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Zulus in Contrast

The Zulu Wars is a fascinating period. However, the one thing which always put me off this period was the sheer amount of Zulus that needed painting. You need 'faaashends of them!' Now if only there was a quick and easy way to paint them... cue contrast paints! (No groaning at the back!)

Zulus!!!!!! In Citadel Contrast.

The Citadel Contrast paint range has three flesh colours, Gulliman Flesh, Fyreslayer Flesh and Darkoath Flesh. While these are useful colours, there are none for darker skin tones. They are all a little 'white European' or suntanned at best.

Fyreslayer contrast - tanned but not really dark.

Darkoath is the darkest but gives a suntanned skin tone than a truly dark one. Even a second coat leaves a distinctly middle skin tone.

Darkoath and Cygor. Too light and too dark to show detail.

There are other brown colours in the range, such as Cygor Brown and Wyldwood, but neither of these is satisfactory. The Cygor colour is very dark, even with Contrast medium added, the results were not satisfactory. So, I decided to experiment with mixing in other colours.

White undercoat to start.

Mixing Darkoath with Cygor or Wyldwood didn't quite work for me, but when I mixed in Fyreslayer, bingo! I hit the magic spot. Cygor is such a powerful colour that you'll need a 1 to 1 mix or to add more Fyreslayer. In fact, you can vary the final skin tone by the amount of Fyreslayer you add. Simply add in Skeleton Horde for the loincloth and dress, Black Templar for the hair and the model is almost finished.

Work in progress...

I've also tried this technique with my Sudanese (another stalled project). By adding more Fyreslayer, I can create a not too dark skin tone suitable for Nile Arabs. Here, a diluted Skeleton Horde colour made up the cloth with highlights of Ivory added.

Nile Arabs in contrast with highlights.

What is great about this method is speed. Now my dreams of horde armies might just become a reality. Now, will similar techniques work on horses? Stay tuned!

4 thoughts on “Zulus in Contrast”

  • Chris


    - Nay!

  • Mike

    Thanks for the post Guy, indeed Contrast Paints should be great for getting that Zulu horde done! I can't help thinking though that it ought to be possible to get even better results. Can I offer some ideas, although maybe you've tried them already - I would not use a white undercoat, all those browns and warm tones should come up better on a light bone undercoat such as Citadel Wraithbone (which is what GW recommend and it's available in a spray can). I wouldn't worry about the skin going really dark, but would highlight up the cowtails to pure white and do the Assegai shaft in a really light tone, that will increase contrast on the model (contrast meaning range between dark and light, not to be confused with the name of the paint range!). Once you've got the technique just right on individual models, you should be able to crank it out on the horde in no time.

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