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Sunday, January 10, 2010

Methodology for the painting of my Dark Angels Space Marines


Although I still plan on doing touch-ups, finishing bases and such once I've completed painting the miniatures I currently have (about 40 total), I think that I have developed a pretty good system for getting my Dark Angels to the "good-enough-to-show-off" phase.

I like my marines to look dirty and abused.  I want them to look worn, as though the filth of months or years of campaigning  has never quite been scrubbed from their armor.

1. I prime with Chaos Black spraypaint and then drybrush the power armor and backpack with Dark Angels Green, and the weapons with Boltgun Metal.  I try to use Adeptus Battlegrey as a basecoat for anything I am going to paint white later (chest eagle, purity seals, etc.).  I've been doing this en masse for all the models I have built, prepping the whole bunch for detail work, which I complete individually.

2. Wash the whole model with Dark Green Ink.  This adds depth, and also gives the armor a nice sheen that I'm not sure how to get otherwise.  I don't think this particular color is still available, my brother gifted it to me because he never needed it, and I have since put it to good use.  If I run out I may try the Thraka Green wash, although I'm not really sure how dark it is.

3. Drybrush a wide highlight of Snot Green on the sharp edges, around shoulder pads, at knees etc.

4.  Details:

Chest Eagle: I've been painting this bitch Adeptus Battlegrey, then Bleached Bone, and then Skull White, but if I still can't get it right I will often touch it up with some Badab Black wash, and then use tiny amounts of Skull White to highlight certain areas.

Skulls: I like to paint these Bleached Bone, and then drybrush them with Boltgun metal.  This gives the worn look of a metallic object that was once painted.

Eyes: I paint the eyes yellow, and apply a thin coat of red over that.  I think when I am done I may mix up a yellow/orange wash, and add that around the edges of each eye...

Purity seals:  I paint these Bleached Bone, followed by Skull White, carefully scribble in some black lettering with my finest brush, add some devlan mud wash near the bottom, and eventually finish with Badab Black to show seperation between the pages.  The wax seals are blood red with a touch of Dwarf Bronze drybrushed over that.

5. More highlights.  If necessary i will add more drybrushed Snot Green to the edges of the armor, just in case I missed, or covered something up.  Then I use a 50/50 mix of Snot Green and Sunburst Yellow to do a more detailed highlight on some of the sharper edges of the armor (on the head and face, shoulder pads, backpack, knees, etc.)

6.  Wash with Badab Black.  I use a shitload of this stuff.  Fill in all the seams, areas that should have shadows, or on anything that is too bright. 

That's it so far.  I'm about six marines and half a dreadnought deep now.  More pictures will go up once I have some free time.


  1. I like how detailed you are in explaining your painting process. For me it would go like this:

    1. Slop lots of paint on minis.
    2. Go back and touch up.
    3. Repeat step 1.
    4. Apply washes.
    5. Repeat step 2.
    6. Repeat step 1.
    7. Repeat step 4.
    8. Swear, cry.
    9. Repeat step 2.
    10. Shrug, and say "Eh, good enough!?"

  2. Those look great, lets see some more pics. I want to see that dreadnought painted, it'll make me want to start up my Mortifactors army.

  3. That is the last thing you need.