After electing to not do white on my Deathwing, I had to figure "how" I was going to paint the black. Here's what I've come up with.
I know, I know, not another one of these things. I promise I won't keep doing this forever. I'm almost done figuring it out. It's part black, part zenith line highlighting, part battle damage, part weathering powders. It's a lot of things at this point. Actually the battle damage is a little excessive on this guy, but I was trying something out.
Image from Games Workshop or maybe Forge World...
Here's my inspiration for my scheme. I want this part weathered, part battle damaged look to my guys. I think it's doable. Obviously it is given the nice Templar Predator above.
I think I'll need to start with a nice black basecoat followed by some clean zenithal type highlights along the edges. Then a little bit of wear and tear in the form of battle damage and paint chipping.
Go back in with some washes and add my grime streaks and stains. And then follow all that up with some selective application of weathering powders and I should be all set.
If I do it right, they should look weathered and part of the environment they're in (matching their bases perfectly). That's the big challenge for me. Making them look like they're part of the world they're in. I want them to look like they are part of a bigger world.
So let's see an actual example then.
The process went like this.
NOTE: Only the helmet, chest plate and his left leg were painted.
Basecoat other element such as eyes, ornamentation, etc.
All elements are painted completely before weathering powders are applied.
Line highlight the armour edges. This was done in four steps. Dark grey, medium grey, light grey and then a clean up with black to really get the highlights sharp and consistent. Each highlight covered slightly less surface area so that the final highlight was almost like a spot reflection.
The line highlights almost disappear by the end in some places, but in the areas they are still visible after all the other treatments, they give the armour plates some much needed definition.
Add paint chipping and scratches selectively.
I use a gunmetal metallic here. Some people vary the chips using a darker metallic and a brighter one. I may try this later on, but for now, I like the worn look and it helps push them to the background as well. The light still catches them at the right angle so I'm not too worried about it.
Wash grime streaks and stains onto appropriate spots.
This adds the grime from joints that leak and such. Have to be careful not to overdo it with this step.
Add weathering powders to simulate environmental conditions.
I use three colors of powders (from Secret Weapon Miniatures) for variety. A light tan overall, a rust brown color and a rust orange color. I apply them with a tiny brush in the area I want them. I go back with a larger brush and remove most of the excess. Actually, most all of it. Then I take my finger and remove the stuff on the surfaces I can get to.
This leaves the majority of the powders collected in the recessed areas as dust and dirt would be prone to do in real life.
If I find I need to clean up some area for any reason (too much powder), I use Devlan Mud wash and go in an "erase" part of the wash. Using the Mud color doesn't kill all of the powder, but allows me to remove some of it in case I went overboard. I didn't want to use black paint because after my original basecoat, I don't use black again except to clean up the line highlights.
I'm afraid that by using black, it would create a "clean" spot on the model and I don't want that.
There's just one problem left.
I do not know how to paint the Deathwing icon on their right shoulders. I know it's red and I can paint "red," but that doesn't help me any. I want to paint it so it looks like something and not just "red." Here's what I mean, their armour is painted to look like metal, the Terminator crux will be painted to look like stone, but their sculpted icon... what do I do with that?
If you've got that answer, please let me know. It's all that stands between me and a finished paint scheme.