Monday, 28 January 2013

Easy heat stained barrels: tutorial

Here is a really simple three-step way to create a heat stained appearance to gun barrels. You may have noticed the heat staining I painted on the assault cannon of my model of Barungr Half-said, and also on the plasma guns in Harald's Grey Hunters. I quite like it; I used to do brown heat staining but this blue-ish type is much more convincing to my eye.

I'll demonstrate it on a meltagun.

You will need ...

We'll be going a bit glaze-tastic on this one, but don't be put off by that. It's totally easy to do.

  1. Guilliman Blue (Citadel Glaze)
  2. Lahmian Medium (Citadel Technical)
  3. Liche Purple (old Citadel Colour – new Citadel equivalent is Xereus Purple)
  4. Nuln Oil (Citadel Shade)
Just a quick note before we start: you could probably swap the Lahmian Medium and Liche Purple for the Druchii Violet shade from Citadel. I don't have this and I do like creating a glaze with the Lahmian Medium as it is easier to use.

Here's the gun before any staining is applied. When you follow this tutorial, don't forget to also paint the business end of the barrel: just apply all the layers to it.

Step 1: glaze with Guilliman Blue

Firstly we need to apply a glaze of Guilliman Blue to the barrel. Here I've gone about halfway down the "barrel" but you should use your judgement as you may want more or less staining. This was just one coat with a little touching up of areas that weren't quite fully covered. There's no need to splash the glaze on like a wash; just treat it like a thin coat of paint.

Step 2: glaze with Liche Purple

Now we need to create a purple glaze by mixing Liche Purple with the Lahmian Medium. You only need the tiniest bit of purple paint here so I drop several drops of the medium onto my palette then just dip the very point of my mixing brush into the purple paint and then mix it together. Use the Guilliman Blue glaze as an example of the sort of consistency to look for.

Treat the purple glaze the same as the blue, just painting on a thin coat. I've gone just a little over halfway along the blue colour here. One or two coats should do, depending on how strong you want the colour.

Step 3: "glaze" with Nuln Oil

For the final step we glaze the very end with Nuln Oil to darken it. You can be a bit more generous with the wash than with the glaze due to the nature of the paint. In fact, this isn't so much a glaze but a very focussed wash (if that's even a thing ... ). I used a fair amount on this as I wanted a fairly singed look, keeping it to the very tip of the barrel.


And there we go! Hope you like this and will find it useful. Let me know if you use it.


  1. Very effective, Im going to use that!

  2. Goood!

    I use a similar method, but also just add a little of sephia as first step.