A Votann Speed Paint Tutorial.

It’s been a while since I posted an actual tutorial, and this is something very different. This isn’t going to be a huge, in-depth deconstruction of a convoluted process. Nope, this is about getting models on the tabletop and (hopefully) better than tournament ready.

A friend of mine is playing Votann and can struggle from the same massive task that can stop us in our tracks from playing a new army; painting 2,000 points of models. It’s a daunting task, and I think one of my specialties over the years has been painting complete armies (I’ve finished dozens over the years.) Here’s what I believe is the fastest way to get those little (figuratively speaking!) bearded dudes on the tabletop.

Speed Painting: the Problem and the Solution.

Votann is our subject of course, and this brings us to our tools of choice. “Speed Paints” or “Contrast Paints” for GW fans. Although I find Speed Paints to be more of a special use case scenario, Votann are made for this type of solution.

Speed paints are perfect for: Small, flat surfaces, smaller figures, deep grooves, and tiny details. So this will be my first tutorial using (almost) entirely Speed/Contrast paints. In this tutorial the goal is a ‘better than tabletop standard’ on a few Votann figures…. in UNDER 2 HOURS.

The above is our basic colour guide. My friend likes this general scheme and it is for the Ymyr Conglomerate (what are these guys? Nid-wannabes?) Anyway, as you can see lots of contrast, cold and warm colours, and it should really pop on the table top.

The Process.

It’s time to layout the process. Since the goal is under 2 hours, the pressure is on. I’m using two models to try two slightly different variants on. This has to conceivably be something -anyone- can do to an entire army in a very short amount of time. So let’s get started…

It should be noted the models were already primed with Citadel’s Wraithbone primer which is great for Contrast/Speed paints. When I used these paints, I’m often putting them on Vallejo black/white primer, but for a project like this, you really want the surface tension and finish of this primer to interact with all the Contrasts we will be using.

Step 1: Painting inside, to outside.

To start I am using a few basic colours for the ‘inside’ of the model. I recommend starting with the body parts/armour that is deepest on the model, and working outwards, towards the upper most, or highest parts of the body. This makes it easier to stay neat. Above are 2 simple colours, no mixing. Let’s keep it simple. One coat and we are done.

Step 2: A Choice of Reds.

I wanted to include some of the Army Painter Speed Paints. Flesh Tearers red is one of my favourites for certain effects. I think the Army Painter speed paints are (in some cases) superior to GW’s, but both of these reds seemed to sit really well. Be careful here to watch for overlap. Red and Blue/green will make black spots if combined. This is where just choosing a decent brush and taking an extra few seconds saves you clean up time after.

Step 3: Flesh, Leather and Hair.

Guillman’s flesh is just such an easy colour to use. I found the Snakebite leather was required to really deepen the leather bits, as well as the hair on the figure on the left.

Step 4: Black boots, Guns, Gauntlets and Pads

Here I tried ‘grey’ paints and didn’t like the finished look. I went back and decided that one of my favourite contrast paints, Black Templars, was best for the job. Note this is where you can also do some black hair touches as well.

Step 5: Metallics

I do like the Army Painter metallics. They aren’t too heavy, but still provide good coverage. It pays to have a brush that can make a fine point here, as this is where you want to take a few seconds to find rivets, and bolts on the armour as well as the guns.

Step 6: Some White/Blue effects.

This is something that’s just so easy to do for a quick effect, and to break up some of the armour. Start with white, any white that has a strong, heavy pigment to it. Cover up whatever you want ‘lit up’. In this case I chose the wrist band keypads and the gun barrel on the bearded Votann figure. Next….

After the white fully dries, take a diluted colour of your choice and put simply apply over the white. You can be a bit messy here as it may add a slight ‘osl’ look to the area. In my case I took Talassar Blue, but you can use any colour really, oranges, yellow, greeens, and do the same thing. I used about 25% water and 75% contrast paint as I wanted the effect to be semi-transparent.

And with that, we have a few infantry done in under 2 hours. Keep in mind I had to back out of a few colour choices I didn’t like and re-do some areas. I often did this with Citadel’s Wraithbone base paint.

Paint Job Completed! Now on to Basing…

Of course you can just choose the basing of preference, but for the sake of full disclosure, here’s a simple solution I used. It is probably a third of the time of my normal basing method! So perhaps this could be considered ‘speed basing’. I like to use Vallejo ‘mud’ products. They are very realistic, and easy to use. I use a very old, dead brush to spread it on. I recommend doing a large batch at once, and letting it all dry before adding any paint.

Above I just like to take some Beasty Brown colour, and with a slightly damp brush, do a dry brush over the dark mud. Then a dryer, lighter brush of Orange/Brown to give it a slightly rusty, Sulphur look. Finally back to good old Wraithbone with a very light dry brush to make the dirt really stand out. (I dab this in spots instead of doing an all-over dry brush to bring out clumps of mud.)

Optionally, I like to glue on some form of vegetation. And you’re done!

The Results:

And just like that we’re done. An incredibly simple way of getting your models playable in a short time. I literally do not think I could have painted these any faster without being sloppy, or cutting out a lot of the colours.

Some Additional Notes:

Just for the sake of full disclosure, here are some of the tools I prefer to use for a project like this aside from the paints.

Above: The tools I used, but aren’t necessary to do the job. Gamer’s Grass for the basing, and tweezers help you firmly push the adhesive area of the grass on to the base. The Citadel Dry Palette paper is good for mxing/blending Contrast paints if you need. (I don’t use a wet palette for a job like this.)

Here’s where I used the dry palette to make a few blends (I experimented with some light highlighting).

The Citadel handle is something I use sometimes, but I have to be honest it helped with contrast paint where even a very SLIGHT finger touch on wet contrast paint can really do some damage to the paint job.

So that’s everything, from start to finish. Every colour and step I used.

As mentioned I’ve painted dozens of armies and I think this is the part where people get ‘stuck’. It’s about getting a nice start to basic units, and knowing where and when to spend more time. I think these guys would look great on the table, and more importantly, get you much closer to the daunting goal of 2,000 points.

Thanks for checking it out.



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