After sticking to base coat > wash > drybrush for my Space Hulk set, with just a bit of dabbling in edge highlighting here and there, I committed to fully incorporating highlighting into my painting toolkit with my Blood Angels.
I was pretty nervous about actually doing it for the first time. After base coating and washing Sergeant Karios, I already had about five hours invested in this model. What if I royally screwed him up?
It turns out that highlighting is a lot of fun!
It was a bit nerve-wracking at times, but the color progression GW recommends is designed to get lighter in pretty gradual steps. Even when I messed up a bit, it wasn’t too bad — and even not being much good at it yet, I still like the effect.
I’m really digging how the crispness of the highlighting contrasts with the more organic quality of the drybrushing on the base. That should help the mini stand out and make the base feel more like real terrain at the same time.
I also got to do a bit of freehand, since I don’t have any Second Company decals small enough for the banner. Here he is in his almost final state — just a few touches left to do:
Every color under the sun
Back when I was painting my Space Hulk Terminators, I noted that Brother Goriel required 10 base coat colors. That seemed like a lot! But here I am painting Sergeant Karios, mostly following Citadel’s current painting guide, and I’ve used 25 colors (with one still to go, as my final highlight for magenta is in the mail):
- Red: Mephiston Red > Agrax Earthshade > Evil Sunz Scarlet > Fire Dragon Bright
- Gold: Retributor Armour > Reikland Fleshshade > Auric Armour Gold > Liberator Gold
- Black: Abaddon Black > Eshin Grey > Dawnstone
- Metal: Leadbelcher > Nuln Oil > Stormhost Silver
- Parchment/white cloth: Rakarth Flesh > Agrax Earthshade > Pallid Wych Flesh > White Scar
- Magenta: Screamer Pink > Carroburg Crimson
- Eyes: Moot Green > Agrax Earthshade > Moot Green
- Yellow: Flash Gitz Yellow
Plus the base:
- Terrain: Astrogranite Debris > Drakenhof Nightshade > Grey Seer (drybrush)
- Skulls: Corax White > Agrax Earthshade > Corax White (drybrush)
- Rocks: Grey Seer > Agrax Earthshade > 50/50 Corax White/Grey Seer (drybrush)
I have about 6.5-7 hours of work into Sergeant Karios. I’m a slow painter! And highlighting takes me a long time because it’s new; drybrushing is a quick, refreshing process by comparison. But every few minis, I get a bit faster at some step or another; I’m learning.