I’ve decided to revamp the Eagle Eyes with some new paints and designations/markings. Here’s a little insight into my the reasoning behind the changes before we look at the model.
- My painting skills and focus are very different than they were before. I originally wanted a simple-to-paint force, with a color intensity similar to the blue on Ultramarines. Lots of clean, bright green, complimentary red weapon cases for pop and contrast, and no battle damage or weathering. I just like clean marines. I also wanted fast recipes, so I could game more. This was a pipe dream, and flew in the face of the fact that I care a LOT more about painting than I do about gaming. Why cut corners to get something painted fast?
- Building my Imperial Knight was a great opportunity to try new techniques like weathering and battle damage. As it turns out, it’s a heck of a lot of fun and I’m having a much harder time seeing my clean marines staying clean for long. Ultimately this is something I’m still on the fence about. I really like the way a clean marine looks, but I feel like I’m missing out on some enjoyable hobbying.
- I’ll never start the Adeptus Militarum force that I always convince myself is just around the corner. I always told myself “well, that’s where the weathering will come in.” If it’s not going to come in there, where will it besides my Knight?
- Oddly enough, I really like the way the new studio Space Wolves use Agrax Earthshade to warm up the gray. I’ve been thinking about doing a test mini like that for a while, using either Agrax or Seraphim to bring a reddish tone to the shadows on the green armor. I’ve seen plenty of great models with complimentary-color high-contrast shadowing (especially on Golden Demon entries and sites like CMON), and it can look really cool. I feel like it could add some warmth to the base green and make it look a little weathered at the same time. Worth a shot anyway.
- I’ve been putting more thought into squad markings and designations within the chapter livery. I think I’ve decided to try some radical things with the color scheme in general. More on that in a tick.
So, that all being said, here’s what I’m planning more specifically. I’m mostly getting this all down so I remember it myself.
- I want to maybe tone down the green a bit. Perhaps more drab. I’m going to miss the super green clean marines, but I think this is the right move going forward. The main recipe will be about the same, but again I want to experiment with maybe a contrast shade to start, and work from a darker starting base perhaps and
not highlight up to such a light green(I’ve since decided I like the drama of starker highlights). This will probably be the trickiest bit for me.
- I will be marking out squad types by different-colored right arms and shoulder pads. Inspired in no small part by the Crimson Shrikes, I seriously considered doing both arms but opted to keep it just on the right. Trim will be in the same color as the arm except for Tacticals who will retain a plain green arm. Assault will have red arms, Devastators black, and Veteran squads will have both arms in white as a nod to the Raven Guard veterans. I love that look. Squad numbers will be on the colored right arm, using the Dark Angel style gothic numbers (again, to more closely align to RG). I will NOT use the arrow, x or chevron to mark out squad type on the shoulder. It may come into other use, especially on rhinos and vehicles in general, and possibly to add variety to individuals within a squad.
- Weapon casings will no longer be red. I’ll use black instead. Frankly, I think this makes more sense for a stealth-based army. Red will still be a spot color in the eye lenses and in other select places. It also remains the company color for the 3rd company, upon which my army is based. Although no armor trim will bear it. That means the scouts and 1st company vets will have less of it, save their lenses and very limited spot usage.
- Sergeants will retain the helmet stripe designations that I had established before. Red stripe for regular sergeant, red stripe thin white stripes on the edges for vet serge. White helmet on Vanguard and Strernguard squads and Terminators. I haven’t yet decided fully, but I think terminators will have two white arms and white helmets. Terminator serge’s will have a white helmet with a red stripe if they’re wearing one.
- Company color or number may not be displayed prominently at all on troops. I’ll use it on vehicles most likely and certainly on the banner (obviously), but I plan to test a couple of alternatives for foot troopers. One of them is painting a portion of the neck ring in red (for 3rd company), like I’ve seen suggested on other marines on the Bolter and Chainsword forum. I think it’s an interesting nod to modern military designations and is less garish and obvious than a knee pad or shoulder trim. I lean away from knee pad simply because I really like Mk. 6 armor, and I think it can look disruptive across a whole army. I’ll probably brainstorm some other ideas for company color, but I don’t think I’ll ever put the company number on. If you guys and gals have any ideas for company color that would be pretty downplayed or subtle, let me hear ’em.
