This is a Guest Post by Dave Taylor
A few months ago, when the Dark Eldar samples had just hit the GW stores and FLGS around the world, the master of this very blog (Ron) expressed concern that not only would the standard army painting apathy affect the number of painted Dark Eldar armies, but that their intricate nature would further reduce the number of painted armies around. I think Ron was just having a bad day, but I suggested we should collaborate on something to show how easy it could be to have a sharp looking Dark Eldar painted quickly.
I picked up a box of Dark Eldar Warriors (despite having no plans to build an army) and finally got the chance to paint one up, photographing as I went. Here are the quick steps I used to paint up my Kabalite Warrior.
The Armor plates
Step One - prime black.
Step Two - light drybrush of Hawk Turquoise. Make sure this is a light drybrush with a big brush (I used a Tank Brush), and just catch the sharp, raised edges.
Step Three - lighter drybrush of a Hawk Turquoise/Skull White mix (roughly 50/50). This should be lighter than the last drybrush.
Step Four - hit the highest highlights with a Hawk Turquoise/Skull White mix (roughly 25/75). Make sure these lines are very thin.
Step Five - wash the armor with Thraka Green. This will help blend your highlights and drybrushing. If you were over zealous with your drybrushing, then hit the armor with a few more layers of Thraka Green.
Step One - Paint the flayed skin with Tallarn Flesh.
Step Two - was with Ogryn Flesh.
Step Three - highlight with Dheneb Stone.
Step One - paint the gold parts with a mix of Scorched Brown/Shining Gold (roughly 50/50).
Step Two - highlight with Shining Gold.
Step Three - highlight with a 50/50 mix of Shining Gold/Mithril Silver.
- paint the eyes and surounding edges with a 75/25 mix of Snot Green/Chaos Black.
- highlight eyes and edges with Snot Green.
- highlight eyes and edges with a 40/60 mix of Snot Green/Sunburst Yellow.
- highlight eyes with Sunburst Yellow.
- wash area with Thraka Green.
- paint the metal with a 50/50 mix of Chaos Black/Boltgun Metal.
- highlight with Boltgun Metal.
- highlight with Mithril Silver
- touch up all the black areas with Chaos Black.
- highlight with a 50/50 mix of Chaos Black/Dark Grey*.
- highlight with Dark Grey*.
* Dark Grey is from the Vallejo Model Color range.
All in all this model took just under an hour to paint, including stopping to take a photo after almost every stage. Perhaps next week I'll try it out on a Wyche.
I hope you like what you've read here and are ready to paint up your army of awesome Dark Eldar models.
- A huge thanks to Dave for sharing this with the community. As soon as Dave came up with this idea, I knew there was no way I could decline the offer to do something like this. My FLGS graciously agreed to let me borrow the store's Dark Eldar sprues and I built my own Dark Eldar warrior.
Setting all my preconceived notions aside, I sat down and followed Dave's tutorial on my model. I knew it would be tough for me for a couple reasons. One, it's not my normal formula or painting method and two, I'm a heavy handed drybrusher. But, I kept to the tutorial as best I could (using the colors I had on hand). Here's what I came up with:
I did learn a few things painting this model:
1. I don't drybruah much at all. But, the use of washes over careful drybrushing can give you a great feathered highlight effect. I was amazed to see how the drybrushing blended into the black after 3 washes. It really toned down the highlight and blended it into the armour. I needed 3 layers of washes because I don't know how to do it that well yet.
2. You still need to be able to do some fine line highlighting to get that "finished" look.
3. It doesn't take a ton of detail to make these guys look tabletop ready. If you think about it, all that was painted on these was the armour, flayed skin, metal areas and the eyes.
4. Never underestimate the ability to go back and clean up your work. For example, the armour. After drybrushing and washing, being able to go back in with black and clean it up made a huge difference in the final look. You can really tidy things up.
So there you have it folks. It is possible to get a nice looking Dark Eldar army in a fairly short time provided you're willing to invest a little bit of effort into your models. Dave was able to do it, I was able to do it using his techniques and you should be able to do it as well.
And... Dave was kind enough to put his Dark Eldar painting process into a short PDF that you can download here for reference when it comes to painting your own Dark Eldar force.
NOTE: This technique also scales up to do vehicles quite well too. I used it to paint a Necron Ghost Ark to tabletop quality real quick and got some nice results.
You can find that post here.
Make sure to check out these posts as they might help:
You can check out more of Dave's work at his own blog, Dave Taylor Miniatures.