Can not remember where i got this from... but here it is
For many of us, horses are an integral part of our miniatures collection. In Warhammer and The Lord of The Rings, many great warriors ride to battle on magnificent steeds - some of which are so majestic and renowned that they are almost as well known as their riders. Consider the scenes from the history of the Warhammer world or the grandest battles of The Lord of The Rings, and many of the most thrilling scenes have cavalrymen crashing into the enemy. Even Warhammer 40,000 has occasional cavalrymen in it; such is the enduring pull of Mankind's most loyal beast of war.
Despite this connection that our hobby has with horses, and the great miniatures that we have to represent them, we hobbyists often find ourselves neglecting our equine friends, content to dab on a quick coat of 'random brown' or, even worse, just leave them 'black' and then call the job done.
Well no more! In this article we'll look at horses in a new light and show you how to quickly and effectively paint your own horse models to a great standard. Not only that, we'll also look at some of the more common colours for horses and the distinctive markings that are common to them.
The Anatomy of a Horse
Throughout the article we'll be referring to the different body parts of a horse, and it makes sense to know what each is called so that we can more readily identify it. Over the following pages, we'll compare lavishly illustrated pictures of horses (drawn by Studio illuminator Neil Hodgson) with matching photographs of expertly painted horses (lovingly painted by skilled hobbyists Nick Bayton and Chris Peach).
The above body parts are those that we'll be primarily referring to throughout the following pages. Of course, the equestrian experts amongst you will doubtless be able to name other parts, but by-and-large, they're not important for this exercise.
The other thing worth point out before we get to the colours themselves is this: in real-world history, cavalry regiments often preferred to use horses of matching colour. This enabled them to be swiftly identified by friends (you can imagine a general picking out a charging troop of cavalrymen through his telescope, and identifying them by the colour of their horses) and lent to their spirit de corps. Of course, individual horses within the formation had different markings - by following this concept you can help to tie your own cavalry troops together even more effectively.Horse Colours
Horse coats come in a huge variety of colours, although most are either brown (including all the myriad shades of brown) or black. Within these broad colour bases there are literally thousands of variations: greys, for example, are not actually grey, but rather have a mixture of black and white hairs, which appear grey unless you are very, very close indeed.
Something to bear in mind when painting horses, is that highlights should be applied to raised muscle areas. Also make sure that you water your paints down carefully, to ensure that all highlights are especially smooth - otherwise your highlights may well look harsh and unnatural.
By applying a Citadel Wash to your horse after it's painted you'll achieve two things - first you'll blend any highlights you've made together, giving a smoother finish. Secondly, your horse will look more natural, giving the coat a softer, more 'satiny' finish.
Lets begin......Dark Bay
Dark bay coats are defined as reddish-brown, with dark, typically black legs, tail and mane (and ear edges, although these are often hard to notice). This horse has been coloured with a rich, dark coat that is almost black. If a horse does not have black tail, mane, legs and ear edges, then it's not a bay horse.
The dark bay was first painted with an undercoat of Scorched Brown, followed by a highlight of Scorched Brown mixed with Scab Red. With the first highlight dry, Dark Flesh was then added into the previous mix and applied as a second highlight. The mane and tail were painted with Chaos Black, then with a fine highlight of Adeptus Battlegrey, followed by a final highlight of Fortress Grey. Light Bay
Bay horses come in all manner of shades, from very dark, like the example above, to lighter coats like this bay here. You'll notice here that this horse has a sock that covers part of its legs - a horse can still be bay and have markings such as this.
To paint light bay, basecoat the model with Scorched Brown. To highlight the coat, mix Vermin Brown with Scorched Brown for the initial highlight, and lighten it again by adding Vomit Brown into the mix. Once the paint is dry, wash the model with a watered-down coat of Gryphonne Sepia.The mane and tail were painted with Chaos Black and then highlighted with Chaos Black mixed with Codex Grey, followed by pure Codex Grey. The dark legs were painted in the same way as the mane and tail. Use washes of Badab Black to blend the black legs into the light bay colour. Black
Black horse coats come in two types. The first, often called fading black, will gradually lighten when exposed to sunlight, taking on a brownish hue. Fading black is more common than the other kind, which is known as non-fading (hardly original, I know), which does not fade. Black horses can still have markings, such as white socks or markings on their faces.
This black horse was painted by drybrushing the coat with a mix of Codex Grey and Chaos Black, followed by a drybrush of Codex Grey. It's important not to overload your brush when drybrushing this colour, however, otherwise you'll get a grey, not a highlighted black. The model was then washed with watered-down Badab Black. Dark Grey
Grey horses, as alluded to above, do not actually have grey hairs, but rather have a fine mixture of black and white hairs across their coat, which gives the appearance of grey. Grey hair on horses is often a transitional stage, where the coat is changing colour. Of course, with our miniatures being as small as they are, we'll never get close enough to distinguish the individual hair colours, so it's fair enough just to paint the horse using solid grey paint.
The grey was basecoated with a mix of Chaos Black and Codex Grey. Once dry, this was highlighted with Codex Grey, followed by a second highlight of Codex Grey mixed with Kommando Khaki. The whole model was then washed with watered-down Badab Black, after which a watered down wash of Graveyard Earth was applied into the recesses (take a close look at the zoom-in image to see the effect of this). Dapple Grey
Dapple greys have areas on their coats where lighter coloured hairs are prevalent. This creates the dappling effect from which the colour derives its name. This coloration is considered extremely attractive and desirable among horse aficionados, and is also my favourite to boot!
