How to Paint Everything: Rockfish’s Totally Loyal Guards

Those of you who have seen our August Hobby Round-up will have noticed that in addition to starting GSC I had a guard sentinel in the same colour scheme, this is essentially the cheat I am doing to say that technically I am not starting multiple armies at the same time. While I am using this scheme for my totally loyal guard, it would still work well for worshippers of Four Armed Emperor, in fact my plan is to make use of krieg and otherwise facially obscured models so that I can run them as loyalist guard if the whim strikes me.

Since this is a guard orientated HTPE article you will find pieces unique to them here, for example weapon effects and lens colours. If you have interest in some of the details specific to GSC scheme like webbers and tyranid gribbly bits you can find that over in their article.

Airbrushing – Chipping away

After priming black I gave the models a coat of Vallejo Metal Colour (VMC) Duraluminum, followed by two thin coats of Vallejo Chipping Medium thinned down with water. You might be able to get away with one thicker layer but this stuff is weird to apply through a airbrush, so your experience may vary. After that was just about dry, I applied a coat of Vallejo Model Air (VMA) Yellow Brown that I then chipped back in a few ways to get variety:

  • Just using a fairly damp toothbrush, you have to be gentle with this as the chipping medium is not that active so if you go ham you might tear through the metal layer. This is mostly if you want to just chip edges without knocking anything large off.
  • Applying a bit of water to a area and leaving it for a bit before coming back with a rough paint brush. This tends to chip off large pieces so you have to be careful with this on small models, otherwise you might find yourself running out of the top coat.
  • Being lazy about waiting for the chipping medium to dry, since the medium behaves weirdly through the airbrush I find it tends to pool occasionally resulting in areas that take longer to dry. You can exploit this by just not quite letting it dry in those spots as it will give a good impression of a larger patch of paint falling off after a bit of gentle rubbing with a damp brush.
  • You can get spider webbing cracks by rushing the drying paint with a hairdryer, this one might not be up your alley in which case you probably just gotta wait on it drying slowly.

Once the chipping is where you want, its crucial that you seal thoroughly with varnish, otherwise washes and later paint layers can reactivate the chipping medium. In my case I am using either Vallejo Mecha Matte or Premium Air Matte, and I am not quite sure how other finishes will affect how the the scheme turns since there are a lot of washes involved.

Do note, that while I describe doing this with a airbrush you could probably do it by hand or rattle can, its just that it might take a lot longer.

Base Coats – Washing away the toils

We start with getting all the metals done, the main aluminum/steel is VMC Duraluminum like under the chipping. The remaining metals are Warplock on the iconography and Balthasar on copper like the power sword power unit. Then the metal and armor panels are washed with Agrax Gloss, this will get us the final sandy beige of the main armor and recess shading on the metals.

I went over anything that will be covered with contrast and the uniforms with the yellow brown to cover up any undesired chipping.

The uniforms are washed with Nuln and Druchii and the leather and rubber is washed with Black Templar.

Highlights – Crisping the edges

Since these are just simple edge highlights I will just list out where they go:

  • Administratum on the black
  • Dechala on the uniform
  • Screaming Skull on the armour panels
  • Ushabti on the cloth wrappings on their legs and the bed roll, I also base the lights with this colour to be covered with contrast
  • Brass scorpion on the coppery material of the power sword
  • Sycorax on the iconography

This step could be skipped if you want to save some time on hordes of infantry.

Details – More colours then any other step!

Theres a lot going on in here, most of it simpler then the number of paints would imply, for example the lights are just Ushabti and Iyanden.

The plasma is based with Baharroth then washed Drakenhof and the coils are highlighted up with Baharroth and white, both of the highlights are relatively thin so as not to be too stark.

While only one type is visible on these particular models, the army also has blue lenses, like on this sentinel:

We have a dedicated article explaining Lenses and Gemstones but the general idea is painting successive crescents getting lighter towards one side with a extreme contrast in the other.

For the orange lenses and glow I used Skrag, Trollslayer, Fire Dragon and Ushabti for the main colours and a extreme reflection of Vallejo Model Colour White. The blue lenses are Kantor, Caledor, Calgar, Fenrisian Grey, and the Ushabti plus White from the oranges.

The blade is almost exclusively glazes over Mephiston, you could replicate this by just mixing on your palette to approximate the glazes.

The base colour is Mephiston as mentioned, then there are a few glazes of Squig Orange and Kislev towards the tip of the blade, and black templar glazes to the base of the blade. After the glazing is done, outline the blade with kislev, then towards the tip push the outline brighter with your choice of pure white.

River Bank – Cow pies optional

The bases start with Vallejo Dark Earth in a fairly thick layer, this is so I can press it back in a few spots to form the river/lake. Once that dried I put Wyldwood on the river/lake and Agrax on the rest of the base, once dry I then drybrush only the river bank with Steel Legion Drab.

Water – Soggy socks alert

The river is just covered with gloss varnish to get it shiny looking, if you want to get a bit more texture you can use Vallejo Transparent Water Effects to add in white water that you can push a bit further with a overloaded drybrush of pallid wych. A word of warning on the thicc water, it seems to have difficulty drying completely clear which is fine for rough water but I am not particularly impressed with it.

Tufts and Rims – I swear I didn’t buy all of these in one go

With the rest of the models done its just painting the rims in Dryad Bark and adding tufts, for this army I am using these ones from Gamers Grass:

  • 6mm Burned Grass
  • 6mm Dry Green
  • 2mm Dry Green
  • 2mm Moss
  • 4mm Green
  • 6mm Mixed Green
  • 6mm Strong Green
  • Spiky Green
  • Dark Green Shrubs

Pretty Pictures

Now that we are done with the squad its time to huck them in the photo booth and get some final pictures!


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