Saturday, 28 March 2009

103 Painting By Numbers Part I

This is a post about really basic painting.

I noted before that I take very a basic approach to painting the massed ranks of the (soon to be reorganised) 2/24th Cadian. This post constitutes the first part of a step-by-step to explain how I do this. This (below) is the first stage of two - painting the model:
Over the last year, some folks have been kind enough to note that my army looks okay. I reckon it does too, with 'okay' being the operative word. Someone pointed out that two feet away was the optimum distance for viewing, and my boys look fine from there: all based and uniform. If you're a new convert to Guard and a faster painter than me, this is a stonkingly simple paint scheme. Please excuse the photos: some were taken at night with a flash.

I use the following colours for the painting stage; more-or-less in this order:

Chaos Black spray primer
Catachan Green
Dark Angels Green
Bolt Gun Metal
Tallarn Flesh (foundation)
Skull White
Shining Gold.
First, the models are assembled and undercoated, using Chaos Black spray. I don't currently base them first although I know I should. That's in future plans.
Next, all cloth, webbing pouches and rifle furniture get painted Catachan Green. I'm not too particular:
Then all the armour, helmet, shoulder pads and greaves are painted Dark Angels Green - a little more neatly:
Bolt Gun Metal is next. I use it for rifle details, chest/helmet aquila, belt buckle and the buttons (etc.) on webbing pouches:
Then it's the marvellous Tallarn Flesh foundation paint: hands and face:
Now we go back to black and tidy up boots, webbing straps/belt/buckle, rifle stock, muzzle; sometimes an opened mouth:
Details now: Skull White for eyes and teeth:
And the final stage: small dots (blue/brown) for pupils; maybe a slightly darker flesh tone for the bottom lip (if I can be bothered); Shining Gold for the rifle aquila, and - importantly - I go back and tidy the Catachan and DA Green bits:
And there you have a basically painted Draxian infantryman. I know there are better/faster ways and means, but I've done half the army like this now, and I'm loathe to change (except maybe for earlier basing).

By the way - since taking the final photos of this process (eg: the first one in this post) I've noticed that the helmet aquila and the muzzle (not shown) needed tidying. They've been done now.

Thanks, all,

- Drax.


  1. I am of the same opinion, I prefer a quick and simple scheme for Guard. Your Guardsman's scheme is simple but effective, especially when he has over 100 of his friends with him!

  2. I like the Draxian method, it produces a nice fieldable bunch of minis that look great en mass.

    ... strangely the work verification for me today is "orkiesi". I think that is the Eldar word for Ork.

  3. Has anyone ever complimented you on your eyes, Admiral?

    Ahem. I mean the quality of your models' painted eyes, of course.

    My Etogaur was the first model I ever painted eyes on, and I'd like to think they look half as good as your basic troopers' eyes. I'm not doing them on anyone else, though, because I'm just not very good at it. Having 100+ models painted Draxian-style, with expert eyes, is something to be hella proud of!

  4. Bravo! Painting is but the annoying speed bump in between me and my gaming. Quick and simple rocks especially when it's as effective and good looking as the guardsmen you have there. You should invest in The Army Painter bro. Your mini already looks friggin sweet and would only look that much better with the wash.

    I got The Army Painter how to 3 minute videos up on my blog if you want to check em out. ONe of the videos shows him splashing a Flames of War mini with a very similar color scheme to your Guardsman.

  5. HA-HA! The eyes? Really?

    Wow - I'm honestly surprised as I hate the way I do eyes: especially by comparison to the eight-stage-shaded-ovals-with-proper-pupils-and-reflected-light efforts you see in 'Eavy Metal.

    I think my guardsmen tend always to look a bit surprised...but then, as the Cadian faces are all either grumpy or surprised I guess that's not too unreasonable.

    I'd be surprised if I were a guardsman facing down a bloodthirster.

    Thank you very much though, Techpriest: I'm flattered.

    25mm: I'm seriously attracted to army painter, but as I say in the post, I'd like the whole batallion to look the same as much as possible.

    Maybe for future projects...maybe even for my stormtrooper platoon, as it looks as if they'll be my new airbourne assault come May...

    Thanks, all,

    - Drax.

  6. Simple, no-nonsense guard paint scheme--looks good.

    I do think your eyes came out just fine--he looks either bug-eyed with rage at the loafing private behind him, or he's terrified at the Genestealer he just saw sneaking up on him.

    I used to paint my eyes with by painting the sockets white, and then trying to put two black dots in for pupils, and pray they they are looking in the same direction. These days, however, I paint the sockets black, and try to dab in the tiniest white dots on either side of the "center" of the eye. Doing it that way does away with the surprised "bug eye" look, makes some instant blacklining around them, and it's still only two steps!

  7. This is a really easy thing to think about and a really hard one to execute, but the reason their eyes look surprised is because there is white above and below the pupil. If you can paint a line from the top of the eye to the bottom they'll look a bit less surprised.

    Either way, great work. I'm planning to start an IG army and the thought of painting as many guardsmen as you have done is really daunting.

  8. Random thought of a questionable tangential relevance: "Draxian" is a really, really cool adjective.

    "Draxian infantrymen" conjures up mental images of though-as-nails troops who take on dragons for breakfast. :)

  9. Coo...

    Thanks, Darkwing and Simon: I shall experiment with limiting their surpise: great tip!

    Jabber-Jabber: Thanks! I wish they were tough as nails, but to their credit (even though I don't play regularly) they've taken down the following things of note within the last year:

    -- An entire Dark Angels task force which outnumbered them(!)
    -- A Necron Lord (with a grenade launcher)
    -- a Bloodthirster. This was shredded by only a handful of guardsmen on rapid fire - genius!


    - Drax
    (The Draxian One)

  10. I do like the simple and very effective paint scheme and method. As they say in the forces, 'good is good enough and that will do'.

    So when will we get to see your 'Draxian Stormtrooper platoon'?

    Would you have any qualms about me stealing the name for a very small Valkyrie mounted IG force?

  11. Vyper,

    I'd consider it an honour: go for it - but I'll want to see pictures!

    I got my stormtroopers out last night. I've a platoon's worth of old-style beret troops (37, but I'm trying to get that upto 40-ish) plus about another 20 mixed-up between the gas-masky ones (I don't like them much) and a handful of kasrkin (great models but expensive).

    I'm looking forward to attacking the beret plastics: they're nice and simple to paint!

  12. cool post mate, ive just bought a box of Cadians but ive got different heads as im using them as =I= stromtroopers...

    not started painting them yet though.

  13. Admiral, I may have a couple of the old style Storm Troopers in my parents loft. The next time I'm up home I'll look them out and send them on to you. Least I can do for allowing the use of the name.

  14. Nicely done. I too, love the eyes. :)

  15. Darksol and Vinci: thanks!

    Vyper: that's awfully grand: if you think of it when next you're home it'd be gratefully received!

    - D


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