Painting Poorly: A Song of Ice and Fire - Tyrion Lannister, the Imp

by CMON Games

"I Drink and I Know Things..."

One could easily make the argument that Tyrion Lannister is the protagonist of A Song of Ice & Fire.  I mean, he's one of the only characters who the readers/audience is consistently behind, and he's a man of principles.  Sure, those principles include booze and hookers, but no one's perfect, am I right?

My Master's degree in Psychology and I could go on for some some lengths analyzing his character and arc over the series, but that's not why you're here...  You're here because you want to paint some MINIS!

So, the half-man is quite literally almost half the size of his brother Jaime.  While this doesn't actually produce too much additional challenge from his small stature, Tyrion does have THE hardest detail work we've had to do so far.  Luckily, his overall scheme is relatively simple, and should look great once you're finished.

Let's get down to it!

1. Gameplan, Prep, and Prime

By now, you all know that I'm basing most of my paint jobs off of the appearance of the character in the HBO series, and Tyrion is no exception.  And let's be honest, if ever there was inspired casting on Game of Thrones, it was this man:

I mean, George R. R. Martin himself said that Peter Dinklage was his first choice to play Tyrion when the show went into development, so I mean, THIS IS TYRION.

That said, here are the colors I've assembled:

The dark red that I have just been loving for the Lannisters is from Target, along with black, white, and yellow from the craft store.  From Vallejo, I've assembled Flat Earth and Dark Sand, though any standard brown or tan will work, Basic Skin Tone, and Gold.

Just like always, I've primed Tyrion with Matt White spray primer by The Army Painter, and I'm ready to start basecoats!

2. Basecoats

First you'll start off with the dark red, and apply it to the doublet, and remember, unless otherwise stated, all of our basecoats are thinned 50/50 with water.

Don't be afraid of having to do a second coat of red.  We want as even a coat as possible, and try to avoid as much of the trim as you can.  It's not going to ruin your paint job if you do hit the trim, but it'll make it much easier when we DO paint the trim if it's still white, as red is a difficult color to cover.

Next, paint the sleeves, pants, and boots using the 50/50 black/white mix that you should be VERY familiar with from all of the cloaks, furs, and shields we've been painting.

Use your basic skin tone for the face and hands.  Don't forget his neck and the earlobes sticking out from beneath his hair.  The fingers around the goblet are tricky, as it's hard to tell where his hands end and the goblet begins (kind of like the character himself) so do the best you can.

Now it's time to take your basic standard yellow and paint the hair.  You'll notice that it is quite a BRIGHT YELLOW, but don't worry.  We're going to give it the same treatment that we gave Jaime, so it should calm it down a bit and look pretty natural by the end.

Now, for the brown belt.  The hardest part of this will be trying to stay off of the buckle and the red doublet, but do your best, and remember, you can always touch up anything that got painted on accident.

Alright...  Now for the hard part.  I'm not going to lie to you, the gold trim is VERY DIFFICULT, but you can do it!  To start off, DO NOT THIN YOUR GOLD PAINT.

WHA?!?  I know, but listen to me.  The name of the game here is control, and you want your paint to be relatively viscous so the gold doesn't run all over the place.

Load up your detail brush, and instead of painting it on, think of it like you're pulling the brush along the raised details of the trim.  If you like, you can hold your brush sideways, like I describe in the eyebrow section of the Greatjon tutorial.  But mainly, think less like you're putting paint on the trim, and more like the trim is catching paint from your brush.

Go slowly, be patient, and remember, you can always touch up any mistakes at this point.

Finish by painting the belt buckle and goblet with your gold, and you're ready for shades once it's all dry.

3. Shading

Here are the three washes I've chosen:

Soft Tone, Flesh Wash, and Dark Tone, all by The Army Painter.

The first thing you'll be adding will be the flesh wash to the face and hands and neck.

Be careful around the gold trim around the wrists and try not to get any on the goblet either.

Now, apply the soft tone to the hair.  Make sure you get the entirety of the hair, including the hair line, but try not to get any on the face.  You can see, this really mutes the yellow and gives the hair a much more natural look.

Once you've done that, it's time for dark tone everywhere else.

The doublet, the trim, the goblet, the sleeves, the boots, the pants...  ALL OF IT.  You don't need much, just enough to cover all the figure.  This really gives us the mottled dark red leather look that we're going for.

Once that's dry, we can move onto highlights!

4. Highlights and Finishing Touches

The first thing you'll want to highlight is the skin.  Using your basic skin tone, you'll do some coverage on the forehead going just shy of the hairline, the nose, the cheekbones, and the chin.  When working on the chin, don't do the whole jaw, just the center of the chin.

There's also a small portion of the neck that you'll want to highlight as well.  And don't forget about the tops of the hand/fingers.

Next, I moved onto the sleeves, pants, and boots.

Using your 50/50 black/white mix, you'll highlight the sleeves.  Only get the parts of the sleeve that billow out, and stop where the elbow starts to bend, leaving the area underneath his bent elbow dark, as light wouldn't get to it.

When highlighting the boots, again, just hit the top of the boot, and any ridges or folds.  Here's an idea of what the other arm would look like:

Try to avoid getting into the recesses of the mini, as those dark recesses create depth and dimension.  If you DO mess up, you can alway reapply the dark tone wash.

Now, let's do the hair.

Using the dark sand, just apply some top down highlights to the hair.  This should really only cover the crown area of the hair, and only the raised ridges.  The highlight should stop once the hair reaches Tyrion's temples.

Finally, we'll move onto the doublet.

Again, just applying top down highlights to the shoulders, and upper back area, and the back of the collar using your dark red base.  You can also use it anywhere the dark tone isn't, and there's a lighter section of red.

After the shoulders and upper back, you'll want to use your detail brush to highlight all of the folds in Tyrion's doublet, and his gut.

You'll notice that I didn't paint the highlights flush against the trim or belt, leaving darkened sections near his collar, belt, and love handles.  This helps give the appearance of a round stomach, and looks just stellar if you can pull it off.

No need to worry about the gold or the belt, so base it however you like, spray it with your matt spray and...


The last thing you'll do, specifically AFTER you spray it with your matt varnish, is pour Tyrion a glass of wine.

I use Tamiya Clear Red.  This is the same thing I use for blood, but if you'd like a cheaper option, you can mix together some of your dark red and any cheap high gloss varnish for a similar effect.

Use your detail brush and just slowly dab it into the goblet.  Just go drop by drop until the entire recessed portion of the goblet is filled with clear red.  Again, make sure you do this AFTER you spray finish Tyrion, otherwise the dullcoat will ALSO dull the shiny finish of the clear red and make it look less like wine and more like red paint.

5. TO THE...  Tactics Board...

There you go!  Your first NCU from A Song of Ice & Fire.  

Hopefully you found this tutorial useful, and if you are looking for any more, including all of the Commanders from the A Song of Ice & Fire Starter Set, you can find them here.

Join me again soon as we're about to learn that duplicity and underhanded politicking run in the family...

Remember to Share, Comment, and Subscribe!
If you like what I have to say, make sure you follow me on Twitter
or on Facebook!