Creating metal effects with just a few washes


How I get some of the metal effects on my models is a question I receive more often than not. There was a huge response to the post I did the other week about adding contrast to your metallic power weapons which is one of the tricks I use. I thought I might take a minute and look at some of the other methods I use to alter my metallics to get a number of different looks.

I suppose I should start by saying that this pertains to silver or regular metal as the base. Golds and such would be another post as there are a ton of ways to do them as well.

When it comes to using a color for the "base," I used to use GW Boltgun metal. We all know what happened to that love of our lives. Now I use GW Leadbelcher. After going through a handful of metallic paints, I found that one to have the qualities I enjoyed working with the most.

How do you start and where do you go?
I start by getting a nice base down of the metallic color. You want nice and smooth without streaks or imperfections. This part is important since we are going to build on this from here on out.

Then the question becomes, what do you want to achieve?

I'll go over some of my more common effects that I use. These aren't the only ones out there, but they're the ones I use most of the time.

Warhammer 40k heat stained gun barrels example

Heat stained gun barrels or exhausts
One of my absolute favorites. Even though it's applications are limited, it's the perfect solution for those particular cases. Full tutorial here.


Grimy metal that hasn't been cleaned recently
This effect is done by repeated washing with GW Nuln Oli and GW Agrax Earthsahde. More of the black than the brown. You will build up and darken the metal substantially as you go along. If you really want dark, you can try thinning down some black paint and using that as a wash.

You will get the the point where using your original basecoat to highlight will look almost too bright. This is something I do when I want to show metal that has a substantial amount of grime that's built up on the surface.


Soot stained gun barrels
This is an easy trick that adds a nice touch of realism to your gun barrels. Especially flamer muzzles. It's done with paint so there's nothing fancy you need to have either.
Full tutorial can be found here.


Old and dingy gold
This is one I use if I don't want my gold to look new and polished. Starting with your normal metal, it's a series of washes using GW Seraphim Sepia and GW Agrax Earthshade. I use the Sepia all over and the Earthshade in the recessed areas for contrast.

It takes a few passes, but the effect is that of gold that has not been kept up over time and has collected some grime across the surface. I like this on Chaos models.


Xenos type metal
We often forget that races other than Space Marines use metal. The addition of some metallic on Eldar models in a few key places can really make them stand out. In this case, I opted to use a green wash to give the pulse lasers a more Xenos feel instead of the standard metal look similar to what you might find on an Imperial Titan.


Spills, stains and leaks
These can be accomplished using any color wash to be quite honest. You can use Carroburg Crimson or Reikland Fleshshade for hydraulic fluids. You can use Agrax Earthshade or Seraphim Sepia for oils. You can use Biel-Tan Green or Drankenhof NIghtshade for any other non-descript chemical spill.

Space hulk metal decking

Military ship decking
I love this look for creating military ship deck surfaces. The introduction of the olive drab coloring really makes it stand out from the normal black wash we often see on Space Hulk style deck bases. This one requires two specific washes and some drybrushing, but the effect is incredible. Full tutorial here.


High contrast for power weapons
This is one I posted recently that I'm including here as well. While it's more about contrast than it is about getting your metal to look like something else, I figured it was worth including. Full tutorial can be found here.

And there are lots more I'm sure
These just happen to be the ones I use most of the time in my painting. There is so much you can do to a basic coat of metal to bring it to life. Just the addition of a second wash using a different color can change to look completely. Adding a little bit of variety to your metals can't hurt. Very rarely are things the same color all the way across. By adding some variety, you can really bring your models to life.

Make sure to check out these posts as they might help:
Can anything replace the old Boltgun metal?


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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FTW getting new look and features


It's been a while since I've made any real changes to the site and I figured now that my summer has finally calmed down, it was time to tackle some of the larger issues I had facing the blog.

What has been changed?
The look of the site has changed slightly. The features are still there in their same places and have most of the same qualities as before (post summaries for example). The darker color scheme is from a new template. I went back to a basic Blogger template in order to remove all of the little bits of code I'd collected over the past few years that were no longer being used. All they were doing was increasing page load time and slowing everything down.

When it came time to add things back in, I did not just throw in another coding "rule." Instead, I took a few minutes and figured out how to alter the existing code so nothing new in terms of code had to be added. A bit of a pain, but worth it I think.

I added a link bar back at the top of the site so folks can jump to the other pages quickly. In addition to that, I've added a smaller link bar under that which will allow you all to toggle between all few different categories of posts. Right now, there are only two categories: All the posts and the most popular. I will be adding more as I finish off that feature.

