Step by Step - Imperial Ogre

by Roman aka jar

posted by roman, jarhead, kong

Aloa miniature friends,

this article here is kind of an Old Timer.
I did the model back in 2009 as far as i can remember and wrote an article for the german Tabletop Insider Issue #03 in german. The months passed by and now it is time for the article to hit the jungle in english language.

Please make sure to know that this model is pretty old. The joy of painting changes things and experiences makes techniques grow. You might find a really ugly mess in some areas when reading further :D - also that means that the working order or colour recipes i use in this article are maybe no tthe same i show at my painting classes nowadays. I hope this won't make you nervous - just relax, sit back and enjoy the long road to the final model. I know that this article is lacking in the detail works again - that is very often the problem when doing an article. Someday there will be an article without which maybe can explain everything what is happening.

Step by Step - Imperial Ogre

As a big fan of the Warhammer Fantasy Ogre Army i always loved the big guys. Back in time i planned to do a complete army but i soon lost my motivation to paint too many same looking miniatures. The idea of the army died even i really loved the models of the Ogres so much.

I always keep ideas in the back of my mind and when the right moment comes my little colour temple is dancing. A single ogre bull was planned after i found one of the ogre bodies in my bitzbox. I have decided to make him an imperial ogre. A mercenary guy who fills his wallet by being a headhunter. At this point the "sculpting" at the model changed the overall look already. I fail in skilled sculpting but have a lot of fun just doing it and my minor skills managed to make his belly hang over and to press some green stuff sausages somewhere. I just didn't use the belly armoury for this guy and sculpted right away with Green Stuff. Also i have used some parts of the Empire i found in my bitzbox to make the ogre look more fitting to the look of an Imperial Mercenary. You might find a shield of the Empire General model, a bretonian's henchman helmet, a head of an imperial fanatic and a sword by Playmobil. Already at this stage i used some help to get a better grip of my miniature:

Holding your models while painting   
Article showing some hints and tips about easy handling your mini while painting.

I did build up a base and made some material brain storm from my bitzbox. I wanted to make the little Vignette tell a little story, showing the ogre headhunter on the hunt, searching for his prey.


Back in those days i primed only white, not the 2K Priming Method described here. In fact today i mostly prime 2K, but sometimes i also use only white when i paln to use bright and strong colours and want the model look more brighter in the end. It is hard to get strong colours on only a black underground. I was mad enough back in those days to bring everything together - that means to glue the ogre and the dogs up the base to paint it all together like a paint on canvas- today i would shout "Madness" but somehow i love to remember back to those days where i just didn't give a fuck about thoughts and was only brutally painting (sorry off topic) - i love to do it that way as you always keep an exe of the whole scene while looking at aspects like athmosphere, light and shadow and colour harmony. For sure the detail and quality of painting might lack behind as i was not able to reach every area easily. Nowadays i would pin the ogre the base, removable and would paint him alone, the pin makes it possible to bring him back in the scene whenever you feel like or want to check something.

The Painting

There is some kind of inner plan when starting to paint. Nothing to catch and name but something is flowing and vibrating there. The little plan i have while i start painting is to go from the main areas of the model to the details. Big things first, detailed mind fucking stuff later on :D

So i began the skin with a pretty bright tone with a basic colour of Citadel's Elf Flesh. I also started to bring some colour in the game at other areas to get a faster overview of the model. I always try to set a dark colour next to a bright one or you can say a dark element next to a bright one. To make it look interesting. If you do too many dark next to dark or bright close to bright there will be nothing of interest in the end. Contrasts, baby! The metal parts have been painted with a basic colour from Mithril Silver with a tiny drop of Catachan Green. The planned leatherparts have been done with a mix from black and schorched brown for the basic layer.

The next step was to glaze the skin with some Dwarf Flesh, pulling to the shadows by doing first glazes of pure Dwarf Flesh, going deeper into the shadows with mixing in good old Terracota from Citadel which is not available anymore to make it more darker. I got to say that i was really a wild boar back in those days :D - For the final shadows i did use a drop of Regal blue in the Dwarf Flesh + Terracotta Mix. I did this all by looking at the miniature in a zenithal lightning situation.

There have been sandy colours now too to get a visual grip on the clothing parts. Don't you worry that it still looks pretty chaoticly and dirty - you can do this cleaner if you concentrate more and are more the planner, less the wild painter - that seems to be the reason why I also glazed this colour row intop the metals and sandy parts and mostly everywhere :D

I've started back at Dwarf Flesh to make the main skin area cleaner again. Glazing into the lights, no need to make ultrathin layers as it would take hours to get a covering area. I made this this several times mixing in some Elf Flesh into the Dwarf Flesh to set some gentle lights. There might occour some really ugly parts where your transitions might look dirty like or some small spots - for getting both under control i recommand thinking. Thinking about why such hard transitions do occour. They do because a too bright colour lies too close to a dark one. Mix yourself the tone between - if it doesn't work perfectly first, don't be angry, there is a little experience needed to get that colour feeling but you just get it by doing. This means i am cleaning off areas now with midtones - the midtones won't be the same everywhere so the painting gets dynamic at this point of work. Areas will look different in one material, best to see in the skin - that makes the skin realistic in my eyes.

I did work on the skin for several hours. Reworking shadows, using Midtones to correct and finally setting stronger lights. Over and over again until i was happy. I did use some Warlock Purple by Citadel to do fine glazes on the elbows, nipples, facial area and wounds. Now i gently went to go into details and took a look on every single part of the model. I wanted the still white parts to leave the place and brought colour upon everything. The beard was highlighted with Orange, to get enough contrast single parts of the ogers stuff he is carrying was painted in stronger powerful colours to make a contrast to the earthy colours so far, for example the little icebird on the helmet. The metal parts did get some final highlights with Mithril Silver. Today i would go much further after i found even more brighter metaltones at Vallejo's colour range, for example Silver or Metal Medium. Contrasts, baby!

The tattoos have been done by mixing in a big drop of Regal blue into the Dwarflesh. This is kind of important when i do paint the tattoo. If you don't mix in your skintone it'll look like there was a little goblin who painted the ogre with a pen. The skintone in the blue or your choosen tattoo colour makes the transtition smoother and makes it look more like a tattoo. I did highlight the wounds with a bright small line to give them more depth. Next i have used Tamyia Clear Red X-27 for blood and splatter.

The final steps concentrated on final light spots on the model. The face did get the most light as i wanted to bring a focus on it. For this i did put in a drop of skull white in my skintone i used for the lights.

The base and many of the minor utilities the ogre carries were done in very unspectacular colours, a lot of sands and browns to make the overall focus of the model clear and so that they won't draw too much attention. Finally the project was baptized "Siggi, the Headhunter" and is telling a little Story about the Merceneray Siggi with his two doggies "Brutus" and "Goliath" on the hunt, searching for his already wounded prey.


I hope this old model and article about it can still bring some inspiration for the one or the other. I found it very interesting for myself translating it and feel i have learned something from it again. I just can't tell you, because learning often results in experiments or new ideas and you can only tell them if you have gone the path. Sooner or later there will be for sure a brainstorm on what i have learned but as learning never ends this might take a while.

If this article helped you and you want to say thanks in any form, feel welcome to drop your thoughts in the comments or hit the the donation button

Best Wishes and be painting happy on keep!


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