Jump to content

Help with painting white helmets?


Recommended Posts

I've just tried to paint some Imperial Fists Bladeguard and completely messed up the helmets. I tried the couple of thin coats of Celestra Grey then a couple of thin coats of Ulthuan Grey method and ended up with a horrible chalky mess.

 

Is there an easy way to paint white helmets that even a ham fisted idiot can manage? If there isn't that's fine, I just don't want to mess up any more models.

 

Thanks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How I paint white:

 

Either Prime Wraithbone and paint with apothecary white

 

Or if over other primer, paint two-3 thin coats of like Vallejo ivory, dry brush bright white, paint apothecary white.

 

These methods are not at all chalky.

 

I find the pot of Wraithbone is chalky, unlike the primer, which is why I don't jse it out of the pot.

 

The white will be a bit on the warmer side.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How I paint white:

 

Either Prime Wraithbone and paint with apothecary white

 

Or if over other primer, paint two-3 thin coats of like Vallejo ivory, dry brush bright white, paint apothecary white.

 

These methods are not at all chalky.

 

I find the pot of Wraithbone is chalky, unlike the primer, which is why I don't jse it out of the pot.

 

The white will be a bit on the warmer side.

Thanks for the reply. I'll try the non GW paints you've suggested, as the models have been sprayed yellow.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Classic method. Base coat ceramite white and then apply a wash of Drakenhof Nightshade thinned with Lahmia Medium. You can see it on the helmet of the Sanguinary Priest. It gives a cold finish with a blue hint to the shadows.

gallery_82363_13858_122905.jpg

Constrast method. Base coat in Grey Seer and then paint with Apothecarion White. My Inquisitor shows the finished effect, it is more subtle than the classic method.

gallery_82363_15677_277803.jpg

Edited by Karhedron
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've never had a pot of ceramite white that hasn't been the consistency of polyfilla, how did you manage to get a smooth finish using it?

Just lots of shaking and then thin it slightly when applying it. It is not quite as smooth as my vallejo white but the coverage is far better. I find that the finish I get with ceramite white is usually better than Vallejo because it only requires 2 coats, even when thinned slightly. Vallejo seems to need endless coats before the colour is completely consistent and by then, the multiple coats are starting to spoil the finish anyway.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Are you painting the white over a different primer color?  It’s going to be much more time intensive and require many more thin layers to paint a smooth white over a black or dark grey primer coat.

 

Since you are painting Imperial Fists, you are probably best off starting with a light grey or white primer coat to begin with, so you wouldn’t necessarily need to prime the helmet as a separate piece.  You can either paint the mid tone yellow over the lighter primer easier, or if you prefer to build color up from the shadow colors, the shadow color you choose will still paint easier over the lighter primer, but you may want to paint an additional layer or two to solidify the dark color, and you can enhance the shadow more with glazing still.

 

For white, I would get a titanium white paint (Liqutex, Golden, Amsterdam, Da Vinci, Vallejo Artist Acrylic, Monument Hobbies, etc.), instead of using a GW or standard model paint color, and if it isn’t already a high flow paint, then thin it down using an acrylic white ink from something like Liquitex or Daler-Rowney.  That should give you a pretty high opacity white paint that can then coat a light grey or white primer coat in a couple of layers (it may even cover darker colors, but I don’t prime things that will be white in them any more).  From there, you can shade down with thin glazes into the recesses using various glazing/shading techniques to get the shadow effects you want.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd do it like so....

 

Paint the helmets separately!

 

Prime them light grey or ivory to taste.

 

Use your reccess shade of choice, usually either grey, blue or sepia.

 

Make a 1:1 mix of white and your primer colour and do a reasonably heavy highlight.

 

Next is a 2:1 white to primer mix for some edge highlights.

 

Finally an extreme edge highlight with pure white.

 

Rik

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Painting helmets separately is up there with painting shoulder pads separately; it's fine in principal but in practice it's unrealistic as far as long term goes. 

