There are so many variations on painting power weapons. This is a tutorial on how I do mine. It's based off a White Dwarf article from a few years ago, and it's a technique I really like as it's not that hard and the effect is good. Plus you don't need an airbrush!
What more could I want?
This is a little more involved than my other tutorials, but don't be put off by that. It's much easier than it looks.
You will need ...
- Leadbelcher (Citadel Base)
- Chainmail (old Citadel Colour – new Citadel equivalent is Ironbreaker)
- Mithril Silver (old Citadel Colour – new Citadel equivalent is Runefang Steel)
- Drakenhof Nightshdae (Citadel Shade)
- Nuln oil (Citadel Shade)
- Guilliman Blue (Citadel Glaze)
Step 1: basecoat with Chainmail and Leadbelcher
Starting with a base of Chainmail, we add then go over an add darker areas with Leadbelcher. These darker areas will be the places we concentrate the colour so think about their placement. I alternate light and dark either side of the blade and try and keep the direction either parallel or perpendicular to the "ground/horizon" of the model as appropriate.
Step 2: apply colour with Drakenhof Nightshade
In this step we gradually build up colour in the darker areas with Drakenhof Nightshade. Don't confine the colour to the darker areas as it helps the blending to go into the lighter silver. Go easy on the shade and build it up in several layers, much like a glaze. The colour should be concentrated into the middle (or tip or base) of the darker areas. You'll be surprised how quickly the colour builds up. In the photo above this was about four or five layers.
Step 3: apply more colour with Nuln Oil
The build up of the Drakenhof Nightshide had left some quite dark areas, but we need to intensify those with Nuln Oil. The technique is exactly the same, except we are just working in the darkest parts of the blue. You don't need too many layers here before you start to get a fairly strong black in the middles.
Step 4: tidy up and highlight with Chainmail
We now use the base colour (Chainmail) to tidy up any areas where the wash spilled over or went too far and apply a thin highlight to the edge of the blade and also down the ridge in the middle (if it has one).
Step 5: glaze with Mithril Silver
Now we apply a glaze to the whole blade with Mithril Silver. Essentially what we do here is heavily water down the silver and brush a thin layer over the blade. Just one layer should be all that's needed. This provides a metallic sheen without covering the colour while also toning things down and smoothing out the blending a bit.
I find water is the best thing to use to thin the paint here. I tried GW's Lahmain Medium once for this and it did not seem to work very well for the metallic paint.
Step 6: "glowing" details may be glazed with Guilliman Blue
Most power weapons can be finished at the above stage, but if there are any details that you want to give a sort of "glow" to, then this can be done with a glaze of Guilliman Blue. Here I applied the gaze into the engraved runes (treating it a bit like a wash, I suppose). It took a few layers to get the strength of colour I needed. I decided not to try applying it around the runes for an OSL effect, but you can do if you want.
I also applied a little glaze around the wire thingamajig that projects from the hilt. Lately GW's 'Eavy Metal guys have been painting a glow around this bit that I've found quite appealing. Here it's only a very subtle effect, mainly due to that part appearing in the shaded area.
And we're done! I've only ever done this with blue so will have to try another colour one day. You could do this with any colours really. Let me know if you use this.