Welcome back hobby chaps and chapettes. Today is the last instalment in my very basic guide to painting Blood Angels legion tactical marines and we’re going to be focussing on the backpack and, as an added bonus, I’ve included the Legion Vexilla as well, as this is a fun little bit to paint up.
This week’s photography issue: White balance. I’ll not go on any more about it, instead, let’s dive in.
Oh, but one last thing to remind you of: These are basic tutorials. If you’re looking for something challenging and groundbreaking, you won’t find it here. These are just little guides to help your average painter get something good looking on the table top. And for this tutorial, you’ll need these paints:
Now, I’m not going to go over in too much detail about painting the backpack itself because, if you’ve read the previous posts in this series (links at the bottom of the page), you’ll know all about painting red, silver and black in this style, but here’s a quick refresher for you.
For this, I’m saving some time by painting up the parts on the Vexilla that correspond too. Oh, and remember to keep your paints a little thin, giving them a nice, smooth consistency.
1. Mephiston Red, Abaddon Black and Leadbelcher go down in the appropriate places, before being washed with Nuln Oil. Remember: when it comes to adding the wash to the red, just do the recesses and around the bolts.
2. Evil Sunz Scarlet edge highlight for the red areas, and a Leadbelcher lowlight on the silver – just catch those lower edges.
3. Dawnstone edge highlight on the black, and then zenith highlights of Ironbreaker on the silver, and Fire Dragon Bright on the red. Add just a tiny bit of White Scar to the ‘lights’ in the front of the backpack.
And you’re done! If you’re not doing a Vexilla, you should be able to breeze through this very quickly, but don’t worry if you still like to take your time. Now, onto the Vexilla itself…
Let’s start with the scrollwork. There are other ways of doing this, but this is preferred by me.
4. Start with a couple of thin coats of Ushabti Bone all over the scroll.
5. Wash with a little Reikland Fleshshade – be conservative here and don’t let it pool but get good coverage.
6. Using thinned down Ushabti Bone, give it an edge highlight.
7. Give the top edges a highlight using a thin mix of Screaming Skull.
8. Finally, write something on there using Abaddon Black. Now, script work is something worth practicing even just to get it to a legible state, never mind all those clever sorts who manage to do calligraphy on there! Practice a while on some plasticard or a flat bit from your bits box, and work at it. I went with a simple ‘BAAL’ but you can do anything.
Now, let’s move on to the scriptwork on the banners that hang down.
9. Start by writing everything out very thinly in Averland Sunset – steady hands needed.
10. Then highlight this script with Yriel Yellow. It’s as simple as that, but if you do go wrong, or if you don’t like the look, you can always use black paint to touch it up.
Let’s now go on to the laurel.
11. Start with a couple of thin coats of Warpstone Glow.
12. Wash it down with some Biel-Tan Green to give it a little depth…
13. …before bringing it up again by edge highlighting each leaf with Warboss Green.
14. Finally, give each upper edge of those leaves a little bit of Skarsnik Green.
15. Moving on to the circle at the top, I’ve painted in a black blood drop (these are all over Sanguinius’ armour so I thought it would look good here) using Abaddon Black. It’s a surprisingly tricky shape to paint this, but practice it and you’ll get it in no time.
16. Cover the inner area of that circle (so all the red and the black blood drop) with ‘Ardcoat, and add a little to those two ‘lights’ as well.
17. Finally, stick it onto the miniature, and you’re done!
Not too hard, was it? The three guys above are now done, so I’m not too far off being able to show you the whole squad in all their glory. Hopefully, that’ll be very soon too. I hope this guide has helped you out. Sorry for the photography, but I dare say the gist was got despite the images. For those looking to catch up, the links to the other tutorial parts are down below.
Don’t forget to tell me what you think of this series below. Useful? Interesting? I just hope it’s given some painters an idea of how to get things to look good without too much bother. See you with the finished unit soon. Onwards!
This is the first in a new series I’m going to bring you (whether you like it or not) which is essentially, a set of really simple painting tutorials on how to paint Blood Angels in the same way that I do. It’s all brush-based painting and there’s nothing here that should be too taxing for anyone, while hopefully still providing you with a good looking end product.
