Friday, February 19, 2016

XV Legion Thousand Sons metallic armor tutorial

I've recently switched gears from painting my beloved Blood Angels and started working on a Legion that I, and many other fans, have been waiting for for a very long time:  The Thousand Sons.  There's something tragic about their story, how they were loyal and still were turned upon by the very father he tried to warn about Horus' betrayal.  

One thing I love what Forge World did was try to create a distinct visual cue for each Legion.  There are already several red-colored legions (Blood Angels, Word Bearers, Thousand Sons, and eventually World Eaters) so rather than doing a flat red that is the trademark Blood Angels scheme, they made each red army different so they're recognizable.

Here's the recipe I used to recreate that candy red armor that Forge World uses for their own Thousand Sons models on their website.

  • After your model is primed in the primer color of your choice (I tend to use either Gray or Black spray primer), I airbrushed the model in Vallejo Jet Exhaust airbrush metallic.  It's a very dark, gritty metal that even on its own is an awesome hue.

  • Next, using a very bright whitish silver, Vallejo White Aluminum, I used zenith highlighting with my airbrush to coat the model in order to capture directional lighting.  This is done by spraying the model from above, thus the unpainted areas retain their dark metal hue.

  • Using multiple coats of thinned down Tamiya Clear Red or Forge World Angron Red, airbrush the color onto the model until it is a completely rich hue of red.  

1st layer
4th layer

From there, the detailing is up to you.  Keep in mind the Thousand Sons use a lot of white and gold trim, so these are the recipes I've used for each.

Brilliant/Bright Gold:
Base: Retributor Armour Gold
Wash: Reikland Fleshshade
Layer: Auric Armour Gold
Highlight: Liberator Gold

Aged/Burnished Gold:
Base: Balthazar Gold
Wash: Agrax Earthshade
Layer: Gehennas Gold
Layer: Auric Armour Gold
Highlight: 50/50 Gehennas Gold/Runefang Steel

Base: Celestra Grey
Wash: Nuln Oil
Layer: Ulthuan Grey
Highlight: White Scar White

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