How to make your own Zone Mortalis bases


Instead of buying the new Forge World Zone Mortalis brass etch basing kit, here's how you can make your own for next to nothing. The process is super simple, takes very little time and can be expanded to include additional details if you want.



Now don't get me wrong, the Forge World bases look cool and they match the Zone Mortalis boards, but you don't need to buy them when you can make them yourself. Believe me, it's super easy to do.


What you're going to need for the basic base
Enough blank bases for your squad
A few pieces of index card or cardstock (thinner is better)
Superglue
A sharp X-Acto blade

Take your base and glue a piece of cardstock over the whole top of it. You want to cover the whole thing and have excess cardstock hanging off all sides. This gives you the foundation to build on with the rest of your layers.


The next step is to keep adding additional pieces that cover a portion of the base or select areas until you have a design you like. Make sure your pieces cover your base and you're not gluing them in off to the side. You can hold your layered base up to the light and look through to see your base glued to the underside of your cardstock. Using plasticard might make this hard to do.



Once you have a design you like, flip your base over and carefully cut out around the edge. Flip it back over and you're done. Paint it up, mount your model and you're ready to begin playing. The base I did here took me about 5 minutes to finish.


Keep in mind, this is a super simple one with just a few pieces of cardstock. You can make your designs mimic the Forge World patterns just as easy. Or you can create your own designs and give individual squads different themes. And this is just the beginning. You can add lots of other elements onto your base as well.

Adding more to your bases
With this model, I used some textured knitting screen to get the open decking look. I added some plasticard with some rivets over that. You can use wire or thin rolls of greenstuff to simulate cables and tubes running across the deck as well. You really can create whatever you want.


Painting up your bases
Painting these guys is super simple too. A quick prime of black followed by a metallic basecoat. Then all you need are a few washes to darken it down and give it that grimy look. I usually use a black wash over the whole thing and then go back and drybrush with my metal color to pick up the edges of my deck plates. After that, I'll use some other colored washes to simulate things like fluid leaks and spills.

My favorite way to paint Space Hulk style decks is like this. It requires two specific washes from Secret Weapon minis, but the effect is a very cool one in the end with the deck having a very battle worn, military ship feel to it.

I hope this post helps show that you can often recreate what the big companies are doing on your own at a fraction of the cost. And if you don't want to buy the Forge World ones or make your own, there is always the resin base route of which there are tons of companies out there making some very cool deck themed bases.

Make sure to check out these posts as they might help:
Bringing Space Hulk into 40k with Zone Mortalis
How to paint military ship decking easily


Ron, From the WarpIf you've got any questions about something in this post, shoot me a comment and I'll be glad to answer. Make sure to share your hobby tips and thoughts in the comments below!

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Devlan Mud and Badab Black wash replacement


The previous Devlan Mud and Badab Black washes were staples in almost every single painter's tray. Their uses were endless and I'd venture to say that those two washes have helpd more painters improve their work more than any other two colors out there.

So what do you do now that they are gone?
With GW releasing their new paint line recently, they've replaced the old colors with new "shades" and in doing so, the colors are not the exact same. For most of us, it's no big deal, but for those painters who rely on accurate color matching, the change can be problematic to say the least.

The question then becomes, if the new colors aren't the same, what can you do to match the previous colors. And buying as much of the old stuff as you can doesn't count as one day those supplies will be gone. Joel from over at Mordian7th sent me two bottles of Army Painter Ink (Strong Tone and Dark Tone) and told me these would do it. He told me my search for a match to the old washes was done.


Putting the two inks to the test
Since Joel sounded pretty confident and sent me the inks for free, I knew I had to test them out and come up with a honest observation. He's already given them a quick review on his blog, but I wanted to see for myself.

It took me a minute to find something I could use and settled on a skull base from Secret Weapon minis. I figured it was big enough and had plenty of texture I could use to compare the washes with. A quick coat of white for the most contrast and it was off to the races.