These are the guys I’m working on at the moment. The most basic Blood Angel bolt gun wielding 30k tactical squad you can get. And that’s what I’m going to show you how to paint in this series.
If you’re looking for advanced techniques and daring new ideas, this probably isn’t the sort of tutorial you’re after. I’m painting bog-standard tactical marines (albeit the ones from the Calth box) and I won’t be spending anymore time on them than I need to – I just want to get them to the standard of looking good; not breathtaking. So, if you want to know how I do my Blood Angels in the way that I do them, it’s all going to be in these tutorials.
Getting to the start line – what to do first.
So, as you can see from this image, I’ve put the legs and torso together and based my model. For ease of handling and painting, I think this works best – no need to faff around with corks and pins when you’re just doing the basic grunts.
- remove torso fronts and backs, and legs from sprue.
- remove mould lines and any flash that’s come off with the snipping of sprues.
- glue the torso parts and legs, and then add to the bases.
- add rocks, etc to bases with superglue.
- allow superglue to dry, then add sand using PVA glue.
- undercoat with Chaos Black spray and set to dry.
And that gets us to the start line! Let’s start painting.
The Paints You’ll Need:
Steps 1, 2 and 3 – Apply three thin coats of Mephiston Red to the areas of the mini that are going to be red. Don’t worry about going over other areas too much – you can clean those up later (try to keep it neat but don’t panic if you go over the lines). Make sure the paint is thin enough to flow smoothly. but thick enough to hold together. Use medium if preferred but I just went with water. In fact, for all of the steps below, the paint is watered down a little with just some water. You can really see in the first three pictures how it builds up and you end up with a deep, broody red.
Step 4 – Use Abaddon Black to tidy up and coat the black areas. I used it here on the belt, the bit that connects the backpack to that armour on the back and knee pads. It’s also a good idea to use this even if you already undercoated with Chaos Black as the spray is inconsistent and looks quite different to the paint that comes out of the pots.
Step 5 – Leadbelcher. Put down a base coat on the areas that you want to be silver. With both this step and the one above, be careful and don’t go over the lines. If you do, tidy it all up after this step and make sure the right paint is on the right part of the model.
Step 6 – Nuln Oil comes next now that all our base colours are down. Don’t apply this all over, but instead, apply it wherever there is a recess and shadow. Delicately get it into the cracks of the armour and under the knee plate. Run it over the top of the knee plate too. You should be able to see from picture 6 where it’s going. Do the entire model like this. When it comes to the Leadbelcher, apply the wash all over this. For all of this, use the wash sparingly and apply slowly and delicately – you don’t want thick lines of black from this, just shadowy underlines.
Step 7 – Evil Sunz Scarlet is then applied as an edge highlight all over the model’s red areas. Again, slow and delicate – let’s keep the lines nice and thin here.
Step 8 – Put your brush down and give it a five minute breather. Pick up a piece of GW sponge (I use the stuff from the old carry cases) and dab it in a little Abaddon Black. Now dab it out on a sheet of plasticard or paper until there’s almost nothing on it – the black should be very faint – and then apply it to occasional areas across the model’s red surfaces. This is going to be our little bit of “weathering”or effect that keeps each marine a little different and makes them feel like they’re in the thick of battle with smoke and grime and explosive stuff staining their armour. Just pick out a few spots, dab-dab-dab, and you’re done. If it goes wrong and you get too much on there, a quick fix with Mephiston Red will solve it easily.
Step 9 – Now we’re going to do a zenith highlight with Fire Dragon Bright. Very thin, steady lines of Orange on any parts of the red armour that have edges facing upwards (as if the sun is coming down on them. Top of the feet, top of the thighs, the shoulder area… that sort of thing. If there’s a red edge that faces upwards, apply there.
Step 10 – Back to Leadbelcher, you’re going to do an underlight on the harness that crosses the chest/back and also apply some to the rivets on the lower leg/knee. With the harness, just do the lower halves of the straps and edge highlight the lower half of the circle and its surround on the chest.
Step 11 – Now, with Ironbreaker, we’re going to do essentially another zenith highlight on all the silver areas, from the rivets to the chest piece and more. Just make sure the upward facing edges of all your silver areas now have this paint on them. Shiny.
