Breakdown: Sons of Medusa Desert Support

I've been meaning to do some "How To"'s on the Sons of Medusa for a long time now, but unfortunately, I just haven't gotten around to it.  I've had a lot of folks ask how I paint them over the last year or so and I thought I would take some time to at least put the colors down in one place for them.

Today I share with you the colors and steps to creating the Desert Support group of my Sons of Medusa Space Marine army.  This was an original color scheme that I updated slightly with a more modern look.  It's also a big point of pride within the army as I've come to truly love the small but aggressive band of camouflaged recon elements within my army.  I fully intend to expand their ranks with more reinforcements with some additional fast attack hardware in the future.

Base Color - GW Bestial Brown
Initial Armor Color - Vallejo German Camo Orange Ochre
Primary Highlight - Vallejo Yellow Ochre
Secondary Highlight - Vallejo Dark Flesh

Over a white primer base coat, a solid layer of GW Bestial Brown is painted on until opaque.  You could easily use an airbrush for this step to save some time.  Once dry, VMC German Camo Orange Ochre is applied leaving some GW Bestial Brown showing in the recesses.  For the first highlight, VMC Yellow Ochre is applied with an eye to raised surfaces leaving more VMC German Camo Orange Ochre showing.  For a final highlight, VMC Dark Flesh is applied to edges and high points on the models.

Stripes and Black Detailing
Stripe Base Color - VMC Dark Flesh
Stripe Color - GW Chaos Black
Highlight - GW Codex Grey

For the camo stripes, paint a jagged brush width line of VMC Dark Flesh in a roughly vertical line.  See the photos included as a guide for spacing and look of the lines.  Leaving an edge of VMC Dark Flesh showing, paint a GW Chaos Black line inside of the Dark Flesh line.  Any part of the lines that run over an armor edge should be highlighted with GW Codex Grey

Black areas such as shoulder pad rims, chest eagles and Bolters are painted with GW Chaos Black and highlighted with GW Codex Grey.

Battle Damage
Sponged On - GW Catachan Green
Bottom Edge Highlight - GW Bleached Bone

Battle Damage is painted using this technique.  GW Catachan Green is used as the chipped away paint color/damaged area with GW Bleached Bone used to highlight the bottom edges of the chipped areas.  

Silver Metallics
Base Color - GW Chainmail
Shade - GW Badab Black Wash
Highlight - GW Chainmail

Gold Metallics
Base Color - GW Chainmail
Shade - GW Gryphonne Sepia
Highlight - GW Chainmail

Metallics are painted using GW Washes to tint and shade.  Silvers are shaded one to two times with GW Badab Black and highlighted with the same metallic color.  Golds are done much the same using GW Gryphonne Sepia, with a lighter touch to any highlighting done. 

Base Color - GW Chaos Black
First Color - GW Red Gore
Second Color - GW Blood Red
Third Color - GW Fiery Orange
Final Highlight - 50/50 GW Fiery Orange/GW Skull White
Dot Highlight - GW Skull White

Lenses are painted in the typical lens painting method creating a jewel effect.  Eyes are painted much the same but instead of a Final Highlight of GW Fiery Orange/GW Skull White, Golden Yellow is applied with the final highlight being 50/50 GW Golden Yellow/GW Skull White

Grime Streaks - GW Gryphonne Sepia
Dust - GW Bleached Bone
Rust - GW Bestial Brown

When painting vehicles in the Desert Support Scheme, take care to understand the scaling of the camo stripes.  The bigger the vehicle, the bigger the stripes.  Grime streaks are done using this method with GW Gryphonne Sepia.  The rusted metallic spots are done using a heavy wash of GW Bestial Brown, with edges touched back up with the metallic, much akin to this method for tracks.  Once complete, the vehicles are dusted using a large brush to give the areas that would accumulate dust build up a very very light drybrushing of GW Bleached Bone.

In the end, you should be left with a hard as nails looking group of recon and support specialists.  Units that will catch attention on the tabletop, if your opponent remembers where you put them that is.  I plan to use this scheme on any units that have a recon or specialist role on the battlefield.  The Desert Support color scheme is a throwback to the early days of Warhammer 40,000, and it's a tradition I fully intend to continue well into the future.  It ties my force to the history of the game, while being a personal touch I've not seen in many other armies.

I hope to do more of these full break downs in the future for my armies.  They're in the same vein as Reinforcements but with a more broken down format.  At the very least it's a good reason to show off a few models I'm proud of!