Monday, 12 March 2012

Painting Banners

One of the hardest things to paint in the army is the banners your BSB:s and Standard Bearers are carrying. The banners is also the one of the things people tend to notice most, and taking time to paint some nice looking banners is a good time investment in my opinion. I also think that banners is one of the things most fun to paint. So in this post I will show you some of the banners I've done and some tips and ideas on how to paint them.

Here's my latest banner and It's actually not quite done yet. It's for my Empire Greatswords and as it a elite unit in the Empire army I wanted to spend some more time on this one. The design is from the Uniforms and Heraldry book for the Empire. A great inspiration for designs on banners, uniforms, shields etc. If you're a Empire player I can't recommend it enough and I hope they continue doing these books for other armies as well (I think it's only Skaven which also got one if I'm not mistaken). A lot of free hand on this one, but I just tried to follow the design from the book as much as I could. And one tip is to lay out the design very simple with a brush or pen. So everything goes where it's supposed too.

Another Empire banner I painted not long ago, this one is for my BSB. The design is also taken from the Uniforms and Heraldry book and a lot of free hand stuff. And generally, if you can paint well free hand, banners should not be a problem. And if you aren't that great at painting free hand, banners is a great way to try and learn. Because that's the only way to get better, practice and try it out more to practice even more. A simpler but just as effective method is to paint banners like the reaper one here. I loved this when it first came out, and I still think it looks awesome.

The next banners, are some of my older ones for the State troopers. I repainted the first on where the yellow where once black. Also on these kind of banners I think it's more crucial to put some time to paint both sides as both of them is showing just as much.

And now some Orc and Goblins banners, the first one is for my Savage Orcs. Really fun to paint but even though I didn't have to do anything free hand I put quite a lot of time doing highlights do get the right colours. I really love this "banner" sculpt and it looks really fitting in a Savage Orc unit. There's another one for the Savage Boar boyz with a snake and stuff which is also very cool looking will try to paint this up soon to. Maybe for a Savage Orc BSB? And then is the first Orc banner I painted for this army. And it's for the Orc boyz. Did the design free hand and is really simple to paint, Orc motifs is generally quite simplistic in nature so it's great for beginners to try out some free hand work.

Then there's one for my Night Goblins. This one was quite easy. Did some chequered pattern and the Quckshade did it's job shading the banner so it looks a bit dirty. Simple but quite effective way of painting a banner, and no free hand needed except the pattern.

And for last is my WoC Tzeentch standard bearer and for my my Undead Revenants. The WoC one I painted as with no real plan in mind except I wanted the eye in the middle. So I started with that and then thought I needed some swirly things around it. So I started to paint this around and around and did more and more highlights until I thought it was finished. I quite like the design and thinks it represents the Lord of Change quite well.

And the last banner I wanted to show you is for my Revenants. And here I did all of the banner myself. I started to cut plasticard and sculpted green stuff on top of to get some structure and a wind flow through it (I also painted the fire on top of the banner pole which isn't showing much on this pic). Then I painted the whole thing red and did the design free hand, the design is inspired from Starcraft II and I think it looks okay. It don't look that hard to paint, but actually took quite some time.

That's was all for today and I hope you liked this and maybe got some little tip on how to paint your banner. And the most important thing to remember is to plan out the design beforehand. What motif do you want? What colours? Try to paint free hand designs on paper to see how it looks, it's all worth it to take this time and you will be pleased when you get the result.


  1. Those are some very nice banners. I confess that I often postpone painting any freehand on my banners because it feels like a time sink that could see me painting more models instead. I also have trouble deciding what to put on the banner, which again encourages me to simply defer the decision.

    My Empire army has at least 6 plain banners, waiting for something more interesting to be added to them. I tell myself I will come back and do it...

  2. Yeah I can totally understand that many ppl feels it's a real time sink, and it really is. But as you have an Empire army and can't decide what to put on your banners, I really recommend checking out the Uniforms and Heraldry book if you haven't already. It have inspired me for a lot of designs on my banners.


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