When painting goes wrong

Last Updated on January 13, 2019 by FauxHammer

If you want to make an omelette you have to break some eggs and if you want to become a good miniature painter you have to fail.

for months now I’ve been struggling with how I want to paint my dar vengeance Chaos Marines, I decided a while ago that I wanted them to be really worn and rusty, have their chapter designations basically indistinguishable. I saw a mini ages ago that looked genuinely rusty, but I lost my link to the page and hours of searching will not bring it back.

I’ve since been seeing a lot of Marines that have a similar scheme that I have fallen in love with, the great unclean colour-scheme of Nurgle.

And here’s some inspirational pieces I found online’

All credits and link’s provided below each image.

40k Painting in MTL
Some of my favourite rust effects,
I must follow this technique and recipe on a full model.
Cranky Old Gamer
A good tutorial relies heavily on drybrushing, I shy away from drybrushing because in my younger years it was how I painted everything. (drybrush all colours over a black primer).
Tabletop Standard
this was the guide I “tried” to follow. (using the wrong paints)
Mini War Gaming Forums
(more pics in the post) Another good and quick scheme.

So, with all that  I decided on my scheme,

Adding some history behind the colours, I started with Deathguard (off-white, brass and green) in my mind with millenia of rot and neglect, turning the armour a slimy mucusy green.

Any flesh I want in a grey-dead flesh colour and I want the armour ornamentation to be a really worn brass and the armour itself to be heavily rusty around all the edges and areas that would attract wear.

So I started with an off white basecoat.

First up – primer

Now, I am fully aware that these are not Plague Marines or even Chaos Marines, but what they are is about £1 each from eBay and a nice easy way of testing colour schemes.

Already started off poorly, not because the primer coat was bad, but because my airbrush was a cheap-o-eBay piece. I have only been practicing with it. one of those practises is cleaning it. Too much isopropyl in my cleaning fluid (in an ultrasonic bath) killed the o-rings. now I have air leaks, it occasionally sprays condensation and pushed paint up into the back end of the brush instead of out the nozzle. Fuck!

I had 6 to prime, I managed 3 (and 2 half-coats) and gave up!

Next, Basecoat.

I love this paint, for those in the know (pretty much anyone reading this) Games Workshop released a series of airbrush paints through Forge World long before their recent collection of Citadel Colours in an airbrush compatible mix.

T picked up Typhon Ash to paint my Deathwing Terminators, I thought they would be a perfect start for my Death Guard Come Plague Marines. (I’m still happy with this step).

Now, on to the “fun” bit.

Following the guide from Tabletop Standard, who essentially applied Brown Ink then a Green Ink to make an excellent base, I substituted for Citadel Washes, because I had them to hand. this is where I lean that inks and washes are really not the same.

So I threw on some Agrax Earthshade on one of the models as my Brown, there are a choice of green washes from GW and I wanted to try them all.

Once this was dry (as it clearly isn’t in the pic above) time to try out some green. Athonian Camoshade on top, really made no impact. I’ve never used this colour before

So next I threw it on one of my other Primed models, it’s basically browny-green but it is not colouring the Typhon Ash green enough. (I needed an ink didn’t I).

So, lets start with some green on the final primed one and see how that works, Ok a bit of a bright green, but I know Athonian Camoshade was arse, and I originally did the foot of this guy with Biel-Tan Green, this was too bright. Coelia Greenshade it was then.

With that dry, I threw on some Agrax Earthshade to tone down the brightness, also to  darken the green in general. this still didn’t achieve the result I wanted. Bugger

So, let’s throw everything at it before I throw in the towel. back to my original guy, who if you remember had a coat of Agrax Earthshade followed by Athonian Camoshade.

This time I was just testing and threw both Coelia Greenshade (on the legs) and some Biel-Tan Green (body, head shoulders and backpack) at him. Still shit

So, this Generally was a complete failure and a waste of several hours, or was it? I now know that this doesn’t work and that is something I didn’t know before. I know how inks work more like the benefits of a Glaze and a Wash (shade) in one packet. but since I don’t have any Inks and I do have GW paints aplenty. The point is I failed but I haven’t given up, if I hadn’t tried I wouldn’t have known this so it wasn’t a complete waste. I could strip the guys and start again, but since they are airbrushed with a couple of light washes on, and these are just to practise colours on I mixed up some Death World Forest to go through my airbrush.

I decided to let my friend have a go with an airbrush, can you tell which is hers?

What is the biggest failure have made with a mini? what did you learn from it?


  • FauxHammer

    Self-appointed Editor in chief of FauxHammer.com - But I need to thank the team for existing and therefore enabling me to give myself role - without them, I'm just a nerd with a computer and a plastic addiction.

    View all posts


Self-appointed Editor in chief of FauxHammer.com - But I need to thank the team for existing and therefore enabling me to give myself role - without them, I'm just a nerd with a computer and a plastic addiction.

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