The biggest change of all
The biggest change is the Archives page. It's format has changed completely and allows you all to get to far more posts now. For example, in the past, if you wanted to see what tutorials I had on power weapons, there was one link that went to one post. The trouble was, I had three or four posts that talked about power weapons.

Now, links are categorized based on what they are (modeling, painting, freehand, basing, etc.) and that "power weapon" link will take you all of the power weapon related posts. From there you can choose which one fits your needs.

Posting schedule will be changing
Instead of posting every other day, I'll going to be moving to every third day. You'll only have to wait another 24 hours between posts. It will allow me some additional time to expand on my posts as I feel a little pressed for time these days and I want to be able to invest more time into pictures and diagrams for posts.

All in all, I anticipate these changes helping the site and really helping readers find more articles that are related to what they are looking for. That's the biggest goal, making sure you all can find what you want when you visit.


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 thoughts or suggestions for the new site in the comments below!

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How to apply an overhead spray paint basecoat


When I posted my Dark Angels power armoured troop the other day, I got an email asking about the actual spraying process I use to apply the split basecoat. It's not terribly difficult to do and I used it once before on my Ultramarine terminator shown above. After a little trail and error, I found a way that works really well for me.

The first thing you need to keep in mind is that your two colors need to be somewhat close in terms of value. I don't think this will work that well with white and black. You need to have a dark color and black. The value range between the two colors cannot be that far or the blending will not be very smooth. The further you are apart, the trickier it gets.

That being said, I've done this twice. Once with dark blue and black and a second time with green and black.

How you actually spray the model
Spraying the model is easy enough. I have two positions I spray for this effect. The first one is directly overhead. The second one is slightly off at an angle. Not very far though. You still want to be applying spray paint from an overhead position.


The same rules apply here as they do with all spray paint... shake well, don't do it in a hurricane, keep the distance between the can and model consistent and never start or stop spraying directly on the model.


With the first spray from directly overhead, I am looking to get complete coverage with my second color. I may make a few passes until I have no more black showing.

With my second spray at a slight angle, I will look at the model and only do this on the areas I want to add a little more color to. Looking at the model directly overhead, you can see that most of the model is covered. This second pass is to bring some of that color down onto the model.

I'm not going for complete coverage with my second spray. More like the suggestion of additional color here and there to break up some of the larger black areas that still remain on the model after the first spray. This second spray really is a matter of taste.

Things to keep in mind
Using this approach, I will wash my model with a similar colored wash to tie both colors together and help with the blending. You may want to go slightly heavier with your spray paint overall so that you can darken it down as you want. It's much easier to darken the model with washes than it is to try and bring that spray paint base color back up in value.

I use cheap spray paint. I look for the color more than anything else. If I can find the exact color I need, I go with it. And... it doesn't matter if it's gloss or not. Once you apply a few washes overall and varnish it in the end, you'll never know the difference. In fact, the Dark Angel I painted like this was done with gloss green spray paint.


If you're going to try this, do a test model or two until you're happy with the final results. Once you get a feel for how much spray paint you need to apply, you will fly through a unit of troops in no time at all.

Make sure to check out these posts as they might help:
How I paint Ultramarines fast and dark
How I paint Dark Angel power armour


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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Chaos Nurgle cultist troop conversion


When I saw that Chaos cultists were part of the new boxed set, I was so excited. These guys offer so much variety in terms of conversion and painting possibilities. You can't mess these guys up. It's almost impossible to do a bad paint job on them. I love those kinds of models. Stick with the grim dark theme and they all but paint themselves.

A while ago, I happened to stumble across someone selling a handful of zombie and Forge World bits at one of my FLGS swap meets. Without thinking twice, I picked them up. I had no idea what I was going to do with them since I don't play Chaos much less have an army, but they just oozed coolness. I had to have them. Besides, the price was right.

And they've sat patiently on my desk ever since. I knew I'd paint them one day when I got the chance. And that time is now.



I'll be honest, this guy is not going to win any awards, but he was an absolute blast to paint. Took me no time at all either. Primed him light grey, base coated him with a handful of muted colors I pulled out and then washed him liberally with a handful of shades at the same time so they bled together. Once he dried, I went back in with the original base colors and used them as a quick highlight in a few key spots. Done.

