Space Marines 9 – Golden Gryphons

The ninth part of this series, and penultimate model in this box, is a member of the Golden Gryphons chapter of Space marines. I’m doing something a bit different with this guy. I’ve mentioned before how I don’t really like true metallic paints on this type of model, but decided to try them.

I came across a series of Vallejo true metallic paints that really produce a great result. I can never get the end result I want from the regular acrylic ones. The Golden Gryphon’s name gives away the colour scheme, which is of course gold. It’s the largest amount of true metallic painting I’ve done in a long time, so was a bit of trial and error. On to the photos!

Space Marines 9 -Golden Gryphon 1
Space Marines 9 -Golden Gryphon 2
Space Marines 9 -Golden Gryphon 3
Space Marines 9 -Golden Gryphon 4

The glaring issue with this Golden Gryphon is that I started off the recess shading with a brown ink. I think it looked, well, completely crap, but it was too late to change it. I should have overpainted it with gold again, but I hoped the black ink I switched to would cover it. It didn’t, hence the brown, uh, rust stains…

Other than that, I’m pretty happy with this guy. The gold metallic paint was a joy to work with. I usually find metallics a frustrating misery of too gloopy or too thinned down meaning poor metallic consistency. The contrast on the eyes is nice and the green works well against the gold. Were it not for the shading error, I think this Golden Gryphon would look pretty good.

I still need to practice with these new metallic paints, as they behave a bit differently to regular acrylics. They really don’t seem to like a wet palette, and the ropey paint job on the gun is my fault rather than the paint’s. I like these paints, so will start to use true metallics a bit more than I have in the past.

All tips, trick, hints, and constructive criticism is appreciated, so feel free to message me in the comments, or over on Facebook. If you want to take a look at the previous parts of this series, you can find them at these links: Part 1 – UltramarinesPart 2 – Blood AngelsPart 3 – Imperial FistsPart 4 – SalamandersPart 5 – Dark AngelsPart 6 – White ScarsPart 7 – Hawk Lords, Part 8 – Iron Hands.

I hope everyone is keeping well, and doing their best to keep busy if they’re on lockdown! We were on a limited one for two weeks, but are now on day 3 of a full one!

Space Marines 8 – Iron Hands

First, I hope everyone is healthy, and following all the guidelines on how to remain so! Space Marine Number 8 is a member of the Iron Hands, which means the colour of the week is black.

There are a number of different approaches to shading and highlighting black, with greys and blues being two of the most popular. I’ve also seen purple used to good effect. The main danger that I’ve encountered with black is how to highlight it without it ending up looking like it’s grey. I’ve never been a fan of the blue highlighting approach, so I went with grey.

Overall, I’m pretty happy with how this one turned out. He still looks like his armour is black, but the highlights have worked reasonably well at the same time.

The photos:

Space Marines 8 - Iron Hands 1
Space Marines 8 - Iron Hands 2
Space Marines 8 - Iron Hands 3
Space Marines 8 - Iron Hands 4

One of the changes to my approach on this member of the Iron Hands is how I approached highlighting the pauldrons. I went for a circular highlight on the top part, treating it as a sphere, and left it at that. I think looks far better than the approach I was taking of treating it like a combined sphere and cylinder.

Again, I’ve started to do a little more edge highlighting on this guy. This is a technique I’m liking more and more on these models. It’s also one I’m using exclusively on my next set of marines. It’ll be interesting to compare the two approaches!

As always, all tips, trick, hints, and constructive criticism is appreciated, so feel free to message me in the comments below, or over on Facebook. If you want to take a look at the previous parts of this series, you can find them at these links: Part 1 – UltramarinesPart 2 – Blood AngelsPart 3 – Imperial FistsPart 4 – SalamandersPart 5 – Dark AngelsPart 6 – White Scars, Part 7 – Hawk Lords.

As a final note, for the quarantine, I made The First Blade of Ostia free for a few days. Today is the last day of the free run, so make sure you grab a copy while you can! Take care of yourselves!

Amazon US

Space Marines 7 – Hawk Lords

Part 7 of my Space Marines painting series is a member of the Hawk Lords. Purple is the colour of the day, along with a bit of non-metallic metallic gold for the shoulder edges.

This is one that didn’t photograph quite so well as it looks in the plastic, so overall I was quite happy with the colour selection for the shades and highlights, which are guess work on my part, because I don’t use Games Workshop paints.

Time for the photos:

Space Marines - Hawk Lords - 1
Space Marines - Hawk Lords - 2
Space Marines - Hawk Lords - 3

I seem to have forgotten to take a rear view shot of this guy, but you get the idea!

Overall, I’m quite happy with him. The old chestnut of where to highlight, and how much, remains something of a challenge, but I’ve started doing a little more edge highlighting, and am seeing how effective it is on this type of mini.

