Painting Imperial Fists – The Plan

So welcome, by the way of introductions, I’m Chris and I’m a long time Dark Angel player, an occasional worshiper of the sanguine and a big fan of tanks!

This is the starting point of something that may work out, but could get side lined if my beloved Dark Angels get un-nerfed by the much talked about new codex. This post is more of an intended plan for painting something new to me.

So why on earth would I ever opt to paint models with a colour that has always left me reaching for the undercoat spray, least of all an army where this colour occupies over 95% of the colour pallet? I’ll be honest with you, after 6 years of working for GW and over 20 + years of participating in this wonderful, albeit expensive hobby, I’ve finally decided to tackle the one colour that has caused me no end of grief……. Yellow.

So yup, you’ve guessed it – Imperial Fists. Dorn’s finest.

To start with, painting over a white undercoat is something that scares, well, frankly terrifies me. I’ve been far too comfortable painting over a black undercoat for many, many years. But in this instance, a white undercoat is it’s a necessity. Whilst yellow over black is possible, it takes far, far, FAR too long!! – even with Games Workshops foundation paint range and the new “base” range.

These are my thoughts on how I’m going to approach this task and are the bulk of this particular post. I’ll do an additional step-by-step write up after painting a unit. So without further ado, on with the game plan.

Stage 1: Clean the models. I really can’t stress this enough. Due to the methods I’m using for the rest of the plan this is the most fundamental and the most important step.

Stage 2: White Undercoat Spray. Don’t douse it. I’m expecting to carry out between 3 and 5 light dustings to get an even coverage. With black you can get away with 2 medium coats but white is less forgiving and more prone to running and pooling.

Stage 3: Mix up some Dwarf Flesh (Ratskin Flesh from the new range) with water, this will be deliberately thin as it’s intended as a wash. This should give a shading effect and allows me to see all of the detail on the model.

Stages 4-10: Dry brush starting with a 50/50 mix of Dwarf/Ratskin Flesh / Bleached Bone (Ushabti Bone from the new range), gradually adding more white until you’re dry brushing at least two layers of Skull White.

Next, this could be a leap of faith. The next stage is to ink/glaze a mix of Yellow Ink, the old one not the new pot. This is to be a mix of roughly 30/70 ink and water. This also allows some extra much needed drying time, as while it’s still wet I’ll try to get some Fuegan Orange into the recesses.

So we now have a nice yellow model. After that comes a real test of control, but instead of using paint, which is painful, we’re going to cheat, *ahem* … get creative.

Black paint mixed 50/50 with black ink and then 75/25 water. This may seem a bit nuts but it makes for a free flowing paint to use for all of the tubing and black areas. This should take 2 -3 layers but will also help as each layer will add a natural shade to these areas, all thanks to the white undercoat.

Almost there, Last thing is to opt for your shoulder pad trim colour. Green doesn’t quite work for me, neither do red and blue, and white and black also look a little odd – especially after highlighting and leaving them yellow would be cheating!

As the lesser of the evils above, I opted to go with green. Call it my preference for Dark Angels if you want. The big problem here is getting the colour dark enough that so it contrasts against the yellow. For this I’m planning to use few layers of Dark Angel Green (Caliban Green from the new range) mixed with black ink, followed by a fine edge highlight of Dark Angel Green mixed 75/20 with Snot Green (Warpstone Glow). Hopefully this will look like a off green black After this comes detailing the metal areas, which I’m intending on handling in my traditional black, Tin Bitz, Boltgun drybrush followed by a black &brown glaze then followed by a light dry brush of Boltgun and/or Chainmail.

That’s pretty much the plan, so let see how it goes on the next painting session. I’ll make sure I take a few pictures step by step so you can see where I have stayed on plan or opted to head off on a tangent.



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