Friday, September 2, 2011

Krieg Painting and Weathering - Tips and Techniques


After the obligatory straightening of bent parts and washing in warm water with some citric acid based cleaner I assembled everything. Pretty straight forward. Had to use balls of putty to attach the arms and fill gaps afterwards. Wasn’t too much hassle but for the average modeller it could be a bit daunting. Forgeworld stuff definitely requires patience.

I sprayed it all with K&H etch primer for non-ferrous metals. This is an Aussie primer intended for brass but it works wonders for white metal and resin. It microscopically etches and attaches itself to the model thus it’s a perfect primer. It’s white and quite thin so I often follow up a day later with chaos black spray or equivalent.

The key to this army was the use of an airbrush. I purchased one from Chicago Airbrush Supply. Great prices and service. I got a Paasche Talon with 3 tips. My Grandad used to airbrush ceramics and I have inherited his workshop and gear so I already had a compressor and air tank. I just attached a moisture trap and was ready to go.

I had only used an airbrush on rare occasions before this army but was knowledgeable on their functions and use. There are many guides out there about that stuff. It’s a pretty big topic in itself. I am mostly working at 20 to 30 psi and used the .38mm tip. I got some Vallejo Model Air paints for this project and that was also a first. I am very impressed with them.

I airbrushed an undercoat of German Grey on the whole army except the horses. I then mixed in some white and went back over at a higher angle, leaving the recesses dark. On the tanks this wasn’t so pronounced. I always add a few drops of Vallejo Model Air dilutent to aid flow. It seemed to work, not sure if this is a requirement.

For the infantry I mixed a 70/30 German grey/white mix and focussed on the fatigues, using the double-action trigger to lay down thin coats and blend. I then did a final pure white layer in the same fashion. This made white so much easier to do than If I had brush painted it. In the end I did do a final brush layer highlight with thinned white.

The pants were Charadon granite, the guns and pouches Catachan green and the belts etc Calthan brown and Scorched brown. These were all washed with Badab black and then re highlighted back up with their original colour, mixing in either white or bleached bone for successive highlights. The gas masks were given a really thin glaze of Scorched brown after the highlights to add depth and enrich the colour. The armour and metal is a custom mix of Chaos black and Boltgun metal. It was washed with a 50/50 mix of Badab black and Gryphonne sepia followed by Chainmail/Mithril silver chips. The idea is that they stripped and blackened their armour chemically.

The mud on their trenchcoats and boots is a mix of finely sifted real dirt and a mix of craft paints that I made to match the dirt colour. I also mixed in some artist texture paste. It was then stippled and drybrushed on. I tried to be subtle rather than just slap it on. It pays to look at photos of real soldiers and look at how their fatigues get dirty. I put some of the mix on knees as they would often kneel to fire.

I used a mix of gravel/sand from the gutter on the bases. It got grey when I did the airbrushing but I did wash it with some thin black. The spaces between was painted with the mud mix and then thinly washed with some black to make it darker i.e wetter. The static grass is a 80/20 mix of Woodland Scenics Burnt grass and Harvest Gold.

The snow is Woodland scenics made into a paste with some PVA and carefully painted on and shaped to form drifts.


The Tanks.

The tanks and Hades drill started off with their German Grey undercoat. Highlighted as mentioned before with a bit of white mixed in and using the airbrush to blend.
I then gave them a coat of gloss from a spray can and then two of airbrushed Vallejo Matte. This is key as it protects the underlying paint coat. In the past I have used the hairspray technique on a basecoat that had dried for a week or more and not had to do this. Acrylic actually takes a while to fully set and the polymers fix although it dries in minutes.

I gave them a couple of days to dry just to be sure and then sprayed them with a thin coat of hairspray. The more budget/cheap types are best as they are basically just water soluble acrylic varnishes.

There are many variables to this technique including amount of hairspray, surface texture of the underlying paint coat and amount of time the following paint coat is allowed to dry. That is why some test pieces are a must. The rougher the surface the smaller the chips will be. If too much hairspray is used the paint comes off more easily. That is why I did the two coats of matte varnish; it gives a rougher surface. The ideal situation for tiny chips is using a matte primer on the model that has slight texture to it ( unlike GW chaos black), painting on a base coat, letting that dry for a couple of weeks and then doing the hairspray technique. That’s what I did on my Baneblade and I was amazed at the tiny chips possible.

After the thin spray of hairspray had dried for about an hour I airbrushed on some Vallejo Model Air white. You can also play with the opacity and shading here to create really thin coats that represent nearly completely washed off whitewashes. If you do a completely opaque (not see-through) layer the chips will be more pronounced. I let that dry for about 30 mins.

The next step is to use short stiff bristled brushes dipped in warm water to scrub the paint off. This part is completely subjective to the technique of the user; Pressure, angle and amount of water can play a part. I didn’t need much water at all; in fact the brushes were barely damp. Look at photos of real tanks to see where the paint rubs off and think about rain in terms of the winter whitewash as that would affect how it comes off compared to normal chips. It certainly pays to use scrap parts or Plasticard to practice this technique.

