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[TUTORIAL] Painting Shiny Horus Heresy Ultramarines

Here is my tutorial for my shiny Ultramarines. Why shiny you might ask? "That's stupid! No real soldier would wear that into combat!" Well maybe not today, but this is the 41st (or 40th) Millennium and the Adeptus Astartes are better than any of your real soldiers.

In the Horus Heresy series, the Space Marines are always polishing their armor- seriously, they do this more than fighting sometimes. Anyways, accurate or not, this is just my take on what I interpret the Space Marines to look like (at least the loyalists). 

MkIV Marines assembled. The squad leader's head is left separate to be painted red to mark him as a sergeant (or maybe mark him for censure).

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Black airbrush with the airbrush.

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Gloss Varnish. So far so good.

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Here's where it gets a little be difficult. I'm using Vallejo Metal Color Silver over the gloss black. This is a little tricky because you want just the right amount of paint to cover the gloss basecoat without taking away the shine. Some people recommend using a higher PSI and starting a little further away than you usually would. I just spray, I have no idea what my settings were. Don't cover the entire minitures, just go from the sides and top. If you flip the figure upside down, you should still see some black shadows.

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IMPORTANT NOTE: You should use Vallejo Metal Color for this step. NOT Vallejo Game/Color/Air Silver but specifically the bigger bottles. They retail for $10 each and where the best purchase I've ever made.

Once upon a time (just last year actually) we would have to use Alclad II laquer paints to achieve this effect. Vallejo Metal Color are acrylic which means much less clean up, easier to use, etc, etc... I've heard Vallejo Metal Color to be dubbed the "Alclad killer..." (I swear to Buddha I haven't been sponsored by Vallejo - their masking fluid sucks).

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Next, I used Vallejo Metal Color Chrome as a highlight from a 45 degree angle.

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Look how shiny they are! I suppose you could use chrome spray paint over a gloss black undercoat, but I like the control my off-brand Chinese airbrush more.

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This is where the magic happens. I'm using Minitaire Ghost Tints (if you are just starting airbrushing, don't buy Minitaire, buy Vallejo. Except the Ghost Tints). Alternatively you can use Tamiya Clear Blue. I didn't like the way the paint came out of the bottle so I dumped some of it out and added a little airbrush thinner and gloss varnish to it. This is then sprayed *lightly* onto the miniature. This it the first coat...

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... of many. Be patient. Use thin coats - maybe 8 or 10 in total. For my HQ choices and other more important models, I use the Purple Ghost Tint to add shadow over the silver before I go to the blue.

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Next, I did the shoulder trims and studs with Vallejo Metal Color Gold. Did I tell you these could be brush painted too?!? I definitely couldn't do that with Alclad. The Gold is a little thin however so put some on your palette, go eat a snack and come back 10 minutes later and you and brush it on pretty easily even over a gloss coat.

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All the black and Gunmetal areas are covered in black.

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Vallejo Air Color Sea Grey is airbrushed as a highlight for the gun casings.

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When airbrushing the gun casings, use a credit card (or in my case some Gundam tool) to prevent the grey from getting onto the chest plates.

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Another highlight with Vallejo Game Color Cold Grey.

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Finally, for the black, I used a flat brush to edge highlight with Vallejo Game Air Stonewall Grey. Apologies for the shit picture, it's hard to paint and photograph at the same time.

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Starting to look good...

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Next, the metals are covered with Vallejo Metal Color Dark Aluminium. 

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I got tired of taking pictures but if you got here, you don't need my help anymore. I basically just shaded the Gold with Reikland Fleshshade Gloss and the silver with Nuln Oil Gloss. And painted some other details. Then all there is left to do is grab some bases and swap them.

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Ready to purge some heretics.

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They key is to use thin layers with an airbrush for the silver and blue. If you decide you don't want to try this, I am available for commissions. Happy painting and remember "Corrosion leads to corruption." 

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