I divided the base into four sections and applied each one to a section. Both of the old GW washes and then the Army Painter Inks next to their counterparts.

So what's the verdict?
I'm sold. These are almost exact matches (so close you can't tell) for the previous GW washes. At first I thought the Devlan Mud replacement (Army Painter Strong Tone Ink) was going to be a bit off, but once it dried, it was absolutely spot on. I'd even go so far as to say the Army Painter inks have better flow characteristics than the old washes had. They went over the base nice and smooth without any trouble at all. They had a nice flow into the recessed areas and no pooling in any unwanted areas leaving tide marks. Of course part of that is application, but I was impressed by how smooth they went on.

So if you're still missing the old GW Devlan Mud or Badab Black and you wish you still had some, do yourself a favor an pick up these inks. You will not be disappointed in how well they work.

Make sure to check out these posts as they might help:
How I go about getting exact color matches between brands
Converting the old GW paint range to the new one... and other paint lines


Ron, From the WarpIf you've got any questions about something in this post, shoot me a comment and I'll be glad to answer. Make sure to share your hobby tips and thoughts in the comments below!

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Space Marine Librarians should be blue


That's right, Space Marine Librarians need to be blue to work. All the modeling and all the painting in the world won't help if they're not blue. It may seem silly or petty, but it matters. Here's why:

That top image was my attempt at a Librarian using a technique I was developing a while back. It later turned into my Deathwing method, but I was trying to apply it to a dark blue model instead of light bone color. When I posted pics of him, nobody really knew what he was supposed to be. It was hard to tell what he represented on the table.

It all comes down to visual clues
I'm talking about those little things we all "know" as it relates to various armies in the 40k universe. We "know" Librarians are blue, we know Eldar have pointy heads, we know Tyranids have lots of arms and claws. They are stereotypical, but it's how we recognize things quickly and assign what we know about them just as fast.

Flesh Tearer Librarian

Let's look at this guy here. He's got blue armour and that should help identify him as a Librarian, but it doesn't. His robes cover up the majority of it. He's got a psychic hood, but that doesn't do the trick either. He doesn't read as a Librarian right off the bat because of the weapon he is holding.

We know Librarians should have a long staff.
We know Chaplains should have a shorter crozius.
This weapon looks like a crozuis at first glance and our mind immediately sees him as a Chaplain. It doesn't matter that he has a psychic hood on or you can see his blue armour peeking out from under his robes... we've already made up our mind.

If you don't believe me, try this quiz here.

So how do we fix it?
Well, as much as I hate to say it, we feed into the stereotype. Unless we want to constantly answer the question, "What is he?" We'll need make sure our Librarians have a suitable looking weapon and are dressed accordingly. Looking the part is important if you want others to recognize what you're setting down on the tabletop.

Now that I say this, if you're doing an extensive "counts as" type army, this is not going to work. You'll end up explaining what things are as folks aren't going to recognize what anything is to begin with.

I rebuilt this model to help my friend
My friend ending up sending the model back to me and asked me to "fix it" so he could continue to use it as a Librarian and not have to explain what model it was before every game. I decided to make some modifications to the model with his permission in order to bring it more in line with what people recognize or imagine when it comes to a Space Marine "Librarian."


The first thing I did was order some new bits for him. He needed a longer staff and I wanted his other arm to look as though he were casting a spell as only Librarians can do. I ordered the bits I needed from Spikey Bits after talking to him about my project. Come to find out he's not too far away from me and he was able to get me the specific pieces I needed without it costing me a fortune.



And here's the new model. You can see a tiny bit more of his blue armour, he's holding an iconic Librarian staff in one hand, he's casting a spell as only Librarians can do with his other hand... this guys fits the bill perfectly now.

The new weapon looks like something a Librarian would be holding. The extended arm with no weapon and only a hand gesture is another iconic Librarian element. These two simple changes have made the model into something else. He no longer reads like a Chaplain, but looks like a truly powerful psyker now.

