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How I Used The Army Painter on my Enlightened

The Army Painter sponsored today’s post. Thank you for that!! They sent me the paints I needed to complete this project. If you are curious about the products that they sent me, check out my post about The Army Painter taking over my desk.

In this post, I share with you how I used their paints on miniatures for Wild West Exodus. While the miniatures I painted are specific to a game, you can use the steps within this tutorial on any miniatures. Warhammer, 40K, Legion, whatever. The same principles apply. Generally, I follow the five step process that I share with you in this article today. This process makes it really easy to paint your minis quickly. When you are done, they look good too!

How to paint Wild West Exodus miniatures using The Army Painter.
The collection of minis that I painted during this tutorial.

These miniatures come from the new two-player starter set for Wild West Exodus. That set is called “Wild West Exodus: Showdown at Retribution,” and I painted up the Enlightened side of this starter set. The box comes with minis from both the Union and Enlightened factions.

If you are interested in exactly which colors I used for these models, I will place a paint recipe at the end of the tutorial. With that, you will be able to use my color scheme if you wish.

This is my second article about painting miniatures for Wild West Exodus. My first painting article for the game is in my review of the Cerulean Clade Posse Set.

Now, let me tell you about the five step process that I followed in painting these miniatures.

My Five Step Process to Painting Miniatures Using The Army Painter Paints

No matter which minis I paint, I generally follow a simple five step process. Below is that process laid out as quickly as possible.

  1. Prime
  2. Base coat
  3. Shade
  4. Highlights and Effects
  5. Basing Materials

We will go through each step in this article. There is also a video coming to outline the process. That will get embedded into this article along with a tutorial about using brush on primer once they are ready.

I used this exact same five step process as this in my tutorial on how to paint miniatures for role playing games. I also used a similar process in how to paint space marines and how to paint skeletons too.

Step One – Prime the Miniature

This step is easy. You have to prime the miniature. Spray on primer works great, but I live in Canada and there are many months of the year that you can’t prime outside. Instead, I used brush on primer by The Army Painter.

Priming your Miniatures with Brush on Primer
To use the primer, I squirted it onto a dry pallet and applied it using a brush.

This stuff worked really well. For more on how to use the primer, check out this video.

How to use brush on primer for miniatures.

Next up, we base coat the minis.

Step Two – Base Coat the Miniatures

At this stage, I paint all of the colors that I want on my models. I don’t worry too much about shading or how they look. I just keep going over them until I am happy that the proper color is on each part of the model.

The first coat of paint on a miniature is called a base coat
This is the mini that I started with.
For it, I used the Army Painter Wet Pallet
For this step, I used the wet pallet by The Army Painter. It helps your paint last longer and I could even put the lid on it, come back the next day and still have the paint in there be good for a second day of painting. You can’t do that with a dry pallet.
Use a Vortex Mixer to shake The Army Painter paints. It really helps make them as silky smooth as you can get them.
One of the things that you have to be aware of if you use The Army Painter Paints is that you have to shake the daylights out of them. More so than other brands. I have mixing balls by the Army Painter (on the left) and a Vortex Paint shaker to help me out with this. The vortex mixer on its own is great. The two together work fantastically!
Gustave Eiffel
Here is the leader of the group ready for shading. Gustave Eiffel. The next step makes a huge difference.
Construct Cavalry base coated with The Army Painter Paints
The Iron Horses ready for the next step. They are known as Construct Cavalry in the game because they are part of the Enlightened faction.
Emily Nouguier
This is Emily Nouguier. Again, you will be amazed at the difference that the next stage makes.
Spider Cav Miniature for Wild West Exodus
I really liked these Spider Cav models. You will see this one in each step of this article. I still have to paint his torso, but keep in mind how he looked at this stage of the process. You will see him more in steps 3, 4 and 5.
Smash & Grab Base Coated
This is Smash & Grab. He is another mini of which I wanted you to see the before and after.

This is how the minis look after I base coat the minis. They are okay, but the next two steps are going to make a huge difference.

Check this out.

Step Three – Shading the Miniatures

For this next step I used The Army Painter Quickshade Dark Tone Wash. It worked out pretty quick with minimal effort.

Painting Miniatures - Miniature Painting Setup
A look at my miniatures desk. For those wondering, the lamp is by Game Craft Miniatures. The paint case that the minis are on are by Frontier Wargaming and the small white drawers are by Hobby Zone.

