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Monthly Archives: May 2016

Space Hulk Diorama (9) – Work In Progress

The Delgados ‘Everything goes around the water’ 

I’ve pretty much finished the base of this diorama:


Unfortunately, I haven’t got the faintest idea of how to paint the genestealers yet. I want to make them a different colour to the generic blue and purple scheme, and use a colour-fade technique; but other than that, I’m a bit stumped at the moment, so it may be a while before the next update.


Space Hulk Diorama (8) – Tutorial: Salt-Masking

Hammock ‘Black Metallic’ 

Salt-masking is a technique for creating a weathered-effect. It has four stages: 1) paint an underlying colour 2) add salt 3) paint an overlying colour 4) remove the salt.

There are different methods for doing this – some painters use hairspray to attach the salt; but plain water works just as well. It’s much easier, too; though it takes a bit longer to dry.

Regular table salt is all that’s needed.


First, however, paint the underlying rust effect. These were the colours I used:


The first layer was Mournfang Brown, then a layer of Skrag Brown. This was then given successive washes of Flat Earth, Orange Brown, and Smoke to make it look variegated:


When you’re happy with the rust colour, and once the paint has dried, brush over it with clean water:


Then sprinkle salt onto the wet areas:


Leave to dry:


I then painted over this with silver. It’s best to use spray paint for this stage, as the salt+water bond is very weak; and comes off easily when brushed.


Once the silver paint has dried, remove the salt using a brush:


The results proved a bit underwhelming:


So, I started-over; re-painting the rust effect, and adding heavier quantities of salt in patches:



Again, it was spray-painted silver:


Once the salt was removed, the effect was more vivid:


This was washed with tank-brown/flat earth, to make it look a bit more natural:


I then covered fairly arbitrary patches with masking fluid.

I painted the door using these colours:




First, a basecoat of French Mirage Blue + Earth:


Shade with a wash of smoke; and in the recesses, a wash of black:

Highlight by stippling-on green grey, followed by stippling green-grey+rotting flesh, and then stippling rotting flesh as a final highlight:


Add a rusted effect by washing patches and recesses with Flat Earth/Tank Brown:


The masking-fluid was then removed:


It looked a little bit too cleanly-painted at this point; so I added some glazes of smoke/flat earth/tank brown, to blend the rust-patches with the surrounding areas:




Worth a look

A gloriously over the top colour-scheme & conversion (Tale Of Painters)

This year’s Golden Demon entries (Volomir)

Old but helpful rust painting tutorial (Ultrawerke)

Suspended tree sculptures (This Is Colossal)

Darkoath Chieftain by Max Faleij (Putty & Paint)

Space Hulk Diorama (7)

Medicine ‘Heads’ 


Work in progress, so far – the floor was completed using modelling mesh. This is very fiddly to use, but it gives you a more transparent finish than embroidery board does:


One wall is also finished:


The method for painting red is essentially the same one described here; but with several thin washes of black in the recessed areas, to provide heavy shadows.


Worth a look

Imperial Guard vs Tyranids diorama (Stockholm Warpaint)

Not entirely sure what this is, but it looks interesting (Minia Textures)

Pilgrim Warband – I keep meaning to do something in this vein, yet never quite do (Iron Sleet)

Mutant Warband (Exprofundis)

Making a Revenant Titan (Les Kouzes)

Something better than life or death (Serpentarium)

Space Hulk Diorama (6) – Tutorial: Weathering

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Fetchin’ Bones ‘Deep Blue’


This was a slightly experimental approach at heavy weathering, mainly using masking fluid:


The actual finished effect is a bit unpredictable – as it involves applying repeated layers of the masking fluid; resulting in a moment of truth, when you remove them all. It creates a patchwork, resembling chipped and rusted areas. It’s easy to overdo the effect; but don’t worry if it proves excessive, as you can paint over any patches which you wish to remove.

These are the colours I used to paint the main body of the hatch-door – USA Olive Brown, Earth, Rakarth Flesh, White:


Along with a mix of Oxid paste + Smoke  + a small amount of black:


First, I used this mixture, daubing it in random areas, to make patches of rust:


Apply masking fluid – use a cocktail stick, rather than a brush, as masking fluid is very sticky and will damage bristles:


Leave it to dry:


Layer – USA Olive Brown:


This is where the experimental element came in – which is why the step-by-step process involves a stage that wasn’t really necessary; as I then painted the hatch-door silver, and shaded it down. I should have painted the door silver first, and then USA Olive Brown, but nevermind.

Anyway, apply masking fluid:


Again, leave it to dry.


Layer – USA olive brown:


Layer – Earth:


Apply masking fluid – note how it was adjoined to previous layers of the fluid:


Layer – Earth + Rakarth flesh – again, once this has dried, add masking fluid to select areas, and leave it to cure:


Layer – Rakarth flesh


Wash with smoke – I also painted a thin wash of black into the recesses:


I painted a layer of Rakarth flesh, but this time drybrushing/stippling it on, to create a faint texture:


Using the same method, add a layer of Rakarth flesh + white:


The moment of truth….


I added rust effects using flat earth, and tank brown:


As you can see, the paint was very watery, and applied in random areas:


It’s not strictly necessary to do this, but you can add texture using pigments and white spirit:


Please note, white spirit is extremely toxic – it’s also very unpleasant to use, as the fumes are pungent, and dangerous in their own right:


Although the effect isn’t quite the same, a safer alternative would be to use glaze-medium/varnish + pigments, and make a thick sort of paste.

But, anyway – pigments are a very fine powder, and can be applied with a brush. I think less is more with pigments, personally:


So, I stippled some of the Burnt Sienna onto a few patches of rust:


Then added the natural sienna on top:


Use an old paintbrush, and dot white spirit onto the pigments:


The pigments soak-up the white spirit; and once dry, the pigment will be firmly attached but still look dry and powdery:


I finished by painting small marks/chips using black+brown on the white part of the hatch-door, highlighting the paint around them with pure white. This was just in a few areas, which otherwise looked a bit plain. I gave the whole area a glaze of matt medium, to tie it all together. Done.

Well, almost – it looks a little bit incongruous at the moment, as the surrounding areas haven’t been painted; but once they are, it will be possible to tell whether the effect needs to be toned down or not.