I'm hoping my friend no longer has to answer the question before every game now and his opponents recognize what he's got on the table. I'm not sure what else I could do to it at this point if he sends it back again.

Make sure to check out these posts as they might help:
A must take painting quiz
Did I paint my HQ model wrong?


Ron, From the WarpIf you've got any questions about something in this post, shoot me a comment and I'll be glad to answer. Make sure to share your hobby tips and thoughts in the comments below!

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Forge World Terminators and combi-weapons


I know Forge World released this new Terminator weapon set the other week and I'm just getting to it now, but I really like this set of weapons. There are two things that really stand out in this collection for me. The lightning claws and the combi-weapon attachments.


The storm shield is cool looking. Kinda plain, but that fits with how I envision early equipment looking. I love the claws though. They include the right hand powerfist in there so you can make a set of them. I can't help but thinking how well these would work on top of other powerfists as well. The fact that they are "add ons" and not part of the powerfist itself is great.

Combi-weapons just don't see much use
I like combi-weapons myself. I think Chaos terminators and maybe Space Wolves have easy access to them, but unfortunately not vanilla termies. But this set up is great. Having the ability to fit in the kind of combi-weapon you want is so cool to me.


I went looking and discovered that the Chaos terminators have lots of combi-weapons in their box set. Some shaving of selected elements and I suspect you could clean them up for use on non-chaos models. Not the best solution, but a workable one.


In the few times I've had combi-weapons on my Deathwing terminators (not legally), I opted for the smaller bolter ones as they stand out from the standard storm bolter and I like the way they look. I even figured out a way to make a quick combi-flamer with nothing more than a regular bolter and some greenstuff.

I'm really considering ordering this set for my army so I can put the combi-weapons on my Sergeants and character models. It might not be legal, but it would look so cool.

Make sure to check out these posts as they might help:
How to make a quick combi-flamer


Ron, From the WarpIf you've got any questions about something in this post, shoot me a comment and I'll be glad to answer. Make sure to share your hobby tips and thoughts in the comments below!

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Pre-Heresy World Eater assault marine


I set out to paint this Pre-Heresy World Eater space marine with the sole purpose of practicing how to paint their chapter symbol. I've always liked the blue and white scheme and I've been wanting to do a miniature in this color combination forever. When I saw what Mordian 7th did on his blog with his pre-heresy World Eaters and how he broke down the chapter symbol, I had no more excuses.



Once I had my model all painted up with the base colors (prior to any weathering) I sat down to try my hand at the process Mordian 7th had laid out. I didn't stray from what he had, I followed it to the letter and it worked perfectly. I may have used different colors, but the process he came up with was spot on. He says he got his inspiration from the articles I posted here about breaking icons down into simple shapes, but that only goes so far.

There comes a point when you have to figure it out and all the theory in the world won't get your mini painted. He did a great job with this one. I even tried it in three places on mine just to make sure I could pull it off.


Here's the process he lays out for painting the symbol. I've got nothing to add to it. The only thing I altered were some of the colors since I used what I had. In the end, if I were to do it again, I'd make sure to use a slightly different blue for the ocean in my chapter symbol. That way, it stands out from the blue on the armour at first glance.


World Eaters symbol breakdown by Mordian 7th

As a side note, this model was simple to paint even with the white. I used the same white technique I used on my White Scar model. Start out with a white primer, wash with Secret Weapon Soft Body Black and then touch up with white. Even with GW introducing all their new paints, this still works like a charm.


If you're into Pre-Heresy World Eaters or want to see what it's like to work with lots of white, swing by Mordian 7th's blog and take a look at the great World Eater stuff he's doing.

And for you savvy readers, you'll notice a deliberate lack of blood splatters on my model. I wanted to see if I could do a convincing World Eater without any blood. I did add some red weapon markings to his chainsword and gave him a red tassel on the hilt of his chainsword for good measure though.

