Painting Rusty Weapons

This takes longer than most people want to spend on rusty weapons, however you can stop at any stage you want and next to the face the weapon and hands are the most important parts of a miniature.  The eye is naturally drawn to these three places, it is known to some as the triangle theory.  Over the last few years I’ve been trying to up my Nurgle game by working on making my weapons look even more rusted and the key is lots of washes and using pigments.

A nice dark metallic colour
A nice dark metallic colour

I may do another rust tutorial, but until then this will have to do.  There are other ways to paint rusty metal, these weapons are all pure metallic with rust on top, you can of course have rust upon painted metal…

The first step for these Plaguebearers was to get a nice dark base metallic.  This was done by painting the swords (and everything else metal) with GW’s Boltgun metal.  Then I applied a wash of Badab Black.  When that was dry I used an old partially dried out pot of GW’s Chainmail and painted on some simple highlights.  Then and this is the key to darkening the metal I did another wash, this time I used Devlan Mud.  The black wash was layered on everything, but starting with the Devlan Mud you have to be more strategic where you put your wash, basically you don’t want to obscure your highlights.

Added Rust Brown Ink
Added Rust Brown Ink

Normally when painting rust on a building or a vehicle it is pretty obvious where the rust should go and it likely flows down…  I’m painting Nurgle Daemons and they are not known for following the laws of physics so you can put rust wherever you want, but it still should flow from dark to more intense and this is the technique I used to achieve the effect.

Starting with the nice dark metallic I got out my trusty old GW Rust Brown Ink.  I thinned this with a couple drops of water and applied it where I wanted rust.  This was basically my entire old rust technique and it looks alright, but if you want really intense rust you’re going to have add more layers.

Now their are a lot of experts online who will tell you to put flow aid or future floor wax in your washes and that you want to break the surface tension so the wash doesn’t dry with a ring shape.  That is not the technique you want to use here.  You want the rust washes to be watery and you want to paint it on in little blobs and to drag it towards where you want the more intense rust.  If it dries with little rings that is fine, because that is how rusty water dries.

Pigment added to rust wash
Pigment added to rust wash

You can mix all your additional rust washes separately but I generally just build up from where I am to where I want to be.  This has it’s risks but as long as you continue to add fresh clean water along with keeping your ingredients reasonably proportional you’ll get the results shown on this page.  The next thing I added to my rust wash besides two drops of water was some “Rusty Red” pigment I got this in a set of 12 black lidded pigment pots I ordered online.  I can’t remember the name of the manufacture, something like Tim or Steve.  (Bruce from Hirst Arts recommended them I think, yep!)  They are called Doc O’Brien’s and you can order them here.  Swirl around your new rust wash and then put it on in little globs where you want the rust to be more intense, remember it should generally flow with gravity.

When that wash is completely dry on the figure add a couple drops to the remnants of your rust wash on your palette and get some Foundation Orange, this is made by GW and is really good thinned down as a rust wash.  Of course I like to go too far so I added another pigment, this time “Rust 2” from  (The store seems to be down, but the blog is up…)  You can use any pigments you want, but the idea is to add lighter, brighter pigment to the wash as you work towards a more intense rust color.  Again apply in little globs each time successively smaller as you work towards the most intense rusty point.

Wash with orange paint and more pigment
Wash with orange paint and more pigment

Again waiting for the mixture to dry, it doesn’t take that long, but it is a necessary delay.  I was only rusting up three swords, a couple chains and a pendant, but if your rusting a vehicle, a building, or an entire squad it might seem like you’re waiting less.  Make sure you mix enough of each rust wash as you will have trouble matching your magic mixture.  Of course rust can be anyway you want it. To my existing rust wash I added a bit more clean water and some GW Fiery Orange which is what GW advocates you use to make rust washes now-a-days.  I learned the technique from White Dwarf.  I also added some more pigment, this time “Rust 1” from  This is my brightest and most intense rust of the whole shebang.  You could make an even brighter more intense rust colour if you started anew without the previous darker ingredients.  I just do it this way as I only have so many little cups on my palette.

