Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Painting Halfway Decent Power Weapons

As I have been working on my first batch of Blood Angel models (Dante, Librarian, and Sanguinary Guard), I have really enjoyed working on the power weapons and trying to get a decent looking effect on them. After taking a looking at several pictures of power weapons, I have come to like the coruscating power effect. It reminds me of those science museum electricity exhibits where there current travels up a glass tube and the electrical energy almost looks molten. It's a pretty cool sight to see.

I have decided to show the method I have taken for doing these power weapons. Of course, the design will vary based on the size and shape of the blade, but it is fairly easy to repeat.

I used four shades of blue plus a white. These five colors yield a really decent looking model on the tabletop, but if you want a truly smooth finish, you are going to need to either find some additional shades in between these colors, or better yet, mix colors together to get in-between shades. 5 colors will yield a decent result for the purposes of this tutorial though.

I based the sword blade in GW foundation Mordian Blue first. This is a simple stage. Whatever color you choose to do, start with your darkest shade first.

I next used the Reaper Master Series Paint Sapphire Blue. In this stage, I went in and "cut out" section of the blade with this color. I painted them in an alternating pattern. I started at the base of the blade on the left (bottom in the picture) of the blade, then went to the right at the midpoint, and finally switched back to the left for the tip. Position of the blade on the model may affect how you want to do this, so take a look at your model from a few angles before starting.

I next painted on a thin coat of GW Enchanted Blue. I painted each lighter shade in a consecutively smaller amount of space making sure to allow the darker shade beneath to show a bit. Pretty basic stuff. It is important to note that you should be using thin coats of paint. That yields the best color gradation on the finaly product. Also important. It is at this stage that I started turning the blade and painting along its edges to add lighting effects there as well.

Here I used the GW Ice Blue. You can see a bit more clearly how I painted the center of the blade and the edges. The edges should be painted as if radiating out from the colored portion on the flat of the blade. It is also easier to see here that I am somewhat curving the edges of each layer of paint instead of leaving them as straight blocks of color. This is all a matter of taste. I like the look of the curve on each layer of color.

The final color is a layer of Reaper Pure White. For this stage, you want pure, undiluted, bright white. Make sure your water pot isn't murky from other paints as the bright this layer is, the better. Again, you can see how I have painted along the edges of the blade as well as the flat.

The final step of the process was to go back and choose a mid range shade (I used Ice Blue here) and make a very watery wash out of it. Apply it to the "in-between" layers between your darkest shade and the white. Don't get it on either as you want to have very dark and very light portions. The purpose of this is to smooth out the transition from dark to light.

Viola! You have a power weapon. It's really a pretty easy procedure and you should be able to get the hang of it with a little practice. Again, if you are interested in seeing this on models, check out the links above of my Blood Angels models that are sporting these type of power weapons.

You might also find these articles of help:
Make Your Own GW Paints
Taking better pictures with cra...inexpensive equipment


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