Make sure to check out these posts as they might help:
You need to start with a CLEAN model before you weather it
The trick to painting small and complex iconography


Ron, From the WarpIf you've got any questions about something in this post, shoot me a comment and I'll be glad to answer. Make sure to share your hobby tips and thoughts in the comments below!

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7 things to remember when using decals


Since I've just finished a fairly big two-part series on decals and making/adding them to your models, I thought I might review the things I learned in doing this experiment for folks who are looking to get into decals on their own models.

Decals should not be scary
First things first, decals should not scare anyone away with the amount of work involved or because you "don't know how to apply them the right way." Given my limited experience with decals, I'm going to continue to use the MicroSet and MicroSol method for applying my decals. It's not a ton of work and it gets them on there so they really hug the surface of the model.

Some things to remember:
1. Give the MicroSet a few minutes to work on the decal before you wipe any excess away. It too will help soften the decal so it conforms to the surface of the model better. I waited 3 minutes before wiping the excess off and found the decal considerably softer. And that was before I applied any MicroSol to soften it further.

2. Patience is key. Like anything else, you shouldn't be in a rush to do this. You could do decals on an entire squad of Marines in one batch so that by the time you get done with the last one, the first one is dry enough to go back and keep working on.

3. Prep your surface before applying the decal. It might not seem like much, but I think it helps to give the surface a quick coat of varnish (gloss or flat) in order to smooth out the surface slightly.

UPDATE: It was mentioned in the comments that you really should you gloss in order to get a smooth surface to place your decal on. That was echoed by another comment and I think it's worth mentioning in the post now as probably the best thing to do. Use a thin gloss coat over the area you will be placing your decal.

4. MicroSol will work if you give it time. This goes in line with not rushing to get it all done. If it doesn't work in the first pass, let it dry completely and repeat. This should do it. Once I started waiting, I found I only needed one pass with the MicroSol. And you can always use your paintbrush and apply a little downward pressure to the decal to help it conform to the surface underneath.

5. Protect your decal once it's on your model. A quick pass with a bottle varnish should help it stay in place and keep it protected. You don't want to ruin your work at this point.

You can see after reading those few things, it's nothing difficult really. A few passes with a series of varnishes or chemicals and the patience to wait and let each one do its job. Decals shouldn't scare you.

Making your own vs buying them
I'm a big fan of making mine. Particularly since the Novamarines are not supported with official decals just yet. I went the inkjet decal paper route since that's the kind of printer I have at home as well.

Some things to consider:
6. Inkjet decals require the ink to be sealed in place. I had absolutely no trouble with this step although I have read some folks have had some problems with ink bleeding. I waited and let everything dry for at least a day before moving onto the next step when I was making my decals. I went with the Testors paper and sealer products.

7.Laser decal paper requires no additional sealing of the inks, but may introduce a second generation copy if you have to print it (your decal page) on your home computer and then take that to a printing store to make a copy. You'll want to have the best copy you can get if you go this route.

All in all, decals are a great addition to models
If I add everything up, I think I'm out around $20 for everything to do this. That includes the MicroSet, MicroSol and the decal paper. I already had the bottle varnish to use. Even adding that, I'm not over $20. Now I have the ability to make exactly what I need for my Novamarine force now. Both in terms of size and shape. And I've got the process down for getting them on the model correctly.

I'm going to call this one a big win for me. I started out applying decals using just water and living with the few wrinkles I did end up with that couldn't be removed with relief cuts. Now, they look painted on and they've got much more detail than I could paint freehand.

Is it going to replace freehand? No, that's still something I will use on models when it's the better method. Most of my one-off models will still see freehand since I don't want to use entire sheets of decal paper for one or two decals. As far as an army though, decals are going to take up a big portion of what was freehand work before. They aren't any great time savers for me, but their detail and consistency is what I like most of all.

Make sure to check out these posts as they might help:
How to make your own decals (waterslide transfers)
How to apply decals (waterslide transfers)


Ron, From the WarpIf you've got any questions about something in this post, shoot me a comment and I'll be glad to answer. Make sure to share your hobby tips and thoughts in the comments below!

