Kabal of the Future Sun Paint Scheme
(Dark Eldar/Drukhari Army for Warhammer 40k)
I've received several requests asking about how I did my Dark Eldar paint scheme. I did document the majority of the process but I feel it's only appropriate to also direct you towards this video as it describes the processes in a better way than I can.
It unfortunately requires at least a free 7-day trial of Minwargaming's vault. The video was done by Lester Bursley of AwesomePaintJob and is very much worth looking into.
I know it'll seem like I'm shilling for MWG, which isn't the case, but it's where I got the idea for this specific scheme.
Step 1: Sub-Assembly
The very first step is clipping out and cleaning up all of the raider parts. This is pretty self-explanatory, but I'd recommend dry fitting together the parts just to make sure you're not stuck having to shave things down once it's all done and there's paint on the model.
Assembly is more difficult with the painted model than it is as bare plastic, but I feel the end result is worth it.
Step 2: Sub-Assembly Continued
Small parts are glued to dowels for ease of airbrushing. It's a tremendous pain in the ass to hold a fiddly bit and wait around for the paint to completely dry before you can go over the little bit you were hanging on to with your fingers. So, I stick them on dowels and have an upturned cup with slits cut into it to hold them whenever I don't want to.
Step 3: Priming the Model
Normally I wouldn't advocate for a completely opaque prime as the purpose of your prime level is just to give a surface that paint can stick to and total coverage isn't necessary to accomplish this.
In this case, we completely prime the model so that no grey is showing underneath. This is done as we're going to build up our gradients on top of the prime layer and a uniform coat is desired.
Step 4: Base Coating for the Future
Here we're just airbrushing a coat of Blood Stained Mud from Minitaire on to any surface we want to be bronze/brass in the end. This gives us a layer that our metallic colours will cover nicely even if it isn't 100% opaque. Any mid tone brown can work but it will somewhat alter the end finish of your brass.
Step 4.5: Making Our Stencil
I just cut up an old blister pack I had laying around. I wanted a curved pattern so I made a few different curves but you can do a lot with various shapes. Just think about the surface you want to create and what shapes it might require.
Step 5: Our First Gradient
In this stage we used WarColours White, diluted about 50% with airbrush thinner. If you spray somewhat in to the part of the blister that is masking your model it will create your hard line, and any overspray beyond becomes your gradient. This might take a little bit of practice to get used to but it's not super difficult.
I did not pre-plan my pattern, I just kind of went with what I thought looked cool at the time, making sure to leave a good amount of the black undercoat visible.
Step 6: Our First Ghost Tint
Minitaire's Ghost Tint: Fresh Blood was used to cover our previous gradient. The tricky part with this stuff is that you really want to spray on a heavy coat of it to get the appropriate colour. But, to do this, you first need to spray a light layer so that your second pass will stick to it appropriately. Be very careful about over doing it as you'll get what looks like dark red blotch marks. It can be covered up to an extent in the next step if we mess it up.
Allow an hour before moving on to the next step. The ghost tint takes time to cure.
Step 7: Our Second Gradient
Here we're just going to basically copy our steps from Step 5. However, I wanted to get a look that simulated a fair amount of depth and interest. It's kind of my gimmick to this piece. So, Instead of my curved pattern I largely did straight lines, and I did them cris-crossing across my previous gradient as it creates a significant amount of variation where the gradients overlap.
(It's okay if the white looks pink here.)
Step 8: Ghost Tint Orange
Exactly like we did in Step 6 we apply our Ghost Tint Orange from Minitaire. In this case, I find I don't need to put on quite as thick a coat of orange as I do with the Red as the orange appears to present itself pretty quickly. So, just apply until you get a colour you're happy with.
Allow about 24 hours for the ghost tint to totally cure before moving on to the next step.
Step 9: Paint Your Brass
So, I forgot to take a picture of this step, but basically I just sprayed a layer of Brassy Brass from Vallejo on to the model where we had previously painted brown. I had to thin this out about 2:1 Thinner:Paint. It doesn't come out of the airbrush very well, and you're probably better off using something like a Vallejo Model Air colour for this. Still, it worked out.
Step 10: Assembly
From here, after everything's dried I assembled the model. Raiders are a bit of a pain in the ass to build, so I'd recommend being careful with the front part where the two halves meet. Also, be careful with the front most platform which I messed up on and glued in upside down. I've got a strategy to fix it, but I wish I hadn't done that. The little hole is supposed to face up.
Pro Tip: Elastic bands work okay, but did leave scuff marks on my model. You could touch it up with a very light re-application of your ghost tint orange.
Other Pro Tip: Varnish the model at this stage (after the ghost tint has cured) ~24 hours. After you've done that you can continue with your other paint work. If you do not do this, your ghost tints will bleed through and corrupt your other colours.