Archive for the ‘Tutorial’ Category


A lot of people on Twitter have asked me how I went about painting my Sigmarite Mausoleum and so I thought I would post the following quick guide. The colour scheme is based on the box art and follows the same basic colours as suggested on the box. The most important thing here is to paint smart and follow a set order of painting which will make painting a large amount of scenery quicker and more efficient.

Step 1


Spray the walls Mournfang brown.

Step 2


Apply a second coat of spray paint. This time more lightly using Incubi Darkness. The aim here is to leave some of the brown showing in the recesses.

Step 3


Wash the whole thing with Agrax Earthshade. Not only does this provide shading but it also helps to tie the two base colours together.

Step 4


Apply a heavy drybrush of Thunderhawk Blue (available as a Dry paint), gradually building up the colour.

Step 5


Pick out any skulls with Rakarth Flesh. Basecoat the ground Stormvermin Fur and pick out any rocks using Gorthor Brown and Mechanicus Standard Grey.

Step 6


Shade the skulls, ground and rocks using Agrax Earthshade.

Step 7


Lightly drybrush the whole model using Terminatus Stone.

Step 8


Now it’s time to pick out the details. I used Deathworld Forest for the plants, Balthasar Gold for the bronze areas, Retributor for the gold and Leadbelcher for the silver.

Step 9


Wash the plants with Athonian Camoshade and wash all of the other details Agrax Earthshade.

And that’s it. I might go back and add more highlights, drybrush the plants green and pick out the roses but for now it’s more than ready for the tabletop.

In my next post I’ll tackle painting verdigris.

At the weekend I had a game of Battlefleet Gothic and ended up rolling the ‘Surprise Attack’ scenario which required a number of planetary defences. Unfortunately I didn’t have any suitable models and so we had to make do with some asteroids standing in for defence platforms (we figured they would have small bases with weapons mounted on them). While this worked well enough I decided to build some specific models for future use. After a quick rummage through my bitz box (or rather, boxes) I hit upon the idea 0f using parts from Tau drones as the main platform.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  1. Top part of a Tau drone.
  2. Battlefleet Gothic x4 turrets.
  3. Battlefleet Gothic masts/sensors.

You’ll also need some putty or filler. I also used some half-circle plasticard strips although these aren’t essential.

Step 1

Fill in the recesses on the surface of the drone where the antennae are attached. I used MMD Green Putty for this but it doesn’t really matter what you use. Green stuff or Milliput would work just as well.

Step 2

Drill a hole in the centre of the drone. This is where you will attach it to a flight stand. I mounted mine on a piece of thick brass rod to match my ships (I find plastic flight stands far too flimsy) so I’ve drilled quite a large hole.

Step 3

Glue one of the masts in hole at the centre of the underside of the drone and add the turrets around the outer ring. This will require a little bit of filling to remove some of the details on the drones and the peg on underside of the turrets in order to get them to fit together smoothly.

Step 4

I then added some small pieces of half-circular plasticard rod to give the platforms a bit of extra detail to  break up the flat area around the edge.

So there we have it, a pretty simple yet effective way of making orbital defence platforms.



Paint it black

Posted: Mar 14, 2012 in Tutorial
Tags: , , ,

My Thoughts on Painting Black

Black is often considered a difficult colour to paint and it was one that I was reluctant to paint for many years. However, recently I have painted large areas of black on quite a few different models and so different methods of painting black have been on my mind of late. As with any painting techniques, there are a number of ways to paint black and those below are just a couple that I have found useful. Remember, there is no right or wrong way to go about painting a particular colour, just whatever works for you.

Initial Thoughts

In real life no surface is truly black. By this I mean that black is an absence of all visible light. Any surface that reflects light is not really black in the truest sense. This makes painting black easier as we can see how light plays off ‘black’ surfaces and try to replicate this on our models. If you look closely at black clothes you will see that they often have a blue, grey or even brown hue to them; this is particularly evident if they are old and showing signs of wear. Other objects such as black plastic or metal have a less obvious hue to them and reflect light differently as they tend to be more glossy. When painting part of a model black think about what kind of surface it is and how it reflects the light. Generally speaking, hard surfaces such as armour or weapons will have sharper highlights whereas soft surfaces will need more gradual blending.

