Wargaming Bloggers Showcase #38

It’s been a while, but I’m always slowly collecting these. So, here’s some cool stuff you need to read.

Broken Paintbrush: Basic Photo Editing with GIMP

Broken Paintbrush: Basic Photo Editing with GimpJoe did a great tutorial on editing your images with GIMP, which is free photo editing software. This is the one area that I feel most bloggers need help with, post editing of images prior to putting them up on their blog/Facebook/whatever. It really makes a HUGE difference, and Joe walks you through it in this tutorial.

Wargaming Tradecraft: Washing, Painting Light Colours and Layering Paint

Wargaming Tradecraft - Painting White & YellowDave does really great tutorials, it’s kind of his thing, and this one is no exception. If you ever paint white or yellow, then definitely check out Dave’s tips on working with those colors. In fact, the tips are universally useful regardless of the colors you commonly paint with. He also did a great short video showing exactly how he does it.

Tibbs Forge: Space Marine Storm Talon

Tibbs Forge - Storm TalonThis is one of the best Storm Talons I’ve seen painted. There’s some great subtle weathering on it that just takes it up a notch. Not much more to say other than you should check it out!


I began playing Warhammer 40K in 2006, and have been an avid player and hobbyist since then. I have also been blogging about 40K for almost as long as I've been playing it, having started Creative Twilight in 2009.

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  • always great stuff!

  • That White Scar looks amazing and so simple to do. Wish I had seen this before starting my army!

    • Still takes some time and layers, but it’s definitely an easier approach than most.

  • Thanks, Thor. You honor me again. I have another one to do and it’s even more intimidating knowing how much work went into this, but I do love that model now. It grows on you.

    • It strikes me as a time consuming model to paint. Of course, that makes it all the better once it’s done and it looks great.

      • Quite time consuming, yeah. And rewarding, just like you said. In this case I already had basecoats down and the cockpit painted, so it’s just all that green armor and weathering. Frankly, that’s the fun stuff anyway but it still took a long time.

        • Only those who do weathering truly appreciate the work that goes into doing it. Some think the process is easy, when – as you know, it’s quite the opposite.

          • Hardly easy, but I find it insanely fun. I used to be a big proponent of ‘clean marines’ but after painting my Knight I really got into weathering. So much so I changed my paint recipes for my astartes and added weathering and damage. I think it’s a blast. It is, however, easy to screw up by adding too much, or so little that it just looks weird.

            • Being that I’m working on my Chaos Knight, and the upgrade kit is already battle damaged, I may find myself in the same boat once I’m done with it; going and doing it to other models going forward.

              I love battle damage, but I went clean as well on my CSM. Mostly because I was coming from Orks, where I did a ton of it already, and I wanted a change. Now that CSM is all I play these days, it might be time to step it up.

              Let me ask you a question on battle damage. It’s a bit of a subjective one that’s theoretical in damage acquirement. I seldom see people do battle damage where the metal comes through underneath the paint. Mostly I see scratches and nicks in the paint where you highlight it to give it depth, as you did. Why is it people don’t do the metal showing?

              When I do damage, I tend to think about the type of damage. Scratches and cuts I’ll do the highlight route, but if it’s a huge gash – say from a chainsword, then it makes sense to me to show the metal through. Same idea with punctures from solid round ammunition.

              Just the random crap I ponder when approaching something like my Knight, and I figured you might have some views on it.

              • That’s an interesting question. For me there are two reasons. First, marines build their armor and vehicles with ceramite, which is to my understanding a ceramic-based material. In some fluff, it’s got an off-white cream color (I’ve heard pre-heresy Death Guard armor is unpainted ceramite) and in others it’s got pigment basically baked in. I use a darker brown (Rhinox Hide) because it simulates the depth and also maybe scorching. I know SOME bits would actually be metal, but major armor plating wouldn’t really unless the tech-priests also mix in a metallic element. In fact, I’ve added a tiny bit of metallic weathering powder around the gun fairings in the front of the Storm Talon, as I imagine those would be metal underneath. There’s also fluff to support the alternative viewpoint, as the Gray Knights are said to use unpainted armor and they’re obviously silver in color. So this is a stylistic choice, of course.

                That leads me to point #2: I like using a dark red-brown because it gels with the Agrax wash, and gives the armor a bit of a reddish contrast. Red being the opposite of green, you end up with something a little more like earthy and less vibrant in the overall look. If I were painting black armor or red, I may well choose to go a different route, for instance.

                I did add a little bit of metal in some of the scrapes around my Knight, since it’s not armored with ceramite in the first place. I kept it pretty minimal, but there’s just enough to suggest it.

