Archive for Dec, 2012

Sergeant Raphael

Just a quick update to show my progress on the Dark Vengeance set. When I showed these photos on Twitter I got an overwhelming response so I thought it was worth posting them here with a slightly more detailed write up.

Painting Dark Angels

A lot of people have asked me how I painted my Dark Angels so here is a break down of the paints I used. In order to maintain a dark look overall I kept the majority of the armour dark green and applied extreme highlights only to the very edges of the armour (in a similar way to the ‘Eavy Metal team’s Dark Eldar).

All of the Tactical Marines started with a black undercoat.

1) Basecoat Dark Angels Green (it took about 3 coats to get a smooth, even finish).

2) Highlight Snot Green.

3) Highlight 50/50 mix Snot Green and Goblin Green.

4) Highlight Goblin Green.

5)Apply very tiny highlights to the helmets/face using Rotting Flesh.

The idea behind the final highlights of Rotting Flesh is to subtly draw the eye to the model’s face and make it stand out more. This gives the Dark Angels a focal point which they would otherwise lack as the helmets are the same colour as the rest of the armour.

Sergeant Raphael close up

Painting Faces

The part of the Sergeant  Raphael model that got the most comment was his face, particularly his stubble, and a number of people have asked me about how I achieved this. The face was painted following my usual method:

1) Basecoat Tallarn Flesh.

2) Shade with thinned Dark Flesh followed by Scorched Brown in the deepest recesses.

3) Highlight with Tallarn Flesh with increasing amounts of Elf Flesh added.

4) Apply a final highlight by adding Bleached Bone into the previous flesh mix.

5) Paint the lips Tanned Flesh.

The stubble technique was taken from the excellent ‘Painting Faces Redux’ article from White Dwarf  356 which can also be found on the White Dwarf archive (see link). One thing I would recommend is adding some Lahmia Medium to the wash in order to give you more control over the flow. You want the wash to be translucent so that the flesh colour still shows though and the medium is great for this.

Hopefully more Dark Vengeance goodness to follow later in the week.

All the best,


Gollum 1

Another of my Hobbit themed models, this time Gollum. As with the White Council, this model is taken from the Lord of the Rings release rather than the new range of models released for The Hobbit. This was a fun little project and quite quick to paint (the whole model is largely one colour).

The rock was drybrushed first and then I painted Gollum himself. The skin started with a basecoat of Tallarn Flesh with a bit of Codex Grey added to remove some of the warmth of the colour and make Gollum look a little less healthy. This was washed with thinned Dark Flesh followed by a more precise application of Scorched Brown in the deepest recesses. I then highlighted the model by adding increasing amounts of Bleached Bone to the basecoat. I then added a tiny bit of White Scar for the final highlight.

Gollum 2

In the photo below you can see the scars on Gollum’s back. These were picked out with Tanned Flesh and highlighted by adding Bleached Bone. I also used a little bit of Baal Red around the edges to add to the effect of the scar tissue.

Gollum 3

I added some clump foliage and flock to the base to match the look of Emyn Muil in the film and to tie Gollum in with my other LotR/Hobbit models. It also adds a bit more realism tot he rocks which are rarely as bare in real life as they often are on model bases.

I hope you like Gollum and my other Hobbit models. In my next blog post I will be returning to the grim darkness of the 41st millennium with some more Dark Angels.

All the best,


White Council

As mentioned in a previous post, it was my intention to try and paint all of the White Council before the release of The Hobbit as a kind of ‘count down’ project. Well here they all are finished. As these have been completed ahead of schedule I have started work on Gollum who will hopefully appear in another post later in the week.

Here is the final model to be painted for the White Council, Elrond of Rivendell. Now I know this isn’t the ‘official’ model of Elrond, rather it is meant to represent Celeborn. However, I don’t really like the unarmoured Elrond model GW produce and so I was searching around for an alternative and I found this model in my collection. I think it suits Elrond very well.

Elrond of Rivendell

The model has quite an unusual colour palette which I would not have chosen had there been no existing depiction of Elrond to work from. The lilac robes were painted with a mix of Space Wolf Grey and Warlock Purple highlighted by adding white and a little bit of Bleached Bone to stop the colour becoming too cold. The warm brown robes were painted Dark Flesh and highlighted Vermin Brown followed by a Vermin Brown and Vomit Brown mix.

All the best,



With only one week to go to the release of The Hobbit here is my version of Galadriel for my White Council project. This is such a simple, elegant miniature and it was a joy to paint.  Unlike Saruman, who was painted with off-white robes, Galadriel’s garb is much brighter. The model was primed white and shaded with Fortress Grey followed by Codex Grey and then blended back up to pure White Scar.

DSCF2814 DSCF2815

Next up is Elrond to complete the White Council.

Saruman the White 1

Continuing with my Hobbit countdown here is Saruman the White. The robes are Dheneb Stone shaded with Vallejo German Camo Pale Brown and highlighted by adding increasing amounts of White Scar to Dheneb Stone all the way up to pure white.

For Lord of the Rings and Hobbit miniatures I favour a more natural, realistic finish to the models to capture the look and feel of the films. Because of this I used very soft blending for the highlights rather than the starker, more stylised highlights found on my Dark Angels, for example. I think it’s really important to adapt your painting style to fit the model at hand in order to bring out the qualities and character of the model.

Saruman the White 2

One of the interesting things about revisiting Middle Earth after so long (nearly ten years since the last film) is that it really shows how much my painting style and ability has changed over the years. To illustrate this, below is on older model of Saruman that I painted eleven years ago back when The Fellowship of the Ring was released.

Saruman the White (old)

And the two side by side for comparison.

Saruman the White Comparison

Gandalf the Grey

December is upon us and it is only a couple of weeks before The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey hits our cinema screens. I’ve been very excited about this for some time now (just ask my wife). Not only does this mean a new Tolkien film from Peter Jackson et al (which is exciting enough in itself) but it also means that the Strategy Battle Game that was launched by GW alongside the Lord of the Rings films will be reinvigorated. Since it’s initial release back in 2001 this has been one of my favourite GW games and I strongly believe that the LOTR models are some of the best GW has ever produced.

In order to celebrate the launch of the new film I have decided to embark on a special project to count down to the film’s launch. I have decided to paint the White Council between now and 14 December and post my progress on the blog. These are some of the principle characters from Tolkien’s world and promise to feature strongly in the forthcoming films so it seemed only appropriate to paint them. Also, I happen to have models to represent all of the characters from the release of Lord of the Rings. I may even paint up Gollum (another important character who features in both trilogies) if I get the time.

First up is Gandalf the Grey (pictured above) who was already painted. Hopefully more to follow soon.