As a rank and file guy painted to a quick tabletop standard, he's spot on in my opinion. Nothing fancy at all for your basic troop model. I did splurge and gave him a Nurgle marking on his left shoulder and make his eye lenses look like they were glowing.


I did however pick up these particular bases just for this squad, they were a must have for this unit. They come from Secret Weapon minis and are perhaps the nastiest looking bases I've ever seen. All kinds of body parts and guts all over the place. They are the Corpse line I believe. Quite fun to paint up too.

It just goes to show you that you don't have to use a million colors and all the fancy tips and tricks in the world to come up with a perfectly fine looking model. This guy is a half dozen colors and five washes at most. Most importantly of all, he was fun to paint. I wasn't worried about how this part or that part was going to turn out and if my client was going to like him or not since he was just for fun.

Sometimes it's good to paint and just enjoy yourself.
I think I'll finish the rest of the squad now.

Make sure to check out these posts as they might help:
The difference a wash can make
Painting without all the fancy techniques


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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The Flawless Host and how to paint pink


Pink is not a color you often see in 40k unless it's a Daemon army. You see it on the rare Chaos force where the player was bold enough to try painting it. Pink is a tough color to do well. Maybe tough is a the wrong word, maybe the right way to say it would be time consuming. To do pink well, you need to be willing to invest some time into the paint job.

Pink is not the only color that is like this. Most light colors are like this. Being close to white in the spectrum, there is very little you can do to highlight and you have to be careful with your shading. To get a convincing look, you need variations to your shading and that's where the work comes in.

Most folks will try to do one wash and call it a day in terms of shading when it comes to light colors (Deathwing bone being a perfect example). This works at best for tabletop results. If you go the one extra step, the difference is substantial.


My initial attempt at painting pink was a while back. You'll notice there is no shading and only a fine line highlight on the model. That's in part due to the limited color scheme for the model, but it's also from not understanding exactly how to do it as well. And, you'll notice the pink is rich and saturated... a very easy shade to paint.


So how do you paint pink then?
The first and perhaps the most important thing you need to decide is what shade of pink you want to end up with. Once you know what shade of pink you are going for, you can assemble your paints from there. I'll say that the lighter and more pale the pink you want, the harder (more work) it is going to be. If you're going for the super saturated, rich pink, that won't be anywhere near as tough to achieve compared to a very light, pale pink.

I've got a couple examples in this post. First will be the model I painted and then I'll share a few other test pieces to show you some additional techniques along with their results.

Priming sets the stage for the whole model
And this is true in all cases. Since we're working with pink, I'm going to advocate a light grey or maybe even more of a white primer for the model. You can always cut in with your black and darker colors that have good coverage. We're trying to make the pink as easy as we can to paint. The one exception to this would be if only a small portion of the model were pink.


For my Flawless Host model, I thought light grey would would work, but I should have gone with a white. I wanted a pale pink color in the end and started too dark. My final pink was too saturated and rich in color.

After I primed him (1), I based him with a basecoat of GW Elf Flesh (2). This gave me a nice warm tone to work over and created some variety to my pink overall. Over that basecoat, I washed my pink color onto the model (3).


In order to get the variation in the shadows, I used two additional colors after I washed my pink onto my model. The first one was Ruby from Secret Weapon miniatures and then P3 Sanguine Base for the deepest recessed areas. Both of these were diluted and added to key areas to help reinforce the contrast and vary the shadows on the model.

A look at two shades of pink and how to get there
Since I messed up the pink on my Flawless Host model, let's take a look at two shades of pink and how to paint them. One is very light and the other is a bit darker. The idea translates over to any shade of pink. You just need to figure out your colors first and do a test model to make sure you end up with the shade of pink you want and not something too dark in the end.


The example on the left (1), is the pale pink. The example on the right (2), is a bit darker overall. Remember when I said you need to know what kind of pink you want to end up with? Here is how that works:


Both examples start out with a white primer so that we can minimize the number of layers we need to paint on the model and keep from obscuring surface detail.

The first example has a basecoat of white. Over that, the light pink color we chose is washed on there. Notice I did not say painted... I thinned down my pink color and washed it over the white basecoat. This keeps the pink super light and gives the white base just a hint of pink color. The next step once that dries is to reinforce our shadows. By taking our next slightly darker color, we add it (black lining) to the recessed areas only in order to give the armour some depth and keep it from looking flat. The effect is helped by adding a thin line highlight of white to the upper edges of the armour plates.