When you apply Quickshade, sometimes it goes on too liberally. You can remove some of that by going back with a somewhat dry-brush and soaking it up while it is still wet. As a heads up, I always intend to go back and “repaint” the minis after this step. More on that in the Step 4.

The shade goes on heavier in the recesses and less heavy on the other parts of the mini. It makes the overall miniature darker. You can leave it as that or try to soak up some of it before it dries. When the video tutorial comes out, I will demonstrate to you what I mean and you will be able to find that video here on this page.

Once they are shaded, the minis look better than they did in step 2. Below are how my minis looked after the shading (step 3).

Shading the Miniatures
Overall, you can see that the minis look better across the board after the shading.
The difference that The Army Painter Quicktone Dark Tone Wash Makes
A closer look at some of the minis after applying the Quickshade by The Army Painter.

With my Space Marines, I figured that they looked good enough at this stage, so I skipped the next step. With these miniatures though, I wanted to put in the effort.

Next up, touching up the highlights and adding effects.

Step Four – Adding Highlights and Effects

Although not as quick as step three, this part of the process goes by quick when you paint for a tabletop distance. For this stage, I do a lot of dry-brushing. As such, you will notice in the video that I quit using the wet pallet at this point. The reason for this is because you don’t want your paints or brush to be wet when you dry-brush.

Emily Nouguier Painted
Emily after shading and highlights. She looks much better here than she did during the base coat stage.

How to Dry-Brush

To dry-brush, you take a brush you don’t care as much about, dip it in paint and brush it on a paper towel. Once it is brushing off just a bit of dry pigment, you start using it on the miniature. By doing this, the desired color focuses on the raised parts of the miniature and not in the deeper parts of the model.

As a note, some people use purpose built brushes and makeup brushes for dry-brushing. I just use an old brush as dry-brushing can be hard on the bristles.

The Army Painter - How to Paint Gustave Eiffel
Getting results like this is easy if you follow the process. It takes a little practice, but once you get the hang of it, you can get great results with little effort. It’s in the technique and how you use the paints.

By dry-brushing your entire miniature with the original colors that you started with the whole model gets more dimension. The deeper parts of the model will remain shaded while the higher parts become brighter. This simulates how a light (or the sun) would illuminate you or me. Miniatures are so small though, they need some help to create depth.

Now, let’s add even more to the miniature with some effects.

Adding in Some Effects

The Army Painter - How to Paint the Mono Cav
For this step, I dry-brushed on a rust effect over the whole mini and then dry-brushed the back green to give the rear a glowing effect. This makes it look like some sort of chemical battery. I also added on some blood effects by dabbing it with a brush. This minis is known as the Mono Cav.

After dry-brushing on the original colors, and Dry Rust Effect, I used extra green for the glowing areas. Again, that is all done by dry-brushing. After that, I added on the blood splatter. To do this, I used The Army Painter Glistening Blood Effect. This time, I dabbed the effect on with a brush.

A Spider Cav Covered in Blood
I had an absolute ton of fun with these Spider Cav miniatures. For them I used the same rust effect as on the Mono Cav that you saw earlier. I then applied blood effect and did the same green glowing green effect on the rear of the miniature.
This one Has even more blood!
I went even heavier with the blood effect on the second Spider Cav.

For completeness, here are the other minis at this stage.

Smash & Grab from Wild West Exodus painted with The Army Painter paints
Smash and Grab.
The Construct Cavalry
One of the Iron Horse riders.
Another Cavalry Miniature for the Enlightened in Wild West Exodus
And the other.

Step Five – Add the Base Materials

Some people do more, and some people do less. My approach is to cover the base in white glue (PVA glue) and to then cover it with basing materials. The Army Painter does some great ones. Unfortunately, I had to use basing materials from other manufacturers because what I own already by The Army Painter did not fit the setting.

