Painting: Grey Knights Part 3: Details  

Posted by Michael Hogan in , , ,

Hey there! This probably should have been finished at least three weeks ago, but I've been immensely busy so I'm just getting it up now. Don't hate me forever. Anyways, in this edition I'm going to be going over the details of painting Grey Knights such as the purity seals, gold trim, and shoulder pads. Keep in mind you can use different colors here and apply gold to less or more places, but this is simply where I do it.

What paints I'm going to use:
Mechrite Red (Foundation Paint)
Blood Red
Shining Gold
Devlan Mud
Graveyard Earth, Calthan Brown, or Khemri Brown (Anyone of them, really)
Dheneb Stone or Bleached Bone
A "highlight" brush. (I used my Character brush for all of this except for the washes, which I used an old brush for)

First off, let's do the red paints. This includes the wax on the purity seals, the shoulder pad, and possibly the Storm Bolter. I leave that black but I'm considering painting mine all red at some point. Either way, the first paint to start out with is Mechrite Red. You are going to want to dab your highlight brush into the pot and cleanly apply it to the waxy areas of the purity seals. I personally leave some of the areas without a bit of paint if they are under folds and the such, but you'll probably just want to cover the entire seal. Get the edges on the outside, too, and watch out for hitting the power armor, you don't want that.

Here is how it should look:

Next you want to cover the shoulderpad with the same paint. You might want to use a larger paint brush, but I stuck with my character brush. Try not to get paint on the scroll area (which I did) but don't worry about it too much. Make sure you get the area between the scroll and the lower trim. It's always a tough spot to get paint onto. Cover it with a nice coat of Mechrite Red and it should look like this:
As you can see, I'm a pretty crappy painter. Either way, the Mechrite Red should be a nice base coat for your red colors. You can also use Scab Red (I used to) but the Scab Red has a much more... dull-magentish color to it. I'm not sure how to describe it. It is a color I love, but recently I decided to try to get the shoulders and details to pop a bit more, moving a bit away from the grim-dark-dark feel I had before.

Next I do a bit of "wet blending". It really isn't tough and even a beginner painter can kind of get a feel for it. What I do is get Blood Red on one side of my brush and leave the other half clean. Then I make a thick line just above the scroll with the Blood Red and flip over to the clean side and drag it up a bit. Here you can see the line before I paint. There is already a bit of Blood Red on the shoulder from previous attempts, but not too much.

It is much easier if you see it in process, so I'll give Jawaballs some great credit and post a video of his up here. It is very similar (read: just different paints) so hopefully you'll be getting this down in no time.

If you find the paint not moving as you want it to (probably from it drying too quickly) try using a bit of saliva or water. Yeah, a bit gross, but effective. I'm not sure how to describe it, but adding some water to the paint may allow it to blend better until you have a lot of water with metallics. With metallics watered down, the paint seems to dry instantly. I'm not why or how, but keep that in mind if you try to blend with metallics. Probably has to do with metallic flakes or... something. Anyways, after blending the shoulderpad (or just painting it pure Blood Red if you are more comfortable with that) you're going to want to highlight the wax on the purity seals. For me, I just paint around the circular edge of the wax and then put a dot in the middle.

Now, let's finish the purity seals by painting the scrolls. I didn't get pictures due to an unfortunate paint problem, but I'll hopefully be able to run down the steps pretty easily. You want to grab your highlight brush and put a nice coat of brown on. The Foundation paints (Calthan Brown and Khemri Brown) work really well here, but Graveyard Earth or even any other dark brown color works. Be sure to get it on the edges of these, they are three-dimensional and have some thickness. I'm terrible at that part myself, but do your best.

After you have them all painted, you can give them a wash of Devlan Mud. This part is optional but I do it myself. Either way, once it has dried, get your Devland Mud or Bleached Bone and paint it on as a highlight. You can cover the entire parchment or just parts, leaving bands of brown underneath. It looks great either way. You may want to paint bones the same way, leaving the darker paints where the bones indents a bit and lighter where it juts out into the light above.

Here is a sample of how the seals can look. I mean, really, it's all personal preference, especially this part.

Next up is gold trim. I personally just use Shining Gold and occasionally Devlan Mud, but some people prefer an undercoat of Tin Bitz or Dwarf Bronze. Honestly, the Tin Bitz/Dwarf Bronze really can't hurt too much, so it's better to have it than not. Anyways, I personally apply a nice coat of Shining Gold to anywhere that is going to be gold except for the tiny "runes" on the chest. You do NOT want to give those a thick coat. I personally get Shining Gold on my brush, wipe down most of it, and then almost drybrush the paint over the runes in order to preserve the detail. Then, if you want, wash the gold with Devlan Mud, let it dry, and apply another coat, but just highlights this time. There are several places you want to get gold, but of course you might have put silver here or painted the skulls in a bone color. Here is how mine looked after the gold.
Also: here is a picture of the more detailed shoulder.
As you can see I decided to try to paint the book red. I got a bit of paint on the shoulder, but that is pretty simple to clean up. Just paint it over with a bit of boltgun or chainmail, or perhaps Mithril Silver. The gold should come out pretty crisp looking no matter how you do it, and if you want you can highlight the gold very lightly with Mithril Silver, where the light would reflect so much it would appear near white.

Here is a close up picture after I painted the eyes. I think it gives a nice idea of how the rich red comes out compared to the gold.

All there is left to do is the blade and eyes, which I'll get to next time. I personally use Hawk Turquoise, Ice Blue, Skull White, and a tad bit of Enchanted Blue for that part, if you want to look into what paints you have. Also, for the eyes, I use a very fine brush to get the dots just right. If you don't have one, don't worry too much. You can always come back and paint the eyes much later when you have practiced a bit more and have time to pick up a fine detail brush.

Until next time, I hope you find the tutorial very helpful. As always, comment away or email me. I'll do my best to answer any and all questions or concerns.

Thanks for reading,

This entry was posted on Saturday, November 6, 2010 at Saturday, November 06, 2010 and is filed under , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


Good stuff!
Its kind of sad the old inks are gone because they are actually perfect for purity seals and scrollwork. I still have several pots of chestnut ink that I use to great effect.

As you touched upon, using the foundation paints as a basis for many colours such as red or white is a very good idea, they have more pigment and leave a more even finish with a thinner layer, then you can use your actual colours over the top, which not only comes out cleaner due to foundation underneath, but also creates a slight highlight effect.

I also use Dwarf Bronze instead of tin bitz, it makes a really good base coat for gold and some simply dry brushing with a light gold or silver (or a mix) makes it look nice with minimal effort. Also remember washes dull down your metalics, so highlights over the wash look even better.

November 6, 2010 at 11:59 PM

For some reason I thought GW stopped selling Dwarf Bronze. I must have been thinking of something else. I'll update the post as I think it would serve as a better base for the gold colors.

November 7, 2010 at 8:01 PM

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