Monday 22 July 2013

Painting the Shadowsword

In the spirit of GW's newest Apocalypse release (and because soon I'll be participating in a tournament along this vein) I recently got myself one of the new plastic Baneblade kits. Over the next few weeks I'm going to be painting this bad boy and I thought I'd share my progress along the way.

My Imperial Guard are ALL Catachan, and with that in mind the Shadowsword will be painted with the appropriate camouflage. With Crazy424 and I recently getting an airbrush I thought it'd be a good idea to give it a try on a large scale, so I undercoated with Chaos Black spraypaint, then gave it the first camo layer of Acrylicos Vallejo Model Air 'Sand'. I've found the Model Air range to be very decent when it comes to the airbrushing that I have done (not really all that much, but still) and I'd definitely recommend them. Since they're a specific airbrushing paint they tend to be much easier to use than Citadel paints, as they're pre-thinned, and don't tend to clog as much.

I followed that with some low tack masking tape (this is important as any tape with a high tack can strip the paint off your models, and since you're wanting to keep it on...) and applied the camouflage patterning I was after.


The next step was to cover the edges of the tape with Blu-tack. Now this isn't really necessary, but it does tend to give your pattering a more organic edge, so when you're after flowing lines as opposed to sharp edges it can be a good idea.


Once I was happy with how the pattern looked, and made sure that all the gaps were filled with blu-tack or tape (including covering the tracks, but I'll explain what I'm doing with them in another post) I gave the Shadowsword a coat of Model Air 'Field Green', being certain to cover everywhere, including the taped areas, so I wouldn't miss anything.

 Giving the tank an hour or two to dry, I then removed the tape and tack, for the below result.


I'm trying a new technique with this tank, something I've been learning over the last little while that can make all the difference with the presentation of your vehicles. This technique is paint chipping, and it helps to represent the wear a vehicle will go through as a part of its normal lifespan. As a bonus, it's actually remarkably easy to do and to get the hang of.

Using a small square of foam (you can use any leftover bits from your games cases, they work perfectly well) I've sponged more of the Model Air 'Sand' colour to the green areas on the tank, so it appears that the camouflage pattern is flaking off the base colour. Following this I used a mixture of black, grey and brown Citadel paints to do the same for the entire tank, focusing on moving parts that would see the most wear and tear, to represent paint chipping off the original metal of the tank.

The picture above shows the tank now with all the base colours painted on, and the paint chipping done before I airbrush a coat of gloss varnish over the top. The gloss varnish will be important to the weather process, but I'll be covering that next time.

For now, it's time to sleep, hopefully I can put an update about the next few steps of my progress soon!

Happy painting!


  1. Varnish and then Wash?

    Looks pretty damn good to me bro. Really like the idea of using the blu tack to make variable lines. I'll have to one up it with flaming skulls on the wave serpents.

  2. Man, there's SO much left to do. But varnish will be next, then riveting, soot, dust, mud, the tracks, the road wheels, the exhaust, the volcano cannon itself... It's going to take me a while.

  3. Long way to go but it looks brilliant so far. Great job!


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