Army Painting: Magma Dragon

Today we have a guest post from Bryn Hill. He uses simple techniques to get armies ready for the tabletop quickly and effectively. This first post covers his step by step approach to Forgeworld’s Magma Dragon.


First off, I scrubbed the resin to get any lingering mould release off the model and then trimmed and cleaned each part before dry-fitting each piece to try and see any parts that would need a little help from our good friend, green stuff.

After assembly of the kit, I filled any joins with green stuff that needed it and then I used a Grey primer (I use this for many of my models these days) and allowed it to cure for a day or 2 to give me the best possible surface for painting.

The next few stages can be a little tricky but as long as you’re careful they are very simple, note an airbrush would possibly have been simpler for this stage but this is how I did it.

Firstly I brushed on TauSept Ochre (Old citadel foundation paint) onto its underbelly stopping at the horny scales, once dried I sprayed the sides of the Dragon with Army Painter Dragon Red spray. Now very carefully I sprayed the scales with Chaos Black spray. Once dried I obviously had to redo the red on the wings where I couldn’t avoid hitting with the black spray. For that, I brushed on Citadel Mephiston Red Base paint.

You are now left, if done carefully, with a lovely gradated look to the dragon and ready for a fairly heavy drybrush using Citadel Longbeard Grey Dry paint all over the scales and spines. Once dry, the whole model was given a wash of Nuln Oil. In all honesty I thought I’d ruined it at this stage as it just looked like an horrific mess, especially the yellow, but I decided to plow on and see what would happen if I continued.
Next is bringing the reds an yellows back up to something other than a dingy mess. Overbrush with Evil Sunz Scarlet over any red areas and over any yellow areas with Flash Gitz Yellow. This is then followed by a wash of Fuegan Orange Shade on all flesh areas and wings, being careful to avoid the scales (well the bulk of them that we want to leave alone as we are finished with them till near the end).
We are almost finished now and we now focus our attention to the wing membranes. For that I used Kindleflame Dry paint being careful to avoid the “arms” and “fingers” which were picked out again with Evil Sunz Scarlet and then a very light drybrush of Kindleflame on the knuckles of the “fingers”. Then the membranes and fingers were given a wash of Carroburg Crimson.

I have done much of the work on the face in the steps above and all that remains is a few select highlights, the eyes and the inside of the mouth. First up is painting the inside of the mouth with Xereus Purple followed, when dry, with a wash of Druchii Violet and a further layer of Xereus purple to the tongue leaving a good amount of shade visible in the groove of the tongue.
Eyes were picked out first in Flash Gitz Yellow, a spot of Dorn Yellow Edge paint, then coated in Spiritstone Red Technical paint and finished with a line of black for the slit pupil. I edged the mouth first with Evil sunz Scarlet followed by an edge highlight of Flash Gitz Yellow towards the tip of the “beak”. Once dry, the inside of the mouth and around the “beak” were given a wash of Nuln Oil Gloss.
Finally the claws were picked out in Black.

Moving on now to the base, the dragon is supplied with some base components which it is standing on so planning out your base is key at the building stage. Apart from a little planning and careful placement, all I used for the base was some cork board and Vallejo Grey Pumice texture paste, spray primed grey and then completely covered in Gorthor Brown. The rocks I overbrushed with Dark Reaper before giving them a healthy wash of Agrax Earthshade. I allow the Agrax to pool in areas to help give a more natural, less uniform look to the ground.
Once the wash had dried, I drybrushed the whole base with Longbeard Grey. I then picked out any skulls on the base with Rakarth Flesh Base paint and for this base I built up areas of the Vallejo texture paint to form craters which I filled with Agrellan Earth (the one that cracks) Technical paint. Once everything was dry I washed again with Agrax Earthshade.
Finally I edged the base black and job done.
I hope I’ve been helpful with this and that I’ve inspired you to try something different. Always bear my mantra in mind “the simplest techniques done well can be almost as striking as the most complex methods.”

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