This tutorial is about how I paint black samurai armour. Also in the tutorial I'm featuring how I paint that really closely laced armour.
Firstly I undercoat the miniature spraying it with grey car primer, you could also use darker grey. I don't undercoat black because I want the grey to shine through giving a lacured armour look.
Next I have allowed the primer to dry completely, then apply a coat of black wash, I use GW nuln oil.
Don't put it on too thick, this will act a a guide coat, but also forms the base coat for the armour.
Now I have added a few of the base colours, try not to use an over complex colour scheme, I feel most figures need to be somewhat muted, leaving a few boldly coloured miniatures to standout.
However I usually like to slpash a bit of colour on the miniature, here I have used the bright green of the bamboo sashimono to add that splash, as I want the rest of the miniature to look dark. The horse furniture is chestnut, and the base colour of the horse is bay brown, at this point I have also painted the horses feet tail face and main black, as this is to look like a different black from the armour. And I have painted the spear tip and the mail metal.
Now I have given the armour another coat of black wash also cover the sashimono, lance and tip with wash to give some base shade.You can see the armour starting to darken now. Also I have given a couple of small splashes of red to the miniature, I have also but the next level of shade on the horse furnature. And painted the under arms with drab, this part was lots of different colors, just pick one that compliments the colour scheme your going for, I find neutral colours like drab compliment most armours, however grey blue was often used, and that compliments most armour too.
Here I have painted the katana fittings gold, later to be washed with brown wash like agrax earth shade. For the katana case they were usually black, browns, reds or a similar colour to armour lacures
Also the little bag on the back of the horse a neutral colour. Note on the horse furniture the laces on the side are where it is tied to the saddle so should be the same colour.
Once you are happy that the armour is dark enough, usually three coats of wash for me, plus one more on darker parts, we start the tricky bit.
Using a mid grey colour on a smaller brush it's time to start highlighting the armour, just on the points that catch the light, such as the top of the cheeks chin and nose of the mask, the edges and brim of the kabuto, I have also put I slight crescent of grey on the upper helmet bowl. You will note in this closer picture that the washes have gone between all the lacing, I have not highlighted It and it does not need to be, this will save you a lot of time because you don't need to pick each lace out just let the washes over the properly dry base coat do the work, as the wash will highlight detail that's almost impossible to paint by hand for most painters. Just remember when using washes to allow it to dry properly between coats, and don't put it on too thick or it will looked botched. You can of course highlight the lacing I sometimes do but it's not necessary.
I have now started highlighting the bamboo leaves with lighter green painted the sash, sandles, and started highlighting other colours.
Now for the finishing touches, I have painted the clothes under the armpits blue, highlighted the bamboo with lighter green, and brown washed the horse furniture for definition. Also higlight the spear tip and sword fittings.
The rest of the highlighting is up too you, I have not based the miniature so may soon update the tutorial.
Finally here are some quick tips to get a classy looking collection.
Take your time, think about what your painting, not what your going to paint next.
Use complimentary colours, balancing bold colours with neutral contrasts.
Don't over complicate things for yourself, I also recommend you don't attempt eyes on these figures just let the ink slip into the detail. I have seen to many well painted miniatures ruined by massive eyes.
If it does not look like it needs highlighting don't bother.
Finally correct mistakes at the end, because you may forget where they are, and if you forget they don't matter.