Wednesday, 1 May 2013

How I paint Dark Angel robes

I think something most Dark Angels players struggle with is how on Earth to paint robes. They can be extremely unforgiving, and a bad job will stand out, especially as it will be the main focus of the paintjob. It's taken me years to find a way that I'm satisfied with, but it's surprisingly easy to do, and the main work is waiting for the wash to dry. It does give a slightly different cream colour to the usual bone, but will help your robed marines to look a little different to your Deathwing while still looking like the same army. It also have the effect of making your robes look like cloth, which I find is very tricky.

So, to paint a robe similar to the one above, you will need the following.
- GW Rakarth Flesh
- GW Seraphim Sepia
- GW Large Drybrush
- GW Wash Brush
- GW Basecoat Brush
- GW Standard Brush

Step 1

Make sure you have a nice smooth undercoat on your chosen model. Black or white are both fine, although I prefer black.

Step 2

Paint the areas of the robe you want to be bone with Rakarth Flesh using a Basecoat Brush. Be sure to water your paint down, but don't worry about being too messy. I find, with a black undercoat, I usually need two layers, but you will get a nice solid colour on the model.

Step 3

When the layer above has dried, take your Wash Brush and dip it into the Seraphim Sepia. I find this brush is really good at soaking the wash up, meaning you can get consistent coats of wash. After this, begin to wash the model. Take your time, making sure you get the wash into the deep cracks and crevasses. Next, look at the model while the wash is still wet. Any areas of pooling, or where there appears to be too much wash, need to be cleaned up. Take your clean Wash Brush and use it to soak up excess wash. After this, time to go get a cup of tea while the model dries.

Step 4

So your model is dry? Good! Now the fun part! Take your Large Drybrush (mine is above. I've labelled it as I have a few I use and find them very useful), put some Rakarth Flesh onto it, and then wipe it away with a tissue. There should be very little paint visible on the brush. Then begin to run the brush over the model. If you are doing it correctly you will start to see the raised areas begin to lighten as the paint from the brush catches the edges. I tend to do one pass of this as I like my robes to be slightly darker, but you can do as many as needed.

Step 5 

Take your Standard Brush, put some Rakarth Flesh onto your palette and water it down. Then, start to pick the edges of the model. These should be fairly easy to spot as they will be the lightest sections of your robes. Give these a line of Rakarth Flesh. The highlight will be quite subtle, but will help to give the model more depth. 

And done! It's my first painting tutorial, so I'm aware it may not be the best, but I would love C+C.  I do plan to get some more photos up to help demonstrate the different stages, but hope my words are enough for now. Make sure you post any attempts you try in the comments as I would love to see them!


  1. Thank you very much, I have Many robes to paint in my ravenwing list, and I will be trying this method where possible

  2. No problem at all! I know with my Ravenwing, I've tended to paint Rakarth Flesh instead of drybrushing, but if you practice the guide on some spare models, it's quite easy to work out where the paint should go...Make sure you post some pictures though!

  3. I just started painting the Dark Angel from Deathwatch Overkill and I remembered this old tute. Thanks for that! I think I'll add maybe a Screaming Skull highlight as well, because I like the added contrast.

    1. It does seem to be one of my most popular posts! I've started using Pallid Wych Flesh to highlight and White Scar for the extreme edges, which works really well.