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How to go about extreme highlighting


Extreme highlighting gives a model a certain look. The high contrast highlights really pop and add contrast to the model. It can border on the edge of looking cartoon like in some cases. This is not a bad thing either. This kind of highlighting is not for everyone, not because it's hard to do, it's just not a look that everyone likes on their models. Similar to the grim dark style I prefer, not everyone likes their models that way either.

If you're one of those folks who likes the extreme highlight look, then this post is for you. If not, you can use this post as a way to break down line highlighting into something you can use for emphasis on your more subtle looking models. Whether you use it for the high contrast look or just multiple passes of muted colors, it works either way.

Where to start
Line highlighting is the effect I'm going to start with here since it gives us the most control. My previous post on line highlighting makes a great jumping off point for this tutorial. We are actually going to use that same model and work on him.

How to line highlight example

Note: If you haven't already seen that line highlighting post, take a minute to go back and refresh yourself with it so you can pick right up and keep moving with this post.

Once we have our model painted and our first line highlight down, we are going to repeat the highlighting process again. We're going to do it two more times by the time we finish this model. Each highlight or pass will be in the same place as the previous highlight, but will cover less and less of an area along the edge we are highlighting.

We are trying to use the high contrast of the highlight to really define the edge we are painting. It will make the elements on the model pop out on the table.


Our first step is our model with our first line highlight (already on the model from the previous post). The second step is adding a tiny bit of white or using a lighter shade of blue and going over the upper portions of our previous line highlights. We want to focus on that portion where the light will be hitting the model.

In the case of the shoulderpads, it's across the top in the middle that we will add our second pass. On the thigh though, the second pass will only be at the top of the leg plate since that will catch the light as opposed to the lower portion. Each place may be different... you can't just "hit the middle" each time with your second pass. Consistency in lighting is the key.

The third pass will be within the length we highlighted in our second pass. This is really nothing more than a dot of a brighter shade of your previous color or even white in some cases. Again, keep the focus of the light and don't just drop that final highlight "in the middle."


Here are the colors we used for this tutorial. The base color was the old GW Hawk Turquoise (now Sotek Green). The light blue comes from Americana paints, but you could easily use GW Lothern Blue. And white is our final color.

The idea of extreme highlighting
When it comes down to it, all we're really trying to do is add some high contrast to the edges of the model to make it stand out on the tabletop. The more you push the highlights, the more the element will pop... to a degree. Remember we're treading close to the cartoon look if we aren't careful.

Pushing the occasional highlight a bit further than normal is something I do all the time. Especially around a model's head as it tends to draw the eye closer and make that part of a the model a focal point. Give it go on your next model. You don't have to highlight something black all the way up to white, but give it one more pass with a slightly brighter color to see what it does. You might be surprised.

Make sure to check out these posts as they might help:
Line highlighting made simple
Line highlighting vehicles quickly by drybrushing
Highlighting with different hues to create emphasis


Ron, From the WarpIf you've got any questions about something in this post, shoot me a comment and I'll be glad to answer. Make sure to share your hobby tips and thoughts in the comments below!

9 comments: Read more >>

How to make waterslide transfers (decals)


Today we're going to focus on the process of making your own waterslide transfers (decals). The other day we looked at applying them to your models and now it's time to look at how you can create them for your own specific chapter or any other chapter that is not supported with official transfers.

You're going to need a few things
The list of supplies is not long, but it can be tricky to get everything.
Decal paper (clear and/or white background)
Decal paper fixative (depending on the paper you buy)
Access to a laser printer and/or inkjet printer
Some kind of computer drawing program


The first thing is getting an image
You can look all over the internet for designs, pre-made symbols and inspiration. They're all over the place. If you're not computer savvy, maybe a friend can help you get or draw what you need.
Once you know what image you want, you'll need that image the right size and color so it can be printed out at the highest quality you can get. Here's where the drawing program comes in. There are tons of them out there and you can use whatever you're comfortable with. You want to end up with a nice, clean image of your chapter symbol in the end. I use Photoshop, but that's because I have it for photo editing already.

