Ok, first off a note about this week’s post – the photography is really bad. I know I’ve said that before, but I had real problems with it this time around, so apologies about that. Hopefully, between the slightly fuzzy images and the descriptions of the steps, you’ll be able to get it.
So, moving on, this week, we’re looking at painting the shoulder pads and heads for a Blood Angels tactical marine. This isn’t where you’ll find advanced painting ideas – this is the simple stuff to help the average painter put a good looking army on the table. If you want the advanced stuff, there are plenty of other painting tutorials out there that have got you covered and they’re great for inspiration. And with no more ado, let’s get going.
We’ll start with the shoulder pad that has the tactical marking on it – the one that looks like this: <->. But before we get painting, I first need to show you what paints I’ll be using in this tutorial…
I use citadel but of course there are other brands and lines available. And aside from these, the one other thing you’ll need is something that looks like this:
This is a bit of old Forge World flash that never got thrown away, and the reason why it didn’t get binned is because I knew I’d be painting shoulder pads again in the future. You can use a bit of sprue with some blue tack instead, but the larger bit of flash gives you something a little more stable and chunky to hold on to – I can’t recommend it enough. When you’ve removed the shoulder pad from the sprue, clean up the areas where you snipped it off with a craft knife and then press it down onto the superglue. Or you could just do it on the model. Your choice of course, but this gives you a little more freedom to move around what you’re painting.
I’m not going to go over the basics of painting red, silver and black again for this. You can find all the details on how to do that in part 1 and part 2. What I will say is that because these are such large, rounded areas on the shoulder pads, you might need a couple of more thin coats of Mephiston Red before it’s ready. And it’s quite nice to take a 2:1 mix of Mephiston Red and Evil Suns Scarlet and just highlight the higher points of these pads – breaks up the bare red a little more.
Step 1: The black trim and red pad are done.
Step 2: To paint the tactical markings, thin down some Abaddon Black on your palette and start by painting two thin parallel lines, a couple of mm apart, horizontally across the lower centre of the pad. Then paint four smaller lines at the ends – a little less than half the length of those two horizontal lines.
Step 3: Find a point that’s in the centre of the lines and a bit further out and add a dot. Do the same on the other side. These will be where you’re aiming for with the arrow points.
Step 4: This is the tricky bit. From the tips of the four smaller lines, bring a line down to the closest dot. This takes practice. If you mess it up, just try again – you can always go over any mistakes.
Step 5: Fill in the arrows with Abaddon Black and you’re nearly there!
Step 6: Go around the edges of the arrows with Evil Sunz Scarlett. Again, this is a fiddly bit, but it’s great for cleaning up mistakes, so take advantage of that, especially if you feel one arrow head is larger than the other (this happens a lot).
Step 7: Back to Abaddon Black – put a tiny bit on a sponge, remove most of it from the sponge on a towel and then pat it on to give the shoulder pad a bit of character. And that’s that one done!
Now, let’s move on to the Legion Symbol shoulder pad. Again, I’m not going to cover the bits about how to paint red and black. Leave the wings a solid black, but go over the very highest edges of this with an edge highlight of Dawnstone. That should get you to the first stage in the following set of picks.
Step 1: Just make sure it’s all cleaned up, and then apply a thin layer of Evil Sunz Scarlett to the face of the blood drop (don’t go over the edges and down the sides).
Step 2: Take Eshin Grey and pick out each feather and just give each one a highlight. You can do this really quickly so it’s not as fiddly as it sounds – almost with a drybrush sort of approach.
Step 3: Use a 1:1 blend of Evil SunZ Scarlett and Fire Dragon Bright, and go from the tip, down the right hand side of the blood drop, and round the bottom. Then, in a thinner line that goes from a little lower down, do the same thing with some Fire Dragon Bright.
Step 4: Blend Fire Dragon Bright 1:1 with White Scar. Pick out the lower right hand edge and do a very thin line with this – don’t go all the way round the bottom or up the side; the bottom corner will do. Then do a little dot with this colour nearer the top of the blood drop, and then coat in ‘Ardcoat.
Sorry there weren’t more images to detail that last bit – that’s when things got really blurry with the camera. But now we’ll move on to the head.
Step 1: So snip your head off the sprue, leaving a little attached to hold in a crocodile clip – very useful. Paint up the red and silver parts in the usual way.
Step 2: Edge highlight with Evil Sunz Scarlett and use a sponge with a little Abaddon Black on to add some weathering effects.
Step 3: Use Warpstone Glow to paint the eye lenses.
Step 4: Then paint the lower half of those eye lenses with Skarsnik Green.
Step 5: Using a 1:1 mix of White Scar (which I just realised I didn’t put on the ‘paints you’ll need’ image above – grrrr) and Skarsnik Green, paint a dot at the centre-rear of the lenses. This is great for bringing the eyes to life a little.
Step 6: Zenith Highlight the Red Areas with Fire Dragon Bright, and the silver areas with Ironbreaker.
Step 7: Add a tiny dab of ‘Ardcoat (technically not a paint – before you say anything re the aforementioned ‘paints you’ll need’ image) to the eyes and you’re done.
When these steps are finished, you can glue the components onto the minis, and they should look something like this:
So there you go! As you can see, I’m making progress. Once I’ve completed one more of these tutorials (that will deal with backpacks and peripherals), the squad will all be done. Hopefully I’ll have that for you soon. In the meantime, happy painting. Onwards!