Marvel: Crisis Protocol – Black Widow

Having recently watched several Marvel films I’d already decided on the look I wanted for Black Widow.

Having taken a look at how other others had painted her, which mostly reflected the card art, I wasn’t keen on the shiny, almost patent leather look; she is supposed to be an assassin after all, and nobody in their right mind would go sneaking around at night wearing a nice reflective leather jumpsuit!

No, I wanted to base my Black Widow on the films, Iron Man 2 and The Avengers (Avengers Assemble – depending on where in the world you are). She wore a non-reflective material based suit, and it is this that I wanted to recreate.

Firstly, I played around with the Zenithal highlighting (See my Spider-Man post for a brief description of Zenithal Highlighting). I started with an all over coat of Vallejo Black Primer, applied with the airbrush, and then a coat of German Grey (VMC – see key at end of post) sprayed from just above the horizontal. Adding a touch of Stonewall Grey (VGA) to the mix I raised the angle up and sprayed again. I continued adding a little of the lighter grey, each time spraying at a slightly higher angle, until I had the look I was after.

The Grey had found a few areas of shade that I wanted to be black and so I took the chance of spraying a little more Black from below the miniature, trying to get all the shadow areas – it actually paid off quite nicely and saved some time later on.

A glaze of German Grey was made up and run over the edges where black becomes grey, just to make the transition a little better. Adding the Stonewall Grey to the glaze I repeated the process but this time going over all the grey areas, pushing the pigment to the places I wanted the brightest.

The suit is all pretty low contrast and doesn’t ‘pop’ like it would if I’d gone for a leather look finish, but that’s just how I wanted it. The thing that would make her stand out, though, would be her face and that lovely red hair.

Marvel: Crisis Protocol - Black Widow
I kept the contrast of the suit quite low to replicate the non-shiny material.

I had a lot of fun with the face, using various glazes of Tan (VGC), Elf Skintone (VGC), and Pale Flesh (VGC), I even threw a little Heavy Red (VGEO) in there to reflect the colour of her hair – I also used this for her lipstick.

Marvel: Crisis Protocol - Black Widow
Marvel: Crisis Protocol - Black Widow

For the hair, I laid down a base of Heavy Red and then drybrushed this with Ivory (VMC), over which I glazed with Scarlet Red (VGC). This looked okay, but I wanted more variation of colour and so highlighted with Orange Rust (VMA), again glazing over with the Scarlet. To give a bit more depth Mahogany (VMA) was sparingly placed in areas of shade and the glaze run over to blend it in.

Close up the colours in the hair appear a little odd, but when you pull away and view the figure from a normal gaming perspective it looks great, in fact I’m really pleased with how Black Widow has turned out. She isn’t the most interesting miniature in the game by a long chalk, but the understated colour scheme really suits her role, and that that hair makes her stand out from the crowd.

Marvel: Crisis Protocol - Black Widow
The hair looks a little odd close up but really works at gaming distance – honest!

To finish things off, the base was painted in the same manner as Spider-Man, a couple of coats of Vallejo Mecha Matt Varnish applied, a magnet popped underneath, and that was that – Job Done.


  • VMC – Vallejo Model Colour
  • VGA – Vallejo Game Air
  • VGC – Vallejo Game Colour
  • VGEO – Vallejo Game Extra Opaque
  • VMA – Vallejo Model Air

6 thoughts on “Marvel: Crisis Protocol – Black Widow

  1. Justin, the detail and f the face and hair is fantastic!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Mark.
      The new techniques I’m using are paying off and I’m really enjoying my painting – if only there was more time in the day!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ooooh nice! 🙂 I think your take on the look makes a lot of sense!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, John, I thought so, but I understand why so many go for the shiny leather look, it certainly makes the mini stand out on the tabletop, but The Black Widow should be lurking in the shadows not drawing attention to herself, lol!

      Liked by 1 person

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