View Full Version : Highlighting advice appreciated

09-05-2009, 12:58 AM
Oki so I used to play 40k, then as some of you may or may not know my happy go lucky dog decided I spent to much time and/or money with it and told me very blatantly I needed a new hobby. So that worked for a little while but you can take The boy out of the Space Marine but you can't take the Space Marine out of the boy. So last week I ordered Assault on Black Reach, an extra Terminator and Tactical squad, some paint, and a 20/0 detailing brush. Now I am waiting on my models, I am a bit impatient so I found some old arms and legs my very awesome and caring dog left behind, and started to practice painting. I can do most everything except highlight well, if you guys could find the time, I would love some advice/help on how to do this. When I get my marines I am going to put up a day by day thread of how my progress is coming with pictures and all, just like a blog!

09-05-2009, 01:04 AM
Well what color are you planning on using??

09-05-2009, 01:06 AM
I am going with ultra marines for now .....

09-05-2009, 01:17 AM
Layer lighter and lighter blues onto the highest points of the armour.

09-05-2009, 01:22 AM
Sounds simple......

09-05-2009, 01:27 AM
Personally I struggle with highlighting, and try to find ways around it. especially when it comes to that pesky power armour. obviosly things like robes, tanks, faces etc. are much easier to higlight as they have nice hard lines to follow. Drybrushing is always good for quick and easy results. also the clever use of washes and blending can sometimes negate the need for complex highlighting.

a good tip is to use the side or your brush, running it along a hard edge and letting the model do the work. as long as you don't load the brush up too much, you can control the ammount of paint you get on the model quite easily and not have to worry as much about keeping a steady hand. or the dreaded 'split end' that ALWAYS happens to your brush just when you really don't want it to.

but if you're looking for REAL advice you've definately come to the right place. many of the people here are artists in their own right. I will be keeping an eye on this thread for when the great masters amongst us reveal their secrets. until then have you considered a painting guide. the GW one is good and i also find the COOLMINIORNOT one very handy.

I hope this helps a little... good luck and happy highlighting :D

09-05-2009, 07:01 PM
COOLMINIORNOT, never heard of it but looks like a handy site, nice tip moose.

09-05-2009, 08:50 PM
Coolmini is one of the greatest sites ever.

09-05-2009, 09:12 PM
Coolmini is one of the greatest sites ever.

second only to astro OBVIOUSLY!

they do have some great stuff on there though, really good for finding inspiration

Brother_Chaplian Raimo
09-05-2009, 11:30 PM
second only to astro OBVIOUSLY!

they do have some great stuff on there though, really good for finding inspiration

They also have these lovely banner adds...

*flashback to horribly awkward incident involving self, Kishy and a phonesex site...*

10-05-2009, 01:13 AM
Yeah, your mom was a bit shaken after seeing that.;)

10-05-2009, 01:52 AM

10-05-2009, 07:04 AM
Thank for the help guys tomorrow I am starting my SM painting day by day blog for my brand new army (friend bought me a combat squad) so I have that until the big shipment comes in

11-05-2009, 11:08 PM
Here is my very easy highlighting tutorial.

1: paint miniature.
2: with ultra marines blue I'd use Space wolves grey OR take some white and mix it 50/50 with ultra marines blue. you can go even lighter and thats all personal preference. Now with your highlight color mixed or picked, take your small drybrush. On a piece of paper towel or an old shirt wipe off ALL the paint. Make it so that when you rub the brush on the cloth that you can barely see any paint. Lightly brush across the miniature. It will rub miniscule amounts of pigment on the raised edges of the model your trying to highlight and will give it depth.

I do faces, armor, and anything else you can think of this way. The alternative is to use a blue wash and hit the model with it. It's going to darken up your paint a bit, so you use the above method to apply your base color to the raised areas and it lightens up the model again. Do this ONLY if you want deep shadows on your miniature, as the dark areas look VERY deep.

I hope this helps.


11-05-2009, 11:13 PM
Paint the edges of a surface with a lighter color than the basecoat. This might require you to paint both edges of, say, some peaked surface. This takes a steady hand and some touch-ups to tidy up mistakes, but the results are solid. Moose's method is what I used for the longest time, but it doesn't give a good result from all angles.

You can do successive highlights if you're feeling daring; use a lighter shade than the initial highlight.

There's also painting a very light color on the model, then painting over the whole surface. You'll get highlights from the lighter color. Post #22 in this thread (http://www.astronomican.com/forums/showthread.php?t=11801&page=3) demonstrates this.

16-05-2009, 05:17 PM
I am taking a 50/50 mix of Ultramarine Blue and White and painting it around the edges of his armor

17-05-2009, 12:05 AM
be sure to post a pic of what you get done. (if you post it in a different thread be sure to stick a link in this one)

can't wait to see what you do with the tips! :)

17-05-2009, 12:52 AM
theres my pride and joy the dreadnought, sorry for bad pic quality me webcam sucks

17-05-2009, 01:25 AM
from what I can make out the highlighting is nice and crisp. have some rep for that, as well as getting back with a pic so quickly!

17-05-2009, 01:35 AM
Heres some of a not so well done combat squad and termie squad sorry these pics are even worse :(

Vulpus Rex
17-05-2009, 12:16 PM
If you put a piece of white paper behind the models as a back drop you might get a clearer picture. Sorry mate but I can't see any detail at all in those pics.