Wednesday, June 18, 2014

My cultist is like a red, red rose

Robert Burns never chased these boys for the excise

I picked a box of these chaps cheap last year and have been a little unsure what to do with them.  I was planning on using them in my occasional Rogue Trader games, but painting them in a very simple colour scheme. The idea was to be able to use the pointy hatted chaps either as cultists or any of the myriad Imperial institutions that like robes as a uniform.  I think they look like they'd make reasonable Adeptus Mechanicus types, so red robes all round.  Red robes would also do for cultists.  Unfortunately, I don't have much experience painting red on 28mm figures and I'm a bit concerned that they will end up looking pinkish. 

Undercoated and ready to go

So, dear Readers, if you have any relatively fool proof (and please be aware I'm a particularly ingenious fool) tips for painting large areas of red quickly I would appreciate them. I'm been looking online and there are some good tutorials out there, but mainly aimed as chaps with airbrushes and who are to be honest, far better painters than I. 

Are you not entertained? 


  1. If you still have some, GW's old Mechrite Red was brilliant. I did a short step by step on deep reds:

    Now my mechrite red has run out, I'm using VMC Hull Red (I think that's what it's called) for the shadowy, darker red and then using a brighter shade of red over the top for the highlights. Don't believe the sites that show it as brown; it's a dark rusty red for tank undercoats.

    You could probably get away with a nice even coat of bright red and a few washes of watered down hull red to generate deeper shadows

  2. Conrad,

    The thing to be most aware of is that many "reds" are quite translucent while others are fairly opaque.

    I suggest that you paint some cardstock black, then paint white stripes over it (leaving a sort of zebra look) . . . then when it is good and dry, paint your various reds over parts of this (be sure to label them) in order to find out which ones cover and which are translucent.

    This will help you decide what to use.

    -- Jeff

  3. For red, particularly on this kind of model where it's all in folds of cloth and so on, I'd say don't highlight at all, just shade.

    If you get your basecoat done and then just shade with an ink or wash to darken the recesses you should get a good result without any risk of turning the overall effect to pink (or orange, if you highlight using a yellow). Red over a light-coloured undercoat will be perfectly bright enough on the raised areas without doing any highlighting at all.

  4. You started good undercoating in white.

    I find Vallejo Flat Red or Scarlet to work well


  5. I don't have any earth shattering advice, but I just chose a deep red and then washed it in my grunge wash. The wash is a mixture of Burnt Umber and Black Ink (approximately 4:1, it could also be 4:2:1 Raw Umber, Burnt Umber, Black, but I don't remember). You can also dry brush or highlight with the base color again on the folds. I feel this helps to keep them brooding rather than pink. You can see pictures here

  6. At the risk of sounding insincere, I use red paint. To amplify, these days I usually prime/undercoat with light grey. I used to use burnt sienna or other reddish brown if i was expecting 5o do red but the grey works just as well, maybe a bit less rich in tone. I follow up with some gentle shading with a thin red and burnt umber mix.

  7. Why do cultist models consistently have pointy hats? I've always wondered.