And He Wept, for He Had No More Worlds Left to Conquer
But seriously, I did it! Well, more accurately I found it.
This project has been immensely fun and interesting. I've definitely tried techniques I've never done before, or had done in years, and I really got to explore more about red paint. For years I've been painting mostly to get stuff on the table, and it's taken almost a year (and counting) of no gaming goals to get me to dive deeper into how paint works, and the next steps I can take on my figures to challenge my normal painting skills.
My advice for people who ask it at the shop has always been to learn to be comfortable with your current painting skills, and not to compare yourself to others harshly. I would then go on to say that every project you start, you should try something you've never done before even if it's on a gem, a weapon, or a model's boot. People tend to think of model painters in a hierarchy, but honestly I've never met a model painter who wouldn't want to talk tips with anyone regardless of skill. Newer painters often feel self-conscious, like there entering an arena where braying crowds will sort the best from the worst, but—and I'm aware of the risks of glorifying a group of people you consider yourself to be a member of—I've found the model painting community to be generally a welcoming one. I reckon this is mostly because deep-down even Golden Demon winners compare themselves to other painters.
It's also really cool when people ask your opinion on things.
I just wanted to point all this out as a preamble to my statement that I haven't really challenged myself lately when it comes to painting. Ironically, it took using painting guides and material from when I first got into the hobby to make me feel like I was really challenging myself.
Anyway, thanks for sticking through this post past the above. Hopefully there's something in there you can use for your own painting philosophy or at least print it out and mail/fax it to someone who can use it.
So what happened between last post and this one? Well, I came across a guy's Blood Angels dreadnought on the Blood Angels Facebook group. The color scheme was pretty much exactly what I wanted, and he broke down his steps (which I've edited and formatted below): 1) Prime white
2) Paint a 50/50 mix of Evil Sunz Scarlet (Citadel) & Blood Red (Coat D'Arms)*
3) Glaze Blood Red (Coat D'Arms)*
4) "Chunky" highlight** Angel Red (Coat D'Arms)
5) Edge highlight Troll Slayer Orange***
6) Final highlight Yriel Yellow/Bad Moon Yellow****
*I didn't have Coat D'Arms' Blood Red so I used the old hex pot Blood Red (its supposed analog), but I also noticed that Warcolours Nostalgia '88 Red Gore is also very close. Evil Sunz Scarlet and Blood Red are almost exact. I think Evil Sunz Scarlet is just there to give the Blood Red some coverage.
**"Chunky" highlight are his words... I think that just means highlight the panels close to the edge.
***I thought it would be fun to continue using old paints, so in lieu of Troll Slayer Orange I just added Sunburst Yellow to the Angel Red. Blood Angel Orange by old Citadel can also be a substitute for Angel Red, though I've noticed it's a little more opaque.
**** Ditto to the statement above I just used Fiery Orange (Citadel 1994–1998). I also wanted to point out that Yriel Yellow isn't the modern analog to Bad Moon Yellow. In fact, most paint charts will say that the current analog is Flash Gitz Yellow, but even that's inaccurate. If you want the official On A Roll Games-certified opinion, it's: Yriel Yellow - Golden Yellow; Flash Gitz Yellow - Sunburst Yellow; Phalanx Yellow - Bad Moon Yellow
With that, I was able to recover the miniature I painted using the WD221 guide, and turn him into the color scheme I'm going to go with for my army. I guess that means this project will be less of a "you, the people, decide" kind of thing that it began as, but at the very least you can look at the journey I took myself on and tell me which ones you still like and how I'm such a foolish fool for choosing one over the other.
Here's the winning figure in all its glory. I went for a more modern basing scheme because as fun as the Goblin Green flock bases were, they're out of style (though as we'll see below, still look great every now and then). It's Dryad Bark, washed with Agrax Earthshade, drybrushed with Tyrant Skull, and has static grass glued to it.
This was definitely the runner-up in my mind. This is the one Duncan Rhodes gave a tutorial for on his website. It's what I was probably going to settle on if I couldn't get my models looking like the one above. The base is the old Lustrian Undergrowth texture paint from Citadel, with a Nuln Oil wash, and an Underhive Ash drybrush. It's meant to evoke the old grass bases but using modern(ish) paints.
Here's another modern paint style. It's the one I rescued from my ill-fated attempt at following along with Darren Latham's Blood Angels armor video. I think the red armor is darker than it should be because of that, but this is following Warhammer TV's current Blood Angels Parade Ready paint video they released just after Indomitus came out. In my mind, it's the way newer painters would approach a Blood Angels army today, so I thought I'd give it a whirl. The base is Armageddon Dust with a Tyrant Skull drybrush and some tufts from Army Painter (I think Mountain Tufts, but honestly it was a sample pack our distributor sent the shop, so I'm not 100% sure).
This one is from the 'Eavy Metal Warhammer 40,000 Painting Guide from 1993. I actually liked this one too and would be happy with an army of them, though they are very orange in person. Honestly, my biggest problem getting around this style is that it's definitely not how every 'Eavy Metal painter painted the Blood Angels you'd see in the Angels of Death codex. In fact, I noticed that even the different squads looked like they were painted with different reds in the Angels of Death codex, and issues of White Dwarf. This was the one from the guide, so I bet you there were legions of young gamers who had armies looking like this, but the ones from the book looked way redder. As an aside, I got into the hobby in 1996 after the painting guides were out of print. I learned to paint from the staff at my local Games Workshop, and they taught me to paint blood angels with Blood Red, which is probably more in line with the way the models looked in the codex. The base is the old Citadel modeling sand (fine) painted Goblin Green and drybrushed Sunburst Yellow.
Finally, there's this chap. He's painted using the Space Marine Paint Guide that came in the old Space Marine Paint Set. He has Terracotta as a base coat, with Terracotta/Blood Angel Orange mix for a layer, and Sunburst Yellow, and Skull White mixed in for highlights. He's very brown. Definitely more brown than any Blood Angel you'll see from that era. In fact, I know I definitely didn't do something right somewhere along the line. I kept going with this model because I thought it would be a neat artifact of my painting challenge and also because you don't see brown marine armor too much, so maybe someone out there will like it and be inspired by it. You can tell I didn't bother touching up some mistakes like around his gorget. Maybe I'll try that paint guide again, especially seeing as a friend of mine went to all the trouble to mail me a pot of old Terracotta paint for this project. The base is painted Goblin Green, then the top was covered with P.V.A. glue, and dipped in a tub of Citadel modeling flock (that's right, the good stuff from the '90s). This is how I was taught to base when I first got into the hobby. This flock is super rare to find these days and for some reason no other company packages it. I remember seeing on the Internet some British model train company manufacturing it, though. I'll be honest with you, I'm not going to look it up now, but I'll post about it when I find it again.
Stay tuned for more insights into the hobby! Now that I have this blog and have struck a tempo I have more articles planned, which should be a nice diversion from the rest of the Internet.
++++ADDITIONAL THOUGHTS: I wanted to give a shout out to two painters who I've gone to for techniques during this project. I already kind of knew what glazing was, but never really attempted it, nor got people to show me what it was, and when I was struggling with Red Ink and Darren Latham's YouTube tutorial I decided that maybe I didn't actually know anything about it. So I hunted down some videos on the topic and I think these two are the standouts. Give them a look and see for yourself.