The Metal Bible - Metallic Recipes

If you have any questions / comments, please feel free to post on the forum thread for this tutorial.

(No, this isn't a review of the best of Black Sabbath, sorry!)

Hello all, I got a request for the recipe for the metallics used on my Goblin Wolf Chariot last week; I thought I'd make a thread similar to the basing one with a big ol' list of recipes for painting your shiny bits.

I'll add to this post according to requests, so if there's a metal effect that you'd like to try and replicate just let me know with a post/tweet or whatever and I'll do my best to sort you out. A picture to try and replicate is always helpful, and also a little extra info - e.g. if you're looking for a speed painting technique, or something for a fancy character etc.

I've put a bit of ***theory*** at the bottom, which may be worth a little look, and covers generic principles for painting metallics.

Recipe Sheet: (Full tutorials have their own links)

Dark Steel: Full tutorial here

Undercoat: Matt Black
Basecoat: Plate Mail Metal
Wash: Dark Tone Ink (x2/x3, allow it to dry between)
Highlight: Shining Silver

Slaanesh Steel: full tutorial here

Undercoat: Matt Black
Basecoat: Plate Mail Metal
Wash: Liche Purple, Druichii Violet, Soft Tone Ink, Glaze Medium (roughly) 1:3:2:2

Blue Steel: full tutorial here

Undercoat: Matt Black
Basecoat: Shining Silver
Wash: Guilliman Blue + Drakenhof Nightshade 1:1 - x2, allow drying between coats
Final Highlight: Shining Silver, Drybrush or Edge-Highlight.

Classic Gold: full tutorial here

Classic Gold Paint Bundle
Undercoat:Mournfang Brown
Basecoat: Old Gold + touch of Mournfang Brown
Wash: Soft Tone Ink
Highlight: Shining Silver
Detailing Wash: Soft Tone Ink


Metallics are often (not always) about contrast, given their super shiny nature one point will reflect the light and be mega bright, whilst another is very dark. Alternately a worn piece of metal could be grubby all over, apart from the sections which have been scraped clean - the edges of swords, protruding/scratched parts armour etc.

The vast majority of the tutorials above are very similar, as with most painting it is the first and last stages which make the final job what it is, and for metallics that often comes down to the above contrast, and a solid, flat, basecoat.

Achieving a Flat Basecoat

Undercoat - Metallic paints cover more easily over certain colours, I don't know the reasoning behind this, it's something I picked up from an excellent 'Eavy Metal tutorial a while back, basically:

- If you're painting silver undercoat it black
- If you're painting gold/bronze undercoat it brown

They will help your basecoat go on smoothly, a couple of thin coats is always better than one thick one, take your time, get it flat, and the final result will benefit hugely. This is basically the same technique used for 'dipping', as a wash is probably going to go all over the metals the overall technique is actually quite similar overall.


Don't be afraid to add washes, or even normal paints to your metallics to get a different tint etc, if you want a really dark silver add a black wash instead of water to dilute it, if you want a crisp blue-ish steel add blue. In general adding washes is easier, but a touch of a certain paint can give a great effect.

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