Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Ultramarine Test Model

I've now painted my third Ultramarine! I used a Grex airbrush that I picked up at NOVA for most of this guy. As a test model this guy got to experience just about every technique there is. Total painting time including basing is under an hour, so I expect a full squad would not be that bad to paint. The problem is that the model is not really speaking to me. It could be that using AoBR models as test models is so overdone now that it colors my view, but I think there is something wrong with the color scheme.

  1. Should I darken the model?  I could mix black into my regal blue base and use a darker base color before shading with ultramarines blue.
  2. Should I skip the edge highlight? My inclination is to let the airbrush shade the edge, and then use washes to make areas pop. 
  3. Should I paint the shoulder pads a color instead of a metallic. That would differentiate the gold chest eagle from the trim. I had hoped all the gold would make the model more regal, but it feels a bit monotone.
  4. Do I keep the dusty stone bases? The model looks like he is straddling the base. Maybe I need to make wider ones.
I've got a whole squad stripped of paint ready as a test squad. I may go ahead with it, or I may do a few more test models. Any advice is appreciated!


  1. He looks good John, but there is something lacking. I would suggest:

    • a bone chest eagle if you are going to stick with the gold shoulder pad trim. And possibly a targeted wash of purple on the gold trim.
    • something to add some more depth to the gold chest eagle (I say a purple wash) and go with the 5th Company black shoulder pad trim to add some more grimdark to the piece.


  2. He looks sexy! I'd say maybe paint the ammo pouches some kind of brown leather or something to get a little variety in there. A whole army of these would look sweet.

  3. I like him, but maybe make the base a bit livelier and yes the chest eagle could do with some colour/depth

  4. I painted mine almost the exact same way, and thought the same thing. I came to the conclusion that it is just the color scheme. Yours look great though!

  5. It's a technically brilliant model, but it does seem flat. I'd add some brighter reds on the eye lenses and purity seal. Maybe even make him Third Company with red shoulder rims.

    You have 5 or 6 distinct shades of blue there. That's some really vibrant color depth. All of the other colors on him seem drab by comparison.

    I second the suggestion of brown pouches.

  6. I suggest that your 'problem' is the base colours and the model whilst realistic is no cohesive. I would use a brown that is more orangish. And also use a more bronzy gold on the model. This means you will have a real complimentary harmony.

  7. There are a lot of good suggestions here! I really appreciate the feedback. When I get home tonight I am going to paint up some test minatures using them.

    1. Adding depth to the chest eagle with a purple wash and a silver highlight. Also try a sepia wash on another minit to see if I can redden the gold I am using. (model air gold is just so awesome I would hate to change)
    2. Yellow instead of gold on the shoulders.
    3. Brown on the pouches

    I think a mars like base would look better witht the model, but I have already painted up so many vehicles with graveyard earth colored dust on their lower hulls that I am loath to change the basing, however I will give it a shot. It takes far longer to paint infantry than tanks, so it makes more sense to get the troopers right.

    It might be worth trying to go more extreme with my highlighting on the blue. I coult take it from a midnight blue to space wolves grey at the extremes. This would make my vehicles not fit in so well, but It is worth the test I think.

  8. Hi, sorry for the random comment. I just wanted to let you know about a competition we're running at aimed at model makers and figurine painters. In a nutshell all we're asking to enter is to send a picture of your workspace to be in with a chance of winning a desk top paint and fume filter. Please see for full details - Thanks, Scott.

  9. I upadted the model with the changes, but my photos this morning are too terrible to post. I'll upload shots with all of the suggestions once I get my lights set back up! So far the following really helped.
    1. purple wash on the gold
    2. gold highlighted with silver
    3. redder lenses
    4. brown pouches

    I added a highlight of space wolves grey to the helmet in order to get it to pop and draw attention. I am not sure that was a good plan, but once I get the photos up you can judge for yourselves.

  10. I use to paint the weapons almost black, but in the end it's just a game so I started to paint my bolters and chainsword red, that bring more contrast and colour to the mini.

    Have you tried Arsies method for Ultramarines?