Painting Tutorial: Brethren of the Bolt


Welcome to our painting tutorial for The Brethren of the Bolt in a Dark Souls inspired scheme, written by our own Tres "alcpwnd" Hyde. Find pictures of the Brethren on our Instagram, but check out the rest of his painting on his own channel:

As always, thanks to Games Workshop for the advance copy of Wintermaw. Now, on to the tutorial!

With the New Elden Ring DLC available recently, I thought it would be appropriate to share my recipe for these already dark and moody Underworlds models. This guide walks you through the steps to achieve a somber feel with punchy atmospheric effects using Pro Acryl, GW paints, Oil paints, and Airbrushing. This scheme is all about creating contrast between the very dark muted tones of the materials, mixed with the bright blue lightning effects across the models. I hope you enjoy

Palette Playbook 

Materials Needed:

  • Pro Acryl Paints: Paynes Gray, Bone, Light Umber, Dark Ivory, Dark Umber, Shadow Flesh, Tan Flesh, Dark Bronze, Dark Silver, Dark Crimson, Titanium White
  • GW Paints: Aethermatic Blue
  • Windsor and Newton Oil Colors: Burnt Umber, Titanium White
  • Airbrush (or dry brush if you don’t have an airbrush)
  • Makeup sponges or cotton buds
  • Wet Palette for longer working time on your paint mixes.

Step-by-Step Guide:

  1. Cloth:
    • Base: I apply Paynes Gray (GW Dark Reaper) to the robes of the models that aren’t the cloth wraps that are on many of their features. This doesn’t have to be perfect coverage as we are going for a more dingy and grimy look, let the paint do as it will.
    • Highlight: Add in some Bone (GW Wraithbone) to the previous Paynes Gray to get some highlights in areas that the light would hit. Again, we aren't really aiming for clean lines in this scheme, so let the brushstrokes show. It’s ok. If you want to add additional layers feel free to add in more bone.
  2. Wraps:
    • Base: Apply Light Umber (GW Tallarn Sand is close) to all the cloth and ropes on the mini.
    • Highlight: Make a nice chunky Highlight on the wraps with Dark Ivory (GW Wraithbone). This doesn’t have to be exact either, all of it will gain some character when we apply the oil wash.
  3. Leather and Wood:
    • Base: Apply Dark Umber (GW Rhinox hide) to the wood and leather parts.
    • Highlight: Mix Dark Umber with Bone to get some rough highlights on the wood texture and the leather.
  4. Skin:
    • Base: Apply Shadow Flesh (GW Bugmans Glow) to all the exposed flesh areas.
    • Highlight: Use Tan Flesh (GW Cadian Flesh) to accentuate facial features and muscles.
  5. Bronze Metallics:
    • Base: Paint with Dark Bronze (GW Warplock Bronze) any areas you want to be bronze colored. I applied this to any areas that the lightning would be touching to provide some warm tones that the cool tones of the lightning would jump off of.
  6. Silver Metallics:
    • Base: Use Dark Silver (GW Leadbelcher) to basecoat the Areas of the model you want to be silver.
    • Wash: Apply a very thin layer of Dark Crimson (GW blood for the blood god) with about a 3:1 mixture of water and paint, to add depth and another warm tone to our overall cool colored model.
  7. Brown Oil Wash:
    • Cover the entire model with Windsor and Newton oil color (Burnt Umber) thinned with odorless mineral spirits. This should be a thick wash, don’t be scared if when you first apply it.
    • Wait about 20 minutes, then wipe away excess with a makeup sponge or cotton bud. Oil paint working time is VERY long, you should be able to wipe away most of the paint off the more open surfaces. This will leave your recesses dark and will stain other colors with a brown hue. You can add some mineral spirits to a sponge or cotton bud if you want to remove more paint.
    • Let dry overnight for the best effect.
  8. Re-Highlight
    • Re-Highlight parts of the mini with the same mixes you made in all the previous steps. Cloth Wraps, Wood, Skin, Bronze, Silver
  9. Lightning Glow (after oil wash):
    • Airbrush OSL base: Thin down some Bold Titanium White (Just buy a bottle it’s awesome) and lightly airbrush the points at which you want the glow to originate.
    • Airbrush: Apply Aethermatic Blue through the airbrush in a couple light passes to build up the blue tint on your previous sections.
    • Recesses: Add Windsor and Newton Titanium White oil wash mixed with a heavy dose of mineral spirits only in the recesses for contrast. This is to get an easy bright color into the recesses to help punch the glow effect. Let this dry for a good while before moving on. About 3 or 4 hours. This could also be done with white acrylic ink and airbrush thinner if you prefer.
    • Lightning Mix: Combine 50/50 Aethermatic/Bold Titanium White for the lightning. Create a jagged pattern across the surfaces of the mini where you want the lightning crackle to be.
    • Bright Spots: Add pure Bold Titanium White to the points where lightning forks intersect and where you want your “hot spots” of lightning to be.

Tips and Tricks:

  • Highlighting: This scheme is meant to look rough, let the highlights be chunky initially, and be more gentle on the second pass. The oil wash will give wonderful transitions into shadows.
  • Oil Wash: When using oil washes, ensure you remove the excess thoroughly to avoid a glossy finish. If your miniature is too dark, you can add mineral spirits to a cotton bud to remove more of the oil paint residue from surfaces. This is all about preference so do what appeals most to you, the painter.
  • Airbrush Alternative (Drybrush): You can do a very similar effect utilizing a dry brush for the initial layers to create the glow source. The Artis Opus YouTube channel actually has a ton of great tutorials on how to utilize dry brushing to create various effects.
  • Varnish: After all the steps are complete, you can use any varnish that you like.

Play with your minis:

I hope you’ve enjoyed this walkthrough detailing how to paint some Dark souls/Elden Ring inspired Brethren of the Bolt for Warhammer Underworlds. Tres really enjoyed painting these, and we hope that you will take some inspiration to try out thematic paint schemes on your own miniatures! Now go out there and shock your enemies with holy lightning!