After nearing completion of my army, and refining my painting technique (and making a LOT of mistakes), I thought I would share my method for painting Space Wolves. This method is aimed at basic troops (I spent a lot longer on my HQs and such). The idea is to paint them decently quickly, but still have something of high-tabletop quality.
Most of my experimentation (and failures) went into trying to use fewer coats where possible. I was able to eventually cut the time it takes to paint a troop in less than half from when I originally started.
- Base the models using Citadel Shadow Grey spray paint. I advise you order directly from GW. I bought a can off the shelf at the local hobby shop and it was no good...came out very powdery. They later confessed it had been on the shelf for several years. Also, I live in a humid climate, and I always spray inside. I once tried to spray coat in too much humidity. Brand spanking new spray paint can handle that, but most can't.
- I paint the bolter, chest eagle, and a knife accessory I put on his back to say "I am a Grey Hunter" black using Reaper Master Pure Black. RM comes in squeeze bottles like Vallejo now, and is thin enough that it's usable from the bottle. I use a Loew-Cornell comfort series #3 synthetic for this (Michaels, $5). Usually only one coat is needed.
- Using the same brush, and the new Games Workshop Foundation series Iyanden Darksun, I paint the shoulder plates. This paint was a godsend because it goes on in one coat over the Shadow Grey base. The color is a little muted though (true of all GW foundation paints), so I put a single coat of Delta Ceramcoat Antique gold on as well. I thin both of these paints approx 0.5:1 in water : paint. And yes I do use Delta Ceramcoat for some stuff. Their paint is very inconsistent, but some of it is high-quality if you are willing to experiment to find out which (I was). If you absolutely must use model paints, Citadel Golden Yellow works too. I myself tend to avoid Citadel paints other than metallics though, since you have to thin them and they are not in a squeeze bottle.
- Using 4:1 thinned Citadel Brown Ink, I paint in the crevices around the shoulder plates for a shadow effect. Don't load the brush too much here or it gets messy.
- For the purity seal, I base the seal in Delta Ceramcoat Opaque Red (this is a FANTASTIC red BTW) and the ribbons in 1:1 mix of Citadel Bleached Bone and Delta Ceramcoat Velvet Brown, thinned 0.5:1 water: paint.
- Dry brush the ribbons in Bleached Bone. I generally dry brush straight from the pot.
- Highlight the rim of the seal in 3:1:1 Opaque Red: Delta Ceramcoat Opaque Yellow : Citadel Skull White.
- Glaze the ribbon in Citadel Brown Ink thinned 8:1.
- Paint Citadel Brown ink in the little crevice in the ribbons (okay I spend a while on the seals, sue me).
- Dry brush the bolter and knife in Citadel Bolt Gun Metal
- Dry brush the chest eagle in Citadel Dwarven Bronze
- Highlighting time! I pre-mix my 2 highlight colors. Highlight 1 is a 3:1 mix of Delta Ceramcoat Cape Cod Gray (this is EXACTLY Citadel Shadow Grey) to Citadel Space Wolf Grey. I then thin in water to the desired consistency and add a couple drops of dish soap. I pre-mix about 10ml at a time. I use a Winsor&Newton Series 7 #1 to to the first highlight.
- Highlight #2 is 1:1 Cape Cod Gray:Space Wolf Grey thinned as above. This is a line highlight, and I use a W&N Series 7 #00 for this.
- For the eyes I go simple. Fill them in with Delta Ceramcoat Opaque Red. When I think paints for small areas like this, I mix about 10ml of water and 10 drops of dish soap. This breaks the surface tension which is a godsend for small areas. I use a W&N #00 and a magnifying lamp for this.
- Using the same brush, I outline the eyes in Citadel Black Ink. This is easier than it sounds. And my hands shake. The ink flows very well.
- Paint the bases whatever color you want.
- Apply decals
- Top coat in matte acrylic sealer. The decals look way better if you top coat after.
Here is a pic of a Marine in various stages of painting (click to enlarge):