Friday, September 10, 2010

Project: Imperial Fists, Space Marine Quick Zenithal Highlighting

My goal with the Imperial Fists is a table quality army without putting in a great deal of time. The idea is to have a good looking army and still be able to finish a squad in 6-8 man-hours. I want my marines to look as if they have come out of battle, grimy worn used troops and tanks. Imperial Fists are siege fighters and siege fighting is a dirty business. In phase one I'll talk about how to get quick zenithal highlighting and base coat using the airbrush.

Quick Zenithal Highlights using an Airbrush

I got the idea from this great article from Philippe Villé written in back in September 2008 adn from Les at Basically just use the airbrush as the light source.

Step 1: Prime

Prime the model white. I use the airbrush to prime my minis . It give me more control and better results. I have a paint are set up on my workbench so I can prime right there. Here is the mix I use.

  • 1 part: Reaper Brush-on Primer
  • 1 part: Liquitex Airbrush Medium
  • Clean up with Windex

One note is that this mix is very thin. When airbrushing it on it is very important to work slow and do not let it collect. Let the primer dry for 24 hours (8 would work, but 24 is better).

Step 2: Base Coat

I base coat the whole mini Plague Brown (GW equivalent Bubonic Brown) which is the color of yellow shadow, I know it is brown, but there you go. What I am doing is painting the shadow first. Cover the whole model. You can let the base color dry or paint the highlight right away, it doesn't seem to matter.

  • 2 parts Vallejo Game Color Plague Brown (GW equivalent Bubonic Brown)
  • 1 part Windex

I have found that Vallejo Game Colors airbrush nicely with a minimum amount of thinning. To clean up I clean the color cup in water and run two color cups of Windex through the brush. You will still need to do a full disassemble and clean once in a while, but that works between colors.

Step 3: Highlights

Here is the magic. Hold the mini so that the top is facing the airbrush. Now just paint the highlight color, in this case Vallejo Game Color Sun Blast Yellow (GW equivalent Sunburst Yellow), from the top of the model. You will notice that the calves of the space marine don't get hit with the highlight color. Angle the model just enough to so that the highlight color hit the part of the calf. This is how I judge angle while painting.

  • 2 Part Vallejo Game Color Sun Blast Yellow (GW equivalent Sunburst Yellow)
  • 1 Windex

As you can see below the shadow should be 100% Plague Brown and the highlight should be 100% Bald Moon Yellow. In between is a gradient between the two, the same way blending would create.

From straight on the model doesn't seem dramatically highlighted. However when you look at them on the table it makes a big difference.

Any area of the model that are not lit from above will remain Plague Brown and very edges can now be highlighted further with bleach bone.

From this step the next will be adding detail color, basing and weathering. I'll cover those in the next post. Happy Painting!

1 comment:

  1. thanks for this, just got an airbrush, might do this