Thursday, December 24, 2009

Tutorial: How I Paint Space Hulk Terminators

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A slew of how-to's and tutorials coming your way this week it seems! First the part one of the Craters and Explosions (with part two later this week) and now this one. I've really been getting stuff done lately, feels good!

Now to the tutorial...

Conventional painting tutorials are generally very bland and monotonous. They attempt to show you the method of painting (which, of course, has its own merit) but most fail to explain why steps were chosen and why things were painted the way they were. Everyone has their own painting style and instead of just showing you how I paint my Space Hulk Terminators, I’ll explain why I chose the paints and techniques I did in an attempt to give you a new point of view when tackling a new mini.

First I must note that this technique was developed to be quick and conducive to bulk painting (thus the inks and washes). Anyways, lets begin!

Step one involved a simple base coat of Mechrite Red slightly watered down. Watering down your paints, especially foundation paints, is incredibly important because otherwise they will be very thick and ruin details on your model. Granted my method doesn’t really make the most of the incredible details on the models, I still urge you to water down your paints slightly. I chose Mechrite because, like all the foundation paints, it provides a very solid base color and only requires one coat.
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Step two I used some Brown Caligraphy Ink and washed it over the model. Caligraphy Ink, unlike normal hobby inks, is not water proof. This means if you get water on the model, the ink will begin to run. On that same token, these inks were free because I found them sitting in my basement so I made the most of them. If you have Caligraphy inks you can counter-act the fact that it’s water-proof by mixing in some Matte Medium. I failed to do this on one of the later steps and you’ll be able to see what happens when you don’t. I chose a Brown Ink over, say, Black because Browns tend to deepen Reds more whereas Blacks tend to just dull models down.
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Step three involved a drybrush of 50/50 Mechrite Red to Blood Red. This simply serves as a primary highlight.
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Step four is a secondary highlight of a straight Blood Red drybrush. At this point the brightness of the Blood Red is meant to accentuate the edges and provide a nice contrast with the browns in the recesses. The armor begins to come together at this point.
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Step five is a Baal red Wash. I do this to to not only blend the highlights together but also to emphasis the reds in the model.
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Step six is a final highlight and is a very light drybrush of 60/40 Blood Red to Fiery Orange. This final highlight provides a noticeable contrast between itself and not only the recesses but the red of the armor itself. I wanted the models to be noticeable and eye-catching on the Space Hulk board so this highlight serves to do just that.
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Now here, step seven, is where I screwed up. I apply Red Caligraphy Ink here in order to deepen the reds and give the model a slight gloss. However, I failed to mix in any Matte Medium and as you will end up seeing in step nine, the red starts to show through a bit.
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Here’s where the detailing begins: step eight. I decided to paint any metallic silver parts first as that seemed to be the most prominent color on the model other than red (obviously). I used Boltgun Metal for this, but Chainmail would suffice as well.
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Step nine involved base coating any gold or parchment colored surface with Bestial Brown. I decided on Bestial as it is, more or less, a bridge between Snakebite Leather (good for golds) and Graveyard Earth (good for parchments). I decided on using this middle-road color in order to maintain some uniformity over the model and helping to blend the details in a little to make them more subtle (and thus increasing the appeal of the red armor on the table). Next I drybrushed any gold surface over with Shining Gold (for obvious reasons) and then a very light highlight drybrush of 2:1 Shining Gold to Mithril Silver. This just accentuates to extreme edges producing a more vibrant gold color. The Purity Seals were simply painted in Bleached Bone with a highlight of 50/50 Bleached Bone to Skull White. I then used Black to draw small writing on the seals. Finally, over all of the gold and parchment surfaces, I applied a Gryphonne Sepia wash to them. This, like the Bestial Brown undercoat, serves to tie the different details together (and also adds a nice weathering effect to the parchment).
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The final step is to highlight the gun with grey (I did a line highlight of Codex Grey with another Fortress Grey highlight just to make the gun ‘pop’ a bit more) and paint the lenses. What I did (for the eyes) was base coat Dark Angels Green, highlight 50/50 Dark Angels to Scorpion Green and finished the highlight off with a straight Scorpion green line in the front of the lens. To top it off I placed a small Skull White dot in the rear of the eye to simulate a reflecting effect that optics would have.
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And that’s about it. When I finish my Genestealers (perhaps next week or so) I will post a how-to on them as well!

3 comments:

oni said...

Nice. I really like the overall darkness to the model.

Chris said...

Really nice guide, I just got the game for Christmas, will be blogging out my progress and this should help a good deal! Thanks! I look forward to the Genestealer guide :)

Anonymous said...

An easy and fast way to improve this even further would be to wash the mithril silver parts with a black wash.