Done over, I think the eyes need a little more contrast, and look a bit flatter than my better efforts in this regard. Also, purely for the sake of photography, I think a lighter top highlight would be good. Other than that, I don’t think this guy looks at all bad, although this chapter is a bit dull looking without the golden hawk emblems on the pauldrons. I’m not sure I’m ready to take on that level of freehand fine detail work just yet though!

As always, all tips, trick, hints, and constructive criticism is very much appreciated, so feel free to hit me up in the comments below, or over on Facebook. If you want to take a look at the previous parts of this series, you can find them at these links: Part 1 – Ultramarines, Part 2 – Blood Angels, Part 3 – Imperial Fists, Part 4 – Salamanders, Part 5 – Dark Angels, Part 6 – White Scars.

Finally, in the current crazy times, I hope everyone and those they care about are safe and healthy, and continue to remain so! Take care of yourselves!

Space Marines 6 – White Scar

Today’s Space Marine, a White Scar, tackles a particularly tricky colour to get right – white! I used an old white paint set for this, that to be honest, I really didn’t get along with. The shades go from cream to a sort of dirty grey for the shadows. I couldn’t get the hang of the set, so the end result is a bit muddy looking.

I want to have another go at white, perhaps using grey scale shading, or blue as a shade, which seems to work pretty well. Going for warm, brownish shades just hasn’t worked all that well for me here. In places it looks ok, in others, not so much!

So, to the pictures!

White Scar 1
White Scar 2
White Scar 3
White Scar 4

I think this is a really nice looking chapter with a great colour scheme when painted well, so I’ll most likely revisit it at a later stage. My original plan was to paint 2-3 in each of the chapters I chose so I could apply the lessons I learned with each one, although I expanded the number of chapters I decided to paint, so 2 is probably more likely!

If you’ve any hints or tips for painting white, please feel free to share them, and likewise any other mini painting tips or experiences!

You can find the other parts of this series here: Part 1 – Ultramarine, Part 2 – Blood Angel, Part 3 – Imperial Fist, Part 4 – Salamander, Part 5 – Dark Angels.

Space Marines 5 – Dark Angels

We’re now halfway through my first box of Space Marines of the old school variety. This time around I went with a Dark Angel’s colour scheme. As always, I use Vallejo Paints, not GW ones, so I have to come up with an approximate colour match.

In terms of colour scheme, I think I got the colour values for the highlights and shades to a pretty good place, but as usual the photos really show up my clumsy highlight transitions. As I’m moving into my next models, I’ll be paying a lot of attention to improving on this. The shoulder pads continue to be an issue. I think I’ll switch to a round highlight on the top for this in future, as I don’t think the approach I’ve been taking really works, and that’s particularly apparent on this model.

The black wash I used to darken the recesses are a bit shiny in places, and caught some reflection from my flash in the photos, so there appear to be some white spots in them that aren’t actually there. I might try finishing with a matte varnish in future to prevent this.

I’m particularly happy with the lens on the gun on this one – it worked out particularly nicely, so this approach is one I’ll use from now on. It’s 4 tones, with a white spot, rather than the 3 I usually use, and I think that darker to lighter transition really improves the effect.

So, to the photos!

Space Marines 5 - Dark Angels Front
Space Marines 5 - Dark Angels Right
Space Marines 5 -Dark Angels Left
Space Marines 5 -Dark Angels Back

Finally, the sharper eyed may notice I’ve changed my approach a little on this guy, using metallic metal paint for the first time in the series so far, with the gun barrel and clip painted in it.

As always, if you’ve got any hints or tips for painting Space Marines, or minis in general, please feel free to leave a comment below, or send me a mail via my contact page.

You can find the other parts of this series at these links: Part 1- Ultramarine, Part 2 – Blood Angel, Part 3 – Imperial Fist, Part 4 – Salamander.

Space Marines 4 – Salamanders

Space Marine Number 4 is a Salamander, which is a light green colour scheme. Overall this wasn’t a difficult colour to work with, and I’m pretty happy with the tonal range I had – as a reminder, I don’t use GW paints as I don’t own any, so have to work out an approximate paint recipe from the range I do have.

The main issue with this guy is that the photos really expose how rough my blends are, not just in transition but also in shape and smoothness. This is something I really have to work on, but I think brush control is a large part of this, and it only improves with a lot more practise!

The other thing I didn’t get right here, which I usually make a reasonable job of, is the eye lenses. I don’t have a strong enough transition of colours here, and they’re too light as a result. It was the first yellow lens I’ve painted, so live and learn!

The weapon and chest logo are non metallic metal. The barrel of the flame thrower was a bit of a challenge, and to be honest I think it looks slightly better in the photo than in reality. I get the idea behind how reflections should work on NMM objects, but I can never seem to get them to look quite as good as they do on Youtube videos!

