Tuesday, 18 October 2011

How Best To Make A Grey Knight Grey (well, silver)

After rabbiting on a little while ago about my fledgling Grey Knight army I've finally sat down to paint it. I have 30+ marines undercoated black and have been dreading that first layer of paint.

Here's a run down over the three methods I've used this week to get them to the 'finally base coated' stage.

First off, the basics.

I have 10 Terminators, 21 Marines, 3 Rhino chasis and a Dreadknight to paint. The first choice is one of personal taste - silver or grey. GW's standard is silver/metallic marines that you've no doubt seen but other versions round the 'net include some actually grey Grey Knights.

As much as I like the grey colour it's a lot of fuss. This is meant to be a 'quick and easy' army for me so, realistically I'm going to stick with the easier silver.

This the breaks down further - boltgun metal, chain mail, vallejo?? What to start. Remembering this is the base layer I decided to go with boltgun metal as it'll be easier to highlight (using chainmail or mirthril, all of which I have). A brushed on layer of boltgun looks like this:

Looks fine to me although it's a bit of a mess to say the least. Boltgun metal does cover well though and, as a bottom layer it only really takes the one coat. Unfortunately it also takes quite a long time getting in various nooks and crannies. After base coating all my Angels Sanguine by hand the prospect of facing up to another 30 models to paint by hand really did not appeal to me.

So, solutions. Spraying the base coat of paint on seems to be the natural progression. This leads to two more choices - Citadel Spray Gun (CSG) or Army Painter's Plate Mail (AP). Now, I've been less than kind about CSG previously. I did a comparison with AP spray here. The only downside here is that the AP is a brighter shade of metal, more akin to GW's Chainmail paint rather than my desired Boltgun Metal.

Due to this I decided to crack out the CSG for one last chance before it gets dumped in the bin.
What. A. Mistake.
My issue previously was the inconsistency caused by relying on cans of propellant (they get cold and stop working) and this raised it's ugly head again. The paint was too thick so I thinned it. he paint was too thin then so it blobbed on the model (which I had to brush out to save them). All in all though it was a million times quicker than brushing and, once the blobs were gone it had covered ok.

That meant the CSG was finally good for something!!!! AWESOME! Here's a picture of a marine after the CSG treatment:

Then I dropped it and broke the valve. 5h!t.

Ok. I don't want to paint them by brush, I broke the CSG. Time to bring in the AP spray and hope for the best. Here's a model done in their Plate Mail spray:

This was about the best thing I could have done. The covering is smooth, it covered very well with only one or two passes and it's a consistent colour across the force (I've now redone the models shown above). I didn't have the problems with it filling in detail or going 'fuzzy' which I'd previously experienced, though I think this was down more to me learning to use it differently to GW's sprays.

The pictures generally don't show a great difference between the different shades, here's a quick group shot that doesn't really help:

And the whole army after 15 minutes in the garden:

So there you have it. A bunch of very successfully base coated models and a very happy painter (me!). If anyone has any good tips for either painting silver or for base coating armies/marines in general then please feel free to share.
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