- I plan to keep most decorative metal trim in bronze, albeit slightly darker and a little corroded with Nihilakh Oxide, including the chest aquilas and whatnot. On the colored right arms, as I mentioned, the metal trim will be painted in the arm color. The one place where I’m struggling here is with Vanguard and Sternguard Vets, with their ornate shoulder pads. I like to use those, but I don’t yet know how the bronze will look on white shoulder pads. I think it will be dark enough to look cool, but I’m not 100% yet.
- Where the chapter badge appears on green armor (most places) it will remain white. Where the white won’t contrast as well I’ll use black. Mainly this will be on the veterans, obviously.
Depending on the red recipe I settle on, the Assault marines may end up with black as well(my test model makes it clear white will look best on red).
- Squads will have their squad number on their right shoulder pad. They’ll be in white, and I guess I’ll print them in black for the veterans. Actually, veterans don’t number their squads, so they’ll have terminator honors or a skull on the right.
- I WILL be adding some battle damage and wear, especially on vehicles. This will significantly darken the overall army as is, so I want to be careful not to make the green too much darker. I’ll be keeping the burned village bases, which are mostly shades of gray, and using ash-colored weathering powder on the marines legs. While I think most marines themselves will remain on the cleaner side (especially based on the obsession with Drop Pod deployment), bikers, vehicles, scouts, etc. will probably look like they’ve been in the field a bit longer.
- I’ll still use occasional jade areas on special character models in a pale green, like I’ve done on my chaplain and captain. I think the terminator’s Cruxes can stay that green as well, but I’ll have to see how it looks on white.
My new green recipe: That’s Waaagh! Flesh base. Wash with Agrax Earthshade. Layers of Warboss Green, Skarsnik Green and then a very small Krieg Khakhi highlight. Glazed with Lamenter’s Yellow. The ‘oddest’ bit is the Agrax Earthshade (which is reddish/brown). I’m going for contrast shading, and testing it versus Seraphim Sepia made it pretty clear that Agrax looked better. I was actually inspired by the GW Space Wolves studio to pull the trigger on this.
Now here’s how the test mini started coming together with some base colors.
Nothing too crazy yet. Much darker than my current marines, though. Let’s take a closer look at the red in action on the right arm.
Now you can see the red’s popping. This is the first time I’ve used the new Edge paints and the new formula Glazes. I like them both! The edge paints are nice, in particular. Very smooth consistency (although I still thinned a bit) and easy to control. The glaze really did it for me, though. When I was creating these recipes I knew I wanted to use them again. I’d say they’re pretty much exactly like the old ones. I still have the old ones, but I’ve been making a push to modernize my paints. I think an army painted with this red would look fantastic. And now for the all-important green recipe.
I think this may be a bit dark in the pictures. The last pic is way brighter than it really is… I guess I should leave my lamps in place for these, huh? Sorry. And then here’s another snap after filling in some more details. The eyes are done differently for me. I usually paint them like gems, but I thought for this force I’d use the more subtly-glowing look the GW studio has been using lately. Just a slit of stark white in the middle, and then flooding the area with Bloodletter glaze. I kinda dig it. I also added a quick Eshin Gray highlight to the bolter, and somewhere along the way I highlighted the metal with Runefang Steel. I used a quick and dirty bronze recipe but I haven’t settled on that yet. In the industry we’d say it’s For Placement Only. I do like how the Agrax Earthshade ties the metal in with green armor, though.
Thoughts? Comments? Suggestions? Let’s hear it. I do test minis so I can experiment. At first blush I’d almost say the green is a bit too highlighted, but honestly some of that is just from the lighting. It looks less stark in more natural lighting. What do you think I should keep or do differently? Keep in mind I’ll be adding some weathering and battle damage, including some light ash gray pigment around the feet, and probably either heat staining or soot on the flamer muzzle. In fact, that may end up bronze.
UPDATE: Here are some more pics after another session.
I added some battle damage but I’m not happy with it. I posted it on Bolter & Chainsword and I think I’ll take the advice to stick with highlighted paint chips, in a reddish brown most likely. What I am very pleased with is the decal on the shoulder. Wasn’t sure how it’d look on red, but I think it pops like crazy. I used Future Floor Polish (really Pledge with Future) under the decal, layed it down with Microset, hit it with Microsol three times, and then sealed it with Future again. Two coats of Lahmian Medium got rid of the gloss for me. It’s the best decal I’ve ever laid down, actually. It’s almost impossible to see the carriage film at all.