Thursday 14 November 2013

Painting: White Wraithblades

I have finally completed my first Wraithblade using an alternate white colour scheme. Most people hate painting white - I've often received comments about getting good coverage. I'll fill you in on the technique I use to get a good finish.

First of all, don't expect to finish painting the white layer on a model in an hour - painting white sadly takes a really long time. I start with Chaos Black undercoat (strange I know but I don't have white undercoat) then use a big brush to go over all the necessary areas in Ceramite White which, as it's a base, has the best coverage. I then paint everything the correct colour so I get an idea of how it will look when it's finished (thanks for the tip James Wappel).

The next step is applying the Drakenhof Nightshade to all the white areas of the model. Different washes really change the feel of the white and I chose blue as a contrast to the green of the Wraithguard models.

When the wash has dried, I paint several layers of thinned-down White Scar to get the white finish. Once I have a white finish that I'm happy with, I shade the darker areas of the model with a mix of White Scar and the Drakenhof Nightshade adding more wash for the darker areas. Any other shading can be done with the Drakenhof Nightshade and a thin brush.

The final few steps are highlighting and shading the other colours. I'll leave the detail of how I do this for other posts.

Do you have any tips or ideas (or better ways to paint white)? Let us know as we're always looking to increase our painting knowledge.


  1. I paint white a bit different. After painting the whole unit white i take my finest brush and use it to apply drakenhof nightshade directly where i want the shade to be. Since i do it this way i'm much faster at painting and it's pretty easy to do.
    I chose on purpose not to highlight the gems with shade. But i still need to paint them. :P

  2. I do white very differently. On a model, from either distance or close up, and particularly when you are using darker colors on the rest of the model, GREY will READ as white. Using greys allows you to avoid using pure white altogether (unless you want to do so for the very final edge highlights). Using Vallejo Game Color, over a grey primer, I will usually start with Cold Grey, then move to Stonewall Grey, and then finally to Ghost Grey (again, you can go to Off White at the very end if you want something brighter). This is NOT a three step process. Rather, I will start with Cold Grey, and then mix in a couple of drops of Stonewall for the second layer, and then a couple more for the third layer, and then Ghost Grey with a couple drops of Stonewall for the next, and then a couple fewer drops of Stonewall for the next, and then finally pure Ghost, and then Ghost with a couple drops of Off White if I'm not happy with the brightness. With each layer, you are bringing the lighter colors our further to the raised areas where light will naturally hit them and leaving the Cold Grey in the recesses, etc. If you are using the GW range, your analogous colors would be Mechanicum, Administratum, Ulthuan, and then a bit of White Scar if necessary). Regardless of how you do it, many, many, very thin (i.e., watered down) layers are the key to getting a smooth finish. And yes, you have to let each layer dry before you apply the next one, and the first couple of layers will look like garbage in their coverage and their blotchiness. However, if you do it this way, you get a lot of control and can blend the various shades of grey very easily. It pays to be patient (or just insane).

    1. Wow, it looks like a hard process but I´m sure it´s totally worth it. I would love to see some examples of your painting to see the final result.

  3. My process is fairly simple and produces a smooth White. Black Undercoat -> Warpfield Grey -> Ulthuan Grey. Watered down of course. Layered. And then White Scar for ultimate ultimate highlights.


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