How I Paint - Ral Partha Sea Elf troops

What I'm painting: Ral Partha Sea Elf Swordsman

More Ral Partha Chaos Wars troops for my armies. I did these using the Dallimore/Foundry 2-color method, using craft paints. Since I worked on my Chaos Warriors back in June, I've gotten much better about how to paint the faces, getting to where I can paint right up to the eyeballs. Lots of light and patience helps.

Color scheme (Base, Highlight)
Flesh: Americana Base Flesh, Fold Art Light Flesh
Hair: Americana Moon Yellow, Folk Art French Vanilla
Armor/Weapons: Games Workshop Tin Bitz, Folk Art Metallic Solid Bronze
Shirt: Americana Ocean Blue, Crafter's Acrylic Tropical Blue
Shirt cuffs: Folk Art French Vanilla, Americana Snow White
Pants: Crafter's Acrylic Black + Americana Holly Green, Americana Holly Green
Boots: Ceramcoat Charcoal, Americana Neutral Gray
Shield Face: Folk Art French Vanilla, Americana Snow White
Shield Jewel: Crafter's Acrylic Black/Crafter's Acrylic Tropical Blue/Americana Snow White
Feather: Crafter's Acrylic Dark Turquoise, Same + Americana Snow White
Details: Games Workshop Shining Gold

The rationale behind the colors: The Sea Elves do not have the luxury of the same metals that the races on land have. They make do with bone, bronze, shark/whale leather and fabrics from what is available under the seas and oceans. That's the story of the colors of off-white (bone), grey (leather), bronze and the bright blues and whites. The Elves themselves are a pale white with blonde or blue/black hair.

I'm going for a kind-of Greek look to their insignia on their shields. As well, their shields are works of art themselves, so where I can, the bosses will have a jeweled effect, and the decorations or designs will be gold.

Step 1: Primed with black. In this picture, I had some extra paint from a previous model and painted the base coat on the swords to make use of the paint on the palette.

2. Base coat and highlight coat of flesh. The fingers around the sword were hard to trace, so I ended up doing a light drybrush to bring them out nicely.

Step 3: Paint the clothes from the inside out. When I get to painting, I'll get on a roll and forget to take pictures! Here, I've finished the blue shirt, the cuffs, the pants and the shield face. With the 2 color method, I don't use inks or washes, the base coat and a highlight give the appearance of depth.

Step 4: Boots and Armor. The base coat of armor is finished, ready for highlight.

Step 5: Finishing touches. And once again, I forgot to take pictures until the very end. The armor and weapons have been highlighted. Blonde hair has been painted.The details have been added, such as the gold trim, the shield decorations and feathers.

I also used a neat trick from my Battletech painting - a "jeweling" effect. I do that on the gems in the shield bosses. It really makes the shields pop and gives them a unique look. I also put a bit of the brighter jewel paint on the helmet decorations to add some detail.

Step 6: Mounted on bases and ready for the final basing step. I'll have them on sand and a couple will have some shells and lichen to give them an ocean feel.

It took about 4 hours to do these 3 guys, which isn't bad. The detailing of the shields takes awhile, as did being careful with the white trim/cuffs on the shirt.

Also keep in mind, these are troops. So I'm OK with black eyes and some imperfections, as these will be in a unit of 12 figures, and I'm looking at them from 3 to 4 feet away. I love seeing my Sea Elves together, with the bejeweled shields and bright tropical colors.

Questions/comments/criticisms? Let me know!


  1. Really nice work -- I dig the jeweling effect!

  2. Thank you, Chris. I agree, the bejeweled shields will make these guys stand out on the table. I love when we can take techniques from one genre (Battletech) and use it elsewhere.

  3. Nice! I bet that it is hard to take pictures. Once I get to painting, everything around me tends to disappear. Hours can go by and you don't even notice. Great work!

  4. @Ripper - it is very hard! I have to leave the cell phone in sight of me while I'm painting so I remember. And that doesn't always seem to work either. Thanks for the kind comments.


Post a Comment