How to Paint Everything: Frosthaven Boneshaper and Banner Spear

Here are two starting characters from the epic adventure of Frosthaven, designed by Isaac Childres and published by Cephalofair Games. The first, the Boneshaper, will be shown with very specific, detailed steps for beginners. The Banner Spear will have a general paint list without a lot of photos because there were several changes along the way; photo documentation of her would be hard to follow for this article. Sorry. We had to experiment to get the look I wanted. Both characters were primed with Wraithbone spray paint and painted using Citadel brand paints.

How to Paint: Frosthaven Minis
Paints used for Boneshaper model


1) Normally skin would come first, but this time, go for Militarum Green contrast paint for clothing, base, and right arm. Contrast paint makes it harder to do the skin first because they are thinner and tend to run some, so start with contrasts so it can run into the crevasses and then paint the skin later to cover any overpainting that touches the face.

Note: Use a medium size brush for contrast paints because you want more paint on the brush for the first application. Going back to touch up wet color is fine with most paints, but with contrast paint, it can give a “coffee staining” or muddy effect which will ruin the contrast paint’s natural highlight and lowlight effects. To touch up contrast, you have to wait until the layer is entirely dry before adding more paint or touching up.

2) Use Orc flesh contrast paint on her hair, also with the medium brush.

How to Paint: Boneshaper
First two painting steps shown.

3) Apply Kislev Flesh in two thin coats for a leather look to the face, blade, belt, pouches, boots, and chest strap with a small brush. This allows the shadow from the contrast paints to peek through.

Leatherwork progress on Boneshaper with wash.

4) With the medium brush, wash the entire model, base and all, with Agrax Earthshade. This will darken the shadows of the contrast paints even more and lend the figure a darker look overall. This makes it look more like the image on the character’s dashboard. 4a) Wound up adding a second coat to get the desired effect.

Now for small details:

5) Go back to Kislev Flesh with a small brush to paint the face, neck, left hand, and the highlights of the right arm.

How to Paint: Frosthaven Minis
Skin paint after full model wash

6) Apply Emperor’s Children Pink with the small brush for highlighting the edges of the clothing as well as the knife.

How to Paint: Frosthaven Minis
Pink details and hair highlights

7) Add Pink Horror with the small brush to highlight the blade and the glow in the right hand. Also to bring out the glyphs on the belt cloth.

How to Paint: Frosthaven Minis
Power up the pink

8) Use a touch of Guilliman Flesh contrast paint (just a drop!) For the shadows around the eyes and mouth with a small brush.

9) Dry brush the ends of the hair with Sybarite Green, covering about half the hair from the ends.

Note: Dry brushing is accomplished by using a larger, stiff-bristled brush. After adding paint to the brush, dab it on your palette or even a paper towel to get rid of most of the moisture, leaving a small amount of color on the brush. Then swipe the brush against the grain of your model’s lines so that it only highlights the top layers of the mold.

10) Dry brush the very tips of the hair with Moot Green for a gradient finish.

How to Paint: Frosthaven Minis
Hair gradient complete and base bones progress

11) Using the small brush and Pallid Wych Flesh, paint the skulls and bones on the base.

12) Wash bones with Agrax Earthshade on the small brush.

13) Use Khorne Red in the center of the right hand for the spell brewing in her hand.

14) Use a brown micron pen to bring out the lines on her face and a black micron pen to color her eyes.

How to Paint: Frosthaven Minis
micron pen detail on face

The Banner Spear was a little more complicated as it became apparent during painting that she actually had two different types of fur textures keeping her warm, and it took a couple of different color attempts to get the bird the way I wanted it. Below is the finished paint list in the order it was applied to the model to get the look in this photo.

How to Paint: Frosthaven Minis
Banner Spear, finished

Banner Spear

Skin: Kislev Flesh, Agrax Earthshade

Armor: Iron Hands Steel, Retributor Armour

Fur scarf and cape: Stormvermin Fur, Dawnstone, Administratum Grey, Wyldwood

Leather straps and Banner shafts: Snakebite Leather

Hair: Abaddon Black, Dawnstone

Banners: Wazdakka Red, Fire Dragon Bright; Moot Green; Teclis Blue, Lothern Blue,Sybarite Green. Each banner was washed with Agrax Earthshade to finish.

Bird: Dawnstone, Administratum Grey, Lamenters Yellow, Aggaros Dunes, Reikland Fleshshade

Base: Two coats of Aggaros Dunes, Valhalla Blizzard

How to Paint Frosthaven Minis
Banner Spear Paints