Step 12 – With the silver now done, we’re going to use Dawnstone to edge highlight the black areas like the belt and the knees. Thin, steady lines again here – you can always fix it up with a little Abaddon if you think you’re going too thick.
Step 13 – Right, now for some really steady fingers. Take Averland Sunset, water it down a bit, and, in one smooth motion, painting from the bottom up, a straight line of your paintbrush at a diagonal across that knee. Do this a couple of times to deepen the colour. Now, I do it in one swift motion from bottom to top, but if you’re more comfortable going slow from top to bottom, you do it your way. Whatever works for you. You’re the only person who knows how you feel when you paint so do it how it works for you.
Step 14 – Take Yriel Yellow and apply it to the top half of the line, and make sure you get a bit more on that top edge just a touch.
Step 15 – Administratum Grey is used to just to a Zenith on those knees, and on the black of the backpack connecting bit on his back (I don’t have pictures of that one – sorry). I tend not to bother too much with the belt as it’s so far inset that light probably isn’t hitting the top there.
Step 16 – Back to Ironbreaker. Any little bolt heads and rivets, just very gently give them the tiniest touch of this silver paint.
And that’s you done!
- Keep your paints thinned – a wee bit of water or medium will help them flow so much better.
- Don’t panic if you mess up. Yes, it’s a little annoying to have to go back to fix things, but there’s nothing in this that can’t be fixed easily.
So, that’s the legs and torso done. In the next tutorial. we’ll take a look at some arms and bolters. Stay tuned for that and more. Onwards!
I recently finished my Fabius Bile model (see the last post) and rather than go for a traditional skin tone look that one might use for living flesh, for his delightful dead skin coat, I wanted to make it look like really ancient skin. Human leather, if you will. Charming, isn’t it. After all, Fabius Bile has been flaying people (probably alive) for over 10,000 years, so unless this is a new addition to his wardrobe, it’s probably quite old. Now, these pics were taken with an i-phone, so they’re not exactly top quality, but I can assure you that the finished look of this really works, and I’ll throw in another shot of the completed model at the end so you can see a little better what I mean.
The first thing I did was look for inspiration. I recalled reading a while back that at Harvard University Library, they had made the rather grizzly discovery that some of their books that they had long thought to be bound in leather were actually bound with human skin. Pretty gross, right? Well, as gross as it is, there were a ton of pictures of one of these books online and they provided a good basis for the look I was trying to achieve. Here’s one of those now:
Disregarding for a moment what this thing is actually made of (if you can), it does have a really cool look to it from the perspective of someone interested in colours. That yellowing, going into really rich browns from almost bone-coloured flecks… it would be beautiful if it wasn’t slightly upsetting. I decided to use this as a jumping off point – not something I was going to try and copy, but something that would provide me with the palette of colours that I would work from. So here’s my step by step guide to painting ancient dead skin.
1. Prime – Rhinox Hide
I’m working on the shoulder pad here (as you can see the coat had been done at this point). I typically undercoat black but I then primed the skin patches with a thin coat of Rhinox Hide. Make sure you get right into the cracks – you don’t really want any black coming through here.
2. Base – Choose Your Weapon!
Now, if each different patch has come from a different person, each should be a little different, right? So I picked out four different colours to use as the base across the different patches. In my case I used Screaming Skull (shown here), Kislev Flesh, Cadian Fleshtone and Ungor Flesh. Pick the one you’re going to use and, after watering down just a tad, apply it to the patch at hand. Then, mix that colour with a bit of White Scar and dab a couple of spots of this onto that same patch. Don’t go into the cracks though – you want to keep these dark. It’s good for contrast and, when you look at some mummified skin, the darker pigments are always in the recesses (again, charming).
3. Detail – Choose Another Weapon!
You now want to give it a few spots/scratches with a darker colour. I typically used XV-88 or Deathclaw Brown but you can go all the way back to Rhinox Hide if you’d prefer. I didn’t do this on every patch either – helps to keep things different. Now, put a little of this on an old brush (something a bit gnarly that has long since lost its point) and then take most of it off again. Dab very gently, and not all over. Think of it like a little rash.
