This weekend, I did something that I haven’t done in months and months: I actually put paint to miniature. I started working on some test models for my Black Templar army, trying to figure out my paint process (step by step, including the list of paints used – what I generally call my “recipe”) and trying to figure out how I want them to look. I find it’s best to use some test models when you start this process.
For this paint scheme (my fledgling Black Templar army) I grabbed two generic Space Marine models from the 5th edition Assault on Black Reach starter set. These models are generally easy to find on eBay and are great for starter models as they go together very quickly and are pretty easy to paint. I primed them both black with my airbrush (using Vallejo Airbrush Surface Primer) and then dusted them from above at a 45-degree angle with a dark grey of my own mixing specifically for this project (known now as the ’special sauce’). This gives the models depth, as the lighter color of paint lands on all the raised areas and then naturally fades to black in all of the areas that the airbrush doesn’t reach. This makes the model look like the shadows have been painted on, which they have been to a degree.
When I got to the iconic white shoulder pads for this army, I wanted to try a few different options. I didn’t want the white to be a flat, bright white like I frequently see on Black Templar models online. I wanted the white to be either dull or dirty in some way, and this is where starting your painting experiments with several models instead of just one starts to pay off. If you have at least two models to practice on, you can split off your ’recipe’ at some point and see which look you like better. If you only had one model you were testing on, you wouldn’t be able to compare techniques.
At this point, I’m pretty happy with the model seen above. I still need to finish the eye lenses (traditionally red for the Black Templars) and the basing colors (mainly a mud color and some small grey rocks), but once I’m happy with all of it (and have it all written down for posterity) I’ll be able to start working on the actual real models in the army and use the pictured model as an example to paint from. I’m looking forward to it.