I wanted to have a nice intro. After several tries I gave up. This is why I’m not a writer. Can we just skip to the painting?
Alright, we’ve got a basic description of light blue with white highlights, and sections of darker blue. Not too much to go on, so feel free to take liberties with the patterning. I’ll show you how I took out my inability to write on a Hussar, though you may find other arrangements more suited to the minis you paint.
The first step in bringing out some Shogunate minis (after the usual prep and assembly) is to lay down your base coat. I blocked out the light and darker blue areas to get a feel for them right from the start. No point doing a bunch of work only to decide that you want the dark blue on the lower leg instead of the upper, or something like that.
Now we’ll start building depth into both colours by adding a wash. Here I used a medium blue ink on the lighter areas and just a thinned darker blue paint on the darker areas. To me, the exact brands and shades are far less important than making good use of the materials you do have.
The white highlights will go on next. Adding them now instead of before the washes of the previous steps means that the deeper shade of the wash is down in the panel lines already, blending it into the rest of the paint job without having to be extra careful applying a wash around areas you don’t want washed. This is actually an off-white and not a true white at this stage – pure white will be needed for the highlight layer.
Time to pretty up the paint job by adding the highlights and adding black to the cockpit, weapon ports, and anywhere else that makes sense. If you want to keep it clean looking, it’s nearly done. From here, you could simply lay down some metallic parts, and thrown in any extra details you’re up to, like decals and jewelling. For this mini, I wanted it to be beat up a bit. The Pentagon forces didn’t have a good support apparatus, so this thing isn’t going to get a fresh-from-the-factory look.
Whoops, got distracted by some Wolverines and missed out on any in-between stages, so we’ll be jumping to the nearly-finished point. Many of those processes are better left to their own How-To articles anyways. To sum up the changes we’ve got decals (just a number on the right torso), metals added and washed, cockpit jewelled, wear added, and targeted washes to help make it look dirty, oily, and rusty. The one thing you’ve got to remember in the order of these details is to apply any decals before wear and streaking. That way the decals look like part of the weathered paint job instead of sitting pristine on top of it.
Finish off the base, and the mini is ready to roll. Here I went with a broken city type of terrain, tying into the battered infrastructure of Arcadia by the time of Operation Klondike.