Step 1 - Prime and Base Coat
For my Cygnar Sword Knights, I always prime them with Games Workshop Branded Chaos Black Primer and the apply a gray base coat. The base coat is a mixture of Chaos Black and Skull White. I use a large brush for this step since I do not care much about detail and cleanliness at this point.
Step 2 - Paint the Shining Metal Armor
Boltgun Metal is one of my most favorite colors ever. Therefore, it's the one I use for all shiny metal parts on the knight. For this step, use a fine brush.
As a note, I find that Boltgun Metal does not highlight well because mixing it with Skull White will cause it to loose its shininess.
Step 3 - White Cloth and Swords.
I have always found Skull White to be a difficult color to paint when it is not mixed with anything else. It is a thick paint and if applied directly to a model it tends to show paint strokes.
The best solution to this problem to mix the Skull White with some water. Try mixing the paint and water in equal parts and paint on several thin layers. As you become more comfortable with using Skull White, try adding less water. In the end, you will always need some water though.
Step 4 - Blue Base Color
Since this is just a standard troop model, I don't tend to go overboard with multiple layers of paint, but for the blue sections, I'll use three. The first layer, which is a base layer, is just Regal Blue. Cover the various shoulder/knee/glove areas with Regal Blue. Regal Blue is a dark color, so it is not necessary to darken it any further.
Try not to copy me exactly and get some Regal Blue on the blade....That is just a bad thing....
Step 5 - Shadows and Highlights
Hey, this image looks just like the last one.....Well it does if you only take a quick glance at it. One the goals of skilled painter is to make it difficult to see the individual layers of paint. Layers should just blend together. Between the last step and this one, two more layers of paint were added.
A little bit of Skull White was mixed with the Regal Blue and used to highlight the edges of the Regal Blue sections.
Another amount of Regal Blue was darkened with Chaos Black and watered down to a really thin wash. This was painted into the crevices of the Regal Blue sections using a detail brush. This darkened paint helps to bring out the shadows of the model.
Step 6 - Leather + Hair
Time to paint the various Leather items the Sword Knight is carrying. Other then the obvious belt, this will also include weapon grips, sword sheaths, and leather straps which hold armor on. To keep things simple, you may also want to paint the Sword Knight's hair this color as well.
For this step, I use a mix of Calthan Brown and a now discontinued brownish-red color. Try Scorched Brown instead, it kind of looks like a similar color.
Since most of the areas will be really small, be sure to use a detail brush.
Step 7 - Darken the Leather + Hair
A really short and simple step here.
Just take some Chaos Black, really water it down and go over the leather and hair areas. This gives the leather a worn and weathered look.
Step 8 - Gold
Shining Gold may only be a detail color, but it really stands out on a Sword Knight. Like Skull White, Shining Gold is really thick. Water it down just a little bit and paint it on the figure. Paint it on emblems and bolts.
Under most normal circumstances, you will only need a single layer of gold.
With this step complete, your figure is complete.
If you want to base your figures, check out this tutorial for Lord of the Rings Figures. It can apply to WARMACHINE figures as well.
Also, to see the Sword Knights in Action, check out my Cygnar Army Page.
The Completed Sword Knights