So you've picked up Dark Vengeance and are about to ake the side of the Dark Angel, but aren't sure how to paint all those beautiful models you've found in the box? Behold. In this tutorial we're going to explore how to paint a beautiful Dark Angel with easy and time-effective techniques. You don't need to call a Interrogator-Chaplain to find out more, just click "More after the jump".
Painting an army of Dark Angels is a challenging task, yet a diversified one. The army consists of three fractions that all have their individual trademark colour - dark green for your regular Marines, bone for the Deathwing and black for the Ravenwing. You want to put a cohesive looking army on the table, not three. Also take care that your secretive and gothic Dark Angels don't become "christmas marines" due to their green, red and cream paint scheme. You can see this on the 'Eavy Metal painted Dark Angels models. While the paintjobs are perfectly executed, the paint scheme is pretty garish and bright and doesn't fit the Dark Angels' theme in my opinion. Thus I'm going to use more muted shades in this tutorial (especially for the cloak) without creating a dull model. It's all about the contrast.
Before we start: This model was painted with my ecclectic collection of paints, but most of this paint scheme can be recreated with the new Citadel paint range actually. You will find paint alternatives in [brackets] whenever possible. Of course, the best result can be acchieved if you follow this tutorial as close as possible. Thus, if you want to expand your paint collection but your local game store doesn't carry all of the brands I use, I recommend checking out Wayland Games. They've got them all - Vallejo Game Colour, Formula P3 from Privateer Press and Warpaints from The Army Painter - and at a discount.
1. Assemble your model, glue some sand on the base and prime. For priming, there are two options. Either you use your favourite black primer, or you can use "Angel Green" color primer from The Army Painter. Angel Green is a colour that is very similar to the old Dark Angels Green or the new Caliban Green. Using Angel Green will save you a lot of time, as you can do priming and basecoating in a single step, especially helpful when painting vehicles. Just two things to remember when using Army Painter primers: First, Shake them thoroughly, get a bit closer with your can than you would with Citadel primers and use long, sweeping moves while keeping the trigger pressed instead of applying short bursts. Second, be sure to pick up the matching Angels Green paint from Army Painter's Warpaints range so you can fix those areas the primer didn't cover.
As I didn't have a can of Angels Green laying around, I just used regular black primer from Games Workshop. For the base I chose a medium brown theme that would go well with both the dark green armour of the regular Dark Angels as well as the bone armour of the Deathwing. So I basecoated the base with Mournfang Brown and drybrushed the sand heavily with P3 Beast Hide [Baneblade Brown]. I proceeded painting the rocks with P3 Bastion Grey [Stormvermin Fur] and drybrushing them with Fortress Grey [Administratum Grey]. Finally I gave everything including the rocks a light drybrush with Terminatus Stone.
2a. With the messy parts done, I started painting the robe. I used Dheneb Stone for the basecoat [Rakarth Flesh], then built up the shadows by painting two thinned coats of Stormvermin Fur directly into the recesses. As you can see above, it doesn't matter if you are a bit messy at this point.
2b. Now I tidied up the robe with Dheneb Stone, leaving Stormvermin Fur in the recesses. Next I highlighted with Pallid Wych Flesh, followed by a very sharp highlight of Ceramite White [Skull White or whatever white you've got].
3a. Now it's time for the armour. I basecoated with Caliban Green [you can use Dark Angels Green even though it's a more "vivid" dark green than Caliban Green]. Of course, if you primed with Army Painter's Angel Green, you can skip this step. Then I blacklined the armour by painting Vallejo Game Colour Black Ink directly into the recesses - thinned Abaddon Black works fine as well. At this stage I also painted the joints of the armour as well as the grills of the helmet and backpack with Boltgun Metal [Warpaints Gun Metal or Leadbelcher] and gave them a wash of Badab Black [Warpaints Dark Tone Ink, the new shades from GW just aren't as good IMO]. I've also did the eye lenses at this point because it's easier to correct flaws now than later. I painted the eyes with Mephiston Red and highlighted them with Wild Rider Red, followed by a small white dot in the corner. Clean up any messy areas with Caliban Green/Angel Green so that only thin sharp lines of black are left.
3b. Then I applied a first edge highlight with VGC Mutation Green [Warboss Green works fine as well]. Click on the pictures to find out where to place the highlights.
3c. Finally I applied a very sharp extreme highlight with Skarsnik Green only to the uppersides of the most pronounced armour features.
4. Now we spend time on the details. I basecoated the bone areas with Bleached Bone [Ushabti Bone or Warpaints Skeleton Bone], such as random decorations on the armour or the chest eagle (the chest eagle of my model is hidden by the cloak, but on models with a visible chest eagle, paint it bone). I washed VGC Brown Ink directly into the recesses, then cleaned up with Bleached Bone. I highlighted the bone with Screaming Skull and finally Ceramite White.
Next I painted the underskirt with Abbadon Black [Chaos Black] and highlighted with Eshin Grey and Codex Grey [Dawnstone].
5. Basecoat the weapon (and the tactical emblems if the model has any) with Khorne Red [Scab Red] while leaving the black primer around the rivets and in the recesses. Highlight the edges with Mephiston Red and finally with P3 Khardic Flesh for the most prominent features [you can also use Squig Orange].
Next I basecoated the drawstrings (and the wax of the purity seals if the models had any) with Screamer Pink and washed it with Badab Black. Adding a bit of purple gives your Dark Angels a little more secretive touch. Finally I layered with Screamer Pink and highlighted with a mix of Screamer Pink and Fortress Grey [Administratum Grey]. You can also paint the cape of your Company Master in purple, but here I'd recommend mixing black into your Screamer Pink for shading, instead of using a wash, as this creates better results on flat areas.
Paint the metal with Boltgun Metal [Warpaints Gun Metal or Leadbelcher] and wash it with Warpaints Dark Tone Ink [Badab Black]. Highlight with Chainmail [Warpaints Plate Mail Metal or Ironbreaker]. In this step also highlight the metal areas you painted in step 3a. In the nozzles of the plasma thrower I painted Ceramite White, then a mix of Ice Blue [Lothern Blue] and Ceramite White while leaving white in the middle, and pure Ice Blue around the edges for a slight glow effect. I also added black dots to the barrel.
Finally I painted the edge of the base with Steel Legion Drab [Graveyard Earth]. You're done!
How do you like the finished model? It took me a bit of over four hours to paint, however on your regular non-robed Marines you should be faster, especially when using Angel Green primer. And the result is well worth the time spent I'd say!
Stay tuned for part two of this tutorial, aimed for later this week, when I explore how to paint the Ravening and Deathwing parts of your copy of Dark Vengeance!
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