Thursday, 9 February 2012

Dark Angels - WiP- Seeing Red.....

With the main body of the miniature early on (thanks to the airbrush) I've been taking my time on the details. One of things I'm particularly keen to get right the red on the weapons. Now I've done red on weapons the more traditional way on figures in the past, as you can see on this Deathwatch figure above, which I painted a while back. Now I'm happy with how the gun turned out on this guy, but it's a bit "bright" and "cheerful."
I'm painting "Dark" Angels, so I want something a little more sombre.
I also want the red to be consistent with the zenithal lighting so I only get a sharp highlight at the points where the most light hits the model. At the same time, I want to have a nice shadowy red anywhere the light doesn't hit and have good colour saturation. So I'm using all reds all the time.
In a way, most of the ground work is done in the earlier stages where I used two red paints from a reaper triad that go really well together. The problem with them, is that they're a somewhat purply red and a like my Dark Angels red to be a little bit more fiery. However, the reaper paints are the basis that makes what follows work. All I do is heavily thin some citadel Blood Red and then apply that carefull to the relevant parts of the model for my zenithal highlight, while blending it down into the shadow. This takes quite a few passes.
As the two tones I applied earlier compliment each other really well and the Blood Red is effectively a wash, all that happens is the two tones take on some of the qualities of the red and I lose most of the purple tone. This gives me a colour I like, but I retain my shading and I can still build up a strong highlight that blends well.
The next step is to apply a line highlight to pick out the edges and give those a little more definition. Citadel Blazing Orange or Reaper Lave Orange works well for this. The orange line highlight by itself is a little too obvious, so I go over it again with my Blood Red wash to tidy everything up. After that, I apply a quick wash of Baal red to tidy the transitions up further and just take the edge off the brightness, to give me a darker red.
I really like how this looks, as I get a nice red colour on the weapons, without it being "day glo" and inconcistent with the zenithal lighting on the armour. As you can see on this pick (and the earlier ones), I've also done some some work on the plasma coils to get the brightness right. I'll do a slight particle glow effect to finish them off.

I've also painted the black elements on the weapons and armour. I use the Reaper Dark Elf triad for this, with a blue wash and a black wash afterwards. This gives me a more interesting black colour (which would otherwise be a bit flat). Annoyingly, I think I overdid it on the washes and I'll have to go back to repaint some of the highlighting in, as it is now hard to see there.

I've also done shading and highlighting on the metalwork of the weapons and armour, as well as applying a highlight of mithril silver to pick out the zenithals again. I still need to do some more work here, as I haven't quite got the definition I wanted and I also want to try my hand at Ron's heat stained gun barrel effect for a bit of interest.


  1. my baal red has separated out in the pot, and has never been the same since. which is annoying.

    anyhow - i used the "heat staining" colour mix on my Sternguard's Meltagun, and its both simple and effective. and they'll match the nice "beaten up" look for the guns generally.

  2. I'm beginning to resign myself to the reality that if I'd set out to achieve a "beaten up" look for my guns, I'd never have managed it. Instead I set out to achieve something other and have "beaten up" as a result. At least I'll know how to achieve this in the future......I think.

  3. but i like it!

    to be honest, most of the half-way-decent paint effects i've managed to produce i've managed by accident the first time. thats part of the fun of it, isn't it?

  4. Oh, I like it as wel. I just don't want to fob anyone off into thinking that this "was my plan all along."

    I agree, it is definitely part of the fun to stumble across an unintended effect that looks good. Trying to do everything "precisely" as someone else would do it, can be overly clinical and a bit dull. Plus, as Ron said, this is how you discover your style.

    Apparently my style for weapons is "beaten up" which is somewhat consistent with how I feel at present.