Painting Tips: Spirit Stones
Hi all! Spirit stones are a source of pride and angst in equal measure. If you pull it off you’ll have something pretty special! There is absolutely nothing stopping you using a flat colour for a table-ready army, or the quick method Games Workshop introduced a couple of years ago, but I’d like to quickly show anyone interested how I painted the spirit stones of The Blades of Vaul and what colours I used, as well as discuss alternatives. Read on!
To go through these steps you will need a bit of patience, but I recommend ‘batching’ your models. By this, I mean you’re sitting down to, say, do the spirit stones for twenty guardians, so you go through and do step 1 for all of them then step 2 and so on. You’ll find this way that the paint dries on the previous models by the time you go back to do the next step.
Technique: Purple spirit stones
I originally painted my spirit stones red, but after trying this method, which I think goes very well with the Ulthwé colour scheme and is darker and more sombre, I went though and repainted all my spirit stones. Rewarding, but not doing that again on 60 guardians!
1) Undercoat your spirit stones Abaddon Black. You really want these dark.
2) When highlighting it is best to slightly thin your paints (we’re assuming traditional layer paints here and not Contrast) with Lahmian Medium on a non-absorbant surface. They come a tad too thick in the pot and the blend better when slightly thinner. You can also use a bit of water to thin your paints. Experiment to get the right consistency.
3) With a detail brush, paint a thinned down layer of Xereus Purple in a slight crescent shape on about half of the spirit stone. You might want to do another layer on a slightly smaller area once dry.
4) Making sure you have thinned your paints again, paint a thin crescent of Genestealer Purple from about half way up one side of the stone and go all the way to the bottom and a very small way up the other side. You might want to do a second thin layer on a smaller crescent.
5) Do an even smaller crescent with thinned down Fenrisian Grey.
6) Very carefully, put a small dot of Skull White into the black near the top. Larger spirit stones might yield more space for another smaller, secondary dot of light.
7) This step is completely down to personal taste, but once you’re done, paint the spirit stone (not the gold / bone coloured rim) with ‘Ard Coat / gloss varnish. This not only makes them sparkle but deepens the dark colours (similar reason to why you use glossy paper to print photos!).
And that‘s it! Other colours are available, obviously, but I felt this scheme worked especially well with Ulthwé.
A faster method Games Workshop showcased was to undercoat with Stormhost Silver and use one of their special spirit stone technical paints (blue, green or red) over the top, pooling it to one side of the stone where you want it darker. I have tried this and admittedly wasn’t impressed, but there’s absolutely nothing wrong with going that route if you’re personally happy with it.
Thanks for reading!