After applying little globs of more intense rust wash and letting it dry I again took photos and we’re onto the final stage.  I painted edge highlights where I thought they would fall or look most dramatic with GW Mithral Silver.  If it looks a little too much, remember a lot of light is on the minis in the photos.  You can see how the more orange I added to my rust wash, the more it came to look like my supposedly flesh coloured Plaguebearer.  Damn crappy old GW Flesh Wash.

Wash with brighter orange paint and pigment added
Wash with brighter orange paint and pigment added

Well there you go, perfectly good rusty weapons.  Next for me is a few black touchups of the unit champion and doing his skin, but that may wait until tomorrow.  Today it seems hotter in the evening in Vancouver as my palms are sweating typing and painting which isn’t good.

Weapons with final silver highlight
Weapons with final silver highlight

Painting Flesh and Weapons

So I suppose this is the third post in a series on my ever under refinement method for painting WW1 Canadian Corps rifleman, particularly Van Doos…  Maybe I’ll make a proper tutorial when I got all the kinks out.  I’ve made tutorials as I go before, but I also know the value of test miniatures when you plan to do an army or even just a platoon which is the current plan for the Van Doos. Doing the metalics on the model

So to recap the metalics, paint the weapon Boltgun Metal.  When dry do a thin armour wash, I mixed my own but you can use Badab Black if you want.  Then do a wetbrush or a drybrush if you care less of Chain Mail once the wash is dry.  You can then call the metals good enough, and I made sure to take a picture at this stage.

The easy way to paint weaponsOr you can add a little character, for the Foundry Rifleman miniature I used Gryphonne Sepia wash in splotches to age and dirty his gun just a bit.  The Servant of Decay (the plastic GW Orlock) was to get a more elaborate rusting of his weapon using a series of DIY washes starting with thinned rust brown ink, adding in various pigments, Mecharius Solar Orange, Firey Orange, until I tired of it or I went too far.  The paints are all GW, the rust brown ink is an old and valued GW ink, and the pigments come from a variety of companies. rust triad of pigments is quite good though it can be tough to open their containers.  The pigments have served me better than the washes which have separated a lot on me in two out of three cases. Finished Metalics and Foundry Flesh Triad (#5)

For the normal human flesh I used Foundry Triad number 5 just for simplicity sake.  I did do things differently than the uniform, I applied the B or base colour to most of what I wanted flesh.  I left some black showing and I put on basically a coat and a half.  I think used the A or shade version and painted where shadows would fall, finally I painted the C or highlight member on the triad on fingers, knuckles, cheeks, noses, chins, etc.  This is pretty good, apparently historical painters often don’t do eyes.

I decided to take a picture and update the blog as I’ve never had the best of luck with flesh washes.  I have GW’s original flesh wash, something like four different pots of it.  It seperates too much and is too brown.  I have the new Ogryn Flesh wash and it is probably a little too brown for me, so I cook up my own using old GW inks, Rust Brown and Plasma Red.  At least that is what I’m going to try.

The rifleman is mostly done at this stage, the Servant of Decay is more work and has fallen a bit behind.  The helmet, water bottle, and ‘putties’ will be painted Foundry Triad Drab #12.  This is an alright colour and one I used for a variety of gear on the original test model, the Imperial Guardsmen in the photos.

After that I just have to do the boots and base.  I’ll also give the flesh probably a post wash highlight of Foundry Triad #5c and do the eyes white with either a black or blue iris/pupil.  The Servant of Decay will be more work, but might be finished by the end of tomorrow.  The rifleman I hope to finish everything except the base tonight, but maybe I’ll do the base too, what the hell.

There has been considerable discussion on the Lead Adventure forum on how a Canadian Expeditionary Force uniform should look, circa 1916, for a rifleman in the Royal 22e Regiment…

More Tools of the Trade

Today I went and got my blood tested, I put this off for a long time.  It involves fasting and biking a fair ways, technically I could have taken the bus.  I need to lose weight…   Now I’m at Bean Around the World again, about to continue work on my never ending job search, but before coming here I went to Memphis Blues for lunch and stopped at DeSerres Art Supply Store on Broadway too.

