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How I Paint: Viking Bondi

I’m currently working on a Viking warband for SAGA. My plans for the force will be detailed in a future post but today I’d like to share the techniques and paints that I am using to get my models onto the table as quickly as possible. I’ll be using a Viking Archer from Warlord Games but this guide can be applied to any Viking Miniatures.


I start by undercoating the model using Leather Brown. This will provide a good starting point for the colours that we will use later but will also allow us to achieve a strong contrast between the lightest parts of the model and the shadows.

Once the undercoat has dried and any areas missed by the spray have received a coat of Leather Brown, I set to work establishing the highlights and shadows.

Stage 1

First I used Agrax Earthshade for an all over wash – taking care not to let it pool too much in the recesses. Any weird shadows or splodges were tidied up with the previous colour.

When the wash had dried, I applied a drybrush of Stone Grey to the model and its base. I focused this on the raised portions of the model and the areas most likely to catch light from above.

Stage 2

Next came basecoating. Because I wanted a scheme that could be easily be applied to a production line of models, I chose to use Contrast paints. With the work that I’d done in the previous step, all I’d need to do next was “colour in” the various details. I took care to keep the layers thin to take advantage of the natural transparency of the paints.

There are plenty of options to use for clothing colours but for this particular model I decided that I would use Gryph Hound Orange and Space Wolves Grey. The latter paint is quite weak straight from the pot so I waited for the first coat to dry before applying a second.

The darker leather was picked out with Gore-Grunta Fur and the lighter leather was picked out with Snakebite Leather. I used Skeleton Horde for the Seaxe grip and arrow fletching. The dark wood of the bow was coated with Wyldwood and the hair was carefully coated with Iyanden Yellow. The exposed flesh (just the hands on this particular model) were coated with Guilliman Flesh. To wrap up this basecoating stage, the metallic details received two thin coats of Gun Metal.

Stage 3

You could call the model finished in the previous stage. But, seeing as how the first two stages really take no time at all, I decided to deepen the shadows on the model to add a bit more contrast and add more detail to the skin.

To deepen the shadows, I applied Carbon Black ink directly into the deepest recesses. This is semi-opaque so some of the underlying colour still shows through if the ink is applied in a thin layer.

The skin was painted with Cadian Fleshtone and was then washed with Reikland Fleshshade. I then picked out the most prominant features with Kislev Flesh.

I also used this stage to apply Nuln Oil Gloss to the metal details to help add some definition to them.

Finished Model

And with that, the model was almost ready for the tabletop. I tidied up the base rim with Leather Brown before applying a satin varnish. I personally prefer this over a matt or gloss varnish because it protects the model without making it too shiny or dull.

Finally, I applied some grass to the base. The model was now ready to raid!

Closing Remarks

There we have it! A quick scheme that produces results that I am very happy with! I’d definitely recommend setting up a production line of models beforehand to ensure that blocks of units can be churned out as quickly as possible. Like all of my schemes there is room for experimentation as well. I’ve found that Citadel’s Militarum Green and Flesh Tearers Red also work nicely for clothing. Here are a few more Bondi that I’ve painted up using the above stages:

Supporting the site

I hope that you enjoyed this guide. If you have any comments/queries/feedback let me know in the comments here or on Instagram. If you’d like to show your support for Disordered Retreat we have recently started a Buy Me a Coffee page.

Paints Used

  • Leather Brown Spray (I also have a pot of the stuff on hand for tidying mistakes and undercoating any areas that the spray has missed) – Army Painter
  • Agrax Earthshade – Citadel
  • Stone Grey – Vallejo
  • Gryph-Hound Orange – Citadel
  • Space Wolves Grey – Citadel
  • Skeleton Horde – Citadel
  • Wyldwood – Citadel
  • Snakebite Leather– Citadel
  • Iyanden Yellow – Citadel
  • Guilliman Flesh – Citadel
  • Gore-Grunta Fur – Citadel
  • Cadian Fleshtone – Citadel
  • Kislev Flesh – Citadel
  • Reikland Fleshshade – Citadel
  • Nuln Oil Gloss – Citadel
  • Gun Metal – AK Interactive
  • Carbon Black – Liquitex
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