Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Iron Within, Iron Without...

Today we are back to one of my favourite subjects: Tanks! Iron Warriors Predators to be precise:

These were painted for my regular chaos client and were an interesting challenge to work on. The challenge was mainly to make them look realistic despite being just metallic. I could have just drybrushed on some boltgun metal, added hazard stripes and called it good but that just isn't how I roll...

The main bodywork of the tank needed to look like old, heavy iron. I therefore started the painting process from a heavy covering of Tin Bitz to add the shading within the texture of the metal. This is important to give the smooth plastic a sense of unpainted metal. The smooth thing is fine for paintwork. Not for metal. Sequential drybrushing and stippling with a mix of highlights all the way up to chainmail with a little mithril added. Brass areas were painted Vallejo Brassy brass, shaded with brown ink and highlighted with a mix of the brass shade and mithril silver. The hazard stripes were a whole other thing! You need them to be about as precise as you can, using a small steel ruler that I keep for a cutting straight edge and a really sharp pencil I roughed in pencil lines roughly 3mm apart following the nearest predominant angle. This was over an Iyanden Darksun basecoat. I then filled in the lines with Chaos Black. A thin Gryphonne Sepia glaze brought the yellow to life and highlights of Darksun and White defined the edges. I then relined the black to create the most precise edges I could. Don't be tempted to do too many of these as it will be overwhelming and don't do them too thin or they will look messy.

In an effort to introduce some more subtle colours to the scheme I painted the tops of the batteries a verdigris copper shade and painted the rings of the lascannons as green glass electrical isolators. Little details could now be added, the client wanted the names "Boomhowler" and "Warmachine" added to the vehicles so I picked one of the few open areas - the turret - and went for as precise and mechanical a handwriting as I could manage. Anyone know of a company that makes really small dry transfers for lettering? All the ones I've found are huge in scale! I also added a pseudo-barcode above the name reasoning that the heavily bionic augmented Iron Warriors would include many warriors whose eyes would read machine code faster than script.

To further distinguish the two vehicles I painted some personal decoration on the gun mantlet. Boomhowler got a half chaos star and Warmachine got a line of devotional script in chaos runes.

These were fun to do, even if the hazard lines created a dazzle painted effect that messed with my eyes! It's difficult to see in the photos but as you turn the vehicles the lines do mess with the angles. I ended up adding some scrapes and dings to the edges of these areas to break up this effect. I like the look of the metalwork to the extent that were I to do another chaos army for 40k I would be sorely tempted by the Iron Warriors. That's all for now, so 'till next time:



  1. Secret Weapon Miniatures do a Brass Etch alphabet in 2mm Copperplate Gothic. I haven't used it before but it's on my list of things to try.

  2. anyone know of a secret weapon supplier in the uk? Having looked at their range I would be amazed if there wasn't. Heck if there is no-one *I* might offer!