There's too many models with built in heads or built in shoulder pads, or capes or cloaks or whatever that you can't realistically be priming one part black, and one part white, and one part blue etc etc

If you were going for a Golden Daemon level affair then do all that, but for your normal 40k-er painting normal models (and even everything else that's less than competition grade) then do what's easiest, which is usually to spray black or white, and get the main colours down, and sort the rest out after. 

 

That said; the thing that I learnt from Duncan on youtube a few years ago, despite being a bit of a greybeard myself, is THIN YOUR PAINTS! 

I always thought it was some sort of professional painter propaganda; why would GW release paints that are deliberately too thick only to have peons like us dilute it?  

But it's right, two thin coats makes a world of difference and once you 'get' that (it's really hard to say without being condescending!) then you can spray white and get all Black Templary, or spray black and get all White Scary. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Painting helmets separately is up there with painting shoulder pads separately; it's fine in principal but in practice it's unrealistic as far as long term goes. 

There's too many models with built in heads or built in shoulder pads, or capes or cloaks or whatever that you can't realistically be priming one part black, and one part white, and one part blue etc etc

If you were going for a Golden Daemon level affair then do all that, but for your normal 40k-er painting normal models (and even everything else that's less than competition grade) then do what's easiest, which is usually to spray black or white, and get the main colours down, and sort the rest out after. 

 

That said; the thing that I learnt from Duncan on youtube a few years ago, despite being a bit of a greybeard myself, is THIN YOUR PAINTS! 

I always thought it was some sort of professional painter propaganda; why would GW release paints that are deliberately too thick only to have peons like us dilute it?  

But it's right, two thin coats makes a world of difference and once you 'get' that (it's really hard to say without being condescending!) then you can spray white and get all Black Templary, or spray black and get all White Scary. 

It’s not hard to prime even assembled/ETB/push-fit models with various colors while the model is assembled - masking things off with tape and Saran-wrap/plastic wrap is super simple and doesn’t take that long, and if it saves you 6 coats of paint, more the better for the painter.

 

It isn’t a Golden Demon level/competition thing either - it’s very easy to accomplish - you can even do it just with Post-It notes or with some basic tape and white/lined paper if you really want to and spray with a spray can.  Take standard beige masking tape and push the tape on your pants several times until it doesn’t feel that sticky any more if you are going to use that though - basic masking tape will generally take a paint layer off a mini.  You can use (I know I have) several different color spray primers out of cans, and honestly, you don’t even have to prime multiple times - if you do a white spray primer, mask off whatever you want a lighter color, you can then spray a layer or two of black paint (not primer) over it and not have to worry much about filling in details (make sure you are applying the spray paint in thin layers too).

 

You are definitely correct about thinning your paints!  But every hobbyist should experiment with different methods of thinning, not just using water or GW materials - acrylic inks are just one item that can do some really cool things.  You can even thin and adjust the color of Contrast Paints with them - this week I used flame red acrylic ink in Blood Angels Red Contrast, with about three extra drops of Contrast Medium, to get a brighter, more vibrant, intense red than the Blood Angels Red gives by itself.  Acrylic ink from the art/crafts store can do some crazy things, and it’s got a lot of pigment in it, so you want to talk about being able to thin it out with different mediums, that’s the stuff.

 

Just different mediums can give you awesome results - but for white, definitely try thinning with a white acrylic ink - it is so much more smooth, you can almost paint with it with the brush as your white directly.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Monument ProAcryl bright neutral gray has worked amazingly for me. I paint it on, wash it and tidy up, then highlight with white. It looks much better than my previous attempts at white.

Seconding pro acryl greys and titanium white. They're freaking magic for coverage while going on smooth, and also being able to thin really far without breaking down. They don't have a huge range of colours, but they're what GW base paints *should* be, while being cheaper!

