A couple weeks ago, I showed you how to remove ugly paint jobs using a cheap and easy-to-find household cleaner called Simple Green. One thing I forgot to mention is that before priming any miniature you've chemically stripped, it's a good move to give it a quick run through soap and hot water just to get all the little crumbs of paint/glue/chemicals off and make sure you're starting with a clean base.
As soon as these guys dried off I sprayed them with a base coat of Navy Blue from The Army Painter. Way back in 1998, Games Workshop used to have a line of spray paints in popular shades like Ultramarines Blue, Blood Angels Red, etc. It seems like these would still be fairly popular, especially for marine armies, but much to my chagrin I found that GW had discontinued them and I was forced to go elsewhere. While I was looking at their Quickshade line, I noticed that The Army Painter had a line of undercoat colors similar GW's and not wanting to paint a squad of Space Marines by hand, I figured I would give it a go.
|Undercoat courtesy of The Army Painter - Navy Blue Color Primer|
I followed this up with the basic details that come with every Space Marine. I used GW's Red Gore for the shoulder pads, Sergeant's helmet and weapon casings because I like the darker, grittier tone more than the standard Blood Red, which just seems a little too bright for me. (note: despite my monetary grudge against GW you gotta love their paint names...Snot Green and Vomit Brown anyone?)
I followed this up with Boltgun Metal on the guns and Shining Gold for the chest pieces. That left only the purity seals on legs and chests of some of the models. To get that old parchment look, I find that a coat of dark brown followed by a quick dry brushing of Bleached Bone or any other suitable off-white color works best.
So far, so good! They're already looking a lot better than their previous incarnations which could be compared to the the handiwork of an infant monkey. This just left the touch-ups and basing.
Finally, I gave them a quick bath in THE DIP (see my earlier post about Quickshade for details) and set them out to dry overnight. I came back the next day and gave them a once-over with the Anti-Shine and voila! I'd like to make a quick note regarding the application of the Anti-Shine. I've found that models need VERY LITTLE of this to get the desired effect. On these minis I think I might have gotten overzealous with a couple passes too many and had to touch up some areas that had gone a little white from varnish build-up. No biggie...just something to watch out for.
So in the end, with some elbow grease, an adventurous spirit and a tight wallet I took four shoddily painted Devastator Marines from this:
To this! (You'll notice the addition of the lost fifth Missile Launcher on the right to complete the squad.)
I am definitely going to use this technique again in the future, as there are all manner of horribly painted, cheaply priced miniatures for sale on Ebay just begging to be re-habbed. All told, from the start of the stripping process to taking the last picture, I did about three hours of actual work. It's a pretty nice feeling to know you've rescued perfectly good miniatures from bad-paint hell and given them a second lease on life...at least until they're blown up on the battlefield.