Black lining is just line line highlighting except in reverse. You are using a darker color and carefully painting it in the recessed areas in order to make them darker.

The second example is a bit darker and painted slightly differently. Instead of the white basecoat, we use our light pink and paint it on making sure we have a good, smooth coat to work over. Over that we wash our second pink color to help define the edges and create some shadows. We finish it off with another darker pink (almost purple) in the deepest recessed areas only to give us the variations in the shadows we need. And again, like the first example, the effect is helped by going in and line highlighting the upper edges of the armour plates with our original base color.

Know what shade of pink you want before you start
Pink is not impossible to paint. The real work is on the front end in determining exactly what color combination you need in order to get the shade you're looking for. It may take a few test models before you're happy with the results, but believe me, it's well worth it.

Most light colors can cause issues because any shading by way of washes will darken them overall. You need to be careful when applying your shading so you don't darken down your model and lose the lightness that you've worked so hard to achieve. This is only made tougher since you need to follow that up with black lining to introduce some variety to the shadows so the area doesn't look flat in the end.

If you're willing to invest the time into getting the right color combination and then following through with careful shading, you can get any shade of pink or light color for that matter.

Make sure to check out these posts as they might help:
Hobby Focus: Adding variations to your shadows


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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Building your own space marine legion jetbike


With Forge world releasing the new Scimitar Pattern Space Marine Legion Jetbike, a whole new world of Pre-Heresy modeling is starting to open up to us gamers. This thing is one of a kind and to be honest, I'm not sure I even know where to begin with trying to convert one of these up on my own.

I suspect it could be done, but it might take some real plasticard work from an expert and at that point, you might be better off just picking up the real thing. I did try some quick mock ups, but couldn't get anything that was even remotely workable for my skill level.

A while ago, I tried my hand at making my own Pre-Heresy jetbike. I'll tell you that it's an involved process that can get expensive fast in terms of the bits you need. Mine requires a regular Space Marine bike, a Dark Eldar jetbike, a few Chaos bits and some plasticard to make one converted Imperial jetbike.


Mine is based off the collectable card game artwork and another conversion I'd seen done a long time ago. I definitely appreciate anyone who takes the time to convert their own jetbikes as I know the huge amount of work that goes into making just one model.


Now there are a handful of third party jetbike alternatives out there to choose from as well for those not looking to build a squad of jetbikes. The looks vary depending on manufacturer and it shouldn't be too hard to find one you like. They all have a similar look to them with Forge World's version being the only one that I know of that sports the rounded bull nose to it.

And don't forget, there's always the option of making your own. It's the best way to get a distinct look to your army for sure.

UPDATE: I've since been able to sketch out what I think is a workable design using plasticard and some additional bits. I'm going to see if I can get it built this weekend. It's probably going to be a little more angular and brutal looking.



Right, so I'm going to call this one a fail. I think this is a bit out of my league in terms of scratchbuilding. I have the idea, just lack the skill to pull it off right now. Maybe in a few more months with some practice.

Make sure to check out these posts as they might help:
How to make a Pre-Heresy jetbike
How to build simple and sturdy magnetic flying bases


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 convert an old school stormbolter


When I posted the picture of my truescale terminator the other day, I was asked how I converted his stormbolter. I'd made it look like the older metal ones with two individual gun barrels instead of that one piece blob that's on the front of plastic stormbolters these days.

The conversion is quite simple and takes no time at all. The idea came from the post I did a while ago showing how you can repair a gun barrel if you happen to damage it while drilling it out.

I figured if I could repair one by making a new one, I could make two new barrels and change the look of the a current stormbolter back to the old school style.

What you'll need to pull this off
Aside from your hobby tools and a stormbolter, you're going to need two different sized rolls of greenstuff. I suspect you could do this with plasticard tubing as well if you went hunting and found the right sizes.


One roll needs to be the same thickness as a normal gun barrel and the other roll needs to be much thinner so it can be used as the small stud mounted in between the barrels on top of them.

Converting the stormbolter
The first step is to carefully cut away the barrels on your existing stormbolter. Be careful not to damage the small, flat mount on the underside of the barrels. One thing to pay particular attention to is the surface of the front of the weapon once you cut the barrels off. You want that to be as smooth and flat as possible.

One you have the weapon modified, it's a matter of gluing two new sections of greenstuff rolls in place of where the gun barrels were located. Pay attention when lining them up. You want them to stick out straight from the weapon. If they're off or they're angled, the effect will not work and the gun will look weird.


