By: The Dark Aeon
Having trouble painting your fatigues? The folds of the cloth too difficult to highlight for a beginner painter like yourself? Or maybe you’re not a beginner, but you can’t seem to pick a colour scheme. Fear not, for this simple guide has been written for you, yes, just for you all! Read on, and discover several quick and easy paint schemes for guard fatigues, and the best and simplest way to get them done!
I have been playing Imperial Guard (and painting them, too) since I was 10 years old. Now, that’s only seven years in comparison to many other 40k players, but I have spent more time learning and perfecting my painting skills, that I have been complimented on my skill with a brush by veterans of 15 years or more.
So, upon the arrival of Foundation Paints into the Warhammer hobby, I discovered quickly the easiest way to paint fatigues for your army. All you need is a Foundation paint of your choice, and a corresponding Wash. Citadel washes have been my savior when it comes to mass producing guardsmen.
So, how do I do it? It’s simple:
Step #1) Pick a Foundation Paint: Once you’ve decided which colours you want your fatigues, stock up on several pots of it.
Step #2) Water it down: Apply several droplets of water straight into the paint pot. Foundation paints are far too thick to simply apply right out of the container, so you’ll need to water them down before proceeding. Once the water has been added, shake it up well! Do this every time before you paint with it so that the water will mix in better.
Step #3) Apply the paint: Go ahead and carefully paint your guardsman’s fatigues. It doesn’t matter if you get a little bit on the armour, because that can easily be fixed later. Also, if you don’t like to use spray primer, Foundation Paints function as primer, so it’s not as necessary (I still spray them anyway).
Step #4) Wash it: Now, the fatigues are painted, you want them to shade themselves without any effort (or not much, that is). So, pick a corresponding Citadel Wash, and run a single layer over the fatigues. Make sure you’ve let it dry first, or you’ll mix in the wash with the paint, and it won’t look good at all. Also remember to ONLY APPLY A SINGLE LAYER OF WASH!!! If you apply too much Wash, it will darken it too much, and your highlights won’t show up as well!
Step #5) Highlight time: Get out your Foundation Paint, and get the very tiniest amount of paint on the end of your detail brush. You see the raised areas of the fatigues, like around the back of the knee? Those are the Upper Folds, as I prefer to call them. Simply apply the original Foundation Paint colour over the Upper Folds, and watch as the fatigues becomes beautifully highlighted.
NOTE: you do not have to do this step. If you prefer not to do highlights, you can simply leave it with a single layer of wash, and that will be adequate shading enough for table top games!
Step #6) Final Wash: Now that you’ve highlighted the fatigues, you’ll need to apply a last Wash with the same colour of wash to your fatigues. This is so that the highlights you just put on blend in with the rest of the fatigues.
Step #7) Step back, admire your work: Always be proud of yourself! Confidence is key on the road to becoming a better painter! I even remember being a fat little 12 year old and thinking I was the best painter in the world. I obviously know the difference now that I’m older between the “eavy Metal team and myself, but back then, It really helped me keep going.
This section talks about with Foundation Paints go the best with certain Citadel Washes. It is by no means official or mandatory that you use these specific colours, but they usually look the best as far as I’ve seen.
Wash: Badab Black
Paint(s): Astronomicon Grey, Adeptus Battle Grey, Dheneb Stone, Charadon Granite
Style: These produce grey fatigues from anywhere from the pale grey range to the dark grey, almost black range of colour. They make good Urban Warfare fatigues.
Wash: Baal Red
Paint(s): Mechrite Red, Iyandan Darksun, Macharius Solar Orange, Tau Sept Ochre
Style: These make a volcanic red or yellow or orange fatigue. Coupled with Macharius Orange, you can make great Penal Legionnaire fatigues.
Wash: Asurman Blue
Paint(s): Fenris Grey, Necron Abyss, Mordian Blue
Style: Great for Mordians, ocean world fatigues, or maybe even ice worlds, these blues will be perfect for medium to dark range blue fatigues. Asurman Blue is pretty dark, though, so don’t count on having your fatigues too light when using it. Use it sparingly if that’s what you desire.
Wash: Gryphonne Sepia
Paint(s): Iyandan Darksun, Tau Sept Ochre, Khemri Brown, Calthan Brown
Style: Anything brown or desert like
Wash: Devlan Mud
Paint(s): Calthan Brown, Khemri Brown
Style: Very, very dark brown fatigues
Wash: Thraka Green
Paint(s): Gretchin Green, Orkhide Shade, Knarloc Green
Style: Obviously, green fatigues are the best for jungles. These will all make green dark to mid green fatigue colours.
Wash: Leviathan Purple
Paint: Hormagaunt Purple
Style: If you want your guardsmen’s fatigues to look like grapes, then this is perfect for you! It actually doesn’t look as bad as I make it sound, and it’s perfect for a noble or heavy infantry regiment where camo is not a big deal.