Celts, Hail Caesar, Painting & Modelling, Stage-by-Stage Guides

Saxons: Step-by-Step Painting Guide

Jonas from Army Painter brings us another expert step-by-step guide


Over the last 5 years hard plastic sets have become the norm in historical Wargames – spearheaded by Warlord Games and a few other companies. For a gamer like me, this is perfect – it allows me to mix and match from not only different sets, but from different miniature companies.

This Saxon Thegn regiment for my Hail Caesar army consists of a mix of models from both the Gripping Beast Vikings box and the Celtic Warriors from Warlord Games.

Here is how I assembled and painted a regiment of Saxon Warriors.


Step 1: Assembly

Using the contents of the Plastic Assembly Set, which contains everything I need to assemble plastic sets: Plastic Glue, Plastic Clipper and a Hobby Knife, I set out chopping, clipping and gluing my Saxons.

Step 2: Colour Primer Spray


Next I sprayed the troops with Colour Primer: Gun Metal – since the models were all clad in chain mail, this seemed the obvious choice. The shields were left separate to the warriors and these were sprayed with Colour Primer: Matt White.

Allow me to repeat the “how-to-use” steps for Colour Primers:

The Colour Primers have a unique formula combining the best of 2 sprays; primer and highly pigmented acrylic colour in one. To ensure a perfect result every time you use them, we advise following these few steps:

1. Shake can well. Shake the can hard for a minimum of 1½ minutes. The pigment is heavy and needs to blend – this takes time.

2. Max distance of 20cm. This is an important tip. The maximum distance you should use a Colour Primer from is about 20 cm.

3. Move the can at all times. Use long, even bursts, constantly moving the can across the model.

As with all Colour Primers just spray directly onto your plastic miniatures – no need to undercoat first as with other colour sprays!

Step 3: Basecoat with Warpaints


Now it was time to add some normal colour using Warpaints:

  • Skin: WP1126 Barbarian Flesh
  • Shirt: WP1125 Skeleton Bone
  • Helmet and chainmail rim: WP1105 Dragon Red
  • Trousers and spear: WP1124 Oak Brown
  • Beard: WP1117 Ash Grey

Any slip ups on the chainmail were painted over with WP1131 Gun Metal, which is a 100% match to the spray primer.

At this stage I glued on the shield, making it easier to paint.

Notice how there are no highlights, just flat base colours – the shading comes in the next step.



Step 4: Dip in Quickshade Strong Tone


Using the dipping technique, I went outside into my shed, armed with a pair of pliers and I spend a total of 15 seconds per model applying a shade of Quickshade Strong Tone. Dip the model and remove the excess Quickshade with a few swings.

To see the technique in action, check out our tutorial film: 

Step 5: Anti-Shine and Base


The Quickshade takes a good 24-48 hours to fully harden, so I left the models in my shed. To remove the gloss shine from the Quickshade, simply spray the model with Anti-Shine Matt Varnish, using 2-3 very thin coats from 30+cm.

Next I finished off the bases in the same style as the rest of my Saxon army; Battlefields Brown Battleground, Battlefields Field Static Grass and Battlefields: Swamp Tuft.

Step 6 & 7: Regiment Finished


Job done!

Notice how I have mixed the two plastic sets to create a unit slightly different from the rest of my “standard” Saxon Thegns regiments.







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