You can see on the Vanquisher that I put on a thicker coat of white than the Exterminator and thus the paint chips are more defined.


I frequently washed my brush to get rid of the removed paint but noticed an interesting side effect of the scrubbing that left slight ridges of white on the edges of the chips that almost looks as if I had highlighted them. Happy mistake I guess.

After they were chipped to my satisfaction I left them to dry. I went a step further to reinforce the idea that the winter white was washing off. I used an airbrush and really thin white to add thin coats over some of the chipped areas as well as creating downwards strokes to represent the action of rain. I also did some work with thin white paint and a brush to create some more depth and glaze over the chipped areas.

The rust and dirt stain marks are all done with GW washes and thinned paint. I often mix other paints into GW washes in a rather hap-hazard manner on my palette. This was all done taking care to be subtle and think about where the rain might affect the tank and run off. Just remember that there is that hairspray coat underneath and if you are too frisky with the brush it might start to allow the white to come off where you don’t want it. A coat of matte might help here but I was just careful. Military modellers often do a gloss coat and then use oil based washes and glazes but I couldn’t be bothered with all that faff. I much prefer acrylics with some flow improver or mixed pre-prepared washes for gaming tanks.

I used the same mud mixture on the track and splattered up the hull as from the infantry. Really thin black darkened some areas to make them look wetter. I also sprinkled on some finely sifted earth and applied some snow mix as a final step.

Final step for the army was a coat of Ardcoat and a couple of airbrushed layers of Matte.

If you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask. I hope this is interesting and provides you with some useful tips. I’m sorry I don’t have time for a photographic step by step tutorial.

This is where I got all the insight and info on the Hairspray Technique:


Death Korps of Krieg Army - Tanks and more

Here are the Tanks and Death Riders of the recently completed Krieg:


Leman Russ Vanquisher 02

Leman Russ Vanquisher Turret

Leman Russ Vanquisher Rear

Leman Russ Exterminator

Leman Russ Exterminator Turret

Death Riders

Death Riders 02




Tomorrow I'll post the written report on how I went about painting and weathering these models.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Death Korps of Krieg Army - Winter scheme

This is a commission I have just finished for a very patient client in Australia. I've been trying to get it done for 5 months but mother nature had something to say. A very shallow 6.6 quake, many thousands of aftershocks and a broken house later I have finally completed them.

The client wanted a winter scheme. The infantry have only been issued with white winter coats; they wear normal fatigues underneath. The tanks would be grey but have been whitewashed and seen much action. I used the hairspray technique for this.

The models required much work to assemble but are totally worth the effort. Many were repaired after a significant aftershock knocked them to the floor!

I have built a light box and experimented with daylight fluorescents. Still getting a handle on taking good photos. Let me know if they are up to standard.

I will be working on a tutorial of how to do the weathering and painting of white very soon.

Anyway, comments and critiques are highly appreciated!


Command Squad

Commander and Banner

Platoon Command Squad

Krieg Platoon Banner and Plasma Gunner

Autocannon Teams

Autocannon Teams Close-up

Autocannon Teams Close-up 02


Engineers 02

Mole Launcher Team

Quad Launcher Crew

Quad Launchers

Death Korps Infantry

Death Korps Infantry 02

Death Korps Infantry 03

Death Korps Infantry 04

I'll post the Vehicles and Rough Riders tomorrow.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Second Edition Intro Game - Eldar vs. Genestealer Cult

In the Grim Darkness of 2nd Edition, There Is only Awesomeness…

Recently a friend of mine known only as Bolter took me on a trip back to the nineties to try the super system that is 2nd Edition 40K. As a dedicated 2nd Ed activist Bolter was only too happy to load up his car with a couple of tiny 800 point armies (all painted by me on commission), a box of scenery, a stack of rule books and his trusty tape measure to demo the rules system. As this was essentially a rules teaching session the game was played on a 4 by 4 approx table so the armies had to engage each other head on and one was wiped out by the end of turn 3. Read on to see how things unfolded.

Genestealer Cult were the first army selected. The list was as follows:

  • Magus with psychic hood, force rod, power field & carapace armour
  • 6 purestrain genestealers
  • 2 squads of 5 hybrids with swords and bolt pistols
  • 10 broodbrothers with lasguns and a heavy bolter
  • 1 leman russ with no vehicle wargear or upgrades

Across the table stood a small Eldar Patrol:
  • Warlock Champion with aegis suit & singing spear
  • Pirate hero with chainsword, shuriken catapult and 4 pirates with shuriken catapults
  • 2 squads 5 guardians with shuriken catapults
  • 3 dark reapers
  • 3 fire dragons
  • 1 warwalker with lascannon and scatter laser

Bolter took charge of the Eldar, leaving the cult for me (Earl).

