Monday, 13 October 2014

Five Armies: Free Peoples

Here's how I painted the Free Peoples from The Battle of Five Armies, after prepping them as per my earlier post.

I don't have a step-by-step guide to the characters, but I used the same paints and similar principles, albeit with a little more care and a few more highlights and fancy touches like Thranduil's gemstone.

Bard and the Lake-Men

  1. Blue-grey to leggings and sleeves
  2. Mid-blue to jerkin, boots, gloves
  3. Dark blue to belts, scabbard, quiver
  4. Metal to buckles, sword hilts. Pale grey to boot fur and arrow fletchings
  5. Black wash
  6. When dry, pick out the face with flesh, and add a light blue headband. I painted the wrappings on his quiver with the same colour (not shown)
I painted Bard using the same colours, but in a more 'traditional' style with shading and highlighting. I gave a faint blue wash to his metalwork.

Elves and Thranduil

Elven Archers
  1. Pale green to leggings, sleeves
  2. Bright green to the jerkin (it's the same colour I used for the Orcs)
  3. Dark green details. Flesh to the face. Brown to the straps
  4. Gold buckle. Cream hair, bow.
  5. Sepia wash
Elven Spearmen
  1. Flesh to skin. Silver armour and spearpoint
  2. Dark green cloak
  3. Bright green to the overgarment
  4. Gold clasps and helmet detail. Cream spear
  5. Sepia wash

Thranduil was painted with the same greens. I painted his armour gold, then drybrushed it silver. I then painted the greens and washed the figure in sepia. Then I picked out the high points on the cloak and gown with lighter greens as highlights. I indulged myself with the gemstone.

Dwarves, Thorin, & Dáin

Dwarf Regulars
  1. Red to the jerkin
  2. Dark grey to boots, gloves, belt
  3. Metal to the hammer and helm
  4. Gold to the buckle and studs (gloves and jerkin)
  5. Black wash
  1. Dwarf Veterans
  1. Grey rock. Metal to the mail, armour and axe
  2. Red to the gloves, boots, belt and scabbard
  3. Black wash
  4. Gold to the helmet and swordhilt, flesh to the nose
  5. Controlled sepia wash to the gold and nose (optional step)


Thorin and Dáin were painted with the same colours I used for the other dwarves. I spent a fraction more time on the skin. The weapon hafts and Thorin's beard are dark grey.

Great Eagles
  1. Umber wash
  2. Sandy colour to the face/ head
  3. Yellow to the beak, claws
The Lord of the Eagles
I gave the Lord of the Eagles a black wash after the umber wash, and used cream rather than sand for his head. He stands out a little from his companions, but not much.

Gandalf, Beorn and Bilbo
Gandalf was painted dark grey, had a black wash, and was then built back up with lighter greys to the ridges on his clothes. I painted his beard a light grey, gave it a thin black wash, and picked out a few bits in light grey again. The iconic hat was painted blue-grey and highlighted with a thin pale grey. I'm really happy with his sword, Glamdring. There's a subtle change from a dirty metal to shining silver.
Beorn was easy to paint. He was drybrushed all over in cream, then heavily washed in umber and black. I painted the claws black and gave them a thin light grey stripe. The eyes were painted black, with a teeny dot of white.
Bilbo Baggins
Bilbo was painted with dark brown trousers and a khaki shirt, highlighted with a mid-brown and cream respectively. His skin (like Gandalf, Bard, and the dwarf characters) was painted red-brown and then the raised areas picked out with flesh.

That's it! This project only took me a couple of dedicated (but intense) evenings.

Feedback and questions will be gladly answered.

PS- can't help myself:
A thief, two thugs, an assassin, and a maniac. Oooga chuga ooga chuga...


  1. Lovely I saw some of the Dwarf Warriors appear in our Facebook painting group. Lovely job on them.

  2. Sorry if you have already mentioned this. How did you store the mini's after they were painted. Surely you didn't just chuck them in the box... ;)

    1. If I told you I just chucked them (very gently) in the box, will they knock on the door in the middle of the night and take away my hobby licence? They're light, soft plastic, single piece, varnished, acrylic-painted boardgame pieces, so I have no qualms about very gently chucking them in the box.

    2. Haa! With such attention to detail on the painting I only assumed you would be equally as particular about the storage and organization of your bits and pieces. From there I intended on persuading you to write an article sharing your process of designing and creating a custom insert. Because I am selfish that way...

      So no, your hobby painting license will not be revoked, but perhaps you would be interested in obtaining an "Custom Insert" license? ;)

      PS I thoroughly enjoyed the article and look forward to more! If you are a Star Wars fan there is a box of unpainted mini's in Imperial Assault that desperately require your attention!!

    3. Don't tell anyone, but I'll be putting up Imperial Assault pics maybe next month. No idea about storing them, nothing fancy though.