Painting Salamanders Space Marines II: Metals and Weapons

Following on from the armour tutorial, here I show how I paint the weapons and metal parts of my Salamanders. This is a much simpler approach than the one used on the armour.


GW = Games Workshop

VMC = Vallejo Model Colour

VGC = Vallejo Game Colour

Metals Step 1: Base Coat

The gold areas (mostly trim) are base coated with GW Retributor Armour while the silver uses VMC Gunmetal Grey. I don’t tend to thin metallic paints quite as much as non-metallics as this seems to make them lose their shine. About 70% paint, 30% water is used here. For the most part, one coat is fine, but it’s worth checking the area over once it’s dry to see if a second coat is needed.


Metals Step 2: Shade

Gold: GW Reikland Fleshshade

Silver: GW Nuln Oil

Thin the washes with about 50% water so they’re not too overpowering. Use a second coat in any areas which should be darker, such as the deepest recesses. The Nuln Oil wash goes all over the Gunmetal Grey while the Reikland Fleshshade is only applied to the shoulder trim and around the neck. The other trim is too thin to need it (arguably, it would work under the knees if you’re so inclined).


Metals Step 3: Highlights

Gold: GW Auric Armour Gold then VMC Silver (70% paint 30% water)

Silver: VMC Silver (70% paint 30% water)

Highlights are mostly along the edges with a small exception on the gold. A little Auric Armour Gold between the rivets on the shoulder and neck trim brings some shine back to it after the wash. Be sure to leave the shade around the rivets and in the deepest recesses. On the curved sections, such as the legs, the green armour highlights will guide you on where to highlight – where the green is lighter, highlight the gold trim around it. A final highlight on the gold is done with VMC Silver, but only on the brightest parts like corners.

A thin line of VMC Silver is done along the exhaust vents of the backpack. This follows the same horizontal highlights of the green armour.


Weapons Step 1: Base Coat

Painting the weapons uses much the same process. Use GW Mephiston Red to base coat the case of the plasma pistol and handle for the thunder hammer. Two coats thinned with 50% water should do the job.


Weapons Step 2: Shade

No need to thin this wash of GW Carrobourg Crimson. Paint it into the recesses of the plasma pistol and where the red meets the silver on the thunder hammer. If you overstep with the shade, like I have here about half way along the thunder hammer, just tidy it up with some of the base colour.


Weapons Step 3: Highlights

The first highlight is with GW Evil Sunz Scarlet. The plasma pistol has some nice, sharp edges so it is edge highlighted (a line along the edge) but since the thunder hammer is round, just paint a line along the handle as though looking down on it at a 45 degree angle.

A second highlight is done with GW Fire Dragon Bright. This consists of a thinner line inside the previous highlight. Take your time over this part as it’s the most tricky, and a wobbly line is going to stand out. Keep your paints thin (50% water), have a good point on your brush, and use light brush strokes. If you make a mistake, just go over it with GW Evil Sunz Scarlet and try again.


Final Stages: Face, Base and Details

In the next blog, we’ll finish this model off. The hardest part was the armour and that’s all done. We’ll cover the coal-like skin of the Salamanders, a simple plasma glow, and a rubble-strewn base.


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