Wednesday, May 28, 2014

WIP: Grey Knights Interceptor Squad

Ah.  Feels nice to be back in the saddle.  Finally got to throw some paint on these models after 3 weeks abroad.  Here's how I go about basing my Grey Knights.

They say you can't build a strong building without a good foundation, and that's what I aim to do with this paint setup.  By throwing on a few different layers of base with the airbrush, I give the models some depth and shading before ever breaking out my brush.  Here's my process.  Nothing ground breaking, but it helps a lot. First- you'll notice I put some BlueTac over the shoulder and arm joints. Trip swears by the Revell plastic glue, and that it goes through paint, blah, blah, blah.  I haven't had that luck.  With any plastic glue.  Maybe it's the metallic flake in the three layers of paint here, but I need to give myself a clean surface to glue to.  If you feel like trying this out, you'll want to do the same. Onward:

Step 1: Primer.  Duh.

Step 2: Vallejo Black Metal

Step 3: Vallejo Gungrey- sprayed fairly liberally from the top-down only.  Never go past about 30 degrees from straight top-down.

Step 4: Vallejo Steel - sprayed sparingly.  A little goes a long way.  Remember that we usually look at these models from well above them, so whatever colors are facing up tend to be the color that our eye sees, and our brain assumes that they are.  I want Grey Knights- not Silver Knights, so I try not to overdo it. 

Now, you may be saying right now, "I barely see any difference between the three.  Why bother?"  Here's why:

See the difference now? I didn't do a model in plain Gungrey without the highlights and depth tones, so you'll have to take my word for it, but this adds pretty significant depth to the model.  You can already see on some of the text on his shins, etc, how much separation there is between the tones.  This will only be magnified when I start putting on washes. 

For this squad, I'm toying with the idea of putting a blue wash over all the metal before I move on to basing the other colors.  I've seen others do it and I like the extra hint of color on what can otherwise become somewhat monochromatic models. I should've sprayed an extra part to experiment.  Oh well.  No guts, no glory. 

Also on my table currently, a little modelling project I've been threatening Trip with since we first started playing.  I was so eager to get back to hobbying that I couldn't handle down time and dusted this old thing off while waiting for paint to dry. I'll leave you most-assuredly salivating on the edge of your seats for that one until next week or later.



  1. Nice write up, m8. I paint my Knights similarly. As for the wash, yes - it definitely works, but I have 2 tips for you:

    First, airbrush a gloss varnish over the models before washing. Not only will it protect your existing work, but it will help the wash flow only into the recesses. After you wash, you can go back (at the end) and satin varnish them or whatever you prefer, and the gloss (if you don't like the effect) will disappear.

    Second, I stay away from bright blue washes because I think it looks funny. Minitaire has a paint color called "Royal Blood" which is what I mix up to make my washes. It is a dark, gray-blue. Just enough blue for me that it makes the shadowing pop, and not enough blue that it looks "candy." If you mix it with 2:1 water:matte medium, you can dilute that down to the consistency you want. It really looks great.

    Good luck!

  2. One more thing - I also wash all the gold areas with Reikland Fleshshade (as opposed to Agrax Earthshade). It give the gold a reddish tint that really compliments the red details in the Knights' livery.

  3. Excellent tips. Thanks as well Mike!

    I recently starting doing a similar technique with my templars. I used to just chaos black primer, then line edge and add color breaks. The black was always very flat and dead.

    Now I use a similar technique with a light grey spray over the chaos black from 30-45 degree angles (above), then use the vallejo black wash, which is really splotchy. Makes everything look crazy gritty with lots of variation in the black.

  4. Agree on the black technique. Getting black to look right seems very hard. I've tried a couple of different things, and the method you describe is essentially what I have settled on when painting black cloaks. I still haven't settled on a technique for black armor yet. The next one I'm going to try is Vallejo Black Metal, highlighted up with Vallejo Chrome, with a black wash over the top.

  5. Do you have a particular fav black wash? I was horrified when the vallejo dried splotchy, then realized it just made everything look super gritty. I've been looking for a bulk wash for terrain, but haven't settled on anything yet. Someone was pointing me to the army painter dark toner cans.

    And I agree, black armor is really fickle. To really really make it look good, you have to spend an enormous amount of time on it. I settle for the patchy grey/texture from the wash/airbrush and line edging.

  6. I just use the Nuln Oil, but I agree if you are painting scenery, you will run through it quickly. Have you tried Lester Bursley's wash recipes? It is how I made my Knights wash. If you go to the Awesome Paint Job site (just Google that), you will find it. You can then use any black you want as the color. I prefer the Vallejo GC black myself. It flows better than the GW version.

    1. Thanks so much! I bookmarked it for the next time I'm at the hobby store to pick up ingredients to try!

    2. U can sub out the "ink" for just the Paint. The ink probably does the job better, but I couldn't justify making a special trip to the store to pick it up since I already had the Liquitex stuff on hand.

  7. Good tips, gents. I'll definitely do the gloss sealer coat and "save" my work. It's funny- I've been trained to never do gloss coats over metallics and so I always avoid doing it. Can't get it out of my brain. With lacquer paint, it leaves them looking cloudy. These water-based paints don't seem to have that problem.

  8. Another thought occurred to me, I'd bet that the varnish would help the other paint cover a little better. You always have to do multiple brush coats when going over metallics because that metal flake shows through thinner coats. I'd guess it might put a bit of a barrier on that too. Will have to give it a shot.