The Dark Angels I’ve been painting recently have been a fun project, particularly as each model has been kitbashed and heavily converted to produce a unique personality for our 40k skirmish games. I intend to work up some background lore, as well.
I want the kill team to look cohesive, so I have been following a systematic approach in painting similar units. Here’s a tactical marine.
- Basecoat all major areas of the figure in pure, solid colors. This includes the green, red, and black areas of the figure. Metallics are painted. The ground and things like skulls, ropes, leather get basecoated in brown.
- Carefully wash the whole figure with Nuln Oil. Some areas might only get a light glaze, while other areas might get dulled down to almost nothing.
- Add back some of the color you’ve lost with the washes. I start with the metallics. Work mainly upon a few areas of visual focus. I’m only ever highlighting the major volumes back up to a mid-tone, so the figure looks dark despite the presence of a very strong red color. I am bringing the red back to an almost flat and uniform look, while ‘highlighting’ the green areas much more judiciously.
- Pick out all the tiny details! I love to hide tiny blossoms of vivid color on a figure, using colors that totally contradict the overall tight scheme of the unit. I do my best to create as many different textures as I can. Some things receive close attention, while other areas are only hinted at. I intend for some areas of these models to jump out in vivid detail, while other areas fade into nothing and provide a frame for the personalizing details.
- Paint the faces. I’ve been painting most of these Dark Angels with repulsive pallid skintones. I decided to paint this one a sort of greasy yellow-green. The demon head ended up far darker than I had expected, but I like it. I have a unit of bloodthirsters ready to paint, so I may re-use the scheme.
- Paint the base. I used Tamiya clear for the blood effect.
We do not fear the monsters of the Warp!