Time for photos!

Space Marine Salamander 1
Space Marine Salamander 2
Space Marine Salamander 3
Space Marine Salamander 4

I still struggle a bit to work out where to highlight, and in my next batch will focus on the edge highlighting technique. It kind of defeats the purpose of using these as a practise vehicle for highlighting, but I want to see what type of a result I can get with the edge highlighting!

You can find the other parts ofthis blog series here: Part 1 – Ultramarine, Part 2 – Blood Angel, Part 3 – Imperial Fist.

As always, feel free to send any hints or tips you might have, they’re always appreciated! Also, if anyone has any suggestions on chapter colour schemes for my next box of marines, let me know!

Space Marines 3 – Imperial Fists

In the third instalment of my Space Marine painting adventure, I’ve painted an Imperial Fist. Yellow is the colour of the day with this guy, which presented its own set of challenges, some down to the nature of the colour, and some self-inflicted.

I’ve a few initial comments to make on this one. The first thing is that I usually undercoat my models with a black rattle can spray. I think I’m going to pick up a can of mid grey and a can of white, and experiment with these a bit when I’m painting models of a mainly bright colour. I’ve read that once you get to 3-4 coats (which I do anyway), any effect of the undercoat is minimal, but I think I’ll try it anyway to see if it makes life any easier.

The next thing is that I’ve started to use a wet palette, and an acrylic thinner medium instead of plain tap water to thin my paints. The issue I had here was that I didn’t mix the thinner through the yellow well enough, meaning I got the nice saturated sunburst yellow colour in places (see the pauldrons), and a milky, chalky yellow in others (see the gun and leg plates).

Now, on to the photos!

The yellow colour represented less of a challenge with the photography, rather than me doing anything different, and getting things right!

Another painting mistake I made with this one is that after the initial 4 layers of thinned yellow base coat, I washed the entire model in a sepia ink. That’s given the flat panels a bit of a muddy effect in places. In future, I’m going to try and keep this application as precisely to the seams and recesses as I can, which I should have done from the start…

As always, if anyone has any comments, tips, or painting experiences they’d like to share, feel free to drop them in the comments box below. If you want to take a look at my previous efforts, here are the links to Part 1 and Part 2!

Space Marines 2 – Blood Angels

The second of my 28mm intergalactic super soldiers is a Blood Angel. The focus here was on getting a nice red that didn’t turn too pink or orange in the highlighting process. As a reminder, I don’t use the official paints for these models, so getting the recipe right is always a bit of trial and error (usually more of the latter!). On to the pictures.

My photography is letting me down again here – I just can’t seem to get enough light, even though I have a small light box with leds, so I need to keep tweaking this setup to get it right. The highlights on the model appear more subtle in the photo than they actually are in real life.

Photography clearly needs improvement, so I might try a grey background with my next batch of photos when I paint some more models. I’m hoping the mid tone background colour will allow me get a better exposure on the model itself.

Once again, some things worked here, and some things didn’t. I’m quite happy with the red paint recipe, but my recess shading is still a bit messy and patchy in places, so I think is the main area that needs work. I stuck with the same non metallic approach on the gun as I did with the previous one (which you can take a look at here), as I quite like the end result.

Overall, there are positives and negatives to take away from this one. The eyes worked really well, but recess shading needs improvement, and highlight placement continues to be an issue!

Once again, if you’ve any comments or tips or personal experiences of painting these guys, I’d love to hear them!

Space Marines 1 – Ultramarine

I had a little painting time over Christmas, so I decided to paint up a box of Space Marines. With so many chapters to choose from, I decided to paint each in a different chapter colour. The idea was that they’d be a good opportunity to practise shading and highlighting different colours! To the photos:

I decided to go with an Ultramarine for my first attempt. I don’t use the official paints, as I already have the full range of Vallejo paints still left from when I used to paint a lot. I’m afraid I didn’t take WIP photos for these, so only have the finished results.

I don’t like metallic metal paints on small fantasy models (I do use them on historicals, though), so this guy gave me the chance to try gold non metallic metal. The NMM steel on the gun ended up looking more like some kind of polymer/resin, but I quite like this look.

I painted each major part separately before assembly, which was a mistake, as the highlights don’t match up. This is most noticeable on the shoulder pads. I still do that a bit now, but pay more attention to this issue.

Overall, I’m happy with how he turned out. The shades and highlights are still a little clunky, but I’ll only improve on that with practice. My brush skills are slowly improving, and I think my colour choices got pretty close to what I was looking for in the end result.

I’m still finding photography to be an issue, and I’m struggling to get a decently exposed image. I’ve boosted the brightness a bit in post-processing to help, but that’s the only alteration I’ve made. Any suggestions on that are more than welcome, as are any on how to improve in the paintwork!