Friday Quick Tip: Metal Variation Using Washes

Master Of The Forge, Sons Of Medusa, Space Marines, Techmarine, Warhammer 40,000

Recently I finished painted the above Techmarine for my Sons of Medusa. A fun model with a lot of cool details and some serious opportunities for metallic work. As I went to working on the servo arms, I knew I didn't want them to simply be silver, but a playground of variation through the different components.

In order to add this variety I drew upon a technique I picked up from White Dwarf in a LotR painting article. It was about using washes to create color on top of a metal basecoat, creating a different take on metal surfaces. I used this on my entry for the Dakka Painting Challenge "Old School" for the first time and was very pleased with the results. To see exactly what I'm talking about look at the carapace armor on his torso.

2nd Edition, Commissar, Imperial Guard, Old School, Valhalan, Warhammer 40,000

The idea is to create a thick layer of wash by painting the wash on in multiple coats and using the base metallic to 'scratch' it and create a nice worn look. With the commissar, I used Badab Black painted over a Boltgun Metal base coat. It was then chipped with Boltgun Metal. This was also the first model I learned to change the color of metallics with washes, which lead me to my Gryphonne Sepia Gold/Bronze method I still use extenisively, as shown below.

Chaplain, Space Marines, Ultramarines, Warhammer 40,000

Changing metallic colors using washes gives a lot of control to the painter and really opens up a new variety of shades and tones that give great effects.

Master Of The Forge, Sons Of Medusa, Space Marines, Techmarine, Warhammer 40,000

For my techmarine, I picked out what parts I wanted to add a bit of variety to on the arms and made sure to paint them all in the same manner to add continuity to the model.

I started the arms by painting them 100% in Chainmail. I then used a heavy wash of Badab Black to create shading on the flat metallic. Once dry, I used the Chainmail again to highlight a few higher edges and bolts.

My wash of choice to add variety was Devlin Mud. Your first coat will go on lightly, don't worry, it's doing its job. The GW Washes really work best in layers, where the last layer helps catch the next and create color slowly and deliberately. Let the layers dry completely, or you'll find yourself pulling some spots up which is a pain to fix.

How deep a color you create is entirely up to you. That control is possibly the best part of this technique. When you've got a color you are happy with, use your base color, in this case Chainmail, to chip and scratch the finish where it would look appropriate.

Using washes to change colors and metals is a big part of my painting repitoire these days. A part that I ensure you, if you put the time in to learn, you will thoroughly enjoy.

Have a good tip on the use of washes? We would love to hear them!

1 comment:

  1. this technique has come out brilliantly on your models, im sure you're very proud of them!!
    I will use this technique sometime definitely!