Photobucket Photobucket

The deployment phase

Because of their dismal strategy rating, the Genestealer Cult force had to deploy first. The genestealers and a squad of hybrids deployed on the left flank. The leman russ and a squad of brood brothers were positioned in the centre and the magus and the remaining squad of hybrids hid in a forest on the right flank. The magus had both psychic scream and gate so completing the “witchhunt” mission he had drawn wasn’t looking too difficult.

Photobucket Photobucket
Cult Deployment

The Eldar positioned a warwalker and the pirate hero’s squad across from the stealers. The dark reapers and a squad of guardians set up in a forest across from the leman russ and broodbrothers. The warlock and his bodyguard of fire dragons deployed slightly to the right of the table centre close to the back line. This left one squad to hold the Eldar left flank. The Eldar had drawn the “assassins” mission and therefore had to snuff the magus to win. One wound, toughness three, he should be pretty easy to eliminate…

Predictably, Eldar won the first turn and chose to hide in the woods. Two units of guardians advanced, one to threaten the magus and the other to stand in front of the reapers when they emerged from hiding to fire on the leman russ if and when it chose to emerge from cover. A couple of squa
ds went on overwatch and it was time for the psychic phase.

Eldar Guardians and a Warwalker hanging tough...

A custom warp flux of 1d6 +2 went large and four cards were dealt to each side. The first card played was an ultimate force displacement which shifted the broodbrother squad out of hiding but into the cover of the forest directly opposite the dark reapers. Left a little short on both force and ranged attacks, the Eldar declined to cast. The Genestealer Cult then cast psychic scream but luckily warlock was out of range. 

The Genestealer Cult turn began with the hybrids and stealers on the left flank advancing while the tank accelerated to combat speed and pushed forward in the centre of the table. The dark reapers fired a volley of Super-Krak missiles at the tank which stuck the turret and hull and failed to penetrate. This gave away their position and both they and the guardians positioned in front of them to act as a meat-shield quickly died to a volley of lasgun, heavy bolter, lascannon and battlecannon fire from the broodbrothers and the Genestealer Cult tank.

Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket
The Leman Russ and Broodbrothers finish off the last Dark Reaper

The psychic phase consisted of a single displacement, which pushed the genestealers even further forward on the left.
With the dark reapers dead, all Eldar eyes now looked to the warwalker to stop the cult tank from going on a rampage. With the notable exception of the guardians opposite the magus and his bodyguards, the Eldar infantry remained in hiding and on overwatch – readying themselves for the genestealers charge. 

The warwalker stepped out from behind the cover of a building, killed to hybrids with its scatter laser and then took a shot at the leman russ. The shot hit home but failed to penetrate. All over the table space elves turned down their com-links and began to blubber quietly.
The psychic phase consisted of another displacement. I rolled 15” on 3d6, which was enough to throw the stealers into hand to hand with the war walker. Eldar overwatch was ineffective and it looked like the war machine’s days were numbered.


The stars were in alignment for the Genestealer Cult forces and they made the most of it. The four unengaged stealers charged the nearby pirate hero and his squad and began tearing them limb from limb. The first stealer to attack the warwalker rolled triple ones and a two and was promptly kicked to death. His partner in crime was a little less unlucky and inflicted five wounds on the warwalker pilot. This reduced the Eldar army to a warlock and three firedragons as the broodbrothers and leman russ had kept busy on the right flank and killed of the remaining guardian squad.

Photobucket Photobucket
The beginning of the end...

Turn three started and ended quickly for the eldar when the genestealers displaced behind them and charged. The Genestealer Cult had triumphed and I had had my first taste of 2nd Edition.

Photobucket Photobucket

...the end.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Ork Painting Technique

Earlier this year I worked on an enormous Ork army. The idea was to paint all the basecoats and highlights of the clothing and skin, leaving details and finishing up to the owner. The idea being that they could finish them off at their leisure, having all the hard work done. A good idea I believe, and a nice compromise.
I want to share the painting technique I used in case it may help others out there. It’s fairly different to other Ork skin tones. Much more muted yet still in contrast because of the darker colours used on the clothing and cloth. Addition of red or yellow final details and markings and checkers would make them pop.

  • Chaos Black undercoat. Basecoat skin Knarloc Green, cloth and belts Scorched Brown and metal with Boltgun Metal.

  • Give the model a wash of black. I used a custom mix of chaos black, matte medium and Vallejo glaze medium but you could just as easily use Badab Black or any other black wash.

  • Highlight the skin with a 70/30 mix of Knarloc green and Gretchin Green, leaving the undersides and recesses. Highlight the upper surfaces with a 70/30 mix of Gretchin Green and Knarloc Green. I thinned the paint quite a bit and did a couple of coats, using the transparency of the paint to create multiple levels of highlight.

  • You could give the uppermost edges a final highlight of thinned pure Gretchin Green.

  • Highlight the belts, straps and cloth with Bestial Brown, and the metal areas and armour edges with Mithril Silver.

  • The black pants/shirts can be highlighted with Adeptus Battlegrey.
  • Finish with the teeth, eyes and details as you like.