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How To Paint Retribution Battle Mages: Guide Part 1

As I paint up my Battle Magi for my Retribution army, I have been taking step by step pictures which you should be able to follow along with if you’d like to paint yours the same way.

Here is the test model and I am making only 1 minor change which I will point out when I get there.

As a note before I start, I am using a dark purple as the glow color.  You can basically replace this with whatever color you want.

Step 1 – Priming

Prime the models white.  To get the armor to be a nice bright white, I start with a white primer.

If you want or have to use another color, then basecoat the armor with a white and make sure it is a nice solid coat.  You may have to do 3, 4 5 or more thin coats to get it smooth.

Even after the white primer, I put down a basecoat of white afterward.

Primer frontPrimer back

Step 2 – Armor Shading

Next, I create a wash of 50/50 Fortress Gray/Skull White.  For a guide on custom washes, look here.  The mixture is similar to a 1/8/2 Paint/Water/PVA mixture.  I just kind of get this all over, making sure it doesn’t pool too much, some pooling is desired.

50-50 Wash front50-50 wash back

After this is dry(this might take a little while) I create a second wash of just Fortress Gray.  This follows closer to a 1/8/4 mixture.  When this pools, it should go only to the deepest recesses.

Fortress Gray wash frontFortress Gray wash backFortress Gray wash side 1Fortress Gray wash front close

At this point we should have some nice shaded white armor.  We will be going back to clean this up and make it whiter later, but not until the end, when we’ve done other colors that might get on the armor.

Step 3 – Metallic ‘Armor Vents’

The back of the armor and the gauntlets have some recessed vent type things.  We’re going to basecoat this with Chainmail.  Try to be careful about getting it on the white armor, but as I said, we will be cleaning up the white later, so it’s not a big deal.

This is the change I made from the test model.  On the test model, I left these white.  If you like that better, then skip this step.

Chainmail frontChainmail back

Step 4 – The ‘Glow’

Next, I create a wash with my glow color, Imperial Purple.  This wash needs to have a lot of surface tension so the mix is something crazy like 1/12/6.  Basically, when you drag the wash across your palate, it should bead up and leave next to no wash behind, it should all bead up.  This will get it into your recesses and not tint the surface of your model.

We put it in the recessed glyphs on the armor and their globes as well as the armor vents.  Try to get very little on the armor plates, but again, don’t worry too much.

Purple wash frontPurple wash backPurple wash side 1Purple wash side 2Purple wash side close 1Purple wash front closePurple wash side close 2Purple wash back close

Step 5 – The Gems(globes)

On the studio models, these globes are painted silver.  I thought that blended into the armor too much, so I decided to paint them as gems.

I am following the Games Workshop Elf Method.  In every High Elf or Eldar Army Book/Codex, they have examples of how to paint gems like this.

First basecoat the gems with the base glow color, Imerial Purple for me.  There are a lot of little globes, so only did the large ones.  The big one on the chest and the 3 biggest ones on each gauntlet.

Imperial Purple basecoat front closeImperial Purple basecoat side 1Imperial Purple basecoat side 2Imperial Purple basecoat front

Next, paint the lower right 3/4 or so of the gem with the basecoat mixed with a little white.  It should look like a waxing gibbous moon, with the dark part in the upper left.  Also leave the side of the gem with the basecoat.

Highlight 1 frontHighlight 1 front closeHighlight 1 side 1Highlight 1 side 2Highlight 1 side 3

Next, mix in more white and paint a crescent of it in the lower right.

Highlight 2 frontHighlight 2 front closeHighlight 2 side 1Highlight 2 side 2

Finally, to really make the gem pop and look like a gem, paint a tiny dot of pure white in the upper left, in the darkest part of the gem.

White dot frontWhite dot front closeWhite dot side 1White dot side 2White dot side 3Photobucket

Step 6 – Wash everything else

That’s it for the armor.  Since the rest of the model is going to be darker, we’re going to wash everything but the armor with GW Devlan Mud.  You can make your own brown wash if you’d rather.

This will get a dark color in the recesses so that if you miss a spot, it won’t be bright white.  It will also allow you to see all the detail of the model easier.

Devlan Mud wash frontDevlan Mud wash backDevlan Mud wash side 1Devlan Mud wash side 2

To be continued…

I will be finishing up the rest of the guide this week.  Next steps are the green cloth, the gray-brown leather, the skin and the armor touch ups.

As a note, I hope that this should be a great help in painting many Retribution models.  For Invictors, Sentinals and Jacks, they should be the same just with more armor.  The only part which the mages do not have is normal, non-glowing metal parts.  For this, I would basecoat with chainmail, then wash with a watered down Badab Black with just a little bit of Asurmen Blue mixed in.  Then hit the glowing part with your glow wash.

If you have any questions or comments, please leave them here.

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    • Tom
    • June 11th, 2012

    Great how-to. I really like how crisp your armor looks, but could you explain how to get the beading effect for washes with the 1/12/6 method?

  1. April 19th, 2011
  2. September 19th, 2012

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