Monday, November 14, 2016

The Shadow Empire - Painting Terracotta Warriors

Now that my  horde of terracotta warriors are complete, I though it time to put up a tutorial for how I painted them for anyone else out there who fancies painting animated clay men, or simply want to paint clay statues/urns etc. All the paints used below are Citadel paints unless stated otherwise.

The warriors are base coated with Tallarn Flesh. I then sponged on a generous helping of Shadow Grey. Many of the warriors are still coated with the remains of paint, as they were originally brightly coloured. The Shadow Grey adds a second colour to break up the basic clay colour a little. Once this is dry the whole model is washed with Reikland Flesh shade.

The model is then drybrushed with Tallarn Flesh, followed by Rakharth Flesh and finally Dheneb Stone. Finally, Typhus corrosion is blended into some of the recesses. Use this sparingly. I only added this step to some models that are cracked open, or to represent mud and dirt that has caked onto the clay over time.

The bronze on halberds, swords and shields is basecoated with Dwarf Bronze. The face of the shields is sponged with Shadow Grey. Wash the bronze with Agrax Earthshade, and then highlight with Shining Gold. Once this dries wash with Thraka Green (or Biel-Tan Green) amd the glaze with Waywatcher Green. Finally, paint Dark Angels Green into the recesses and blend out.

That's essentially it. Wood is painted with a dark brown to show the wood has aged and hardened. For larger areas of bronze, such as horses, I'll be mottling areas with dark greens to echo the patterns on living horses such as the fetlocks and facial stripes.

The basing is my usual recipe of base coat Dawnstone washed with Agrax Earthshade. This is drybrushed with Fortress Grey, Bleached Bone and then a light drybrush of white. This is then liberally doused with Typhus Corrosion and blended out to stain the ground and rocks. I then add tufts, though since I took these photos I've added some flowers to the bases to add more colour. You can see this below.

There we are!


  1. Loving it, the models and the tutorial. Very nice to have a recipe for convincing baked clay with a straightforward and very effective technique.
    Rounds of applause and anticipation of the characters turned to 10.

  2. Really cool! Thanks for the tutorial.

  3. Hi there, I've been following your steps to paint Terracotta space marines. However you have written to "dry brush with Rakharth Flesh and the denebh stone" but Rakharth Flesh is denebh stone just the new name for it. Do you mind clarifying? Thanks so much.

    1. Hi Eric, I didn't realise Rakharth Flesh was the new version of Dheneb Stone. They are actually pretty different, Dheneb Stone is much ligter. You could get the same effect by making a 2:1 mix of Rakharth Flesh and say, Pallid Witch Flesh.

  4. Hi - what did you prime them with?

    1. Just regular Games Workshop black spray primer. It's not let me down yet.


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