General Principles

Black is a difficult colour to paint as you cannot shade black – there is no darker paint. As a result it can be flat and lifeless or, if over highlighted, it can end up looking grey. Because of this you should avoid using black as a mid-tone. Instead mix Chaos Black (or whatever other brand of paints you are using) with one or more other colours in order to get a very dark basecoat that appears to be black to the eye but can still be shaded with black paint.

When it comes to doing this you will need to consider the overall appearance of the model. In addition to thinking about what kind of material the area you want to represent is made of, think about your overall colour scheme and how the black areas will work with this. Although this may sound odd, what kind of black are you wanting to use? Do you want your black tone to be warm or cold? Are there any other colours on the model that you want to work into the black? For example, my Nazgul and Vampire count are both painted to have areas of black cloth but both use very different tones in order to set the mood of the model.

The Nazgul is painted using warm colours in order to achieve a more realistic look to the robes and match the look of the Ringwraiths in the films. The Vampire, on the other hand, was painted with a cold palette in order to give him a lifeless, undead feel. Also, the dark blue of the cloak suggests the night sky – very appropriate for a vampire. My Eldar Farseer (pictured below) had his cloak painted using the same technique in order to contrast with the warm tones of the red and gold on the rest of the model. The blue tint to the cloak also ties it in with the other areas of blue on the figure.

The Nazgul was painted using a mix of Chaos Black and Kommando Khaki which was applied over a Chaos Black undercoat. I painted this on all but the deepest recesses in order to leave some shading. This was then highlighted by adding more Khaki to the mix. This gives a much softer colour than adding white or grey to the mix which could end up looking quite stark. In addition to this, the Khaki paint has less pigment than other Citadel paints and allows colours to be built up gradually in layers. A similar technique was used on some of my other Mordor models. However, the orc’s clothes and the troll’s leather bracer were basecoated with Vallejo Black/Brown (although you could use a 50/50 mix of Chaos Black and Scorched Brown) and highlighted by adding Kommando Khaki. Again, this produces quite a nice, realistic finish.

The cloaks on the vampire and Farseer were painted with a 50/50 mix of Regal Blue and Chaos black and shaded with pure Chaos Black. They were then highlighted by adding increasing amounts of Fortress Grey to the original mix. I also used the same technique on the black areas of my Bad Moon ork but with much sharper edge highlights in order to suggest the hardness of the metal.

Other Effects

As mentioned above, light reacts differently to different black surfaces and different materials will require different techniques. There are no hard and fast rules here, experimentation is required in order to achieve the effects you are looking for. Below is my attempt to paint an obsidian effect on my Dreadfleet volcano temple. As I wanted a really deep black colour I painted the whole thing with Chaos Black and added some extreme edge highlights using Adeptus Battle Grey followed by Codex Grey. This was to emphasis the reflectiveness of the surface and suggest the sharpness of the edges. Finally the whole thing was given a coat of gloss varnish to finish the effect.

I hope this post has been useful. As I say, this isn’t so much a guide as my own thoughts on painting black and I hope it helps to provide inspiration and spark your own ideas. If you have your own hints and tips on painting black drop me a line and let me know how you do it, I’m always on the look out for new techniques.

All the best,


A few people were interested in how I went about painting the yellow armour plates on my Bad Moon ork so I took some step-by-step pictures. Essentially I just followed an ‘Eavy Metal guide on painting Bad Moon orks. Here are my thought on the painting process.

Step 1


First of all I basecoated the yellow areas with Tausept Ochre. Although GW’s advertising claims that Foundation Paints can cover any primer in one coat I find it much better to apply several thinned coats for a smoother finish. This stage is just to provide a solid base over which a much brighter, more vibrant yellow can be painted.

Step 2


I then painted over the basecoat with a 50/50 mix of Iyanden Darksun and Golden Yellow again using several thin layers. At this point the yellow isn’t much to look at.

Step 3


The armour was then shaded with Dark Flesh to give it a deep, rich orange tone.

Step 4


I then reapplied the mix from step 2 and highlighted it by adding Skull White. I didn’t take pictures of both of these stages as I was painting quite quickly in order to prevent the paint from drying out ( I hate it when a paint mix dried during painting and you have to try and replicate it). The photo above shows the armour after the final highlight stage.

This was quite an easy guide to follow and, I’m pleased to say, my version ended up very similar to the example in the book. This is a good way to paint quite a difficult colour.

You can see the finished model here.