Brown robes - anyone have some tips on paints to use?

Raven Morpheus

Gang Hero
Nov 19, 2017
Hey all,

As the thread title says, anyone have any tips for paints for brown robes? I am struggling to find a brown paint that I can start with on some models with robes that I'd like to be brown.

Kind of like this, but with less red in the brown -


I have Citadel Mournfang brown, and it's too red imo. I also have Citadel Steel Legion drab and Vallejo Dark Earth (RAF BS Dark Earth to be precise) and they seem a bit too much to the light brown side imho. Other browns I have are highlight colours, thus even lighter, still on the red side, etc.

I've looked at the Citadel Colour app, and nothing on there seems to be what I'm looking for, so I guess Citadel paints are a bust for the brown robes I'm looking for.

Anyone here have a go to base colour brown paint they'd use on brown robes?

Thanks in advance for any tips on this.
Last edited:
I always find browns tricky, because I usually want to do a variety of belts, pouches, shoes/boots, etc in browns and also don't want everything the same brown.

I have a Vallejo 'earth' colour that I quite like. I think it is just 'earth' not 'dark earth' though I could be wrong. If you find dark earth too light though, then I guess earth is even lighter...
Thanks Ben. I plan on painting any of the detail parts which are brown-ish in Citadel Baneblade brown which is a light rope looking brown, so being quite light it'll still contrast with the robes.

Vallejo's nomenclature is all over the place, so "earth" might be darker than "dark earth" (RAF BS Dark Earth to be precise). Also a paint in one of their ranges, doesn't necessarily match the same in other of their ranges, Dead Flesh for example, the Game Air variant is significantly different to the Game Color paint of the same name, at least the pot I recently got is...

Would you happen to know the number on that Vallejo "earth" so that I can narrow it down and have a look at examples of it on t'interwebz?
Last edited:
Maybe Vallejo Model Color English Uniform (70.921)?

Thanks Mr M. Just taken a quick look at some examples on google images of that paint and it looks similar to Steel Legion drab/Vallejo RAF BS Dark Earth, possibly a bit lighter. So I'm not sure that's what I'm looking for.

I'm actually wondering if in fact Steel Legion drab/Vallejo RAF BS Dark Earth are actually the paint I'm looking for after all. Might have to do a test paint over a whole model at some point in the near future as I've never painted a large area on a figure with either of them.

You'd think having been a scale modeller, mainly aircraft, I'd have other Vallejo browns that fit this application, but nooo, that'd be too easy!

I'm sure I saw an image in the ribbon on the main page here of some Cawdor gangers in brown robes that were spot on for the brown I want to achieve, but I can't find the image now so I can't see if I can contact the person who painted them to see if they can shed some light on what browns they used.
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Mr. M
I don't really know whether it's what you want. Most of my browns end up tinted by wash too. But the one I was thinking of is Game Colour Earth (Tierra) 72.062.
  • Like
Reactions: Raven Morpheus
I don't really know whether it's what you want. Most of my browns end up tinted by wash too. But the one I was thinking of is Game Colour Earth (Tierra) 72.062.

Thanks Ben, that was the one I guessed you were referring to. Had a look on google images and it looks much like Citadel Mournfang brown. So, yeah, not what I'm looking for.
Last edited:
I don't have Mournfang to compare to, but I wouldn't say it's a particularly red shade of brown. Certainly it's less red than some of the others that I use (burnt sienna and the like). But obviously it may still be redder than you want.
  • Like
Reactions: Raven Morpheus
'colour party' make a nice range and quality of paint , and are nice people to deal with
Last edited:
I think mournfang would be a fine shade to use. You could easily tint the highlights away from red by using something with a hint of light green to mix up the highlight colour - like xandri dust or screaming skull. Leaving the shadows as warmer and redder can be a useful trick. But if you don’t like that theres always the option to tint the entire base coat away from red.

For a more neutral brown in the citadel range you could look at XV-88 and Balor brown.
  • Like
Reactions: Raven Morpheus
XV-88 is too light for this, I'd have thought. (It's a close match for old Snakebite Leather.) Though I suppose it could work if you were to start with that and then tint everything with a darker wash.
  • Like
Reactions: Raven Morpheus
  • Like
Reactions: Raven Morpheus
Sounds like you're looking for P3 Gun Corps Brown. My favourite desaturated mid-brown colour. P3 Beast Hide is a lighter brown for highlights (and also makes a great light brown skin tone).
Here's an example:

View media item 85902
The guy on the left (as we look) has his tunic done with the VGC Earth colour that I originally mentioned - although here it was washed, first with Reikland Fleshshade and then (because that wasn't quite enough contrast) Agrax. So, it probably looks a bit darker and maybe a bit redder than it would naturally.
  • Like
Reactions: Raven Morpheus
Vallejo Game Color 72.043 Beasty Brown.

It’s a chocolate Brown, very nice and not as reddish as mornfang.

Also, A-Team screen grab??

Thanks. I think I actually have Beasty Brown sitting around in my "various brand paints I bought and never used" tub. I had forgotten about it but the last time I looked at it I think it was very similar to Mournfang.

I'll take another look. Might be the Game Air variant (thus may not be quite the same).

A-Team? Yes. Jamestown, season 1 episode 2 if I recall correctly. Not my image though, found it on Google. I think actually I should have used a different image, because the red hue of the brown probably isn't conveying what I'm looking for. Can't actually find an image on Google of what I'm looking for though!?!
Last edited:
Ok, I've done a quick test on some white paper, of browns that I have and thought might be candidates for a base for the mid to dark neutral-ish brown colour I'm looking for, probably of no use to anyone but me but anyhow I thought I'd share an image of, and my thoughts on, my quick unscientific test -

Below is the result, paints from left to right are, Citadel Mournfang Brown, Vallejo Game Air Beasty Brown (I'm guessing the Game Color version looks different?), Citadel Steel Legion Drab, Vallejo Model Air RAF BS Dark Earth, and a random one (Green Brown) I found in my stash of Vallejo Model Air paints I bought and never used on scale aircraft -

To my mk1 eyeball the Vallejo Model Air Green Brown looked like a candidate in the bottle, but as we can see when down on a surface, it's quite green, so not a candidate.

Of the rest, Mournfang and Beasty Brown are too red, Beasty Brown is more like Citadel Skrag Brown! RAF BS Dark Earth is a little too light. Steel Legion Drab though actually looks not a million miles away from what I actually want. It could do with being a bit darker but perhaps putting it over a black undercoat or adding black to it, would darken it enough (?).

After @Jon Reinhardt recommended Scale 75 (I have heard of them previously) I did go and take a look and Dubai Brown looks similar to Mournfang from what I can tell. I did see Gobi Brown which might be useful, but...

...I am starting to feel that I'll end up buying a load of paints and still not find the one I am looking for, went down that route when I was doing scale aircraft and it gets very expensive very quickly!!

So, I think I'll go with Steel Legion Drab. It looks about right for a mid-tone (I shall still see if I can darken it a little though), I can use Citadel Agrax Earthshade or (very) thinned down Citadel Contrast Wyldwood as a shade, and for a highlight I can use Citadel Karak stone...

Thanks for the tips though guys. Much appreciated.
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Ben_S and Mr. M
the problem with matching colours is of course what is the light source.
what light was the picture taken under
what light is the picture being seen under
what is the calibration of the device the picture is displayed on
its almost impossible to get an accurate match between an image colour and something in your hand
try looking at a model under your room light and the take it to the window for some sunlight , it will probably look wery different
its part of the fun of art and design:rolleyes: