Will o’ the Wisps

I’ve been away from the painting desk for the last few weeks but I did make some time to paint my last few remaining Malifaux models. I don’t play the game any more so it was more of an opportunity to practise with my new airbrush – I figured the rather bulbous Will o’ the Wisps figures would make excellent test models.

Part of the reason I stopped playing Malifaux is that I don’t like assembling or painting their new plastic models. They are incredibly detailed but I find the details are so fiddly that they’re no fun to paint. However the Will o’ the Wisps I actually really like! They’re so full of character, the details are big and chunky, and it’s hard to tell if they’re creepy or adorable.

For their skin, which is most of the model, I used the airbrush to undercoat dark blue and highlight up to turquoise. This left a pretty good starting point, but I can tell I’ve got a lot to learn with how to handle the airbrush. Specifically thinning my paint, it’s always either too thick and I have constant blockages, or too thin and doesn’t dry quick enough.

After airbrushing.

I used a regular bristle brush for the rest of it. I took it up from turquoise in a few layers but I wasn’t too happy with it. However I’d just been to my local Warhammer store and got a demo on Contrast paints from the guy there, and ended up picking up Leviadon Blue for some Genestealers. I figured I might as well give it a go, so I washed the Will o’ the Wisps with thinned Leviadon Blue – I ended up quite liking it! It wasn’t as magic as they claim but it did handle a lot better than regular washes. I got the best results when I pushed the paint around before it dried.


The rest of the details were pretty straight forward, and I must say a little rushed. As I’m not likely to play with these models I wasn’t as precious with them as I otherwise would have been.

Wyrd’s concept art hid the wings in shadow so I couldn’t tell what the original artist had in mind when designing them. However I the hero Will o’ the Wisp, Adze, has much more useful artwork so I based my wings off that.


Overall, fairly happy with them. It’s not often I get to paint such a wild variety of colours on a single model and have to work to get them to sit nicely together. The bases were rushed and I should have spent some time on the blue/green “hood” and feathered areas on the shoulders. They were a great test for the airbrush and I’ll definitely be deploying the airbrush + contrast wash combo in the future. Should make quick work of the Genestealers!

Putting them on my display shelf was a bittersweet moment. It’s always nice finishing minis, but these are quite likely the last Malifaux models I’ll ever paint. Felt like the final closing of that chapter.


Skin: VPA Periscopes, up to VMC Turquoise, highlight with VMC Flat Flesh and VMC Ivory. Wash/shade with ⅓ Citadel Contrast Leviadon Blue ⅔ Citadel Contrast Medium.
Wings: Base coat of 80% VMC Ivory, 10% VMC Flat Yellow, 10% VMC Yellow Green (will take multiple coats on a black undercoat). Two washes with SW Yellow Snow, one wash with Citadel Fuegan Orange, then multiple light glazes of Citadel Orc Flesh Wash to blend into the body. Also apply the green wash to the upper back.
Skull:  ⅔ VMC Ocford Blue ⅓ VGC Warlock Purple, up to VMC Ice Yellow. Small highlights with VMC Ivory. Small amounts of wash/glaze with SW Amethyst and SW Purple.
Lights: Shade the area with Citadel Leviathan Purple. Raised areas with Citadel Lothern Blue up to VMC White.

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