How to find your way through the wreckage

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Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Project: Imperial Fists 4th Company - Infantry Painting Basics

The Imperial Fists 4th Company - Painting Process (Infantry)

Okay so how do I end up turning out 100 marines that look and feel like that belong together.
From start to finish
So I started with a couple of experimental marines to try out a variety of paint systems to build up the colours. A couple of wild marines later and I have 5 dirty looking veterans and one clean and good looking marine. Then I went left field and tested out how to create clear depth/highlights. Enter from stage left - the fine point pen. So breaking it all down I have some photos and will walk us through the process of turning out 100 marines.

Step 1 - The Undercoat (after doing a tidy up of cast-lines etc)

Undercoat - any questions?
Okay a nice base coat of white spray ensures that a reasonable coverage is made across the model. It also doesn't clog up any of the fine detail (especially the fine armour lines to be detailed later). The lighter undercoat also means that 'light' colours such as yellow can be layered on lightly without blocking detail. A darker undercoat would make the metals easier, and create a darker-gloomier look. But I went with the lighter-cleaner look. This will allow a dirty dozen veteran squad to stand out later on.

Step 2 - Base Colour

Base colour - Flash Gitz Yellow or a similar base colour.
At this stage in any Space Marine army, your base colour will almost always be pre-set based upon your chosen Codex/Legion. Why I chose Imperial Fists is a discussion for elsewhere, but it gave me my base colour. I had a mix of older marines which I had painted with a Bad Moon Yellow spray (painted a few years ago when I started this project - the one on the left). Trying a range of colours I found that the new Flash Gitz Yellow worked really well with nice clean painting. Rather than dirty it up with a wash over the top, keeping it clean provides a good base to build the rest of the colours up.

 Step 3 - Key Colours

Major colours - shoulder pads, metal areas
Once the core colours are painted the major areas can be done. Pick out the eagles on the chest and shoulder trim with Caliban Green. All the metal areas are painted black. This makes it a lot easier to paint the metal. After this the models are well on their way to being finished.

 Step 4 - Finish Up

Add the silver on, tidy up the out-of-the-lines. Then the magic black lines.
 Putting the silver on, followed up by a Nuln Oil provides the required 'mess' of shading, recesses in the silver areas. In this part I also pick out the details such as purity seals, targeting optics. The eyes can be done at any stage, I am using a Khorne Red, with a Mephiston Red touch up.

Once the paint is tidied up, I use a 0.1 Fine Line pen to draw all of the armour plates, details, junctions. This surprisingly turns a 'flat' looking model, into a very effective looking model. Group some of these models together (as you will see in other posts), and you have a very coordinated looking army, that looks and feels like it is part of the same force composition.

Step 5 - Bases

Bases add to the detail, however understatement allows for flashy bases elsewhere.
I have gone for a relatively low-key approach to the base. Using a simple Red Ochre acrylic I paint the base. After than I use some PVA to glue some of the texture on. This could be anything, like flock, or small rocks etc. At the moment I am simply using flock across all models. When I go back through the army I will add in additional details. I then use the Red Ochre acrylic to paint the flock. Once dried, I use Mournfang Brown to paint the edge/rim of the base to provide some subtle contrast.


So there you have it. This is the basic process I am using to turn out the 100 marines of the 4th Company, slightly more once I include various attachments. I will do up a vehicle version once my next order of vehicles arrives. It is a similar process, however has its own tricks and problems. This is not meant to be a fine-detail description of what I am doing and can equally be applied to any army. We all have a process for painting our miniatures. Having lots of miniatures to paint, and retaining a consistent painting output is assisted by having a structured process to step each model through.

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