Thursday, October 23, 2014

H.O.W. TO: Aged metal using an airbrush...well...not completely.

I don't think I'll ever finish this gorram Reaver Titan.  I always had this philosophy that if I paint a model for someone else, it would prevent me from actually getting one.  You see, part of the main reason why I buy so many Forge World models is largely because I want to paint them.  PAINT ALL THE MODELS!

But many of them are either A) outside the range of affordability (or at least a range that's justifiable) or B) outside the range of affordability.  But I still want to paint them.  So I started painting models for people, sometimes for cash and sometimes just because I wanted to.  I really wanted (past-tense) a Reaver Ttian.  But after spending an ungodly amount of time on this thing, I never want to paint one again.  Ever.  Ever.  

The positive side is that it has opened up a large number of new techniques I can use towards other models.  Case in point, I wanted to limbs, gears, and joints to look like they were aged/oxidized metal.  So I used the tutorial found in the Imperial Armour Masterclass Vol 2 book.  

It's interesting to note the painting style differences between Games Workshop's studio painters, the 'Eavy Metal team, and the Forge World team.  The Forge World team tends to focus more on gritty, grimy paint schemes.  That works especially well when trying to paint tanks to appear more weathered, or battered.  So using one of the tutorials as a point of departure, here is what I did:

(Note:  These were done using the old Citadel paints.  You can find the updated paints by using this handy chart)

1. Over a black undercoat, I airbrushed a mix of Liche Purple + Codex Grey and another mix of Tallarn Flesh + Tausept Ochre in random, mottled patterns with varying amounts of each color in the mixes.  Sometimes I used a 1:1 mix of each, and sometimes I did a 2:1 or 1:2.  I leave it up to you to determine how you want to do it.
Apologies for the Sasquatch leg.  >.<

2. Aibrushed in a mottled pattern Vallejo red, blue, and purple inks.  I didn't cover every single inch as I wanted the previous layer to be visible still, thus creating a mottled pattern.

 3. Drybrushed with Boltgun Metal to give it a metallic sheen without blotting out the colors underneath.  The amount used was a very light dusting. 

 4. Airbrushed several layers of Seraphim Sepia to give it a brassy hue.

And there you have it.  The steps are super super easy to do and the results speak for themselves.  I liked it so much that I ended up painting all of the metallic parts on the Reaver Titan in that same hue, in order to contrast with the red of its carapace.

I highly recommend picking up the Masterclass books from Forge World.  They are an invaluable resource if you're looking to up your painting game.  Another benefit to them is that Forge World doesn't just adhere to using Citadel paints.  They openly use other brand named products and explain why.  And rumor has it they are coming out with a Horus Heresy Masterclass book  (image from one of my favorite 30K blog sites) as well.  


  1. Great tutorial. The end result is really nice too boot! One thing I've been learning lately, is how important color is to weathering. Natural weathering is full of rich colors, not just browns, metallics, and blacks!

  2. Man, that's awesome. I've got Masterclass Vol1, but haven't been able to find Vol 2 on ebay. Completely forgot to grab it when I made my last FW purchase. Probably not going to make another order for a long time. Their shipping charges are tough to stomach.

  3. great post! the results speak for themselves.