Painting Space Marine Librarian heraldry

Space Marine Librarian heraldry second editionI know, I know, I posted that this guy was done the other day. Technically that was true except for the small part about the heraldry on his right shoulderpad. I may have mentioned it, I may not.

Either way, here's what I added to that tiny circle on his shoulder that you can barely see as it is. At first, I wasn't sure what to add there.

Then I got to thinking... since he's more of an "old school" model, I figured I would paint something you don't see too often anymore. The markings for an Epistolary Librarian. The highest rank there is.

I've talked before about the process of adding freehand to models. From when you should be painting your freehand to how you can break it down into manageable pieces. In this case, I was doing it after the highlighting and shading.

The process went fairly quick in the end. The first thing was to block out the shape of the horned skull in black. After that, I went in and cut out the skull with a tan color. Where I made any mistakes, I just cleaned it up with the black again.

The hardest part was getting the original shape onto the shoulderpad. I didn't want to mess that up since it would mean having to repaint/reblend the shoulderpad over. Once I had the outline in place, it was just a matter of filling everything in.

The final step, once I had the tan down and the eyes and nose cut back in, was to add some highlights and shading to the art. I added my highlights all over to show the artwork, but kept my shading to the area on the underside of the pad so it blended with the rest of the shading on the model.

The shading was nothing more than few passes with GW Gryphonne Sepia to tone down the underside of the image and get it in line with the background behind it.

Now he's done... honest.

Follow my Project: Space Marines Commission

Make sure to check out these posts as they might help:
When to add freehand to your models
How to add freehand to your models

Ron, From the WarpIf you've got any questions about something in this post, shoot me a comment and I'll be glad to answer. Make sure to share your hobby tips and thoughts in the comments below!


  1. You did mention it. It looks superb. Great to see some inspiration from old literature from back in the day!

  2. Nice work on the free hand. I'm jealous of your ninja like skills with a brush.

    I was thinking that way back in the day there were 4 levels of librarians, one each for the 4 pysker levels in Rogue Trader. Chief being the highest level? Alas my fluff is getting weak in my old age and I can't find the info in my old books so I may be remembering wrong.

  3. Thanks guys.

    Geek: you're right, I was flipping through some of my books the other night and Chief is the "highest" rank overall.

  4. Looks great, Ron. Any chance we could get a full shot of the model with the finished shoulder pad freehand?

  5. Gary: Let me see what I can snap tomorrow and post up here.

    Maybe I get something that shows the whole thing.

  6. The IC: Are you going to make me come over to your forums and start posting everything there too so you can see that it's not that hard?

    I'm still waiting to see how your Ultramarines come out.


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