’m really going to slop it on, I usually use the term overbrush, as incorrect a terminology as that may be.  See my Bane Knight guide for an example of that.

Anyway, next I add a light drybrush of Dead Flesh.


Next, I put on a wash of Thraka Green, the GW premixed wash.


Finally, I do another wash of a 50/50 mix of Devlan Mud and Thraka Green.


I love using washes over drybrushes as I think it really smooths the highlights.  If you know you’re going to wash over your drybrushing, make the drybrush color more extreme than you normally would.

Step 8 – Leather

The last section to paint is the leather straps and outlines.  I painted the edges and the buckles on the cloth and the bottom sections of their boots as the leather color but it really was a pain so feel free to skip that and leave it green.  Also, this is the last block of color, so you have to be the most careful here not to get it on any of the painted sections.

I basecoated this with a 50/50 mix for Charred Brown and Stonewall Grey(Scorched Brown and Fortress Grey in GW colors).


Next, just wash it with a 50/50 mix for Devlan Mud and Badab Black.


I kept these a little bland and darker to really draw the attention to the armor.

Step 9 – Skin

First, I basecoated the skin with Pale Flesh.  I actually had to do three thin coats to get it smooth.

I’m using a different model from the unit for this example since the leader’s hood makes the skin difficult to show.


Next, give the skin a wash of Ogryn Flesh, the GW wash.  This will give it a reddish hue, which I don’t like as the finished product, but it’s a nice base.


Finally, wash the skin with a 50/50 mix of Devlan Mud and water.


Step 10 – Eyes

This step is totally optional and if you’re concerned with it, just skip it.  No need to mess up the nice flesh you just did.

First, shade the eye sockets with black.


Next, put a dot of white in the center of the sockets.  The goal is to have a ring of black around the white.


Finally put a vertical black line through the center of each white dot.

I’m not going to lie, I usually miss so what happens with the first eye usually dictates where the model is looking.  If I get the black line on the right of the eye, I try to duplicate that on the second eye.  Same if it accidentally goes on the left.  This just makes it look like he’s looking left or right.  This guy is just a little cross eyed but I like to think that he’s looking intently straight ahead at his forcebolt target.


Step 11 – Armor Touchups

By this point, you probably have some rogue paint on your nice white armor.  Even if you don’t, those grey and purple washes could use some clean up.  The final step is to take a nice thin white and clean up the mistakes, clean up the washes and maybe hit some sharp highlights on the armor.

If you don’t feel like you can be this careful, the model will still look pretty good without it, so don’t worry too much.



And we’re done.  I haven’t done the bases or the matte varnishing yet.  Chances are not many people have these bases so I didn’t bother adding that part in.

The matte varnish will take a little bit of the shine out of the washes.  If you want you can also hit the gems with some gloss varnish.  Some people like the look, some don’t.  I probably won’t do it.

Here are some pictures of the finished unit.


If anyone has any questions or comments, please leave them here or email me at  Also, please let me know if anyone actually uses this guide.

2 thoughts on “How To Paint Retribution Battle Mages: Guide Part 2

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