Skip to content

Hobby Update – The Rainbow Guard

A few months back, back at the UK Games Expo 2018, my gaming group and I decided to invest in Shadespire. We each chose a warband, and decided that even if we only paint one mini per month we would be getting somewhere. We could learn to paint, enjoy a strategic game, and create a warband the way we wanted to. It would be a bit of a project, each of us taking the mantle of Games Workshop up again after giving up around the birth of Age of SigmarShadespire would be a serious way back into miniatures as a hobby and as a group, as well as a way to wet our paintbrushes once again.

From a personal level – I saw the Sepulchral Guard as a way to get back into painting, learning as I do so. There are seven skeletons in total, of which we will go through four today (I have already shown one in this article). So, to have a bit of fun, all of the Sepulchral Guard are painted with a different core colour, not having to worry about realistic skin because the skeletons are only bone.

Today, a simple update from an inexperienced painter. These are the Rainbow Guard as they currently stand. I’m having quite a lot of fun with these guys, so it’s good to finally share real progress. I know there is plenty of room for improvement, but I’m pretty happy with how they are going so far.

For each of these I needed to practice and relearn different parts of mini painting, and it has been a massive learning curve since I am relatively new back to the hobby. To mark this I have noted the bits I needed to look up at each point, purely from an interest perspective.

Greeny (Petitioner)

This Petitioner was the first mini I painted from the Sepulchral Guard. He was the starting point because the bones are nice and exposed, with the cloth being easy to access. There is nothing overly hidden or out of sorts, making him a fairly good mini to practice on. Not to mention, if I completely messed him up, there are three Practicioners, making them a relatively small part of the warband from a personality perspective.

In hindsight, which is a wonderful thing, I probably went too heavy on the white highlight. I was able to take my time with Greeny though, and am fairly happy with how he turned out for a first attempt.

Why green? I use Army Painter paints at the moment, and have the most shades of green. This means it was possible to keep trying different shades until I managed to get the right one for the cloth. The weapon, which you can’t really see in the image, was a composite of loads of different layers of grey and bronze, with rust effect scattered in there. It turned out okay, but I kept experimenting throughout the other weapons as you will see.

Bit needed to be looked up: Bones and shading with ink/layered highlighting.

Bluey (The Harvester)

The Harvester was the next challenge, presenting three issues. Firstly, there is a lot of cloth, which I have to admit, I didn’t highlight as well as I could have (there is a pattern with highlighting here). The next issue was the stave of the scythe, which was a pain. Thirdly, I wanted to try a different strategy and colour for the scythe blade, going with a bronze colouring instead. This turned out a bit rubbish, but formed the basis for the Prince of Dust mace later on.

Bit needed to be looked up: I needed to paint a fair chunk of cloth with Bluey, as well as needed to delicately paint around the shackles and the hood. I also needed to try painting the stave. It was after messing this stave up that I asked for help from the blogging pros on the end of my last painting blog.

Muddy Greeny (The Champion)


The next one I decided to give a go was The Champion. He was the one whom I went back and repainted most on, namely because he needed to be dirty and grimy, and that (as an effect) was really difficult to do. This required a lot of scrubbing with paints, and several washes to get a decent affect on the metal. The Champion has the most exposed metal so it was important to get it up to table standard. Finally, this resulted in the mini you see in the picture, with additional grime.

Bits I needed to look up: With The Champion, it was an education to try and paint the rusty geat. It ended up being a scribble of paint, but it ended up turning out okay.

Purpley (Prince of Dust)

At long last we come to the mini I was most looking forward to painting – The Prince of Dust. The Prince of Dust is a fantastic mini, that puts together all the things learned by the previous three minis. The shading is lighter (as in how it was applied) on the Prince of Dust, and the bone used highlighting methods used with the Petitioner and the cloth highlighting I learned whilst painting The Harvester. The shackles from the Harvester and the blade, the lessons learned by messing the blade up, really helped with the mace.

It’s been a real learning curve painting the minis so far; however, there is still a lot of learning left to go. I’m trying fur next, again using the advice given at the end of the last few articles. I had to admit that it is really fun and enjoyable to be painting these guys, and I can see an Orc warband happening next.


So, with that in mind, what’s advice would you give a painter such as myself looking to continue the hobby after years of absence? How would you paint bronze weapons? What is your favourite or advised way of getting decent looking highlights on cloth. Let me know in the comments below.

If you have enjoyed reading this
you may enjoy reading:
Painting Skeletons with Army Painter Paints – A Sepulchral Guard Shadespire Test Model


  1. This is how I paint bronze weapons using Vallejo game colours (you’ll have to convert to Army Paint colours) – Undercoat Black; Dry brush tinny tin; Wash with umber shade wash; Re-dry brush tinny tin; Dry brush for highlighting with chain mail; Final light highlight with silver.
    I used this technique on my Bugbears -
    Hopefully you’ll be able to see the effect on this as it’s not a great picture as the model isn’t finished yet.

    Liked by 2 people

      • Here’s the army painter equivalents to the paints I used, at least the ones they have. The army painter range is quite small! – Tinny Tin = No equivalent (Warplock Bronze in Citadel); Agrax Earthshade = Strong Tone Wash; Chain mail = Plate Mail Metal; Silver = Shining Silver. Hope this helps. The Highlighting should be applied using the dry brush in only one direction, usually vertically down, and the silver should be applied very sparingly. The effect is actually quite good, the picture I took doesn’t do it justice. If you want a stronger bronze look leave out the wash. Let me know what you think.

        Liked by 3 people

  2. They look great, Luke! Seriously!
    Looks like advice on bronze weapons is pretty much covered. (I don’t have an actual technique since I don’t do it all that often, so to do it myself, I’d google some pics then go by “feel”, experimenting as I go).
    Cloth on Purpley looks good to me.
    For bluey, you just need more transitional shades between the dark base and the edge highlight.
    Also, don’t be afraid to not use a lighter colour (ie, blue) and just add white, bone, yellow, etc to the base to create those transitional highlight shades as you go up – this means you can create as many of those transitional shades as you need as you go, and they’re all “in line” from darkest to lightest. Then hit the lot with a wash or glaze at the end to help unify the layers of highlights. Brown washes work well on pretty much anything if you’re ok with a “dirty-ish” look, which fits undead perfectly.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Ace advice – thank you! I’m going to revisit the Reaper with your advice. It needs to be more transitional. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

      I have one more copper weapon to do, which is a spear, so will take pictures once done 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Those turned out really nice, welcome back to the hobby!! Looks like you have your highlighting and dry brushing down pretty good. Did you practice those in the past?

    It’s a bit hard to see the metals, but that’s probably the area I would make a suggestion. I used to like to vary things up and use all the cool metals colors I had. The problem is, with copper and bronze, you’re not likely to get a good contrast. The more silvery looking metal will help the weapon to stand out nicely from the model. The shields will look good and fine with bronze, as they are close to the body anyways. You could try lighter color shafts for spears with bronze tips, and that might provide interesting contrast.

    Great looking team so far, and hope to see you keep painting more cool stuff! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Look good to me Luke. Still playing post holiday blog catch up (That’s not a game by the way!) So As for advice off of the top of my head, check out other people’s blogs, Google and YouTube and then it’s just practice followed by practice, followed by … you get the idea!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: