Painting Horus Heresy era Alpha Legion without Contrast paints or airbrushing Tamiya Clear paints? In this tutorial I’ll show you an alternative way to paint the metallic bluegreen armour of the Alpha Legion during the Horus Heresy era which is both fast and easy to achieve, using metallic paints and Speedpaints from The Army Painter.
This tutorial assumes you know the basic grips of painting Warhammer miniatures. Step by step I explain all the paints and techniques I used. I have a rather eclectic paint collection, so when I use a paint that is not from Games Workshop (or out of production), I’ll try to provide you with suitable alternatives from the current Citadel paint range [in brackets]. However, if you want to achieve exactly the same result as shown, I recommend expanding your paint collection. You’ll find a list of all the paints used in this tutorial at the end of the post.
How to paint Alpha Legion metallic armour
Painting the armour of the current Chaos Space Marines models can be quite time-consuming, as their baroque armour has a high level of detail with many trims that need to be picked out. Therefore, I designed my colour scheme to save as much time as possible – we apply the base colour of the trims first, and then fill in the colour of the armour. Much faster than the other way round. And with a drybrush we both highlight the armour and trims without the need for edge highlights. Here comes my Alpha Legion painting tutorial:
Next, basecoat the armour with Warpaints Azure Magic. This might take three thinned coats.
If you want to paint classic Horus Heresy era Alpha Legion models that don’t have all those silver trims like Chaos Space Marine power armour does, you can skip steps 1 and 3. If you have an airbrush, Azure Magic also has an airbrush-ready Warpaints Air version, which helps to speed-up basecoating the bluegreen.
Here we have the completed model with all of the other details filled in. You can check out a few more pictures here. The plasma glow was painted as explained in this tutorial, instead of turquoise I just used Lugganath Orange, Fire Dragon Bright, and Troll Slayer Orange.
When painting vehicles, applying an all-over wash will result in a blotchy finish. Instead, add a little bit of Night Scales to your Azure Magic like in step 6 to match the armour colour of your Marines, and use it to basecoat the vehicle (it might be a good idea to create some more of this mix and save it in a spare bottle or pot to keep your army consistent). Then, use pure Cloudburst Blue Speedpaint [or Leviadon Blue] with a little bit of Speedpaint Medium [or Contrast Medium] and apply it directly into the recesses for shading. Then, complete the effect by drybrushing the armour with Shining Silver with a little bit of Azure Magic mixed in.
Also make sure to check out this Alpha Legion tutorial by Aurélie, which explains the “traditional” way of painting Alpha Legion by applying Tamiya Clear paints over a silver basecoat:
Paints you will need for this tutorial:
The Army Painter Warpaints
Shining Silver [or Stormhost Silver]
Dark Tone Wash and Blue Tone Wash [or Drakenhof Nightshade]
Cloudburst Blue [or Leviadon Blue]
Plasmatic Bolt [or Aethermatic Blue]
Speedpaint Medium [or Contrast Medium]
If you need to expand your paint collection to follow the tutorial, check out our partner stores Wayland Games, Element Games, and Taschengelddieb, which offer an amazing range of paints at a discount.
Hope you enjoyed this tutorial. If so, leave a comment or reaction below, and if you got any questions, leave them here or on the Tale of Painters Discord so I can answer them for you.