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Category Archives: Space Hulk

Space Hulk Diorama Revisited (2)

Ivy ‘Undertow’ 


I’ve finished revamping the main part of the Space Hulk diorama:

I think it looks a bit better now, as the walls no longer overshadow the genestealers.

The slime was made using the same method as outlined in a previous tutorial.


Space Hulk Diorama Revisited (1)

Memory Tapes ‘Swimming Field’


I wasn’t entirely happy with the Space Hulk diorama, which was made last year; so I’m going to alter some aspects of it.

The red colour of the walls overpowers the models:

Plus the corner in the far-right of this picture looks a bit empty; and there are some unsightly gaps in places:

A few additional details, and a slightly more gloomy paint-scheme, will hopefully improve the overall atmosphere:

Along with a fourth genestealer, scrambling over the edge:

This is a bit contrived, of course; but I think melodrama is okay in a diorama.

Space Hulk Diorama (19) – Done!

New Order ‘In A Lonely Place’ 

Finally complete:








I’m going to take a short break for what remains of the Summer; and then hopefully start a small Blanchitsu-esque project.

Space Hulk Diorama (18) – Librarian Finished

Panda Riot ‘Like Flowers At Night’

The Librarian is finished, at long last – barring any further need for adjustments; as the red colour on the book page may not work out:





Probably the last update before this diorama is finally completed, though.


Worth a look

Death Guard Plague Marines (Simon Modrow)

Deathwatch marines (Watching Paint Dry)

Painting Don Quixote (Coloured Dust)

Iron Empire Jet Girl (Serpentarium)

Photos of the month (Boston Globe)


Space Hulk Diorama (17) – Painting Object Source Lighting

Meat Puppets ‘Scum’ 

I’ve nearly finished the Librarian figure, with only the freehand designs to go. I usually leave these until last, as they tend to be quite painstaking. The colours haven’t come out quite right in the photographs, particularly on the face, but nevermind:



I decided to paint the staff with a glowing effect – i.e. object source lighting. It has an odd, intricate design sculpted onto it; and wasn’t cast especially well on this model. Normally OSL is best achieved with drybrushing, but it wouldn’t be possible here – so instead, the technique just involves highlighting with increasingly bright layers as normal, but then glazing over each of these with the previous colour, to blend it together.

These were the colours used:

044Firstly, it was basecoated black:


I then painted the swirly lines grey – purely because it made them easier to see:


Paint the lines with Vallejo Air Colour Blue:


Glaze over the staff with a thin mix of the same colour, VAC blue:


Layer – Andrea Blue:


Glaze over the lines with another thin layer of VAC blue:


Highlight – Lothern Blue:


Glaze the blue lines with Andrea Blue:


Highlight – Lothern Blue + Pale Grey Blue (c. 1:2 ratio):


Highlight with pale grey blue, in selective areas – such as corners/tips:


I then glazed the whole staff with several thin layers of VAC blue; before finishing with another glaze – this time, using diluted Asurmen blue; as it has a slightly satin effect, which makes the main area of the staff look black again, rather than grey:



Unfortunately, I’m not very imaginative; and haven’t quite figured out the freehand designs yet. Once they’re done though, the diorama will be finished, save for a few minor tweaks here and there.

Space Hulk Diorama (16) – Painting White

Ultramarine ‘Honey’

People sometimes struggle to paint white, as it’s a difficult colour to highlight. Daft as it may sound, there are different methods for painting it. Normally, I use a kind of grey-blue colour as the basis, and shade it with dark-blue and black; but I wanted it to contrast with the blue power armour, and to have a bit of warmth. So, these are the colours I used:


Basecoat – USA Olive Brown:


Layer – Fenrisian Grey + Earth (1:1):


Layer – the Fenrisian Grey + Earth mix, with a small amount of white (c. 3:1). Paint additional layers, adding a bit more white each time, until you’re painting with a mix which is mainly white:


The colour transition hasn’t come out too clearly in the photographs:


I then painted several very thin washes of USA olive brown over the white areas, as the finecast resin makes it difficult to shade some parts. I had to paint all of the feathers one by one:


Once this had dried, I carefully shaded the recesses with a slightly thicker solution of USA olive brown; before painting the deepest recesses with smoke:

011Edge highlight – white. I added chips/scratches at this stage, by painting a mix of Fenrisian Grey + Earth + USA Olive brown (equal parts) to create the dents; highlighting their ridges with white:



Space Hulk Diorama (15) – Painting Blue Power Armour

Digable Planets ‘Pacifics’ 

Blue can be a tricky colour to paint. In this case, I wanted it to be smooth, but not to the point where it has a non-metallic metal effect; and to have a small amount of wear/tear, but without that dominating the paint scheme. Although this diorama is supposed to represent a battle-scene, heavy weathering doesn’t seem to sit right with the idea of a Librarian.

These are the colours I used (I forgot to include black in the photograph): 002

As with some of the other colour schemes I’ve used on the diorama’s models, this was a bit experimental; so some stages may not prove entirely necessary.

Basecoat – Necron abyss. Wash with black, then wash with smoke.


Layer – Vallejo Air Colour Blue:


Layer – Vallejo Air Colour Blue + Regal Blue:


Layer – Regal Blue. Shade recesses with Vallejo Air Colour Blue + Black (1:1). I also made a thin glaze out of this mix, and painted it over the dark areas:


Layer – Regal Blue + Caledor Sky:


Layer – Caledor Sky. This stage is where I began to consider where light would fall, and used this as a rough guide for where to place the paint:


Glaze – Vallejo Air Colour blue all over the blue armour. Several thin layers are better then one:


Edge highlight – Caledor Sky + a small amount of Pale Grey Blue + Khaki (ratio c. 3:1:1):


Edge highlight – Caledor Sky + Pale Grey Blue (1:2). I left Khaki out of this mixture, as it made the paint look a bit turquoise rather than blue; and only painted the extremities with it, such as corners:



I added cracks and chips by using black + smoke (1:1). These were then outlined with the same Caledor Sky + Pale Grey Blue mix as above.

With it being a finecast model, there were some areas which were slightly chobby, so I used these as a natural guideline for placing chips/scratches. For example, the base of the boot here:



At this point, it still needed a bit of work, as the matt finish to the paint in the recesses made them look dusty rather than shadowy. So, I made a thin mix of liche purple and smoke brown – about a 2:1 ratio – and used this to glaze over the recesses. To finish, I made a glaze of smoke brown and painted several layers over the entire blue area.


As an aside, sometimes it seems like no matter how hard you work at painting, you never improve. There’ve been many times when I’ve seen outstanding models, and found it disheartening to think that I could never produce anything of the same quality. In fact, I’ve often seen other people respond by saying – either in jest, or possibly truthfully – that they give up.

I painted this five years ago:


It was my favourite model when I was young, and played the games; and I was proud of it when it was finished. It was one of the first models I painted when I began to paint models again, after a 13 year gap.

Looking at it now, it’s a very basic paint-job, with many areas that could be improved – such as the blending on the armour, and brush control on the freehand designs. It’s also notable that I didn’t paint a banner for this. I can’t remember why; but I suspect a lack of confidence was the reason.

It’s always interesting to see other painters progress: many of the people I admire most, who are currently able to produce miniatures which are above and beyond anything I could achieve, were invariably quite ordinary – if not poor – at painting when they started; but if you look at their online galleries, you can see how they steadily improved over the years. Cause for optimism, I think.