Here’s a step-by-step on my painting of Black Widow. This is a relatively simple model at first glance with only three key colour areas (clothing, hair, skin, weapons), however the colour palette makes it slightly complex, with red hair and black clothing particularly challenging.
I started by priming black using the airbrush and Vallejo Black Surface Primer. I personally wouldn’t use a rattlecan spray on this model given how fine the detail is, but you probably could in a pinch.
Started out with a 50/50 mix of Trollslayer Orange and Rhinox Hide (both Citadel paints) to form the base coast for her hair. In hindsight, I wasn’t happy with how the hair came out in step four or so as it was too orange, so ended up changing the mix up in later steps. If I were to do it again, I’d probably start out with a mix of Rhinox Hide and Burnt Red, and gradually build in a little Baylor Brown, Trollslayer Orange and Bonewhite (Vallejo Game Colour) for highlights.
For the black clothing, I mixed 50/50 Thrallmar Black and Coal Black (both P3 paints) and painted all but the deepest recesses.
Then we had Rhinox Hide on the weapons (this will build to a sort of brown gold colour), Cadian Fleshtone (Citadel) on the face and Adeptus Battlegrey (Citadel) for the base.
The hair was highlighted with a 50/50 mix of Bootstrap Leather and Trollslayer Orange, leaving only the very deepest recesses showing the base coat.
The clothing I highlighted with Coal Black.
On her face I used a 50/50 mix of Cadian Fleshtone and Rakarth Flesh (Citadel) to highlight.
I then highlighted her weapons with Bootstrap Leather, and the base with Bassalt Grey (Vallejo Model Colour).
Whoops, seems I forgot to take a photo here…
The hair was further highlighted with a 50/50 mix of Trollslayer Orange and Baylor Brown (Citadel).
No work done on her clothing for this step.
I first gave her face a wash of Reikland Fleshshade and then, once dry, a wash of Druchii Violet (both Citadel washes).
The weapons were highlighted with Baylor Brown and the base with Stonewall Grey (Vallejo Game Colour).
Her hair was highlighted with a 2:1 mix of Trollslayer Orange and Baylor Brown, after which I realised that the colour was too orange for me!
The clothing was given a further highlight using a mix of Coal Black and Stonewall Grey, at approximately a 3:1 ratio.
Her weapons were highlighted again with Flithy Brown (Vallejo Game Colour).
I applied a further few highlights to her clothing at this stage, gradually adding in more Stonewall Grey to the Coal Black/Stonewall Grey mix from the previous step and building up on the raised areas. Don’t worry too much if it looks a little too bright at this point, as the wash in the next step will bring the colour back down.
I then re-highlighted her face with a mix of Cadian Fleshtone and Rakarth Flesh (1:1 mix).
Applied a wash of Reikland Fleshshade to her hair in attempt to dull out the orange a bit… Not very successful!
I started out by applying a wash of Nuln Oil (Citadel) to her clothing and the base which should help tie together all the highlights. Then I leave this to dry before attempting to do anything else.
This is the point at which I started to change her hair. I used a mix of Baylor Brown, Trollslayer Orange and Burnt Red (Vallejo Model Colour) initially in about a 1:1:1 proportion. I then gradually added Bonewhite into the mix to lighten it and include further highlights. Once I’d completed that I put on a further wash of Reikland Fleshshade to tie all the highlights together.
Hope you enjoyed this guide. I used a very similar painting methodology for Black Panther, who has even less non-black details than Black Widow, and I think it looks pretty good. I’ll take a break from the Marvel painting guides for a bit, as I rushed through most of my other models to get them to the table, so don’t have the break-down of steps or work in progress photos for them. Rest assured, I have some other hobby articles planned in the interim.
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