Completed Spider Cav for Wild West Exodus. Painted with The Army Painter
A completed Spider Cav model.
A miniature painted using The Army Painter Paints
Another look at the same mini.
Mono Cav painted using The Army Painter
The Mono Cav. I like the final look.
An Enlightened Spider Cav miniature for Wild West Exodus
This is the Spider Cav that I went nuts with on the Blood Effect.
A bloody Spider Cav miniature
Another angle on the second Spider Cav.
Gustave Eiffel painted for Wild West Exodus by using The Army Painter complete paint set
Gustave Eiffel. You can see how I gave the orbs a small green glowing effect by dry-brushing the area around it lightly.
Gustave Eiffel all painted and ready for a game
A sideview of the mini.
Emily from Wild West Exodus
Some people go so far as to paint the eyes. I do not. You won’t see it when you are standing around the tabletop. At least, not without picking up the mini to inspect it. Eyes are hard. My opinion is “good enough.” 🙂
The back side of the miniature
The back of the mini. I dry-bushed up the original colors of this mini the most. The others I could hide things with glowing and blood effects. This one doesn’t have either aside from a small touch of green on the robotic dog’s spinal cord.
Blood and Glowing Light Effects by The Army Painter on a miniature
This one was so much fun to paint with the blood and glowing effects.
Awesome lighting effects done with The Army Painter
The glowing green is the same color as the cylinders’ base coat, just dry-brushed to the surrounding area to look like projected green light.
A construct cavalry miniature in Wild West Exodus - Painted with The Army Painter
A completed Iron Horse.
A hover cycle
A slight turn on the same miniature.
The miniature after basing materials applied
The second rider.
A completed miniature
A second look at the mini.

At this point, the miniatures are done. They look great and were fairly quick to paint too. Now, let me tell you which colors I used to paint these minis.

My Paint Recipe for the Enlightened Miniatures of Wild West Exodus with The Army Painter

To paint this group of miniatures, I used The Army Painter Brush on Primer, and the following colors.

The paints I used for the Enlightened in Wild West Exodus - How to paint the Enlightened with The Army Painter
Above is a picture of all the paints that I used for this project. Below is how I used each color.

The Paints I Used by The Army Painter

ColorItems Paitned
Gun MetalBody of Spider Cav, metal body of Smash & Grab, Emily’s armor, guns of Mono Cav and Iron Horse Hovercycles, body of the Boss’s spider.
Rough IronBody of the Mono Cav. Head of the Robotic Dog in Emily’s hand.
Plate Mail MetalTorsos of Spider Cav and Mono Cav riders.
Barbarian FleshEmily and the Boss’s (Gustave Eiffel’s) skin.
Cultist RobePants of the Iron Horse Riders, Jacket and Hat of the Boss, and Emily’s shirt.
Oak BrownRifle carried by the Boss.
Chaotic RedBody of the Iron Horse Hovercycles.
Necrotic FleshSkin of the Iron Horse Riders and Smash and Grab. Also used for the faces of the Spider and Mono Cav Riders.
Mouldy ClothesBright green areas of the batteries, orbs and robotic eyes. Also used with dry-brushing to create a “glowing” effect.
Leather BrownUsed on the leather parts of the minis. Back of the Boss’s chair. Emily’s pants. Boots, coat and saddles of the Iron Horse Riders.
Matt BlackUsed to paint the bases.
Above are the colors I used to paint these minis. All of these paints are by The Army Painter.

The Effects That I Used by The Army Painter

The Army Painter sure makes projects easy at an affordable price. I used their Quickshade Strong Tone Wash on this project as well as their Glistening Blood Effect and Dry Rust Effect. The Wash I used over the entire miniature. The Dry Rust I dry-brushed onto the Cav models as well as the Robotic Dog head in Emily’s hand. The Glistening Blood I applied by dabbing it onto the miniatures.

Effects by The Army Painter
The Effects and Washes that I used. I applied the Quickshade Wash first and applied the effects in the same step that I did the highlights.

Where to Buy the Products in this Post – The Army Painter and Wild West Exodus

There are a few places that you can buy the products in this post. First and foremost, check your local stores and ask them. You could also check your favorite online stores. If you like them, it is good to support them with your business.

Missing that, you can buy the paints directly from The Army Painter or some online retailers too. Below is a list of some that you can try. If you buy from any with the word “Affiliate” beside them, those links earn Must Contain Minis a small commission at no extra charge to you.

My completed Enlightened miniatures from Wild West Exodus: Showdown at Retribution.

Wrapping it up…

There you have it. My five step process to painting miniatures. I had a lot of fun with these minis for Wild West Exodus.

The techniques shown in this post can be used for any system including Warhammer 40K, Legion, Oathmark and so many other games too. It is a general painting process that can be used on all miniatures to get some really nice results. I use this same approach to pretty much every miniature that I paint.

Hopefully you learned something from this tutorial, or at least enjoyed the read and pictures. Special thanks goes out to The Army Painter for sponsoring this post.

Until next time, Happy Gaming Everyone!!!