Painting Gnomes

***Disclaimer*** In the following tutorial I will be painting what I call “Matt Metals” this is not true NMM. My matt metal style has come under fire on other forums, but my intention with painting this way was to create a series of interesting metal styles across 48 armoured adventurers. I felt that simply using gold or silver would produce results that were eventually just too samey. Non-Metallic Metals or NMM is a far more advanced technique that involves determining a light source and painting highlights, shadows and reflections appropriately, which, quite frankly is way too much work! ***Disclaimer***

The IllusionistP4150704

As I have for each mini in my demi-human series I started with a basecoat of Khemri Brown and washed it with Devlan Mud. Then I added the base colours. Khardic Flesh for the skin, Fenris Grey for the cloak, hat and boots, Tausept Ochre for the shirt and Royal Purple for the trousers. The various belts were done with Battlefield Brown


Next I added Fortress Grey to the moustache and the flaps on his deer hunter. The flesh was highlighted with Elf Flesh, paying particular attention to the wrinkles in the face, a second highlight was added with white in the mix. I added some grey to the Fenris Grey and highlighted the hat, boots and cloak. Bloodtracker brown, followed by Bootstrap Leather were used to highlight the belts. P4170717

I highlighted the shirt next using Moldy Ochre and the trousers were highlighted twice using a little more white in the Royal Purple each time. The same mix was applied to the gem. The final highlight to which was done in white, trying to pick out the thinnest possible edge lines while doing so. P4170719

Adding white to my fortress grey I broke out my pointed clay shaper and added some texture to the flaps on the hat, repeating the process with white afterwards. More white was added to the fenris grey for a final highlight on the boots, hat and cloak.


The rope was painted with Desert Yellow followed by bleached bone, as were the straps on the back pack and the tops of the boots. The sword was picked out in chainmail and the hilt in shining gold.

The Fighter


The armour for the second gnome uses Thrornwood Green as it’s base, mixed with a little grey and bleached bone for successive highlights. Each additional highlight focuses on trying to make a thinner cleaner edge on each armour plate.


Once satisfied with this I worked on adding the base colours to the rest of the model. Fortress Grey for the chainmail and halberd, Tausept Ochre for the undergarment and battlefield brown for the boots and gear. The hat was done by mixing Fortress Grey and Ice Blue


Badab Black was then applied to the chain and to the helmet. More grey was then added to the helmet mix, followed by a second highlight with more white, again working on making sharp edges.


Successive highlights were drybrushed onto the chainmail using fortress grey with varying amounts of white, concentrating the highlights on the raised areas of the mail. The pack and other gear were picked out in various shades of brown and the bed roll in green.


The blade of the halberd was tackled just like the armour plates, using lighter and lighter shades of grey and finally defining the edges in almost pure white. The beard and moustache were picked out using Bootstrap Leather and a highlight of bootstrap leather and bleached bone. Both models were finished by having various buckled picked out in gold or silver.

And now they are ready for adventuring!



  1. They look great. I like the matt metal style you've used here..the bluish tint on the helmets really helps the minis "pop", as well as the darker recesses. I just saw Dave King doing the same thing to good effect.

  2. Fantastic! I'll have to drop by Otherworld and pick these guys up. Thanks for the tutorial.

  3. Looks really good Chris.

    I may not be the sharpest tool in the shed but it seems to be that by using non-metallic paints to represent exposed metal you are actually engaged in a form of NMM.

  4. Okay I admit that by definition they are non metallic but my reasons for calling them matt is that I don't want people to think this is me trying to do true NMM really poorly. As far as I am concerned this is NMM

    I guess my distinction is one of vanity, but it was a distinction I wanted to make.


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