How to Paint Everything: The Doctors from Carnevale

In our How to Paint Everything we talk about how to paint well, everything! Today we’re taking a look at the various gangs of an alternate reality Venice. In this instalment we’re taking a look at how Mike approachs painting The Doctors from Carnevale.

We’ve previously covered Carnevale in detail in our review of the game. Our reviewers loved the game’s dark tone and its stylish miniatures and the doctors were no exception. Originally part of a more noble mission to care for and treat the insane, the Doctors in Carnevale are a far cry from the healers of modern day; instead these operatives of the Ospedale pursue their own twisted agendas and magical research, kidnapping the sick and inform for torture and experimentation. Experiments that initially sought to help and discover the nature of mental illness slowly gave way to the occult and the study of the links between magic and madness. Now any perceived benevolence on the part of the doctors is best described as a ruse meant to cover their own dark intentions. These intentions bear fruit in the form of horrible experiments designed to reverse the ravages of time, pierce the veil between the living and the dead, and harness the psychic energies of raving madmen to power eldritch weapons.

As a faction, the doctors are a mix of “actual” “doctors,” staff of the Ospedale like wardens (little more than brainwashed servants and thugs at this point), and a mixture of madmen and modified animals twisted to serve the doctors’ purposes. Clad in leather and masks that evoke Medieval plague doctors, The Doctors are one of the most visually striking factions in Carnevale.


Painting the Starter Gang

Carnevale Doctors. Credit Mike Bettle-Shaffer

Before assembly I took a little bit of time to thoroughly clean the models with an old toothbrush, some lukewarm water and a little dish soap. while there wasn’t any obvious release agent on these, it’s always good to give resin models a quick clean to get them ready for assembly and priming.

Once I had everything cleaned up I spent some time removing any flash and some of the gates from the miniatures. These sculpts were quite delicate in places, with some really nice detail so it was worth taking the time to clean them up properly. For the assembly, I struggled a little with the Doctor of the Arsenal but eventually figured out where his tubes needed to be, and I’ve included some extra pictures to make it easier for anyone assembling this model in the future.

After assembling everything, I primed in black and then used my airbrush to zenithal grey primer and subsequently white ink. This gives me some free shading for certain models, working with thin layers to change the tone.

The Lunatics are walking batteries, used and discarded by the Doctors to drive their infernal machines and magicks. I figured for mine, they wouldn’t be getting out very much so a fairly pallid skin, that was still offset by their grubby straight jackets was in order.

I quite enjoy the P3 Khardic/Midlund/Ryn Flesh triad as a basic Caucasian skin tone and for the Lunatics I started with a base of Midlund. Once this was down I applied a Reikland Flesh wash. I brought the higher points back up with Midlund, and then applied Ryn flesh to the higher points, with Ivory being a final highlight for the very highest areas.

I kept the leather straps simple, with a quick Snakebite Leather Contrast layer over the same base ivory for the jackets.

For the metals I very carefully applied VMA Steel to the buckles and headgear. With the metals on the head gear done I added a layer of Aethermic Blue to the domes, and spread this out for a quick OSL effect. I wanted the energy to be coming from their eyes as well, so I added some in here to complete the effect.

For the jackets, I wanted worn and dirty canvas or heavy cloth. I started with a layer of VMC Ivory, and over this added Skeleton Horde Contrast. This stuff honestly does a huge amount of heavy lifting! Once it was dried, I went back and picked out a couple of the highest points with VMC Ivory and that was pretty much it for the jackets.

The Warden is a miniature oozing with menace and possibly one of my favourites from the range. I took a similar approach for the flesh here, but started with Khardic and stopped one highlight earlier. I figured the warden gets out a little more so he couldn’t be quite as pale as his captives. I also took a similar approach for his shirt, but skipped the final Ivory highlight as I wanted his entire look to be dingier.

For his leather armour, I used a couple of thin layers of VMA Mahogany. This is a really rich reddish brown and a couple of thin layers work perfectly over the zenithal primer. To keep the miniature grounded and uniform, I picked a dark blue with light blue grey highlight for the trousers.

The truncheon took me a little longer than I initially planned as I wasn’t totally happy with the initial colour. Wood is often shown as being dark brown in table top games but unless it’s been stained it’s not actually dark brown all that often. I started with a light sand colour and began adding subsequent washes of Agrax Earthshade. I wanted to be able to control just how dark the truncheon ended up and I’m fairly happy with where I wanted on this one. For the mask and other metals, I used the same VMA Steel and went with a heavy Agrax wash for the helmet. I brought the most raised areas back up with a quick drybrush but overall wanted to keep things subdued.

Next up are The Doctor of the Arsenal and The Plague Doctor pretty much clad head-to-toe in leather! The fantastic HTPE: Leather article we published was a major help here, and I focused on just building up small layers. I carried the theme of mahogany leather from the warden on to the doctors, to help give them a slightly coherent theme.

For the blacks I worked up from VMC German Grey through to VMC Deck Tan with intermediate washes of Drakenhoff Nightshade to knock any highlights back and tie the layers together. Despite a fairly limited palette, there was lots of detail to pick out here and it’s absolutely worth doing as it really makes the model pop. I brought in an extra metallic with Scale75 Necro Gold making an appearance for the buttons on the Plague Doctor and Scale75 Victorian Brass making an appearance for the Doctor of the Arsenal.

That about rounds up The Doctors, if you’ve got any questions or want more specific guidance on a particular build or area let me know!

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