I usually go to the one on Main Street but DeSerres is becoming my go to place for supplies besides model paint and models.  I picked up more Popsicle sticks obviously.  I also bought some sponges on sticks, these can be used to highlight terrain or achieve neat weathering effects.  I’m going to do some sort of rust tutorial in the near future.  I also bought some plaster of paris and some DeSerres brand light modeling putty to make craters out of.  My final purchase was basically mineral oil which you can mix with pigments to achieve, wait for it, rust and weathering effects.

Recently I got my first incoming link from Peabody Here! Another Vancouver gamer, one I’ve probably never met but probably learned of my blog from one of Zac’s forums.  I’ve never even met Zac but I’ve sent him emails a few times.  Vancouver has lots of gamers, we have the world’s largest concentration of video game studios for Christ sakes, but we have no big gaming con.  Maybe I’ll have to organize one, but first I need a job.

While going through my miniature gaming directory on the ferry yesterday I found two tutorials on the use of pigments, one is from Forgeworld and the other Fantization Miniatures you should visit their sites before you download the tutorials below:

I’ve since ridden home after applying for six or seven jobs.  I’d really just prefer if one of the jobs I already applied for, say the one I interviewed for last, would just hire me…  Anyway I took a photo of the stuff I bought along with some other tools of the trade such as a P3 Wet Palette, a re-useable palette that I previously bought at DeSerres, and the best purchase of the last couple years, an eye dropper.  I really recommend to anyone serious about using washes especially making your own custom washes to go get an eye dropper at a local pharmacy.  I still add my washes and ink by brush but I add clean water to paints and inks and washes via the dropper, it is pretty much superior that any other way.

Tools of the miniature painting trade

Wet Palettes came up today on the Lead Adventure forum, I’m not a total convert, but I’m using it for most models.  The big exceptions are terrain, washes & inks, and metallics.

Closeups and Touchups

I’m back from Vancouver Island.  I ended up missing the ferry I was trying to catch, it was a hot slow day and we arrived minutes too late on my bus.  Coming back from Vancouver Island was no great relaxing trip either, I re-read some Too Fat Lardies scenarios for the Through the Mud and the Blood that are in the supplement Stout Hearts and Iron Men. Closeup of Rusty Sword

Otherside of Rusty SwordI basically had a nap when I got back to Vancouver but now that it is evening I did some touch-ups on the Nurgle demons.  I then tried to take some closeups of the rusty swords.  This didn’t go that well with my iPhone.  Eventually I got some OK pics of the light grey Plaguebearers sword, the other demon didn’t seem to want to photograph well, which is ironic as his sword had more rust detailing.  I think I may have done one rust wash too many…

The other thing I read on the ferry was Sidney Roundwood’s latest post on making terrain.  He made the World War One trench table seen in the Through the Mud and the Blood rulebook, he eventually added a ruined village scratch building the buildings.  I will probably add a ruined village to my trenches someday, I’ve looked into some of the resin buildings for sale but maybe I’ll have to have a go at making some.

Hopefully tomorrow it isn’t too hot and I’ll resume painting, but I have a lot of real world things to do too…

10 Great Links I’ve Collected

So I’ve been collecting links for a long time, since 1995, my original links page still lives, but I created a specialized one for painting advice and I’ve also put a lot of work into the collecting the links in my sidebar.  I’ve been doing some Googling for tutorials and advice and a lot of what is coming up at the top of the Google results isn’t the best stuff, so here are ten links I recommend checking out ASAP.  All will help you with your painting, modeling, or just provide inspiration.

They aren’t ranked, ten is just the magic number picked by David Letterman.

  1. Blood and Gore using Tamiya Clear Red
  2. Rust Effects the Orky Way
  3. Painting Realistic Flames
  4. Preparing and Cleaning your Model
  5. Painting Rust and Battle Damage
  6. Making ‘Arab’ buildings
  7. From the Warp’s Tips and Tutorial Collection
  8. Massive Voodoo’s Tutorial Collection
  9. Trench Making Tutorial
  10. Sidney Roundwood’s Trench Terrain