Tuesday, October 8, 2013

How to Paint a Helmet Crest

Need something different to post than Dire Avengers work in progress.  How about a "How to?"

JJ typing, I know still Dire Avenger related.  Trying to mix it up a bit.

Crest has been previously drybrushed with Macragge Blue.

This part you don't have to very careful with.  Doesn't matter if you start with blue or white.  Started with white.  Based four sections of the crest Space Wolves Grey.

Have to be a little careful here.  With Army Painter Mat White I picked out a couple of strands.  Not all of them.  Make sure the grey shows through.

Unfortunately due to my photography lamps can barely see the little stripes of white breaking up the light part of the crest.

Diligently made a very small line of Army Painter Mat White near the outside edge of the crest.  Don't paint the white stripe at the tip of the crest.  Need to have darkness for there to be light.  Other section was based Kantor Blue.  This is where you can clean up any glaring mistakes with the grey.  Remember the plume isn't rigid.  It flows so it is ok to have some strands out of place.  There's perfection in being imperfect.

Next, more definition.  To me this is the make or break part of the crest.  With Caledor Sky there has to be some flare that lines up with the white highlight on the lighter parts of the crest.  Of course because it is a darker colour you are allowed liberties to have the first blue highlight to be thicker than the white.

This is a cake walk.  Take Ice Blue and simply scribble it near the outer edge of the Caledor sky keeping in line with the scribbled white.  There's no need to be precise with the brush.  You can literally 'let go' of detail and let the natural tremble of your hand add character where you never could.

Easier to see this time.  Little lines of Ice Blue on the top of the crest allows definition.

Same can be done for any number of crests.

Example: Harlequins.

Red: Gore Red base, first highlight Blood Red, scribble line Blazing Orange.  Or Blood Red base, Blazing Orange then Flash Gitz Yellow.  Green: Dark Angels Green base, first highlight, Goblin Green, scribble line Scorpion Green.

Purple: Liche Purple base, first highlight 1:1 Liche Purple/Caledor Sky, add 1 part Ice blue to previous mixture for scribble line.  Yellow: Blazing Orange base, first highlight 1:1 Blazing Orange/Flash Gitz Yellow, Flash Gitz Yellow for scribble.

or mix and match any of the above.  Feel free to use complementary or contrasting colours to the rest of the model.  More contrast the more the model will stand out.  Uniformity for models that aren't meant to stand out.

slainte mhath


  1. Nice little tutorial, particularly the point about having the ultimate "edge" highlight just short of the crest edge. Interesting idea, wouldn't have thought to do it that way, but it looks good.

    1. Thanks, Evan. Painted crests are definitely a fifty-footer type thing. Looks better from a distance than close up.

  2. There's perfection in being imperfect.

    That's the hardest part of painting anything the least bit organic or natural. Fighting the instinct to impose order on the surface is a good skill to learn. It helps with skin tones, bases, cloth, fur/hair, etc. Best tip of the post and often the one thing overlooked by most painters ;)

    1. That is quite kind of you, Zab. Thanks.

  3. Awesome! That really turned out looking great - I definitely like that final highlight step with the Ice Blue, definitely going to need to add that to my process. Thanks for the tutorial!

    Keep up the great work, man!

    1. You're welcome, Mordian7th. Glad you like it.


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