This dapple grey was given a basecoat of Adeptus Battlegrey, which was then washed with watered-down Badab Black to give the coat increased definition. With the wash dry, the model was then stippled with a mix of Adeptus Battlegrey and Fortress Grey, using the Stippling Brush - don't stipple the whole model though; check out the extra large image to see where the 'dappling' effect is. This is followed by three or four further stipplings, each made lighter in tone by adding more Fortress Grey.
You'll notice that the horse's face has no stippling on. Instead the same colours were used to paint and highlight the face in the conventional manner. The mane and tail were painted Chaos Black, then highlighted with Adeptus Battlegrey, followed by a final highlight of Fortress Grey on the tips. Palomino
Palomino is a very well known (although comparatively rare) coat colour, where the horse typically has a golden coat and a white mane and tail. Technically speaking, the colour of a palomino is supposed to match a gold coin, although for our needs it will probably suffice to match it to something between Snakebite Leather and Bubonic Brown!
This palomino was first painted with a basecoat of Khemri Brown, which was then highlighted with a mix of Khemri Brown and Desert Yellow. After this, Kommando Khaki was added into the mix and applied as a highlight. The model was then washed all over with watered-down Gryphonne Sepia.
The mane, tail and fetlocks were painted with Dheneb Stone, washed with Gryphonne Sepia. This was then highlighted again with Dheneb Stone followed by Skull White. Piebald
Piebald horses have irregular spots of black and white hair on their coats. Skewbald, which are otherwise practically indistinguishable from their piebald cousins, have chestnut hair instead of black. The skin of a piebald horse matches the hair beneath it, so if you ever shaved one (for whatever insane reason), you'd see the patterning on the coat repeated on the skin.
Painting a piebald can be approached in one of two ways: either paint dark colours over light, or vice-versa. This model was painted dark first, relying on the excellent coverage of the Foundation paints to paint the white over the top. The model was basecoated with Scorched Brown, then highlighted with Scorched Brown mixed with Bestial Brown. A highlight of pure Bestial Brown was used for a sharper highlight on the most raised areas, before the model was given a wash of Devlan Mud. The white areas (including the mane and tail) were painted with Dheneb Stone, followed by a mix of Dheneb Stone and Skull White, after which pure Skull White was painted over the top. The hair where the tail changes colour was blended down with several watered-down coats of Badab Black. Roan
Roan horses are gorgeous, and very hard to reproduce in either artwork or painting. A roan horse has white hairs evenly spread throughout its coat, in much the same way as a grey. In fact, a roan can even be grey - the primary difference between the two being that roans coats do not get lighter with age. This roan, would be called either a chestnut roan, or a 'strawberry roan'.
To paint this roan, basecoat the model with Scorched Brown. Once dry, highlight this with a mix of Scorched Brown and Graveyard Earth, after which apply a highlight of watered-down Graveyard Earth. The whole model was then washed with a watered-down coat of Badab Black. Dun
Dun coloured horses have a creamy, almost white or palamino hue to their coats, with a mane, tail and legs that are usually considerably darker. Duns also have a fine dark line that runs along their back along the line of the spine, although you've really got to know what you're looking for to notice it.
This dun coloured horse was given a basecoat of Khemri Brown, which was then highlighted with a mix of Khemri Brown and Kommando Khaki. Next it was given a further highlight, this time of pure Kommando Khaki. After this the model was given a wash of watered-down Devlan Mud in the recesses.
The legs and hair were painted with Scorched Brown mixed with Chaos Black and highlighted with Scorched Brown. These were also washed with Devlan Mud, and several coats were used to blend the area where the dark legs meet the lighter parts of the horse's coat. White
White horses are rare, although because our games are set in wonderful fantasy worlds, they don't have to be quite as rare for us! White horses come in two types: true white, and other white. True white horses have no other coloured hairs, and are white throughout their life. Other white includes all the 'white' horses that have creamy manes and tails, those which are off white in either greys or creams. For us fantasy gamers, white is an important coat colour for horses, because it's so rare and (to be misty-eyed for a moment) beautiful, it fits perfectly for Elven steeds and the mounts of heroes. It's also a great colour to use for a Pegasus.
This horse was undercoated with Skull White Spray. The whole model was then washed with a watered-down mix of Fortress Grey and Skull White. It's worth applying a couple of coats of this wash to get an even finish. The model was then given several layers of Skull White.
The mane and tail were painted with Codex Grey, before being highlighted with Fortress Grey, followed by Skull White.
Most horses have markings of some kind or another on them. Typically markings are white, although other colours are possible. Markings are, by and large, what make horses look like individuals to the casual observer. Markings also stay with a horse throughout its life.
Here we've illustrated some of the more commonly occurring facial markings, with a little information about each.
Each of these markings was painted with a basecoat of Dheneb Stone, followed by further coats of Skull White.Star
A star is a white marking between the horse's eyes. To qualify as a star, rather than a blaze, it needs to be wider than it is long. Snip
A snip is a marking that starts at the muzzle and extends upwards into a point. Stripe
A stripe is a narrow line that extends down the centre of the horse's face. Blaze
A blaze is like a stripe, but wider. It must remain between the eyes, however. Muzzle
A muzzle is a white area covering the horses muzzle and nose. Face
A face literally is a white area that covers most of the horses face. It's also sometimes called a bald face.
Just as face markings lend character and distinctiveness to a horse, so too do leg markings. Although there are lots of different types of leg markings, the ones we show here are among the most common.
Each of these markings was painted with a basecoat of Dheneb Stone, followed by further coats of Skull White.Pastern
A pastern is a white leg marking that does not extend upwards past the fetlock. Sock
Socks are longer than pasterns and extend up past the fetlocks. Stocking
Stockings reach at least the bottom of the knee, although they sometimes reach higher. Leg
Leg is the name given for a marking that extends well past the horses knee. You'll have noticed that the dun-coloured horse on page three had black legs, which are much the same.