Monday, 3 January 2011

Painting my LC Terminators

Something Gav and I have chatted about is the lack of painting tutorials in the blog. This may be because neither of us rate ourselves as sufficiently good enough painters to be offering others advice! However I think it's good to share and as I decided to paint up my Lightning Claw Assault Terminators this weekend, I thought I'd take a few photos along the way and share with you how I do it. Now please note that I'm in no way advocating this as they best way to do it and I would welcome criticism from anyone who wants to post a comment. I'm really trying to improve my painting but it's a tricky thing to do in a vacuum so I appreciate any constructive feedback.

First things first, my chapter (Dorn's Lament) are Yellow with Red shoulder pads. In order to get the yellow as vivid as possible I start with a white undercoat and I use the Citadel spray can, I just like it and feel comfortable applying it. I'm painting three models together, normally I'd do a whole squad at a time to ensure consistency of colour but in this case I only need 3 models to complete the squad so that's all I'm doing.

After leaving the models to dry for at least a couple of hours (I left these guys overnight) I apply the yellow base coat which is Iyanden Darksun from the Citadel Foundation range. I thin it down 50-50 with a 10:1 mix of water to a product called “flow release” which you can get from any art supplier. I used to thin my paints with plain tap water but I just think that this gives a better consistency to the paint and it flows better from the bush, could just be a placebo effect though!

Next I cover the shoulder pads and purity seal wax with a coat of Mechrite Red, again thinned 50:50. As you can see from the picture above this mix dries rather patchily over the white undercoat so I add two brush-loads of Scab Red to the thinned Mechrite Red on my pallet and go over the base coat of Mechrite Red. I find this second coat is enough to get an even finish and I put it on as soon as the first coat is dry.

I use the same mix straight on the eye lenses and then coat all the black and metallic parts with Chaos Black. I find that Chaos Black is pretty thin right out of the pot so I tend to only thin it 70:30. I usually mix way too much of the black so I cover the bases at the same time as this step.

Next up is Dheneb Stone for the helmets and any parchment on the models

The last base colours needed here are a coat of Charadon Granite on the Crux and any other details I want to be a stony grey and a mix of Vomit Brown and Bronzed Flesh (50:50) as a flesh base. Dwarf flesh is probably better but I don't have any at the moment!

With all of the base colours on the model it's ready for washes. First of all I apply Gryphonne Sepia over the yellow and Dheneb Stone parts and Badab Black over the Charadon Granite parts.

I leave the washes about an hour to dry then I put a 50:50 mix of Boltgun Metal and Chaos Black on the metallic details which I then highlight with Mithril Silver.

Now for the Claws! I do a very rough graduation, leaving the base of the claws black then layering on Mordian Blue, Enchanted Blue, 50:50 Enchanted Blue:Space Wolf Grey and then edge highlighted with pure Space Wolf Grey.

Next I finish the base by dry-brushing with Space Wolf Grey and then I paint Graveyard Earth round the rim, two coats is usually enough. I also dry brush the Granite details with Space Wolf Grey as a highlight.

Finally the helmets and parchment are highlighted with Bleached bone followed by a Skull White edge highlight. The Sergeant's face is highlighted with Elf Flesh and then washed with Ogryn Fesh tone it down a bit.

Bada-Bing and we're done. When I have some spare time I go back and highlight the yellow areas with Iyanden Darksun and Bleached Bone but I think the models look fine without this stage so as it stands I'm happy with them as table-top quality.


  1. like the claws, simple, neat and effective.

  2. I think these are great table top quality. I'm a huge fan of washes and use them a ton myself.

    My only real gripe is the lack of highlighting on the red shoulder pads.

  3. I like these guys a lot and the tutorial is very good too. I would probably do them differently but that's because I am too used to the airbrush. I would probably undercoat white, airbrush them with a very bright yellow colour, airbrush gloss varnish and then use an enamel brown wash. But then again you need an airbrush to do all thatl. As you said you could further highlight the yellow with bleached bone but so much detailing isn't for everyone. Overall they are above way above decent tabletop quality and I would be quite happy if my army was painted to this standar.

  4. Wish I'd read this two hours ago, Andy - I've just been painting part of a wrecked Rhino in your Chapter's colours on the base of my new Chaos Lord!

  5. For tabletop qualtiy, these guys are perfect.

    Ron, From the Warp

  6. I think they look great mate. I wouldn't worry about the quality at all. There far better than some armies you see around. In my opinion it's better to have your whole army painted to a decent standard than 5 models painted to an award winning one.

    There's always those who play and those who paint and I think both of our blogs fall into the former. I keep intending to put some painting articles up but I get bogged down with battle reports!

  7. Good call, my question there is, how do you recommend doing that? I've tried mixing lighter shades with bleached bone but it looks pinky which doesn't seem to work

  8. Fiery Orange edge highlight followed by a glaze of Baal Red maybe?

  9. Antipope is right. I highlight my lighter reds with oranges. Looks far more natural than the pinks you've discovered.


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