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True Metallic Metal: Painting Chrome

Next month is a 40K event I’m putting on at Crossroad Games in Standish, Maine called Fratris Salutem. One of my many tasks is to get trophies made for the event. A friend of mine is casting parts for me and at the moment I have three of the eight I need.

Yesterday I decided it was time to get started on painting them up. Normally we’ve done trophies where the “statue” part is just a single metallic color. There’s nothing wrong with that, and we’ve had some amazing trophies created, but I wanted to do something different. The event puts the Imperium against the Forces of Chaos so I wanted to distinguish the trophies between the factions. I’ll use the same piece for each type of trophy, so having a visual difference I thought was important. I decided to do the Imperial ones as weathered chrome and the Chaos ones a brassy color.

Here’s a shot of the pieces base coated and washed. The wash is still wet as you’ll notice.

TrophiesAs much as I want to lovingly paint these to an amazing standard and spend hours of them, because they are cool pieces, I don’t have the time. I could easily spend 2-3 hours on one of these but I have eight to do and I won’t have 16-24 hours worth of paint time between now and May 23rd. There’s just too much I need to get done. So, the below shot is something I knocked out in about 15 minutes, minus the drying time on the washes.

True Metallic Metal - ChromeI also used this as a chance to work with TMM (true metallic metal), some more. I’ve played with it a bit previously but doing eight of these will really let me work with the technique. TMM is the same concept and approach as NMM (non-metallic metal), just using metallic paints. I honestly prefer the look of TMM over NMM as well. This was my first time trying to paint a chromed surface. I did a lot of searching around to get some examples and just went for it.

So, there’s the first of eight done. I actually finished the other two you saw above as well but I do want to leave some mystery to the participants who read my blog.

I’m extremely pleased with how that came out, especially considering how little time I put into it. The blends aren’t perfect, close up it’s a bit sloppy, but I still like it. It’s actually kind of liberating to work so quickly. Normally when I paint I usually way over think everything. Would light really hit the surface the way I painted it? Shouldn’t the shadow here be a bit darker? By giving myself a tight timeline I just went for it and didn’t complicate the process by questioning what I was doing. I just painted and let instinct guide me instead of critical thinking. I’m going to have to find a way to continue doing that on my army because it’s a lot less exhausting.

Did I manage a convincing chrome? Any tips or suggestions?

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Looks nice!
Still up in the air on if I can make it or not.

Tibbs Forge

I think that looks incredible. That pinkish reflection is actually from a real reflection, right? If that’s paint, then it just got 10 times more amazing. I also prefer TMM to NMM, myself. If done well it looks absolutely stunning, as this does here. I like how you’re all like: “These are so sloppy” but they’re way better than anything I could do. Great work! Can’t wait to see the Khorne symbol in the same style.


Thor…that is an absolutely lovely job. It’s so good I wouldn’t think it wasn’t chrome to begin with…stellar work!


Stunning work Thor. Really like the effect you have achieved on the chrome. Tutorial perhaps? ;)


Man you nailed it looks fantastic.


Hmmm…Looks more like nickel than chrome. Better luck next time ;)

Dave G

I’m about to do some writing finally on metals, but DAMN if this isn’t one I’ll have to link to. I love that chrome. 15 minutes? Wow.

o na
o na

This looks amasing! It still comes up when i search TMM. Any more pictures you can share? Whats are the colors that you use? Im goıng to order some new paints and want to give this a try.