Friday, 3 April 2015

Forge World Event Only Alpha Legionnaire. 

At the Horus Heresy weekender the topic of the alpha legion cropped up. Exactly what colour are they? It seems every new document or image portraying this legion has contradictory information. In some images they are purple, in others a metallic blue with a green shine. I’ve read ‘Eavy metal articles where the model has been painted in a dark blue/ purple and highlighted with green. Some have freehand scales, others are devoid of legion insignia. Nothing is easy when it comes to the Alpha legion but instead of this stymieing your imagination, use it as as a spring board. The Alpha Legion have no uniformity and allows the painter the versatility to explore their own interpretation of what this mysterious legion should look like. 


Forge World resin needs to be cleaned in hot soapy water. Sometimes this still leaves a shiny layer of mould remover. I’ve recently started to use Cilit Bang Grease remover for that extra bit of grease removal. It hasn’t melted any of my models (yet! - I doubt it will but please no angry e-mails if you use the extra strong stuff) and does a pretty good job of removing the mould release agent. There were precious little mould lines to remove, but I used Wilder sanders - little fine grade emery boards that give an amazing finish once you’ve filed the models.

Tools used 

Paints used: Vallejo, Reaper Master Series, Games Workshop Washes, Com Art Medea Airbrush
Paint Brushes: Rosemary & Co. Raphael 8040, Broken Toad Brushes

Resources - I bought all the tools (save for the brushes) used in this article from I’ve bought from other shops i the past and from various sellers on eBay but I’ve found this website to be one of the most comprehensive sites for everything a modeller may need. 

Undercoat the model white. Why white? I wanted a light vibrant end product which I would not be able to achieve to fully with a black or grey undercoat. But please feel free to use a black or grey undercoat and use this tutorial to guide you through the painting process. I’d love to see your final result if you do this.

Step 1 - Airbrush Vallejo Game Colour Turquoise (mix with Life Colour thinner 30:70 mix). PSI 20.

You don’t have to worry too much about your technique here as we are just base coating the model. Use even strokes with brush and use multiple layers to create a consistent layer of colour. If you find that the ratio is a little off please adjust it so that the paint is flowing evenly from your airbrush. 

Turquoise is one of those colours I love to use as you can go in many directions with it. You can shade with a darker shade of blue, green, even purple and highlight with a lighter shade of blue or green. You can manipulate it in a lot of interesting ways. The turquoise we have chosen is slightly darker and desaturated, which will make our highlights contrast with the base layer. 

Step 2 - Airbrush Com Art Medea White (mix with Life Colour thinner 10:90 mix). PSI 20.

This is our first highlight of the armour. I use the Iwata CR Plus High Line airbrush which has a little nozzle underneath the nozzle that can regulate the amount of paint that comes out. This allows for a greater degree of accuracy when airbrushing areas of the model and minimises those unsightly overspray flecks of paint that can sometimes occur.
With the first pass of the airbrush concentrate on sketching in where the light would fall on the armour of the model. 

At this point it is worth considering the context of the piece. Horus Heresy collectors do have more of a historical vibe to them, as we are interested in re-creating their favourite armies or characters to exacting details. When planning my own Blood Angel Heresy force I agonised for weeks over which armour they would have, where in the Heresy were they when I came to paint them, and would specialist troopers like assault marines have yellow helmets? Defining the context of your force is part of the joy of collecting a Heresy army as it allows us to delve into the history once more and unearth gems of details for us to create. 

I wanted to paint this model with very clean lines to show off the sculpt in an uncomplicated manner as possible. I over heard Mark Bedford talk about battle damage techniques normally used on tanks being applied to marine, and he commented that it breaks up the line of the miniature, it confuses the eye and can destroy the outline. I like that interpretation and I can agree that by adding chipping effects to exposed areas of the armour does break up the lines of a model. I wanted to avoid this here. The character of the model is therefore informed by this decision. This may be a marine who has recently made planet fall and has not had the chance to get dirty, or that he miraculously turns up half way through a campaign unblemished by the savagery of war. I think either would be fitting for this Alpha Legionaire. 

Once you’ve put in the basic highlight scheme reinforce this by adding a layer just inside the first highlight. You can repeat this stage as often as you feel is necessary to achieve the effect you wish. The more white stages you add, the smaller the bands of highlighting layers become, you intimate that the light source which the armour is reflecting is stronger. I find three layer of this stage to be perfect. 

Stage 3 - Airbrush Vallejo Game Ink Black Green (mix with custom made gunk 10:90) PSI 20…

…To be continued. 


  1. Hi there,
    thanks for sharing your experience to all out there who are seeking for a progressive way to paint their figures like i do. When do you think we gonna see part 2 (or maybe also 3,4)?
    Cheers, G

  2. Oh god! I must know the rest! Hahah.