How to: Paint Dark Angels Tactical Squad (Green Armour)

Hello, and welcome to the Brush and Boltgun.

Today I’m going to talk you through painting the green armour for the Dark Angels chapter of Space Marines from Warhammer 40,000. This is a really simple technique to get a good green.

The first thing to do is to give your models a basecoat/prime of a black colour. For this Dark Angels tactical squad I used Vallejo’s Black Primer through an airbrush:

Dark Angels Tactical Squad

Then, of course, you want to basecoat your models in the green you want to be the core colour of the armour. For this I used Citadel Caliban Green, and applied it using an airbrush. You can also get this in an aerosol from Games Workshop, but I find working with the airbrush easier, and it is cheaper in the long run. Make sure you get a good coat all over the armour parts of the model and don’t worry at this stage if it goes over parts that you want to be other colours. These can be painted over later:

Dark Angels Tactical Squad

The next thing to do is to shade the armour. A shade, or wash, makes the armour look more three dimensional, giving a darker hue to those areas that would reflect less light. The best way to achieve this is to paint Citadel Nuln Oil into these recesses. Rather than applying an overall wash to the armour, use a fine detail brush (a size 0 should do), and paint the shade into the shaded areas. You can see this effect below, and already it adds more depth to the model:

Dark Angels Tactical Squad

Leave the shade to dry for some time, as it can take a little longer for shades to dry due to their consistency.

Once you are happy that the shade is dry you can then look at highlighting the model. I’m not a big fan of high contrast highlighting, I just want a lighter shade to represent light catching the higher parts of the armour. Using a lighter shade of the colour (in this context the green) is better than adding white as you have more control over the colour, plus it better represents the look of light reflecting more off surfaces, as you will not get a pure white reflection.

For the Dark Angels I used Citadel Warpstone Glow. The same brush you used for the shade should be a perfect size, and you just want to run the brush along the edges to give it a line of the lighter shade. You may want to think about where your light is positioned, as it will not catch every surface.

You can see this effect on the tactical squad below:


At this stage, if you want to you can go to an even higher stage of highlight (If you want to, I would suggest Citadel Moot Green). I tend to leave this just for the characters for a very small point on each highlight, just to make them stand out more.

Check back soon for the next stages of painting Dark Angels.

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