You don't have to worry too much about them being the same length since you can cut the fronts off once they are glued in place so they match up perfectly. Make sure to cut the muzzles off nice and straight as well. If need be, use a file to get them as close to perfect as you can. The slightest irregularity and they will look "wrong."

Once you have both of the new gun barrels in place, you can add the smaller piece on the top in between them. This is just a shorter and smaller diameter piece of greenstuff that is glued down right in between both barrels.

Once everything has had some time to dry, you can drill out your gun barrels. I start with the side holes and then do the fronts. I also expand the front ones slightly to give the gun a more menacing look. The larger muzzle openings indicate a larger caliber weapon to me and that just looks way cooler.


The end result is a subtle conversion that can be overlooked quite easily. But it adds additional detail to the weapon and makes it look a little more believable I think.

Make sure to check out these posts as they might help:
How to make terminator combi-weapons
How to fix damaged gun barrels


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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My truescale model vs. a standard terminator


With the truescale series of posts I did a few weeks ago generating a huge response, I decided to follow up on that series with my own truescale attempt and then comparing it to a regular terminator. A few folks had asked to see how my version stacked up against a normal terminator and I thought that was a fair question to ask.

Looking back, my model is not so much truescale as it is just standing the model upright and getting rid of the hunched over look. That being said, take a look and judge for yourself the difference a 2mm spacer and some greenstuff can make.

What did I do to my model?
I didn't do much overall really. The two things that were "must" changes for me were the position of the arms on the torso and the height of the abdominal section.


I tried a number of ways to adjust the height of the abdomen and settled on this way since it did the job the best for me. When I was constructing the model, I placed a 2mm spacer between the legs and chest section when I glued them together (1). Then I took some greenstuff and filled in the gap all the way around the model. I tapered it down to match the angle of the chest armour (2). Once it cured, I took my X-Acto knife and cut away the greenstuff just above the belt line and then cut a small section out for the abdomen (3).

The short of it is that I "extended" the chest piece down to cover the gap I created when I added the spacer. It's actually quite easy to do. I thought it would be harder to do, but so much of that area of the model is blocked by other elements, you don't have to be perfect with your sculpting.

The second and just as important thing for me was the adjustment of the arms. They have been lowered on the torso by 1/3 of their height. All I did was cut off the top third of the arm peg on both sides of the torso so the arms attached at a lower point.


The end result is and extended torso with arms that look like they come out of a set of shoulders and his head sitting on top of that. It gets rid of the hunchback look the current termies have. The sculpted shoulderpad icon and converted storm bolter are just extra.

And some comparison shots of a regular unaltered terminator standing next to my version. They are pretty close in height when you get right down to it, it's just the look of the model that's changed considerably.



What else would I add?
I think if I were to add anything else to the model, I might do two more things. One is to add a thin spacer to the bottoms of his feet to bulk them up slightly and add a tiny bit more height. The other is a bit more involved where I would fill in the recessed areas of the upper leg armour and then resculpt new reinforcement ribs over that. That would bulk out the upper portion of the legs and give him some real mass overall I think.

I really like the version I created here as it solves the two things that bothered me most about terminators. The beauty of this conversion is that you get a huge bang for your buck too. The cost is next to nothing in terms of materials (you can make the spacer out of anything you want) and the work is not all that difficult (and mostly hidden). As an added bonus, the rest of your army doesn't suddenly look out of scale either.

I just can't see myself making the old style anymore.

UPDATED: Comparison shot of truescale termie next to power armoured marine


In one of the comments, there was a request to see the truescale model next to a regular power armoured space marine for comparison. I don't think the size is much different actually since unaltered termies are also a bit bigger than power armoured marines as well. I keep going back to the upright pose that I like more.

Make sure to check out these posts as they might help:
My thoughts on truescale models


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 paint Dark Angels fast and dark


Most if not all of my previous Dark Angels work centered around Deathwing. This time though, I'm going to look at how to paint the power armoured troops in a Dark Angels force. Getting a nice, dark green doesn't have to be hard to do.

This is a very quick process but requires a steady hand in the later stages of the model. I painted this guy up in no time at all and if I hadn't stopped to snap pics along the way, he would have gone even quicker. The freehand work added some time, but that's easily shortened with the use of decals.

Expanding this out to a squad of models would be no problem at all.


Getting the basecoat down
This really is the biggest part of the model. I've never painted a "green" power armoured troop before, but this is definitely a workable method. I'd say that this technique would easily translate over to painting Salamander Space Marines with no trouble at all.

