Sunday, 12 January 2014

021. WIP trial Ultramarine...

WIP Ultramarine test Tactical Marine front shot 
I have kicked on tonight with a test Tactical Marine to trial my Ultramarine scheme.  Apologies upfront for the photo quality, I'm using the iPad to take the photos and lodge this blog post so it's all a bit new for me.

The painting has gone fairly smooth thus far.  The base layer I put down with the airbrush has come out quite purple so it has taken two layers of my next chosen blue to get to the tone I was aiming for. I have been using Vallejo paints with the first base and layer being from the airbrush line (Dark Sea Blue base followed by Blue Angel Blue).  Tonight I applied by brush a mix of Model Air Blue and Model Colour Dark Prussian Blue.

I made use of a wet pallet for the first time tonight which has helped me mix my paint and kept it fresh through the whole session.  Brilliant little bit of kit that I wish I had stumbled onto earlier.  My dilemma now is do I continue to apply my chosen final layer by hand or try and mix it and push it out through the airbrush.  The airbrush gives a lovely smooth finish but the colour is desaturated as it is going on thinner.  By hand though I have created some unexpected brush strokes.  It's been so long since I painted a Marine that I made a rookie mistake and went back over parts before the prior pass had fully dried.  You'd think after spending the week painting the house I would know not to do that.  I don't think I would make that mistake again but I don't really fancy applying each additional layer on the forty odd marines I have in my current list.
My wet pallet.  Lovely way to keep paint fresh and massive help in blending colours.
As well as applying the next layer, I also kicked on with edge highlights.  Believe it or not this is the first Marine in fifteen years I have ever edge highlighted.  I've always been to afraid to try before but with these lads I am aiming to lift my painting quality to high table top standards with display quality on my character models.  I downloaded a copy of the how to paint Space Marines that GW put out when they released the new Codex and reviewed a number of posts by Stahly and Garfy from Tale of Painters  to figure out where to put my highlights.  A few have come out a bit rough and thick but I have gone back through with my blue and tidied up the worst of them.

I also went through and did my flesh tone on the skin and the skull and wreath on the backpack and shoulder guard including a little free hand ULTRA on the wreath which I never do so it's a mini full of firsts. I've put down the base coat for the silver metallics and washed them with Abaddon Black.  They just need a highlight now.  The only decision I need to make is what company to have my force belong to so I can do the shoulder pad trim and also what colour bolt/weapon casings to do - I'm tossing up plain black with grey highlights or classic red but worry that might be a tad strong against the darker blue I have opted for.  Thoughts anyone?  Additionally I fancy chipping these guys up a bit but don't know what colour to use as the base for the chop.  I'm thinking the old Charadon Granite with Bleached Bone highlights.  Again comments/thoughts welcome.

I'll leave it at that for tonight.  It felt good to pick up a brush again after a couple of weeks break.  It felt even more refreshing to paint a Marine after so long, particularly one in this scheme.  I've been thinking about it for long enough it was good to get on with it.

As always, happy hobby all.




  1. Liam, that dude is sweet! I'm loving the highlighting! I really like that shade of blue too. It is like to original Rouge Trader ultramarines- so retro – so cool

    I seem to always look at your work and think, ‘damn I should be a better painter by now!’

    OMG a wet palette! I need one so badly!! Bloody Ausy summers! Where did you get yours?

    As for the gun and shoulder pad colour, I would choose the 2nd company and perfectly match the ‘orange’ colour that is the exact opposite to that deep blue. Go for maximum contrast with the perfect complementary colour I say. Maybe use an online colour wheel to find what shade you will need. Then do the gun grey and black.

    1. Hey Raymond. The wetpallet is from the local Chinese takeaway - its just a plastic container they put their rice in - I added two squares of kitchen towel, and a layer of baking paper and the water and it was job done - I've been meaning to do it for months but kept forgetting to keep the container - the post the other day on the group page made me remember (we had Chinese that night).

      Still tossing up shoulder colours but thinking the gun casings are going to be black - red will be a tad vibrant I think against the darker armour.

      I'm trawling build and paint logs on other blogs and forums for inspiration on the pads, as wel as going back over my copies of Insignium Astartes, the COllected Visions and old COdices. I'll settle on something eventually.

    2. On the wetpallet- my mind is blown! That is a great idea! Good luck on choosing the right pad colour. No need to rush these decisions.

  2. Great looking marine! The deep dark blue armor looks fantastic (really suits the Ultramarines in my mind). The highlighting is subtle and seamless (edge highlights look great too).

    I would be tempted to go with red (3rd?) or orange (6th). I kind of like the idea of the 8th Company too which uses grey (you don't see that much).

    When adding chipping to armor, I always like to paint the damaged part black first, followed by a succession of metallics, leaving a thin border of black around the damage (often helps the damage stand out).

    1. Cheers Adam. I fancied a line company rather than a reserve one so it needs to be one of the first five - with the 1st being out of the running aside from the specialist units.

      I used to do my chipping like that with black and metallics, but I've been seeing others do it with browns and greys as the base and then the final edge highlight colour underneath - tempted to try that - might do some mock ups on something else first and see what I like the look of.

  3. Ahhhh ! No ! Ultramarines !

    It's not too late - Crimson Fists, Crimson Fists, Crimson Fists....

    Seriously, He looks great. It's a fantastically vibrant colourscheme.

    1. You don't know how tempted I was to switch to Crimson Fists when I realised how purple the blue had become - but I need to stick to my first choice and stop flitting between Chapters - maybe I can do a small detachment of Fists later on to 'ally' or whatever it is kids are doing with their plastic dudes-men these days.

      Last night I settled on red shoulder trim so there is a bit more colour on him now.

      Cheers for stopping by Zzzzzz (do you know everytime I type out your screen name I have to double count the -z's - I'd hate to drop one of or add one too many!).