Friday, May 29, 2015

“Brother Pink, How do you get your Reds so Red?”

“Painting is a necessary pain that must be endured”

-Every Blood Angel between wars

Hi Everybody!

This is Brass Tax with Brother Pink

I’ve got to get my models on the table and so I must paint.

I Started with grey primer. I was priming out of my apartment window in winter and accidentally sprayed a bit heavily. I learned a trick from Adam Savage's Tested show, he uses a hair dryer to evaporate the solvent/propellant in aerosol paint. It dries your primer quickly and the force of the hair dryer evens out some of the overspray. Be sure to make quick passes over the model with the hair dryer on a hot setting.   

"I wish I just brought my binoculars instead"

My base coat starts with a 50/50 mix of Rinoxhide Brown and Mephiston Red. I love this colour. When it dries it looks like dried blood.

Next, I 'block-in' fabric areas with Zandri Dust.

The Camo Cloak gets a base of Rhinoxhide Brown mixed with Badab Black

The head gets Bugman’s Glow.
I paint anything remaining Black. All the straps, pouches, belts and boots.

It should be said now, scouts are great in-game units to start with, they are not good models to start painting with.  Space Marines are ten times more enjoyable and easier to pound through.

At this point the model doesn’t have any primer showing. I spent a little time touching up spots [no one will ever see] where the primer shows through.

Next step is the second layer of red. I paint Mephiston Red over the ‘dried blood’ base coat, being careful to let the darker colour show through at the crevices. I enjoy this step. It’s almost like colouring within the lines of a colouring book, but you've got to imagine where the line is. The 'dried blood' mixture I use for the base is easy to paint over with the Mephiston Red but provides enough contrast where it shows through. If I accidentally paint over the crevices I want showing through, I’ll fix it up with just Rinoxhide Brown (or Agrax Earthshade wash). I need to restrain myself at this point. Often my paint is too thick at this step because I am impatient and do not want to have to come back with a second layer of the same colour.

If you have difficulty painting, just focus on mastering this stepPainting your main colour over a base colour that is one shade darker. Models that get to this step look good. You bring out details like layers of armor or fingers, and your predominate colour covers most of the model. Painting over the base colour while focusing on letting it show through the crevices helps you develop brush control.

After 2nd layer of red, It’s Khaki Time. I hate painting fabric, and I think it is partly because the light khaki colour I want is so challenging. I wash the Zandri Dust basecoat with slightly watered down Seraphim Sepia wash. Once dry, I go over the fabric with Zandri Dust again. I avoid painting deep folds in the fabric and anywhere bordering on a different colour. 

One of these things is not like the others
For the next layer I use a mix Zandri Dust with a P3 bone white paint called Jack Bone. I go over raised and flat areas. Once dry I apply a layer with just Jack bone on more raised areas. I might hit the edges with Ushabti bone.

I’m not entirely pleased with this process, but it is passable. I force myself through all the steps until completion so that I won’t have to come back to it later.

I really like the Jack Bone from P3 because it covers so well. It's between Zandri and Ushabti, so if you have trouble finding P3, it's no big deal.

Next I paint Rhinoxhide Brown on the raised folds of the Cloak and then some edges with Gorthor Brown mixed with a little Rhinoxhide Brown. Then its time for the Head.

I’ve only recently come close to mastering painting heads (to be honest I still suck).

One of the best tricks I learned about heads is as soon as you’ve got the base colour down PAINT THE EYES. This lets you screw up the eyes a thousand times without ruining all your previous work. 