4. Washing – Reikland Fleshshade/Fuegan Orange
Apply the flesh wash to the lower part of the patch, and the orange shade to the upper part (presuming that your light source is above). Don’t worry about them mingling a bit – that’s actually preferred. Don’t slather the patch, but apply enough to allow it to pool just a little in the recesses.
5. And Repeat…
Before we go on to the final step, do this again over all the patches on the area you’re working on. It’s quite easy to patch process all of this so it’s a good time saver. It also means there’s less waste in the next step!
6. Glaze – Averland Sunset/Lahmian Medium
Now, you could, I suppose, use Casandora Yellow glaze, but I find this a little too orangey for this, so I’d suggest making your own glaze by adding a good amount of Lahmian Medium to a small splodge of Averland Sunset. A little yellow will make a fair amount of the glaze, as you need to use a good bit of the medium to get it looking like this:
Apply across the area, covering all patches (and let it go into the cracks too, though don’t let it pool) and leave it to dry. It should now look like this:
7. Highlights – Mixing Time!
I tried initially to do the highlights earlier in the process but they all got covered with everything else and didn’t really work, so I then started to do it at the end. You want to create a light flesh shade – think Kislev Flesh mixed with Screaming Skull. Muddy it up with some Reikland Fleshshade and then add in some of that yellow glaze you just made. Basically, if it looks like a good highlight colour for what you’re highlighting, then you got it right. Take a fine detail brush and apply it to the upper (again presuming that your light source is above) edges of the patches and the upper parts of any vertical edges. Also, it looks like I forgot to take a photo of this step but you can see it in the below pic so, yeah.
And you’re done! Here’s Fabius in all of his glory again. If you were really brave you could consider adding tattoos (I’d do that before you add the washes with something like Dark Reaper – I only tried it once with his Slaanesh symbol on his shoulder there) but essentially, that’s it. Perhaps, in retrospect, I might have gone a little lighter to get it more like the book above, but ultimately I’m satisfied with the end result and would quite like to use this again. Onwards!
Was this useful? Would you have done anything differently? Stick your comments and ideas below. Cheers!
Some of you have asked me how I paint the bone on my Mortifactors Space Marines and, as a friday treat, I’ve decided to walk you through it. Using one of the Vanguard Vets that I’m currently working on, I’m going to take you through how I create the warm bone look with all the cracks and chips that have appeared on my models. It’s not a quick process and there are probably better ways of doing it out there, but this is the way I do it, for better or for worse. Let’s dive in.
1. Undercoat it black
This is actually a relatively important step. You may argue that it doesn’t get seen but I’ve tried using a lighter undercoat and it really does look better on black. It gives an extra layer of depth that effects the colour throughout and so I would recommend going this way.
2. Slap on the Bone
Apply Screaming Skull (I’m using the Citadel paint range so will describe this technique using those terms) and keep it rough and thin. Plenty more layers to come and you want some of the shadow coming through from the black – it’ll give depth.
3. Wash it.
A generous slathering of Reikland Fleshshade. This is the last of those layers that’s really going to dictate the texture and it’ll provide some shadow too. Be liberal, especially around any edges and recesses.
4. More Bone!
Now go over it again with Screaming Skull. Make sure that the paint is thick enough to hold together and keep its consistency, but thin enough to be smooth and allow some of that texture through from below. A tiny amount of water is all it takes. Don’t go into the recesses – leave those to give a bit of definition and shadow.
5. Crack it
Right, now for the cracks. Using a very fine brush, use Rhinox Hide and draw on any cracks and chips you want to appear on the bone. Don’t do too many – an accent is better than overwhelming detail.
6. Add Shadow
To add the shadow, use the Reikland Fleshshade and pull a tiny amount down over the cracks, ensuring that it is more on the upper edges of those cracks than the lower ones because that’s where the natural shadow would be if we’re working to the idea that the light is coming downwards.
7. Add Light
The final step! Using a mix of equal measures Screaming Skull and White Scar, and your finest brush again, apply to the undersides of the cracks, and all around the edges of the painted area. And that’s it!
So, that’s how I paint the bone on my miniatures. There are far better painters and lots of other techniques out there, but I hope this one has been helpful or at least interesting. Any comments or questions, please add them below!