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"what colour were ancient Egyptians?" Topic


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20 Feb 2012 5:18 a.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

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ochoin deach20 Feb 2012 4:34 a.m. PST

Having finished my Aegean Alliance army (Mycenaean, Trojan,Thracians & Sea Peoples) I'm about to turn my attention to the largish pile of NK Egyptians.

So what colour do I use for the acres of uncovered skin? I guess those Nubian archers should be darker? The average Egyptian "squaddie"?

Any reference to specific paints (vallejo or GW, please) will be appreciated.

Yesthatphil20 Feb 2012 4:43 a.m. PST

In Egyptian art Nubians are depicted as dark skinned Africans, Egyptians as a ruddier Mediterranean colour, and Libyans notceably paler than the Egyptians (though the latter is not normally what wargamer/modellers show, of course) …

But opinions are plentiful, of course …

Phil

Thistledo220 Feb 2012 5:06 a.m. PST

This link might be useful. It is about painting ethnic skin tones. link

Henrix20 Feb 2012 5:29 a.m. PST

Here are a bunch of Copts (the Christian minority of Egypt), who are probably the closest descendants of ancient Egyptians.

picture

The middle shade could be 70875 Beige Brown, or thereabouts. Shadows possibly in VMC 70983 Flat Earth.


Nubians seem to have been much darker. Like Ethiopians today, perhaps:

picture

Evil Bobs Miniature Painting20 Feb 2012 5:35 a.m. PST

What Henrix said.

ochoin deach20 Feb 2012 5:41 a.m. PST

Thanks.
@Thistledo: that's an interesting site.

Isn't it sad you have to preface an article on skin tones with a statement denying any racial overtones? You are the colour you are: & it's crazy to assign any sort of superiority/inferiority to it.

Porkmann20 Feb 2012 5:46 a.m. PST

References suggest they were Black and liked Michael Jackson Charmon!

picture

IGWARG1 Fezian20 Feb 2012 7:16 a.m. PST

A trip to a museum revealed that Egyptians painted themselves reddish brown. Grayish black for Nubians and slight tan for Asiatics. There are some variations as some pharaohs had Asiatic wives and slaves and there was some mixing in the North and South.

Libyans were the same color as Egyptians according to Nigel Tallis. Darker to the South and lighter to the north.

Since I do not use GW paints I can't tell you which colors to use. I highly recommend going to the museum or googling original Egyptian art work. That coolmini link is absolute BS. I live in New York and travel in subways with all the world skin tones present.

colin knight20 Feb 2012 9:58 a.m. PST

Reliefs of Nubians show brown and black men together like Sudan today. So lots of choice. These may have been different tribes coming together to battle Egypt as Nubia was a large area.
The native NKE seem to have been mainly brown like today. I must confess I paint mine more Cannanite lighter skin colour as I do all Near East to make my painting easier. This equates to GW Dwarve flesh with brown wash or Army Painter.

rvandusen20 Feb 2012 2:28 p.m. PST

OKE Egyptians portrayed themselves like this:

picture

picture

Much like the Copts of today. Shhh, don't tell the Afrocentrists.

RudyNelson21 Feb 2012 7:07 a.m. PST

I have always used a dark suntan for Ancient Egyptians. I preferred the skin tones found in the Howard Hues colors.

IMHO the Bantu dark-skinned migration or expansion did not occur until shortly before the Arab Conquest and failed to reach Egypt prior to the conquest by the Arabs. So I do not tend to support the Bantu African skin colors or facial feature position.

Karpathian21 Feb 2012 2:37 p.m. PST

Exposure to harsh sunlight is a factor in skin colour.

Perhaps your pharaoh-figure could be a bit lighter than the common soldier?

I would paint them in a small range of skin tones, anyway, to represent some population diversity.

Twilight Samurai21 Feb 2012 6:56 p.m. PST

My Saitic Egyptians for DBA may be of some assistance.

picture

picture

picture

picture

picture

picture

ochoin deach21 Feb 2012 9:33 p.m. PST

Very nice figures. Thankyou.

Ban Chao03 May 2012 7:01 a.m. PST

well genetically the modern peoples of Egypt are very similar to their ancestors, suprise suprise so….

El Gran Capitan29 May 2012 1:39 p.m. PST

Excellent pics. I paint my Egyptians reddish brown, my Nubians black/dark brown, and my Lybians light tan. Given the usual mixing of ethnic groups brought about by war, commerce, etc, a few members of each of these groups could show characteristics typical of the other.

Cheers,
El Gran Capitan

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