Legendary Skills: Painting an Athenian Lachagos with Steve Beckett

Hi, I’m Paul, and welcome to Sculpting, Painting and Gaming.

Today’s missive for the masses is provided by Mister Steve Beckett. Many of you will be familiar with his concept art for our forthcoming skirmish game, Mortal Gods, whilst others will know him for his sequential art in, to name but one, the Beano. Not content with being a superstar artist, it appears Steve is also jolly good at painting miniatures. He’s taken time out from his hectic schedule to share this painting tutorial on an Athenian Lochagos. Legend.



I built my Athenian Lochagos using parts from across the range of sprues available from Victrix. I based the model using a mix of sand and cork chips sprinkled over a cost of pva glue. Once dry I primed the model using an acrylic grey primer.

I then painted the back of the shield. You may choose to leave the shield off and paint this last.

Looking at illustrations and paintings of Hoplites I sourced via a Google image search, the majority of the images I found showed Hoplites with a blue back to the shields. I chose, therefore, to do this for my Athenians.

I painted the back of the shield using Citadel Macragge Blue and painted the cord using Vallejo Heavy Red. I them washed the area using citadel Drakenhof Shade and painted the rim and front of the shield using Vallejo Model Air Metallic Rust which I have found to be a good base for bronze.


I then painted in the areas of flesh using Vallejo’s Heavy Brown Sand mixed with a little Vallejo Flat Earth giving a nice bronzed skin tone.

I chose to paint the tunic white. I basecoated it with two thin coats of Vallejo Wolf Grey which is a very light blue / grey. It has a really strong pigment and covers really well, making it a perfect base for white.

I painted the leather strap, bag and sword sheaths in Citadel Rhinox Hide. The beard was painted in Vallejo Black Grey.


The helmet and bronze trim on the sword sheaths and sword hilt were painted using Vallejo Model Air Metallic Rust. The plume on the helmet was painted Vallejo Black Grey and Heavy Red, and lastly the sword blade was painted with Vallejo Gunmetal.

With the basecoats complete I then washed the white areas in Drakenhof Shade which I diluted 50 / 50 with water. When this was dry I washed the rest of the model with Citadel Agrax Earthshade.


Next I painted in the eyes, blocking them in white and them carefully dotting a black pupil. I put the eyes in at this stage so I could tidy up any mistakes when I proceed to the next phase, highlighting the skintones.

I highlighted the cheekbones, the raised areas of muscle, forearms and fingers using Heavy Brown Sand. I then added a second highlight, this time mixing a little Vallejo Pale Flesh into the Heavy Brown Sand, keeping the paint thin and slightly translucent by adding water to the paint. I then built up this second highlight gradually over the more prominent areas of muscle.

Finally on the skin I added a little Vallejo Heavy Orange to the knuckles, elbows and knee caps.

Moving on to the white tunic, I added a highlight with Wolf Grey, remembering to leave the shade in the recesses. I then added a second highlight with a more heavily diluted Wolf Grey—this time carefully painting into the shaded recesses—the heavy dilution served to make this highlight more of a glaze and softened the blue left from the Drakenhof Shade. I then went onto a third highlight by adding some white paint to the Wolf Grey and concentrating on the raised areas and sharp creases. One final highlight followed, applying pure white to the shoulders and sharpest creases.


The leather areas were highlighted using a mix of Rhinox Hide and Citadel Mournfang Brown. I then added a second highlight by applying a little Brown Sand to the Rhinox Hide and Mournfang mix. I highlighted the sharp edges and also painted a few thin lines across the width of the sword sheaths to create a cracked leather effect. The beard was highlighted with a gentle drybrush of citadel Mechanicus Standard Grey followed by a second highlight of Citadel Dawnstone.

All the bronze areas were highlighted with Vallejo Bright Bronze. I then highlighted the details on the helmet and the edge of the shield with a 50/50 mix of Bright Bronze and Vallejo Model Air Silver. The sword blade was edge-highlighted with Model Air Silver.

The red areas of the plume were highlighted with a light drybrush of Vallejo Heavy Orange, whilst the black areas were highlighted with with Citadel Dawnstone.

Finally I painted the centre of the shield with two thin coats of Wolf Grey and the base with Vallejo Desert Yellow. When the base was dry I washed it with Agrax Earth Shade and, once the shade was dry, I drybrushed it with Citadel Karak Stone. The edge of the base was painted using Vallejo Flat Earth. I also added a variety of grass tufts.

The final touches included applying a transfer to the shield. I gave the transfer a few hours to adhere to the shield, then sprayed the model with Humbrol acrylic Matt varnish…

…And now this warrior is ready to become a Mortal God!



About Steve Beckett

A freelance illustrator and writer working in the comics industry, Steve contributes both the comic strip Dicing with Dai and articles on gaming and painting for Wargames, Soldiers and Strategy magazine. When not drawing, Steve loves to build and paint miniatures.



We’re currently open to submissions, so if you have an article about sculpting, painting or gaming, then please do send it our way. From historical to sci-fi, battle reports to painting tips, modelling to terrain and all points in between, we’d love to hear from you. See our submissions guidelines for more details.

About the Author

Paul L. Mathews
A born-again wargamer since 2015, Paul L. Mathews is now the editor at War Banner. He is also the head honcho at his own freelance enterprise, Tabletop Creative. A dull boy, Paul's interests include editing and staying up past his bedtime

Be the first to comment on "Legendary Skills: Painting an Athenian Lachagos with Steve Beckett"

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.