Monday, January 28, 2013

How I paint Dark Angels

I've had a few people ask about the colors I use for painting the Dark Angels and what steps I go through so I figured I'd make a how to for it. It will be similar to the How to Paint Blood Angels. It's a pretty simple process and this is another basic blend. For the standard Tactical Squads they are going to be quickly painted so they will be what I consider table quality. Again it will only be a  few colors so you can do it using only a small investment in paints, but it still gives a nice look.

(** I used mostly GW colors for this as I haven't gotten to the store that carries Vallejo in my area **)
Vallejo Poly Black Primer
Iwata Com Art - Opaque Cobalt Green Hue
Caliban Green (Dark)
Snot Green (Mid - This is the older GW Color. They say it's the same as Warpstone but mine is a little darker. If you don't have it you can just use the Warpstone as it will get covered with Thrakka which darkens it but more on that later.)
Warpstone Glow (High)
Thrakka Green (Green Wash, this can be made by thinned green ink/paint as well. Biel-Tan Green new GW color)
Badab Black (Black Wash, this can be made by thinning black ink/paint. Nuln Oil new GW color)

(** You could honestly paint something close just using Caliban Green and Warpstone Glow, then use Black paint thinning it for a wash and use Caliban to make a very thin wash to darken the first coat of mid highlights**)

Lets get this party started.. oh and don't mind the crazy white fingers, I was priming white before and the poly primer takes some serious scrubbing to remove!

1. I prime the mini and then spray it with the Cobalt Green Hue. Priming and base coating with an Airbrush will give you a smoother more even finish and will speed up the process. But it's not required at all, the last few guys I brushed as I didn't feel like getting the AB out for one mini.

2. After it's dry I then go back and hit some of the shadow areas with the Caliban Green. Caliban is a little darker then the Cobalt Green Hue and will offer another blending layer. If you don't use the Com Art color to base coat you can just brush the model with the Caliban Green.

3. With the Caliban applied use the black wash to further darken all the recess and shadowed areas. If you brushed on the Caliban this will be the only shadow fading so start in the recesses and work your way outwards away from the darkest sections. Try to keep the black even and don't let it pool up. Applying many thinner coats will give you a better look then a few heavy coats that can pool and dry uneven looking. Also remember if it's pooling up you can always add more water to your brush and just spread the black out or wipe it off with the brush itself.

4. Now you want to start working on the mid blend so using the Snot Green (or the Warpstone if that is all you have or want to use) and start hitting the highlighted areas and edges. I usually thin the color 50/50 with water making it very close to a wash and start on the larger areas I want to highlight. I don't just want to have the extreme edges done, I want there to be a few blends on the armor sections here and there giving it a more realistic look. After the area blends are done I'll then go back and use a thick blend of 80/20 paint to water to hit edges and highest levels.

5. After the first mid blend I go over the whole model with Thrakka Green to darken all the blends. This will bring all the mid highlights down and if you only used the warpstone it will darken it enough to make the Warpstone highlight still pop.

6. Now you'll start on the highlights with the Warpstone Glow. You want to hit all the edges and the highest sections that capture the light. This is where I'll even outline some of the details on the armor that I haven't touched yet. Thin the paint 70/30 paint/water and be careful to keep the lines very straight when outlining the details. Keep the lines straight and even, if they are crooked it will throw the look off. They should be hard edge reflections.

7. Now the green is mostly done. At this point I may go back and hit some of the darker areas with the black wash again. I haven't done this yet on this mini as I'm going to wait until I have the rest of the colors on the mini and I'll use the black wash on the entire mini (not a coat over the entire thing just in all the areas that I think need it) and all the darker sections may get two or three coats.

Here he is with the rest of the base colors added but no more blending. I'll finish him up in the next few days when I get a chance. I just wanted to get the how to up to show what he'd look like with the added colors and a complete look. I'll be blending the gun, leather and other small details to give him a finished complete look but even if you stopped right here he looks decent enough for table quality.

This is a pretty basic blend that can be done very quickly and will give you a nice finished product to field. This weekend I primed up the rest of the Tacts so I'm going to motor through them to get them all done up. I hope this helped..  ENJOY!

Finished him up. Other then a shoulder icon.