Today, I'm presenting my step-by-step guide to painting a Steel Legion tank (a Deathstrike missile). I created this scheme for a new army I'm working on and I've kept it as succinct as possible. There are a lot of layers in here, but I've maximised the impact to time spent ratio to create a scheme that packs a punch fast. I have used an airbrush, but all of this could be done with a brush, it would just take more time. Speaking of time, the total painting time from start to finish for this tank was only 4 hours and 30 minutes. I've spent longer than that on single infantrymen for some armies!
Even if you're not interested in painting steel legion, it'll probably still be an interesting article, as I'm going to really hammer through a lot of techniques that you may have never used before. With that out of the way, let's get started.
1) I gave the whole model a basecoat with Vllejo German Grey using the airbrush. It covers well, but some placed needed 2 coats to really get it good. I should mention that I started first with a Chaos Black undercoat to make sure that the paint would adhere.
I've added two pictures below that show how things are going so far. At this point, I was only an hour and a half into the tank and things were really looking good. It would be even faster without the red and white stripes as that stage took about 20 minutes.
|A closer shot of the side, so you can get an idea of how the weathering has gone. Interestingly, pure black works great for blending the white and red into the hull adds a lot of depth to them.|
13) With the airbrushing stage out of the way, I took my tank indoors to work on the bodywork. The first port of call was to add definition to the panels. For this, I applied a directed wash using Agrax Earthshade. Essentially this meant that I used a small brush wash round all the rivets, and down the panel lines of the tank. It's important not to just wash the whole tank or it will ruin all of the careful. If you want to see this stage in more detail, Warhammer TV did a video tutorial of a more basic Steel Legion scheme that has this exact same stage (see this video at about 1.10 to see how this is done: Warhammer TV Steel Legion Tank Tutorial).
After that, I used a really big square ended brush that was about 1 inch across to very lightly drybrush Ice Yellow over the top of the whole tank (except for that white missile). This picked up the very edges of the armour plates and the rivets and brought the whole look together.
|For painting tanks, I like my brush the way I like my like my Martinis; dry … and almost unnecessarily large.|
|You can see the impact the Agrax wash has had from all of those rivets. I've added some little grease trails here and there to them to give the impression of age. It's got the patina!|
14) To finish the hull off, I went to another painting technique. I used some German Grey on a dry sponge to add some paint chipping and weathering to the edges. I then followed this up doing the same thing with Leadbelcher. I have to admit that I don't usually watch painting videos, but I did some research planning this scheme out and I lifted this technique directly from Warhammer TV as well. As it's already been described in great detail in their video, I'll add a like. The part you want is at about 3 minutes in. Link to Weathering Video.
15) With all of that work out of the way, I finally entered the end game for this model. By this point about 2 and a quarter hours had elapsed. So time wise, I was about half way there. The next steps would be a bit more long winded and finnicky as there really is no way to cut down on the hard work after a certain point and you just have to stick with it. I didn't continue taking pictures of every step as all the next steps are quite basic and just the same kind of things you'd do to paint an ordinary infantryman. I am going to list the methods and colours that I used though, as I'll want to know when I come back to paint another tank for the army (hopefully a basilisk will be coming up next!). Ok, so the remaining colours go something like this:
- Silver areas (including Tracks): Basecoat Leadbelcher, wash with Dryad Bark, Highlight with Army Painter Plate Mail Metal, wash with Nuln Oil.
- White Areas (Banners): Basecoat Rakarth Flesh, Highlight 50/50 Rakarth Flesh and White, Wash with Agrax Earthshade, Highlight with White.
- Blue Areas (Lenses): Basecoat Dark Prussian Blue, Highlight successively with White. Gloss Varnish lenses when complete.
- Black Areas (Gun Bodies): Basecoat with Abaddon Black. Edge Highlight with Dark Sea Grey.
16) With all of the colours down and ready to go, the last stage was to apply the decals and add a final light stippled weathering with Dryad Bark just to blend in the transfers a bit and to unify anything that it looking just a little bit too clean.
|The weathering as it appears on the finished model.|
Well, that's it. The tank is complete. I hope somebody actually bothers to read to the end of this article! Feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions or if you want to know anything about the painting methods that I've used.
If you found this article interesting, don't forget to follow the blog or check back later to see how the rest of the Steel Legion come out. I might even write out a tutorial for the infantry!