Wednesday, April 9, 2014

EXPERIMENT: Heat weapons

Facing down a horde of little 'Nid buggers?  Orcs got you down? You're gonna want a few flame throwers. We've all seen that discoloration that metal (especially steel) gets from repeated exposure to heat. So far, I've yet to see a good tutorial on how to paint that effect.  I tried a little experiment, and thought it might make a good new segment for H.O.W.  Experiments are good, even if they don't always work out how you planned.

I've been working on my Grey Knights for a painfully long time now without finishing a model, and I figured it was about damn time I put the finishing touches on a few of them.  One of the last things standing in my way, the flamers.  Now I'll admit, I haven't put a ton of effort in to searching for tutorials for this, but I've stumbled across a few over the last year and none impressed.  I had an idea for my own.

It's pretty basic.  Prime black.  Paint copper. Wash with a rainbow of GW inks. Now, I have looked at a lot of pictures online to see if I could figure out any pattern in the discoloration (ie., is the blue where the heat builds up most? the red? yellow tones?) but can't honestly pick up a pattern. So, until I learn otherwise, random it is.

Here's my flamer for my Terminators:

before and after washes

And my Dreadnought:

In the end, I'm not blown away by the results.  I really struggled to get any kind of transition from color to color, but that could certainly be chalked up to my lack of patience. These were both supposed to be more purple toward the body, and red/yellow toward the tip of the weapon.  They pretty much came out red all the way through.  I think it looks better than a lot of what I've seen out there, but I'm not happy with it yet. A good start.  The search continues.

Anyone have a good recipe they like for steel flambe?



  1. hmmm, it looks like the blues and purples seen in the reference image aren't really coming through in your wash application. A good experiment though!

  2. yep- maybe it's just the GW inks, but I couldn't get the blue or purple to build up as easily as the red. Maybe it just needed more coats, or maybe I just need to make a glaze from regular paint. I just haven't tried the glazes enough and was worried they'd be too opaque and I'd lose the copper underneath.

  3. Here is the formula I follow, and have ever since I saw it in WD when it was useful.

    1. Paint metallic as desired.
    2. Drybrush 2/3 of nozzle Dwarf Bronze
    3. Drybrush 1/3 of nozzle Tin Bitz
    4. Wash with blue ink

    Complete. If desired you can drybrush the very tip of the nozzle black, for soot.

  4. Agreed with CJ here. I think you need to limit the washes more and do them in layers like that. Seems like there's too much overlap so it ends up being the whole thing.

  5. From a article:

    "Heat" weathering

    Oil paint washes are also exceptionally good at creating "heat weathering" on metal components such as exhaust pipes/gun barrels/etc. Using layers of wash from yellow through red to purple (with purple being used on the point closest to the heat source), it is possible to easily create the subtle colour graduation required for this effect to look convincing.

    1. Hmm. I had considered oils, but decided I didn't want to go buy all those paints. Thanks for the tip. Maybe I'll have to try it.

    2. there was just an article on BOLs about this, turned out nicely.

    3. Thanks for the heads up. Interesting one.