Thursday, September 9, 2010

Renegade Imperial Guard Paint Test

I did a quick test to try out a color scheme on one of my recently converted Renegade Imperial Guardsmen. I'm trying to come up with a method that will be relatively quick with as few steps as possible, so I can do a lot of these quickly. As such, this guy was done as a series of base colors, using as few different colors as possible, with a black wash over the whole thing. Take a look at the results of my first attempt.

So, what do you think? Keep in mind that I intend these to represent the household troops of a wealthy Imperial noble, so they should look relatively fancy and presentable. With that goal in mind, I think the colors in general have come out a bit dark. I think the green on the coat would look better if it were a little lighter, and I'm debating if the armor plates should be shinier. Also, the fur hat doesn't have as much definition to it as I'd like. I also would like to paint the vertical stripe on the shoulder pads some contrasting color. This would represent the battalion or the company the soldier is in, or something like that. But I can't decide on a color to use there.

Anyone have suggestions for fixing these problems? Do I just use a lighter base color for the coat? Water down the wash or apply less? Or should I use a green wash for the coat instead of black? I was hoping, for simplicity and to reduce the number of steps, that I could get away with using one wash for the whole model. For the hat, should I use a lighter base color? Or do a drybrush of a lighter color after the wash? Either method adds an additional color and step tot he process. Should the armor plates be shinier? If so, how do I accomplish that? Paint them silver after I've washed the rest of the model? Should I paint the pink trim after the wash so it comes out brighter?

I tried repainting the coat a much lighter green color, and then re-applying the black wash. I also drybrushed the fur hat with a lighter grey color. I still haven't painted the shoulder pad stripe, since I don't have any ideas what color to make it, and I haven't done anything with the armor. Here are the results of those two changes.
Is that better? Any other ideas on how I could improve on this? Any other suggestions on the color scheme or the results would be appreciated, especially ideas for the shoulder stripe color or how to make the hat or armor look better. I could use some feedback to help me iron out the best and easiest method for getting the results I'm looking for.


  1. I'm not sure if this will help, but I've been trying this as a quick way to help my colors pop.

    I prime black, and then with a brush as big around as a dime, drybrush white. This is a "one more step", but once you get the amount of white on the drybrush to the right "very low" level, you end up being able to hit each figure with a brush-from-top-to-bottom step that lasts about 15 seconds a figure once you hit your stride.

    This leaves the recesses dark, but gives a white basecoat for the colors. This might brighten up that green, as well as the fleshtones.

  2. I much preferred the second version, but still think you need a light drybrush in a lighter colour for the fur.
    Also, for the stripe, how about having the purplish-crimson you have on the inside of the coat? It gives great contrast, and I think it will fit.
    In myexperience, a brown wash (devlan mud, gryphonne sephia, or ogryn flesh) looks alot better on green than black.

  3. That's not a bad idea, pygmaelion, though since I've already primed the whole squad white, I may wait to try out that method.

    Thank you for the advice about using brown wash instead of black! I tried that out with Devlan Mud, and it worked pretty well.

  4. I've been watering down my washes a lot lately and I find that a watered down devlan mud works with pretty much every thing. Also, if you are thinking of adding the top coat step, you might want to think about using complementary washes instead of just a static hue. I've been using a green wash on my Blood Angels and it's turning out really cool. I know it sounds weird, but it works. So maybe try a red wash on the green coat? I haven't tried it, but in theory it should make the green shading a bit more subtle, which is good with a brighter green and it should also make the red lining pop.

  5. So.. I painted up two quick test models for you using some old valhallans I had lying around. I finished them both in a half an hour, so to me that's really fast. The red works on the green and the red, but is terrible on the rest of the colors, but ogryn flesh seems to work wonders without darkening up the other colors too much. I'm putting pics of them both up on my blog and I'll list out the color pallette for you. I only used 6 paints, which I don't think is too bad.

  6. Thanks for the help, J. Red wash is an interested idea for the coat but, as you proved, wouldn't work on the armor, weapon, or skin. So that would require at least three washes: black for the weapons, gloves, and boots, red for the coat, and brown for the face (thought that is a really small area and would be quick). Plus I might need something for the armor plates.

    Last night I tried making one of the shoulder pads Boltgun Metal instead of Mithril Silver, and then using the Devlan Mud wash on it. The result looked interested. Not the polished steel look I originally imagined, more of a bronze look. I may have to do up a whole figure with the armor done that way and see how it looks.