White or clear decal paper, which kind do I need?
Before we go any further, let's look at the difference between clear and white background decal paper. Both options are out there and you'll need to pick the right kind of paper based on the colors you have in your chapter symbol. If you have white in your symbol (Ultramarines, a skull, Flesh Tearers, etc.) you'll need to use white paper. If you have no white in your symbol (Blood Angles, Black Templars, etc) you can use clear.

The reason this is important is that most printers do not print the color white so we need to use the white paper to get it (the color white). This may mean some modifications need to be made to your symbol in order to get a the best decal possible.


For example. Let's look at Dark Angles. They have a white sword and wings. To get this as a decal, we'll need to print it out on white paper. In order to get the white symbol, we'll need to make a small circle that's slightly larger than the symbol and fill it in with a dark green color similar to the one we have on our models. This way, we can print out the green circle with the wings inside it on the white paper and attach the whole thing to our model. Then we can use our actual green paint along the edges to blend in the green color of the decal as needed.

If we look at Dark Angel terminators on the other hand, their design is a broken red sword and wings... no white in there. We can print this symbol right onto clear decal paper and cut it out. It can go right onto the shoulderpads of our terminators.

What you can't do is simply print out a solid white symbol alone without adding the background color around it. Unless you have a printer that can print white ink (onto clear decal paper). Then you could do it. I don't know of any printers that print white ink, but I suspect they're out there somewhere. Maybe they're high end machines you might find at print shops.


VERY IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT PAPER:
There are two very different kinds of decal paper out there.
Laser decal paper and inkjet decal paper.
Depending on what kind of paper you buy, you may need a laser printer instead of a regular inkjet printer. I would look carefully as both kinds of paper are out there. The inkjet printer decal paper makes it easy to do this at home since most home printers are inkjet printers, but you'll need a spray fixative to seal the inks to the decal paper once you print it.
Laser printer decal paper may require you to go to a local printing store (as most home printers are not laser printers), but you won't need to do anything to the decal paper after it's been printed.

So where can you get decal paper?
You might be able to get it from your FLGS
You can order online from Testors or Bare Metal Foil Co.


I had to measure the freehand symbol for the right dimensions

Getting your image just the right size
Once you have your symbol, you need to make sure it is the correct size. The first thing I did was measure the freehand symbol I painted on my model. It's much smaller than I thought it was. I translated those measurements over to my drawing program so I had the right dimensions. This might also mean a few practice print outs on regular paper until you can print out your symbol the exact size it will be when it goes onto your model. Use cheap, regular paper for this until you get it perfect.

Once you have the size correct, duplicate your design so you have more than one on your page. Now you'll need to be careful how big of an area you cover doing this. Here's why... my decal paper is 8.5 inches wide by 5.5 inches tall. If I make my sheet of symbols bigger than that size, it will be cut off. Again, practice with the cheap paper until you get it right.


Enough for eight terminator squads

Once you have everything just right, you have two routes depending on the kind of paper you bought.

If you have inkjet decal paper and an inkjet printer... just print it out at home. Chances are that's the kind of printer you already have on your desk. Once it dries, seal it and you're done.

If you have laser decal paper... print out a really nice color copy of your page of symbols onto regular paper from your home printer (if it's an inkjet printer). It should be as high of a quality as you can get. That's what you'll take along with your laser decal paper to the printing store to make a copy of (your symbol page) onto the decal paper using one of their laser copiers there.

If for some reason you happen to have a laser printer at home, just print out your decals directly onto laser decal paper. If you have access to a laser printer (like say at work) you could email your image to yourself and try printing it out there... theoretically.