Step 1: I started by priming him black. Nothing fancy, just a quick coat of flat black making sure to get all the surfaces. Let this dry completely.

Step 2: Over that goes my base color. In this case, I tried painting the model using a zenithal type approach.

The reason I was able to do it with spray paint was two reasons.
First, the transition in values (light to dark) between black and green is not too much so the blending works well. If I were trying to go from black to say light grey, the range of vales I would have to transition through would be too much and the spray paint would not be able to make that transition very smooth... you'd see the tiny paint specs on the model.
Second, I found a shade of green that was perfect for this. It was slightly brighter than what I wanted in the end so I could selectively shade it to create my shadows and end up with a color that was very close to what I imagined in my head. It is the cheapest stuff I could find at Walmart.

It also happened to be a gloss spray paint, but that didn't matter since I was going to be washing the whole model anyway and that would take care of the gloss effect.

Step 3: After my basecoat dried, I gave the whole model a wash with the old Thraka Green (Biel-Tan Green). This darkened it down overall and killed the gloss effect of my spray paint.

Step 4: With my green wash dry, I went over the deepest recesses of the model with a Nuln Oil wash. I was careful not to get the black on the surfaces of the armour and cleaned up any stray marks with a damp brush before the wash dried. This gave me the contrast I wanted.

The whole basecoat process is insanely fast. It actually takes longer waiting for the washes to dry then it does anything else.

But what about the rest of the model
After you get the basecoat down, the rest is detail. Things like purity seals and such can be painted you your liking. I opted to go with the traditional scheme and tried to include as much red as I could in order to see if the overall scheme would hold up or fall to the dreaded "Christmas tree" look.

I think it holds up pretty well in the end. I'll say that this guy has none of the fancy weathering or powders either. Even though I absolutely love adding them my models, I wanted to see how this guy would look without the benefit of those techniques (and they can really bring a model to life).


Here's a quick look at how I painted some of the other aspects on my model.

1. Metallic areas. I either left them black and gave them a slight drybrush with GW Leadbelcher or painted them the standard route of Leadbelcher followed with a wash of Nuln Oil.

I did cheat a little bit and gave the whole model a quick and very light drybrush of GW Leadbelcher at the end. Giving the model a super light drybrush gives the armour a worn look and ties everything together.

2. The chest eagle was basecoated with GW Baneblade Brown, washed with Agrax Earthshade and then highlighted with GW Ushabti Bone.

3. The base. This is done to your match your own theme. I kept it a little more muted here with a rich, warm tone around the outer edge for contrast.

4. The red areas. They started off as GW Mephiston Red. Over that went a wash of Carroburg Crimson and then two passes with Agrax Earthshade in the recessed areas. In order to add some vibrancy to the red, I went in and highlighted the upper surface areas with Army Painter Pure Red. It's a gorgeous, bright red that is fairly transparent which makes it perfect for blending.

5. This is the same as number one. I either left them black and gave them a slight drybrush with GW Leadbelcher in the very end or painted them the standard route of Leadbelcher followed with a wash of Nuln Oil.

What brings the model together is the extra detail
Sure the basecoat is quick and the other details like the gun and chest eagle are there, but it's the extras you add to the model that really bring it to life. In this case, I went with some freehand. You could use decals and get the same effect if not a better one because of their sharpness and overall consistency.

I opted from freehand here for the fun of it and I enjoy the challenge. That and there is something slightly organic about freehand work on a model that I enjoy seeing.


I'm going to call this one a win. Because of the speed at which a model or even a squad could be finished and the fact that I was able to avoid the Christmas tree look, I think this one is worth keeping. I was worried at first that the green would not transition well into the black, but after a wash of Biel-Tan, my worries were gone. This is the same thing I do with painting Ultramarines... all I did was go from blue to green.

There are some drawbacks though to going this route
While this method is very quick and gets some nice results, you'll need a steady hand for painting once you get your basecoat down and complete. As you add your extra details on the model, you want to be careful not to get any stray marks on your armour. Since the color is made up two blended spray paints and two washes on top of that, it will be near impossible to match it if you had to fix a mistake.

It's just something you need to keep in mind if you choose this method. It shouldn't keep you from ever trying it, just know that this route leaves little room for error in the later stages. When it comes to speed though, it can't be beat.

Make sure to check out these posts as they might help:
A look at zenithal highlighting on a model
How to paint Ultramarines using the same approach


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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