Thursday, February 17, 2011

How I Paint my Dark Eldar Part I- Paint Guide

I start with a good black basecoat.  I have found that dark armies seem to paint up a lot quicker than light ones.  This is actually a paint color called "oiled bronze" with very little bronze.  A good basecoat is very important.  If you have plastic or metal showing through, it can cause a lot of problems with trying to get an even coat, matching colors etc.
Next I do a heavy drybrush with a larger brush.  For the Dark Eldar I use Red Gore.  I usually load the brush, and then squeeze it in between a paper towel to remove most the paint.  I use one paper towel for drybrushing and one for cleaning my brush.  You want the brush to stay dry.  The larger the brush, the longer you can use it before it starts getting wet.  I usually load, blot, and use my brush about 3-4 times before it gets wet.  Once it gets wet, it is going to streak and start painting your model like a regular brush, and the drybrushing is done.  Then I usually wash out my brush, dry it, and put it aside for next time.  Then grab another brush and go to town drybrushing again.  I use a cheaper brush, but it has held up pretty well with all the drybrushing I do.
Now I do a lighter drybrush- smaller, stiffer brush, with less paint on it- for the second drybrush/highlighting.  For this stage I used 1:1 mix of Iyanden darksun and red gore.  I really like the foundation paints as it lets you use lighter colors on top of dark ones, and they actually have enough pigment to work the first time.  Again a light drybrush.
For the first wash, I did a 1:1 mix of Devlan mud and Baal red ink wash.  I put this on with a 10-0 brush, only on the areas of the red armor that I want to be dark, and leave the red and yellow/red highlighted areas unpainted.  If you brought out the highlights too much in the last stage, the wash can push them back and make them less intense if you like.
 Next, I painted the shoulder pads and breastplate with dwarf bronze.  I forgot to get the knee pads, and got those later.  The paint brush shown is the one I do most my painting with.  It is a size 0. You can see I have used it a lot.  It is not an expensive brush and has worked well as long as you keep it clean.
Boltgun Metal for the mask, upper arm armor, stomach armor, and blades.
  Tallarn Flesh for the loin cloth.  Again it covers very well in only one coat.  Just don't get it where you don't want it.

Next is a Gryphonne Sepia wash over most of the boltgun metal and bronze areas.  This does a lot to tone down the bright metals.  I wash everything, but leave the very edges unwashed.  This leaves the edges bright for highlights.
Finally, for this post, I washed devlan mud into the recesses of the metal, especially the dwarf bronze to tone it down.  I put some devlan mud into the recesses of the arm and stomach armor with a 10-0 brush, trying to leave the edges clean again for highlights.  I ran my stopwatch and have only spent about 40 minutes on the figure, and that is including taking pictures.  I haven't had to edge highlight with different colors, or do anything that required a whole lot of dexterity.  Washes and drybrushing are really quite easy once you get the hang of it.  Next time:  shading on the loincloth, and highlighting the metals, and a few details.


  1. I like it. I need to get back into drybrushing. Yours looks awesome.

  2. You mixed Bronze with black for the first basecoat? Want to try this for my DE this evening...

  3. It actually was a spray paint called "oiled bronze". It was black with just a little bit of bronze in it. I have been leaning toward priming the models, and then using an airbrush to put down the first couple layers. Spray paints are easier to mess up the paint job with. If you do too heavy a coat, or hold the can too far away, or paint under the wrong temperature ie. too hot too cold, or if the humidity is really high or non-existent, they all cause problems for spray paint. Primer is easier to get an even coat, then paint seems to stick on really well.

  4. were did you get the oiled bronze paint

  5. Garret,
    Sorry I missed your comment for so long. I believe it was a krylon paint from walmart. It was called 'oiled bronze'. it was a dark brown with a very little amount of bronze flecks.