Oathmark: Planning a project

As mentioned previously I am planning to work on some Oathmark miniatures from Northstar. I thought it may be interesting to walk through the process I use in setting up a project. From planning through to execution.

I bought these models from Hobby Mad, which is a stockist in Ireland for Northstar minis.

Planning the job

As mentioned elsewhere in a post I enjoy the planning stage and in many cases, especially for a group of miniatures, I really need to complete this phase before I am comfortable picking up a brush.

The level of planning I do really depends upon the task at hand, but it generally involves me settling on a scheme of colour for the model and an idea of how I will do it.

The first step is to examine the model themselves and see what they tell you.


The Dwarf Sprue from Northstar

Here is the Dwarf sprue. Looking at this we can see that the majority of the miniature is armoured. Chain mail makes up the bulk of the figure on each of the bodies, a few of the heads have helms – some have cloth hoods or caps. Each arm also has chainmail. So this shows us that the majority of this model when painted will have a metallic surface.

This helps me in terms of planning as I can use the Army Painter Primer Spray of Chainmail to get a good metallic coverage. I should be able to get good definition of the armour by applying a dark tone shade to this. Alternatively you could go with a matt black spray to prime the mini and drybrush up the metal areas.

In addition to the metal, there are leather straps and boots, some wood areas on axe handles, bows and spear shafts. But the main colour options will come through on the hoods, sleeves, leggings and the hem of the tunics showing through at the bottom of the chain mail. I will want to put some good strong colours into these areas, but a consistent scheme. The box art goes for a green and yellow, which is a great combo but any good complimentary scheme would work here – red & yellow, blue & cream/white, green & white, blue & yellow etc.

Faces and Bases

Some great advice for miniatures is to focus on faces and bases as they are focal points when people are looking at the miniature. In this case we need to consider the beard as the most prominent feature. Opportunity here to add a little bit of colour, not on each miniature but if we think of a rank of 5 miniatures, a bit of red / orange / yellow will stand out.

Another feature however, in addition to the faces and bases, is the shield carried. It’s a large blank disk which is unfortunate. I don’t have the transfers for these minis and I think I may need to get them. Those shields are large in comparison to the miniature and if they are just a flat colour without any texture I don’t think it will look very interesting. A number of the arms hold the shield facing forward also so you will see that blank face. I’m not very good at free hand, so it may the case I really need to buy the transfers.

Moving on.

So for the Dwarf infantry / Spearmen / Archers I have an outline of a plan:

  • Spray with Army Painter Plate Mail Spray
  • Apply Dark Tone wash, followed by possible dry brush to highlight areas
  • Work on leathers, wood, and primary uniform colours and faces etc.
  • Apply a Soft or Strong tone to these areas as required
  • Highlight up
  • Work on the bases

All in all, it should be fairly straightforward and will allow for a conveyer belt approach to work in batches.


The Goblins are not as straight forward.

The Goblin Sprue from Northstar

While there is also a lot of chainmail and armour pieces on the Goblin sprue, there are also some with a cloth / leather armour feel. There is certainly the option to go with a Plate Mail primer spray for these also. There is a bit more going on with these models than the dwarfs. More cloth and leather, quite a few have cloth areas over their shoulders and so on. On this basis I’m planning to use Army Painter Matt Black Primer Spray for these minis and paint in the metallic areas.

As before the faces and bases are important. The shields on these miniatures are a little bit more interesting, I think they could probably get away without transfers – but I will probably try to get those also. The skin colour is an important part of these miniatures, I will probably go for a more traditional goblin green colour, although I will likely use the Military Shader from Army Painter rather than Green tone to give it more of an earthy colour rather than a strong green.

So the plan for these miniatures is:

  • Spray with Army Painter Matt Black Primer
  • Get the armour painted up
  • Skin tones, outfit colours and details
  • Highlight up
  • Work on the bases

So that’s the plan, now to start building miniatures and get to priming them.

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