Painting Poorly: A Song of Ice & Fire - Ramsay Snow, the Bastard of Bolton

Become a Patron!
by CMON Games

"Which Body Part Do You Need the Least...?"

So, when CMON first announced this game, I thought, "Man, I hope they do Ramsay!"  Not because I am a particular fan of Ramsay Bolton née Snow, but because I wanted the chance to gut the little rat turd myself!

In a world of nuanced shades of gray, it's not very often that we are presented with a character that's as pure of a villain like the Bastard of Bolton.

Today, we're going to take a look at how to paint this jerk face, so let's jump in!

1. Gameplan, Prep, and Prime

Man, did the Boltons go through some dramatic changes for the HBO series.  I spoke a little bit about it in my tutorial on Roose Bolton, but it's even more apparent for his illegitimate son.

Ramsay's described as ugly, big boned, with a broad nose, pink and blotchy skin, and long dark dry hair.  So, how the hell did we end up with this male model looking &%#$:

Whoops.  Wrong picture.

There we go.  So, knowing this, while I'm still trying to emulate the looks of the HBO series, I can't ignore the in-game art, which gives us this amazing looking template:

That said, here are the paints that I'm assembling:

I've got Basic Skin Tone, Gunmetal Gray, Chocolate Brown, Flat Earth, and Dark Sand by Vallejo, along with black and white from the craft store.  From The Army Painter, you'll notice I have both Plate Mail Metal and Dark Sky, but I'll be honest, I wasn't really happy with the Dark Sky, so really, any DARK blue will work.

Again, I'm sorry for those of you expecting pink.  You're not going to find it here.  As we all know, real men wear pink, and real men don't betray their liege lord.  Therefore, Boltons aren't real men.  It's simple math, really.

Like always, I've primed Ramsay with matt white spray primer by The Army Painter, so now we're ready to start painting!

2. The Fur

The first thing we're going to do is paint the fur, just like we did with Robb and Greatjon.  Use your chocolate brown, thinned 50/50 with water, to lay down the first brown on the fur.  Once that is dry, move onto the flat earth.

Dry brush on the flat earth across the fur, front and back.  Don't worry about getting it on other parts of the mini, as we'll be painting over those sections anyway.

After that, we're going to dry brush on some of the dark sand.  And with this, we're really only going to be focusing on the top half of the fur.  This will give a nice highlighted/gradient effect, but don't forget to do this to the front of the mini as well.

Once that's done, it's time to start basecoats!

3. Basecoats

FYI, I actually messed up and did this first color before I painted the fur, just because I'm human and I forgot, so don't be like me and make sure you paint the fur first...

But once the fur's painted, you'll want to use your gunmetal grey and paint all of the armor, along with the hilt and pommel of the sword and the metal portions of the scabbard.  This includes the breast plate, the helmet he's carrying, the chainmail, and the singular piece of armor over his knee (whatever THAT'S about)...  You should make sure to paint the armor all the way up to his face, as he his neck his actually armored.

I actually didn't thin the gunmetal grey for this step, as I wanted it to maintain its blackened steel look.

From here on out, however, the rest of the paint should be thinned 50/50 with water, starting with some of the leftover chocolate brown from the fur.  You'll want to paint his hair, nothing fancy here, but if you've done it right, he should start to look like James Earl Jones from Conan the Barbarian.

Now, we paint his face using the basic skin tone.  Nothing too special here, just try not to get any on the hair or neck armor, so make sure to use your detail brush.

Once that's done, you'll paint the small amounts of his doublet/tunic that is sticking out underneath the armor.  I've chosen dark blue, as the Boltons' colors are dark blue/almost black and red as you can see here:

But if you want to just paint it black, by all means.  It's just a small way to incorporate some color into a relatively darker themed mini.

Next, we'll mix up our 50/50 black/white mix and paint the boots, gloves, sleeves, cloak, and belts.  This includes the strap which holds his knee armor in place.

After that, you'll paint his pants, the handle of his sword, and scabbard with the flat earth.  Nothing out of the ordinary here, just go slow and be careful not to get it on anything else.

The last thing you'll paint will be the blade of the sword and the two medallions on the front of the fur with your plate mail metal.

Once that's all dry, you're ready to shade.

4. Shading

We'll be using three today by The Army Painter: Flesh Wash, Dark Tone, and Strong Tone.

The first thing we'll use is the flesh wash, but honestly, you can go in whichever order you choose.

Just get a little bit on the face, and don't worry if you get any on the hair or armor.  We'll be covering that up with the strong tone.

Next, I applied the dark tone to the sword.  Try not to let the wash pool in the middle of the blade, as that just won't look right.

Then, you'll apply the strong tone to everything else.  The armor, the clothing, the fur, the hair, all of it!

For the blue portions of the tunic, I ended up having to apply multiple coats of the wash in order to get the dark blue color that I wanted, so don't be afraid to do something similar after the first coat of strong tone has dried.

5. Highlights and Finishing Touches

The first thing to highlight will be the face, however, Ramsay presents a small problem.  There's a faint scar on his forehead, that looks like an "X" and you don't want to paint in the depth of that scar.

So, you'll want to use your basic skin tone, and highlight the nose, cheekbones, chin, and for the forehead, break it up into three different portions.  Do a small highlight on the left side, and right side of the "X" and then the upper side.

Another way to look at it, is if we're looking at the "X" scar like a map, do three separate highlights in the West, North, and East portions of the "X".

Now, using your flat earth, you'll apply some top-down highlights to Ramsay's hair.  Just avoid where the hair parts, and stay on the top of the head with your detail brush.

After you're done with the hair, you can add eyebrows using your chocolate brown and the same brush techniques as when we painted Greatjon's.  Once this is done, we'll be highlighting all of the black areas with our 50/50 black/white mix.

This includes the toes of the boots, the top of the sleeves and gloves, and the cloak.

Highlight all of the portions of the cloak that billow outward or drape over Ramsay's arms.

Once you're done with that, add another small drop of white to your black/white mix, which will subtly lighten the color, and add a second layer of highlight to the same areas, much like we did in the Roose Bolton tutorial, only painting about 50% of what you've already highlighted.

The last thing you'll need to highlight will be the pants and the scabbard with your flat earth.  Just try to paint the middle portion of the thighs, and where the pants fold, as to preserve the rounded look.  For the scabbard, just focus on adding a bit of highlight to the edges on both sides.

Before we finish, however, I decided to give him some five o'clock shadow.  You can do this by mixing one drop of dark tone was, one drop of blue tone wash, and four drops of water, so, 1/1/4 dark tone/blue tone/water.  Use your detail brush to apply this to the bottom of his face, where the stubble would normally grow, and you'll get a really subtle coloration which will help make Ramsay look even more like a dirtbag.

Now, if you're really a sadist, and I mean, you LIKE PAIN, you can try to add a little bit of the flayed man logo to the two medallions on Ramsay's cloak.  This is a white cross with a red flayed man sprawled across it, but it is SO SMALL that it is REALLY HARD.

However, if you're willing to try, simply adding a few dabs of paint with those color themes will give the suggestion of it.  As you can see from above, mine turned out like crap, but they still get the idea across.

6. Cut Off Some Junk!

That's it for Ramsay!  Base him however you like, spray him with your matt spray, and call it a day!

As always, you can check out all of my tutorials for A Song of Ice & Fire on my blog here, and if you find any of these helpful, please consider becoming a Patron.  Every dollar brings me closer to my goal of providing you with quality tabletop content on a weekly basis.

Check back here and at MeepleGamers soon as we continue to work our way through the dangerous lands of Westeros!

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