Saturday 5 September 2015

Dark Angels colour scheme - test model

Hi Readers,

I've had a hell of a long hobby day which has done my back no good, but I've finished of the 5 Death company that were nearly done and I've just got the gems and jump pack glow to paint on the other 5 before basing them. I have another 5 Death Company primed which I am hoping to get painted up before Thursday in the coming week so that I can use them in my final narrative game with 2 squads of 10 rampaging into the Ork lines!

However in between washes drying I put together a test model for my recently obtained Dark Angels. I wanted the scheme to be very dark as I don't like the normal green that is used for the greenwing and the red I also find too bright. I have heard this referred to as the "christmas tree effect" which I agree with and so wished to avoid it and make them worthy of their grim dark reputation as the first legion. 

The models I received were base coated in Caliban green and I did the following to them:

- Heavy drybrush with Abaddon black
- Medium drybrush with Warpstone green
- Heavy wash with Nuln oil
- Edge highlight with Dark Angels green (this is a hexagonal pot I've had since the late 90's...)
- Tiny highlight with Warboss green

The white was painted using:

- Administratum grey basecoat
- Nuln oil wash
- Administratum grey highlight
- Ceramite white highlight
- light wash with nuln oil to blend.

The red was painted using:

- Khorne red basecoat
- Nuln oil wash
- Wazdakka highlight
- ligt nuln oil wash on right shoulder pad.

I can't remember the blue off the top of my head as I type but its the same as the paint I use for the Death Company jump pack engines, if anyone asks I will type it out. 

Anyway, here are the pictures, I'd greatly appreciate any feedback on it. please ignore the base as I will be removing all the models from their 25mm bases and re-basing them on 32mm resin bases with sculpted detail. Pictures!!!

I'm keen to avoid the cream colour in general as I feel it dominates a bit too much but I'm not sure what colour to paint the robes when I come to them, if anyone has any suggestions?

Till next time,

Peace out,



  1. Let me preface my comments by saying I agree completely with your desire to make the Dark Angels dark, something I've tried to do myself and I'm still not sure I've achieved my goal. I like what you've achieved so far, my only concern are some of tiny Warboss green highlights, it works on the elbow pauldrons in the second picture but in the others it ends up a little neon 'Dark Eldar' if you catch my drift. If that's what your after then great but I'd perhaps consider using more Dark Angels Green edge highlight and less Warboss. If you just stick to a darker highlight but use more of it I think you'll still retain the darkness you're after. But as I say, what do I know? I'm still not 100% with my own DA choices!

    I really like your reds, so I'd look to paint all the robes red. It's not the best picture in the world and it's certainly been improved since but here's one I did red that I was really happy with, it surprised me how good it's turned out [although the sergeants eyes are a nightmare], I also did the detailing in Bonewhite so turned the cream and red mix on it's head:

    I'll try and take a picture in the morning and throw it up so you can have a better idea of what red robes look like. Alternatively there's black with red details on top, which echoes the first legions original scheme but I think with the way you do red then thats your accent colour :)

    1. Here he is now:

    2. Here he is now:

    3. Thanks Dave, lots of good stuff in there! I'm going to go over the warboss green highlights with Warpstone glow and see how that looks after and I'll have a picture up in today's post. Very pleased to hear you like my reds! I've really enjoyed painting them on my death company and keeping them nice and dark. I do like the robe on your guys and will definitely be painting one of the sergeants for the tactical squad to look like that and see how we fly. Thanks again, I'm always bowled over when a big blogger like your self takes interest in my stuff :)

  2. I find that as long as I keep the green dark, I can avoid the Christmas Tree effect even if I do bring the reds up all the way to Blood Red (or whatever it's called now). I basically go with Caliban Green, leaving black in all the lines, and then Warpstone Glow on just the very highest edge highlights. I treat it sort of like highlighting Black, where you just want very fine sharp highlights.

    I have to agree with Dave that your Warboss Green highlights are bringing it up a little too much. I probably wouldn't take those up past Warpstone Glow.

    The Nuln Oil does a great job of damping them down, and gets a really nice matte finish here. I don't use it often (hoarding my remaining stock of Badab Black) because it tends to get that covering effect, but it works really well here.

    Another alternative for robes is to go with a grey-based white instead of a cream-based white. I do that on my Ravenwing, but I'm not sure how well it would work on something that's not so strongly monochrome. Dark red robes can look really good here, I've got a few that I got second-hand that were done that way, and it definitely works.

    1. Thanks Westrider, as said above I'll be taking your advice and trying a warpstone glow highlight to cover the warboss green.

      I might go for grey white on the ravewing and red on the greenwing to further their separation, or maybe actually red on both would the them together actually.. Oooh things to think about!

      Thanks :)

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  4. removed a lot of red from my pallet by using Bronze instead, specifically to avoid the Christmas tree effect. You have shaded your red well though, so that shouldn't be a problem. With some of my Dark Angels I have used Scorched Brown (a warm dark brown, I don't know what they call it these days) as an alternative/addition to the bone colour: I'll join the chorus in applauding your choice of a darker look for the Dark Angels. I have always advocated using the standard Dark Angels green as a highlight, not a block colour ;-)

    1. That's where I went wrong, using my green as a block colour...

    2. Oh, and as Marc did I went bronze instead of red guns, with verdigris to tone it down. It takes a lot of guts because you do the cool metallics then cover them up but I think it works in the end

    3. Your Dark angels look fantastic Marco, I was dubious when I read brown but they look brilliant, I apologise for doubting :P

      Funnily enough, I though of the same thing as you guys, but I'm planning to only have that oxidised look to my veterans being that they have older holier relic weapons and all. But I look forward to putting stuff together for you guys to look at :)

    4. Ha ha! It felt dubious when I was doing it, but it turned out alright. It is what I call the "reverse Jedi" scheme.

      I never had the guts to try the oxidisation on my Dark Angels (and my heart is in my throat when I paint my Iron Snakes), for the reason that Dave pointed out. I think saving that effect for your veterans is a great idea :-)