Reinforcements: Commander Shadowsun

After getting a generous donation of an old Eldar force from a friend, I decided I wanted to do something for him to pay him back in a way. After talking a bit with another friend, UCPesmerga, we decided that Commander Shadowsun would be the best model for the job! The model was ordered and arrived ( with another model for myself ), and I got to work.

The model was a bit of a pain to assemble to be honest. The shoulder sockets weren't large enough or the nubs were too big, with a lot of filing and flash to be removed. I'm really not impressed with the out of the box quality GW is presenting these days. I know it's part of the hobby, but the metal model quality has declined in recent years quite noticeably. I don't mean the detail and design, just the mold and to customer product.

For a primer I used Krylon white primer with a low pressure cap from my old GW Chaos Black. I highly suggest using a different cap than the standard spray cap that most cans come with. Krylon went from good primer to great primer with that one little detail swapped!

I used the airbrush to get my base color down for this piece. When the model has a lot of armor plating that will be similar color, the airbrush is a life saver. I sprayed a solid layer of Scab Red as my base layer. Then using a uni-directional spray, I laid down a first layer highlight with Red Gore on the upper surfaces. For a final pass I used Blood Red in a light misting of the shoulder and head. This doesn't take long using the airbrush, and I was able to get all of the drones done to the same stage along with Shadowsun in a matter of minutes. Having a paint cup instead of pots is a huge plus, so if you're using a pot system, look at the company website for your airbrush and check into getting a metal cup, you won't look back.

Once all of the airbrushed colors were dry, I broke out the Devlin Mud and gave the entire model and light coat with special attention paid to the recesses of the model. Being a bit lighter over the flat plates and heavier in the creases. Be sure to wait out the drying process before applying more or moving on to another step. Not letting your washes dry completely before working on it again will hurt your finished product. If you're impatient just work on another model at the same time!

I hit the upper edges of the armor plates with a bit of Blood Red for the first stage highlight. Since I wasn't quite sure of what spots would end up red or black at this stage, I highlighted most of the model to start. Once finished with the Blood Red, I went back with a touch of Fiery Orange around the head and shoulders to bring that area a bit more focus. I was keen to not be too heavy with the orange though, I wasn't trying to overpower the rest of the model, just bring your eye their first.

The black was laid out after finishing the red highlights. Special attention to composition is really key to breaking up a color scheme and using details wisely to draw your viewer around the piece. You don't want to overpower what you have in mind for your main color, in this case the red, you want to frame it. The black was highlighted with Codex Grey and then a light Fortress Grey was applied leaving most of the Codex Grey showing.

The lens work was done using a medium blue, black and Space Wolves Grey, with only the slightest spot of true white. For the shoulder lens it was quite straight forward, but for the head lens, I used a more centered inner light style, making the center the brightest instead of the bottom rim.

Metallic work was minimal for this piece, just a little Chainmail on the barrels and the optics of the head. The gun barrels were washed with Devlin Mud in a heavy manner.

The whites were done using my black to white method: Codex > Fortress > White.

The cloth/undersuit was painted Codex Grey highlighted by Fortress Grey, along with the antenna section that was used to tie the model into the rest of his force which uses Codex Grey more prominently where I've gone with black to make the model stand out a bit. Commanders should stand out a little after all!

The base was done with Codex Grey washed with Devlin Mud then drybrushed with Codex Grey. The skull was picked out with Bleached Bone and washed down with Devlin Mud as well. The imperial ruin was painted a mix of Codex Grey and Shadow Grey washed with Devlin.

Limited palette is a big part of how I create color schemes, and it's quite prominent in this piece as well. Stick to the colors you already have in your model instead of trying to throw too many colors onto a single piece.

Hope this more extensive description helps a few folks out there and I'll be sure to continue them in the future as more Reinforcements are featured here on TPC!


  1. Great job! I love the alternative color scheme. I painted up a shadowsun model as well, only to have the arms break off. The joins are horrible on this model and I have to pin the arms in. It was a nightmare. Still it's a beautiful model though, well worth the effort. Now if only I could get her to work out in the game...

  2. Nice work , I painted my shadowsun in blood red and black as well. It was a few years back before I discovered washes so yours blows it out of the water! and yeah shatterhands shadowsun's special rules and armament just don't mesh well as well as the command drone that doesn't work incredibly well anymore :)

  3. OSH, Thanks for the compliment. I believe I had to pin one of the arms thanks to the messed up join! As for rules, that's not on me, but my friend!

    Blackhand, Red and Black is a solid scheme ^_-. Washes are useful useful tools. I think they're likely one of the biggest additions to many wargame modelers out there these past couple of years. I was making my own from regular paint just watering them down, the new wash in a pot definitely speeds things up a bit!