Take your thinnest brush, get some black, draw a vertical line where the pupil will be. Next comes a white [white scar] vertical line on either side of the black line. The black and white paint needs to be thinned with a little water. Because you are painting with so little paint on your brush and it may dry quickly. Use the base skin colour [Bugman’s Glow] to cover over the parts of the black and white lines that went outside the boundaries of where the eye is. You always want to paint the pupils slightly cross-eyed because eyes that are looking straight ahead will look like lazy-eyes. Having nicely thinned black and white coats also means that if you screw up several times the layers you hide beneath another fresh coat of base skin colour won't be evident (trust me). Once the eyes look good (you’ll be surprised) work on the mouth. If it is closed, some Nuln Oil can make it standout. If the mouth is open lay down some thin white for the teeth and black for the interior of the mouth. Again use the base skin tone to fix your mistakes. I learned a lot of this from Doctor Faust's video, posted below.

This scout should have its left eye closed because he’s looking down the scope, but the head I used seemed to have an open eye, so I went with it. 

This scout should have its left eye closed because he’s looking down the scope, but the head I used seemed to have an open eye, so I went with it. 

Once the details look good (after multiple tries) I use some Reikland Flesh Wash. I apply just the slightest amount on the edge of the eyes and mouth. This helps mute the white if it stands out. 

I might add some nuln oil to the flesh wash to make some parts of the head standout, but Reikland Fleshshade does its job well. When the wash dries, I pick out the raised spots once more with Bugman’s Glow and I might do a final highlight of the skin mixing Cadian fleshtone with Bugman's. Before I had settled this dark tan flesh tone, I was highlighting my skin way too much. Aiming for this deeply tanned skin made the face look more natural, required less work and it suited my army.

I hate highlighting black, because I can't see what I’m painting, I can’t tell if I’m doing a good job and I rarely am. I used Eshin Grey. I think I hate highlighting so much because I can’t get this paint to the right texture. It either dries quickly and goes on thick, or I add some water, it is too thin and you cannot see it. I think it’s time I try some other companies and see if they have a better option for highlighting black.

I painted Leadbelcher over the metal parts, washed it with nuln oil, than a dry brush with leadbelcher followed by a little Runefang Steel. When I first tried the GW range of 'dry' paints, I liked them, but my Necron (mascara) Compund dried out after several uses and I decided I would never buy any of their dry paints again. 

I go over the armor and gloves with Wazdaka red (though it is hardly noticeable) and then some edge highlights with Evil Sunz Scarlet… and guess what! Done!

I’ve decided my bases should all be boring and uniform for all my minis. I own the textured paints GW makes (again, I’m a Tool) and one of them dried out extremely quickly (swear it wasn’t my fault) but we’re talking about Brass Tax here. Don’t use GW crap when you can do it cheaper and easier.

I went to a playground, gathered some sand, while getting strange looks from parents and children alike. Went home, sifted it apart and kept the finer stuff. I applied some watered down white glue with a crappy brush, sprinkled sand, sealed it in with another coat of glue. Let it dry. I painted Rhinoxhide Brown over the sand,  then dry brushed some Gorthor brown

It takes a couple coats of Steel Legion Drab to paint over the un-primed edge of the base but after that I had another model finished! 

I know it's not the most amazingly painted model, but its not the worst either. I need to get my models on the table and at some point you've just got to throw your hands to the sky and say "Its done!"

If you're interested in reading more of incessant ramblings be sure to read the next post:

 "Brass Tax on a Sniper Scout"

"Where is the Vindicare? He was supposed to meet me here!"


  1. Nice post. One thing about eyes when sighting down a scope is that trained marksmen actually keep both eyes open but they've learned how to focus their attention on the eye looking through the scope. So your choice is accurate.
    RE: Priming and using the hairdryer, the same effect csn be achieved if priming or base coating with an airbrush. I actually recommend you use the cold setting on the hairdryer because I'd say the heat will affect your paint negatively. Thanks

    1. Thanks Russ! It was a little tricky getting the head to look down the scope. The scout sniper riffle baffles me because it looks like they load one round at time into the side of it. I guess in-game it is a Heavy Weapon.
      I am currently saving up to buy an airbrush, but it might be at least a year before I do. With the hair dryer, I just do five or so quick passes with the hot setting, but I'll just try doing a better job priming next time.