 

For ordinary light paints/greys/whites that have a habit of going on chalky (and a number of the GW paints do this), add a small drop of flow aid to it on the palette. This is an additive to break up acylic paint's viscosity and adhesion a bit and make it well, flow off the brush more smoothly without diluting the coverage; it also dries a little slower, so it can settle and you end up with a smoother finish. You do still need to thin the paint as per normal to 'two thin coats' consistency - using just flow aid to thin paint can cause it to struggle to stick at all. But for 'difficult' paint that either goes on chalky or takes like 15 coats, a little flow aid is a really useful way to help improve that.

 

You can get a lifetime supply cheap from an art brand like liquitex or winsor & newton (it usually comes as concentrate you dilute yourself, and can also be called flow improver), or vallejo do a pre-diluted version that works fine for brush or airbrush. Flow aid does have other uses, but making evil paints work better is my main one.

 

(and shake your paints like it murdered your pets, they always need more than you think. Or buy a vortex mixer, they're expensive but awesome - I have GW metallics that are actually a new colour in the pot now it's finally properly mixed!)

Edited by Arkhanist
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I pre-thin Corax White with Lahmian Medium.

 

It gets it to an easier consistency to work with while still having decent coverage.

 

I also paint my models in subassemblies, so if I know a decent amount of the model is going to be a lighter color I can prime those parts separately.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

If you are wanting to strictly use GW paints, my main recommendation is Grey Seer out of the pot, then follow with ulthuan and white scars.

Vallejo has some great colors also. For my Carmine Blades I do Cold Grey followed by a down burst of Stonewall Grey then at the very crown of the helmet I do a top down of David Rowney's ivory ink. Then I make a wash out of Sombre Grey and wash the helmet with that then edge highlight the model with Vallejo dead white.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Shaking just isn't enough for Corax white, even with an agitator ball or two in there I need to snip a piece of sprue fram and use that to give it a good stir as well before it's even thinable, never mind useable.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

57 minutes ago, Cleon said:

Shaking just isn't enough for Corax white, even with an agitator ball or two in there I need to snip a piece of sprue fram and use that to give it a good stir as well before it's even thinable, never mind useable.

I bought some el-cheapo DIY dropper bottles and some glass agitators, omg the difference it has made to using my Corax White is night and day. I put ~30ish drops of Lahmian Medium and 2 agitators in, and now it's completely usable with minimal shaking, like 30 seconds max.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 5/28/2022 at 12:34 AM, ThatRedOne said:

I've just tried to paint some Imperial Fists Bladeguard and completely messed up the helmets. I tried the couple of thin coats of Celestra Grey then a couple of thin coats of Ulthuan Grey method and ended up with a horrible chalky mess.

 

Is there an easy way to paint white helmets that even a ham fisted idiot can manage? If there isn't that's fine, I just don't want to mess up any more models.

 

Thanks.

gallery_69091_17339_356449.jpeg

Mine are done with black base, Celestra Grey, Ulthuan Grey, 50/50 Apothecary White recess, White Scar.

But I also use this.

 

20220630_130442.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...
On 6/30/2022 at 1:11 PM, Karhedron said:

The new Soulblight Grey shade looks very promising as well. I guess this is best applied over the new White Scar primer. I haven't actually tried it yet.

U0o42j1WvlqchGxm.jpg

A bit late to the party but when we release the Drop Dripper the dreaded citadel taints will be so much easier to use. I do want to say though that the soulblight grey does look as good as advertised :biggrin: (can confirm)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've put my Corax White with Vallejo airbrush thinner into a dropper bottle (30ml, so two pots and 6ml of thinner to top off) with several mixing balls. It's actually managed to stop it from clumping up because of how much thinner is in there :laugh:

 

Also, I can confirm Soulblight Grey is -chef's kiss- for shading white

Edited by Gederas
Link to comment
Share on other sites

There's multiple ways to do it. But I went Stylenz Grey through an airbrush for an undercoat and then my previous colors. Picture for reference on finished product.

20220722_180817.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here to add another recommendation for the Monument paints. Light neutral grey and bold titanium white will make painting white so much easier than anything you can do with most acrylic ranges.

Ceramite white works best when you put it in the trash can and forget it was ever released imho.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.