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Age of Sigmar: Ironjawz Painting Guide From ‘Eavy Metal Goes Hard

4 Minute Read
Sep 15 2023

The ‘Eavy Metal Team at Games Workshop breaks down how they painted the new Ironjawz and there are lessons aplenty.

If you’re looking to step up your hobby game then regardless of what army you’re working on you need to check out this painting guide from GW. While it’s focused on Orruks and the Ironjawz in particular it’s got some really important tips buried in there that apply to just about every army in the game. Here’s a few highlights.

via Warhammer Community

Value vs Color

“There’s a saying in painting that “value does all the work, and colour gets all the credit”. Value just basically means how light or dark a colour is, not necessarily if the colour is different. Bright yellow armour and bright green skin can be similar in value – if they’re both rendered brightly they will exist in a similar value range, even though the colour itself is different. “

This isn’t just a really good tip it’s also showcased in the image they provided. Even with the color desaturated you can see “paint job” here and the how the difference in values really help this model “pop.” I’m going to remember this one the next time I’m planning out a paint scheme for sure!

Paint Schemes and Paints

As someone who’s painted all three of these types of armors I can’t tell you how helpful this would have been had I seen it before. That said, I think you should absolutely use these color palettes the next time you try any of these schemes. Even if you’re not matching them exactly these are excellent starting points from which you can devise your own take on them.


One other thing I like about these palettes in particular is the models they included to showcase how some of the highlights look. For example note the left knee of the Orruk in Black Armor. I really like how the painter highlighted the black armor and the white on the same line. It’s a nice touch!

Metals are one of those things that can be both super easy and look super impressive with just a few steps. By just taking the extra time to highlight a few spots this makes this model and those metal plates really stand out.

Orruk Faces

“Fundamentally when painting a miniature you want certain areas – like faces – to stand out. By making sure certain points of interest on a miniature are brighter, you can break up its silhouette and draw the eye to specific areas, no matter what colour it is.”


I have a friend who has a saying when it comes to models: “Face and bases make models look aces.” And he’s absolutely correct. In the above picture we can see just a TON of cool paint jobs on various Orruk faces. It’s really the subtle things about them that make them stand out from the rest of the model. The contrasting eye color and also the highlights really draw the eyes there. Additionally, the green tint around the eyes provides contrast to the bright red, too.

You can use this same concept when painting any flesh tones on your models. Washes and inks make getting to the recesses of the faces pretty simple. And if you’re careful with your brush control highlighting up from the dark areas makes it look great. I know I tend to get sloppy on the faces because I usually paint them last. Because of that my recommendation is to come back to paint the faces after a break. If you’re like me you paint units in stages anyhow — so just hit the pause on the faces and come back fresh. They won’t be going anywhere!

Again, go check out the full article as it’s got even more tips that apply to more than just Orruks in there. Happy Hobbying!


That value vs color image is such a good example.

Author: Adam Harrison
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