Using the right paper in the right machine
Trying to use laser decal paper in an inkjet printer will not work. The ink will not dry, so don't even waste your time. Make sure you know what kind of decal paper you are using beforehand. You need to match your printer type to the paper. Otherwise it's not going to work. Trust me on this one.


Put your new, custom decals on your models
Once you've printed out your new fancy decals, it's time to try them out. Adding them to your models should be a breeze since we've already covered that process here. Get them on your models, add your weathering and battle damage and marvel at the incredible detail they add to your minis.

I ended up going the inkjet decal paper route since I have a cheap inkjet printer at home. While it's a bit more work with having to fix the inks to the decal paper, I think the results are worth it. It's definitely something I'm going to look to do with all of my future models.

How the process went for me
I followed the process I outlined here to get my decals made. I found an image online, got it scaled to the correct size based off my own model measurements and printed it on the right kind of paper for my printer. In this case, is was inkjet decal paper. That meant I had to seal the ink once it dried. I used two kinds of sealer just to see the results... the recommended stuff from Testors on half of them and then some regular Matte Spray Finish on the other half. The decal I actually put on my model was sealed with the Testors sealer.

I gave my shoulderpad a quick coat of matte varnish (brush on) to smooth out the surface before applying the decal to it. I carefully cut out my decal as close as I could to the outer edges of the design and followed the directions for the Microsol/Set route and used that to apply it to the shoulderpad.

It took just one pass with the MicroSol to get the decal to conform to the shoulderpad perfectly. I think that's because I waited for a few minutes during the MicroSet stage and let that soften the decal up slightly as well.

A few coats of the matte varnish after everything was dry and what you see is what you get. I think it's a big step up from freehanding the design onto each shoulderpad. If for no other reason than consistency. As far as time goes for each shoulderpad though, I think the freehand might be quicker.

Either way, it was tons of fun to see if I could pull this off and actually make my own decal and get it onto my model without it looking horrible. I'd say this was a win.

Make sure to check out these posts as they might help:
How to apply decals to your models
Adding freehand, when you do it matters
7 things to remember when using decals


Ron, From the WarpIf you've got any questions about something in this post, shoot me a comment and I'll be glad to answer. Make sure to share your hobby tips and thoughts in the comments below!

27 comments: Read more >>

How to paint Novamarines quartered scheme


Here's the process I use when painting my Novamarines and any split or quartered color schemes. I've actually painted two test models now, but this tutorial is going to focus on the first one. The difference being the use of white armour vs bone colored armour against the blue in the color scheme.

You can switch from white to bone easily enough. The process is the same as how I paint my Deathwing models. That tutorial for bone armour is here.


You might see this banner a little more in previous posts as I go through and make sure my older work is compatible with the new GW paints. If you don't see it, don't worry... the tutorial will still work. Your results may be slightly different in the end. Of course if you're using other brands and such, you may have additional differences. I tell everyone it's worth doing a test model so you can see how something looks in your hands before jumping in with both feet and painting away.

Where to start with split and quartered schemes
I start with the lighter color of the two. Traditionally, your darker colors are more opaque and cover lighter colors easier. If we start with our lighter color, we'll probably have less trouble trying to cover it up as we add our second, darker color to the model.

That means this guy starts with the white armour. Remember, you can skip the white portion of this and use the bone tutorial if you want bone colored armour. Just pick back up with the start of the blue armour and follow along from there.


Start by priming the model white. Follow that up with some touch-up work as needed to make sure you have a nice, smooth coat of paint on there. That will give you a solid base to work with.
The next step is to shade the white. Hands down, the best way (read: quickest and easiest) is to use Secret Weapon minis Soft Body Black Wash. Apply this to the recessed areas of the white armour and allow to dry. Don't worry if you get any on the armour plates as you can clean it up easily once your shading is dry.
The white is finished off by cutting in the blue armour with black paint. I also hit all the metal areas at this point too. Now you need to start being careful because the white is done at this point and you don't want any stray marks.

