Hobby Help: Quick and Easy Red Armor

Today, I’d like to share my quick and easy recipe for, what I consider, an above tabletop quality red armor. I’m currently using this recipe for my Genesis chapter Space Marines, but it would work well with Blood Angels, Chaos Warriors, and pretty much anything that you want to have red armor.

Red is actually my favorite color to paint. It’s versatile, pretty hard to mess up, and well, it’s just a good color. So, let’s get to the recipe.

Step 1:

First thing is first. Do a zenithal highlight. If you don’t know what zenithal priming is, you can read my article on zenithal priming here. This will allow the red in the more recessed areas to remain darker. Be sure to get a solid covering over the entire miniature.

He’s not getting painted red, but, here’s a great example of zenithal rattlecan priming

Step 2:

Next, you will want to get your red out. For Blood Angels, Genesis, Order of the Bloody Rose, as well as any other armor you’d like this shade of red, use Mephiston Red. Get a nice dollop of it and put it on your wet palette. Get your thinner and give it two or so squirts. If your thinner is in a citadel style bottle instead of a dropper, I highly suggest either transferring them to a ketchup bottle, or, getting some Vallejo thinner instead. The dropper will make it much easier to add to the palette.

You can see some of the ‘pre-shades’ from the zenithal prime job

You will probably need to get at least two thinned down coats onto your miniature before moving on. The beauty of thinned paints is that they will allow for the shading to show underneath, and the more you saturate an area with that thinned color, the brighter that color will be.

Step 3:

For a quicker result, we can do an all over wash on the model. For red, I almost always exclusively use a purple wash. This contrasts better with the red and will make the end result pop even more.

After the wash dries, we will reapply the Mephiston Red as a drybrush layer. Be sure to make sure most of the paint is off of your brush before drybrushing. I like to come from the top down, that way it reinforces the zenithal highlight.

Our 3 steps so far

Step 4:

In the next step, we will need our next shade of red. You will want to go with a more darker scarlet shade of red. Personally, I use Vallejo’s Vermillion, however, if you’re sticking with the Citadel paint range, Evil Suns Scarlet will be a great choice. You can then use this to do a drybrush highlight. Once again, focus on the areas that will be ‘facing the lightsource’ of the model. And with it being a highlight, you do not want to go in as heavy as you did in the drybrush layer.

Step 5:

Finally, we will want to really make it pop with the final highlight. In the most prominent highlighted areas, do a small line highlight of a lighter scarlet color. Wild rider red is a great choice for Citadel paints. If you use Vallejo, go with Scarlet.

The final stage of red should look something like this. There’s a lot of subtle blending going on with the slightly saturated scarlet colors

And that’s that! While it won’t win you any Golden Daemons, it is a quick and easy way to really churn out some marines or knights. Later, I’ll discuss the methods of doing a more layered approach to painting, instead of a drybrush method.

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