                I think the biggest drawback to using metal colors in damage is because it adds to the complexity of the color scheme. If you’re using lots of vibrant colors as many marines do, it can end up looking messing with the overall tone. Give a model a ‘squint test’ and see if the color is a bit different than the pure tone before damage. My Knight’s like this… The armor was pretty pure yellow before I added in the heavy rust wash and damage, and that shifted it hard towards orange. If you squint at it it’s definitely different post-damage.

                It’s sort of a hard thing to visualize until you play around with it, but it’s worth keeping it in mind as you work. I used two browns to weather the Storm Talon; one rust-red for around the (presumably metal) raised rivets and a darker brown to represent accumulated grime for other areas.

                • Oh, also, most real-life vehicles use a primer under the paint and it’s pretty common for scratches to get through paint, but not primer as it bonds with the armor. Of course, as you said, if a bit of damage is bad enough it would get through everything. At that point, you might have several ‘types’ of damage and it can get a little weird to look at, with light scratches in a highlight color, heavy scratches with a brown or something, punctures and gashes with metals, scorches with black, etc. See what I mean?

                  • I completely agree. I prefer to pick one approach and run with it not only for ease, but also to keep things easy on the eyes.

                • I really appreciate the lengthy response, and I agree with what you’ve said. I do like the stylistic approach of painting the depth and highlighting the edge. It always works with the existing colors, for obvious reasons. The problem I’m running into is on my Knight it’s half black and half blue’ish. That highlight approach, in my opinion, falls short on black armor. You can’t create depth when painting on black, so all you end up with is a highlight, which of course doesn’t look very convincing, and really looks out of place.

                  Now, on the blue side, it’s easy to do, but then I would end up two approaches to the same thing on each side of the model. Not ideal. I’m leaning on a combination, where I can do some metal, some highlighting, on the blue side. The black side would be metal only, but at least the two sides would work together.

                  • Yeah. I had the same issue on my Knight. I ended up using a much more rust-colored red that still worked on the black side, even if it wasn’t ideal. It’s hard, but you’ll have to find a color that works for your case. The reddish brown was, for me, sufficiently light on the black side yet dark enough on the yellow side. A deeper blue might call for a much lighter orange that would ‘pop’ on both. Orange and blue are a natural contrast. :D

                    • See, I tend to go straight to black to show the depth of the cut or scratch. I just like how it looks on the blue-grey I use, and it really pops once the highlight is on there. However, that’s the problematic part when on the black side, as I said. Going with another color, say orange, would be more like wearing down to the primer when I really want it through the armor.

                      I tell you. Painting is like 90% theory and concept, 10% actual painting!

                    • I agree. The thing that’s messing with me now is I’m working on a scheme for some Skitarii that use a ton of brass. Most metallic areas will be brass and copper. I’m also using a blue-gray on them, and I was thinking about how I might do weathering and scratches. It would look odd, I think, to have much brass showing, and it develops a green or blue patina so the weathering won’t look right if I tried to go for a rust color. I’ll probably end up using black and dark brown streaking for grime, like we were saying.

                    • I’d do the black/brown in that case as well.


                      Here’s a shot of a Helbrute using the method I mentioned. You can see the scratches on the blue powerfist as I mentioned, which I like. Note the right black leg, shin area. You’ll see what looks like stray highlights, which was me trying to use the same method for scratches on the black – which didn’t really pan out well. Trying to avoid that on the Knight. I already did one of the shoulder pads, the black side, and did the metal showing route. It looks good, but I started second guessing myself on it because I really like the approach I did on the Helbrute (blue side), and just wanted to find a way to manage it on black. I think if I keep the metal showing to a minimal, more like a highlight on the edges, then it won’t be so overbearing.

                      Anyway, was just curious on your thoughts, and I appreciate the back and forth. Always great to hear what other people think on a technique, and their rationale for it.

                    • Nice! Yeah, I see what you mean on the black side, though. Curious to see how you resolve it. I like that blue, by the way. Similar to what I’m going for. Mine will be Caledor Sky, Hoeth Blue and then the lightest Space Wolf grey color. Can’t remember the name…

                    • Very close to mine then. My base blue is Vallejo’s Sombre Grey. Not sure the GW equivalent. I highlight that with Fenrisian Grey and another Vallejo color, Ghost Grey. Sometimes I’ll take it up to white where appropriate.

  • Cheers Thor! I’m glad you liked the photo editing post, it was something that I see being skipped over way too often. Good picks on the other posts as well :-)

    • Agreed. Just spend a few minutes fixing up your images, and it makes an amazing difference.

  • iapedus

    Great selection Thor! Dave’s simple tip about how to thin your paint is a life saver, I have always struggled with how to do this without paint drying out on the pastel or clogging my brush up. And after reading Joe’s photo editng tips, I will never use auto-fix on Photoshop again :D

    • Dave has a lot of great stuff if you haven’t checked him out before. So does Joe for that matter.

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