I committed to learning to pin wash when I started painting BattleTech minis again, and since my first outing I’ve added it to my toolkit. That also means it’s time for an updated Blood Angels color guide, since pin washing is a big part of my Space Marine painting process now.
The pin wash on their armor takes a lot longer than an all-over wash, and requires a level of focus that feels closer to what I put in when I’m highlighting. But the payoff is worth it: It’s easy to neaten up messy bits using my base coat color; it preserves the redness of Mephiston Red, which means I don’t need as many highlights to bring back the red (as I did with my old approach); and the shading gets to do more of its work.
2023 general Blood Angels color guide
As always, these recipes are based on the Citadel studio recipes with some tweaks, and nothing is drybrushed unless noted. Highlighting is a mix of edge and point highlights.
- Red: Mephiston Red > Agrax Earthshade pin wash> Evil Sunz Scarlet > Fire Dragon Bright.
- Be sparing with the orange highlights.
- Gold: Retributor Armour > Reikland Fleshshade all-over wash > Auric Armour Gold > Liberator Gold.
- Black, including 99% of armor gaskets: Abaddon Black > Eshin Grey > Dawnstone.
- For grey armor gaskets (like on Chaplains and Death Company dudes, who have black armor): Mechanicus Standard Grey > Nuln Oil all-over wash > Dawnstone.
- Metal: Leadbelcher > Nuln Oil all-over wash > Ironbreaker > Stormhost Silver. Notes for specific metal stuff below.
- Go easy on the Stormhost, a little goes a long way for stuff like guns.
- Cylindrical things: Do a volumetric highlight with the Ironbreaker, hitting just the top surface, then follow up with a tiny bit of Stormhost.
- Jump pack forward vents: These are a pain in the dick to highlight, so I just do one light drybrush of Ironbreaker (with a tiny brush) and call it good.
- Eye lenses: Moot Green > Agrax Earthshade pin wash > Moot Green.
- Scope lenses: Pick one:
- Blue: Caledor Sky > Temple Guard Blue in a crescent from 2 o’clock to 8 o’clock > dot of White Scar at 11 o’clock.
- Green: Moot Green > 50/50 Moot Green/White Scar in a crescent from 2 o’clock to 8 o’clock > dot of White Scar at 11 o’clock.
- Bolter rounds visible in magazines: Warplock Bronze > Agrax Earthshade all-over wash > Brass Scorpion.
- Purity seal wax: Screamer Pink > Carroburg Crimson all-over wash > Pink Horror > Emperor’s Children.
- Parchment and cloth: Rakarth Flesh > Agrax Earthshade all-over wash, but keep it light on the flats > Pallid Wych Flesh > White Scar.
- Writing: Scribble on the parchment freehand with Abaddon Black
- White: Celestra Grey > Drakenhof Nightshade all-over wash > Ulthuan Grey > White Scar.
- Yellow: Averland Sunset > Agrax Earthshade pin wash > Flash Gitz Yellow.
- Most leather: Khorne Red > Agrax Earthshade all-over wash > Wazdakka Red > 50/50 blend of Wazdakka Red/Kislev Flesh.
- If it’s textured (like on the old-school resin Chaplain with Jump Pack), replace the highlights above with a single step: Wazdakka Red drybrush.
- Purple gems: Screamer Pink > Agrax Earthshade pin wash > Pink Horror in a crescent from 2 o’clock to 8 o’clock > Emperor’s Children in a smaller crescent over the Pink Horror area > dot of White Scar at 11 o’clock.
- Also applies to tiny screens, just with different colors.
- Jump pack jets: Caledor Sky > Drakenhof Nightshade all-over wash > Temple Guard Blue > Baharroth Blue.
Going forwards I’ll probably just update this guide rather than writing a new one for every type of unit.