Painting the blue on the armour
I'll be using the names of the new GW colors from here on out, but this tutorial is backwards compatible as well. If you've got the old colors, it will work all the same.


The blue starts with a base coat of Kantor Blue. You can leave the black showing in the deepest recesses where it looks good. Once that dries, it's a zenithal layer of The Fang. This covers a good portion of the blue areas are really provides the majority of the color of the armour.You'll end up with the Kantor Blue showing only near the undersides and the recessed areas right next to the black.


The final touch to the blue potion of the armour is a fine line highlight of Fenrisian Grey. You don't need to do all of the edges though, just a couple of upper ones to break up the armour plates. And that completes the basic armour.

The rest of the elements
The rest of the model is done to taste when it comes to things like purity seals, storm bolter casing, metals, etc. I'm going to include the formulas I used on my model here for those who want to replicate it.


The helmet: Basecoat of Mephiston Red. Then a series of 3 shades: Carroburg Crimson, Agrax Earthshade followed by Nuln Oil. Once each one of those dry it's a highlight with Mephiston Red again on the upper helmet plates. A fine line highlight with Ushabti Bone along those upper plates really defines the helmet. The eyes are done with Sotek Green followed by a small highlight in the center of the eye with Lothern Blue. This gives them the glowing look.
The storm bolter: The gun is painted with P3 Cold Steel and washed with Nuln Oil. Actually, all of the metal on this model is done that way. The bolter casing is painted P3 Coal Black and highlighted with Mechanicus Standard Grey.
The stone pieces: They start with a base coat of Stormvermin Fur and get a quick shade of Agrax Earthshade to darken them down. Oh how I miss the old Charadon Granite already. It's two line highlights after that. The first of Mechanicus Standard Grey and then a Brand-X light grey color. You could probably use Administratum Grey for the final highlight.
The terminator crux: This too starts with a base coat of Stormvermin Fur and gets a quick shade of Agrax Earthshade to darken it down. The it's a layer of Baneblade Brown over the majority of the crux followed by a highlight of a Brand-X tan color. Kislev Flesh would probably work here. It's one final edge highlight with Ushabti Bone and a shade of Seraphim Sepia to tie it all together.
The purity seals: These start as a base of Rakarth Flesh and get a shade of Reikland Fleshshade. A highlight of Ushabti Bone finishes the parchment off. The seal itself is Mephiston Red with a shade of Carroburg Crimson. If you're going to add text to the parchment, I'd suggest thinned Stormvermin Fur as black is too high of a contrast.

The one last thing I have not covered is the ribbing between the armour joints at the knees, hips and elbows. It's a base of Mechanicus Standard Grey with a shade of Nuln Oil. Easy as that.

Getting the chapter symbol on there
Since I don't have a decal yet (I will soon), I had to freehand the design onto the shoulder. Like everything else, it's not too hard if you break it down into more manageable shapes.


I use a fine detail brush and some thinned Kantor Blue to do all the work. I start by drawing a circle big enough to fit the shoulderpad. From there, I thicken it slightly and clean it up. I add the outward spikes next starting with the compass points first. Top, left, bottom and right. Get those for on and then you can fill in the smaller ones in between those anchor points.

The skull is painted inside the circle first without any thought to the eyes or nose holes. I'm just going for the shape overall. Once I have the shape I want, I go back in with white and add the eyes and nose. If I get those wrong, I clean up their shape with some Kantor Blue again until I like what I have.

Weathering and Basing
I'm not going to get into the process here as folks can weather and base in the style they prefer. This will get you a model that is all set and ready to go. I will say that taking the time to add some weathering and such will really bring the model to life and tie all of the elements on the model together.

Make sure to check out these posts as they might help:
A comparison of my two Novamarine test models and the new GW paints
The trick to freehand is small, manageable shapes
How to paint white quick and easy


Ron, From the WarpIf you've got any questions about something in this post, shoot me a comment and I'll be glad to answer. Make sure to share your hobby tips and thoughts in the comments below!

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