View Full Version : Tutorial: Painting the Weathered Hammerhead ++Step 2

02-05-2006, 10:06
Step 1:

Well, I’m just started to build/paint the Hammerhead and as I promised you I’m going to do the tutorial.

First of all, English is not my natural language, my apologizes for any mispelling an grammar error in the text –including this paragraph ;-)-

Let’s start:
I have a problem with this tank: the Hammerhead is more like a plane/helicopter than a tank, and this tutorial can convert to something like “How to paint airplanes”. This fait almost make me to decide to paint the lower side of the tank with a different colour: light grey, white, light blue, like some airplanes. Chromatically is very loud and interesting, but I don’t want to make a F-16, I’m going to paint a Hammerhead, and IMHO they are more “airplanes” the Eldar Falcons and Serpents than the Tau Vehicles.

I imagine the Hammerheads like the Star Wars drone tanks: skimmers and not so faster vehicles. Besides, with the new multisensors, the Tau tanks can sliding at 200” near the ground, being liable of suffer the same as a tank with tracks or wheels, so: ¡hello dust and dirtiness! ¡hello chipping and rust!

After building and sanding the tank –although after painting you discover that you hadn’t sanded all- we must take out the not essential pieces of the tank to paint it separately.


Normally we can shade the base colour with brown+black and after that we paint over this colour with several layers of the tank’s base colour. This time I’ll don’t make it so, I’ll starting to paint with the base colour directly.

I’m using Citadel paints. The problem is that this kind of paint is very dense to airbrush painting and we must to dilute it. We apply the firs layer of base colour with an airbrush, in this case I’ve used alcohol and bleached bone in a 7:3 proportion –thanks for the alcohol’s tip, Mikel- if we paint with a brush, take care to painting with a water down paint.


Now we are going to shade over he bleached bone directly. I mixed alcohol+black+bestial brown 4:1:1 and I painted over the zones that will be shaded, joint between panels, base of the details, etc. I’ve noticed that it should be better to paint the lines a little more thick, so when you shade in this way, you should make the lines 2mm. wider.


The next step is to cover the central area between shaded areas. You must make short coats in the “shade free” areas, entering a little the shaded areas but taking care of not to cover too much. If you paint away of the model and open the stroke –angle- you will light the tone of the model in general.


Well, until here this part of the tutorial. In the next step we will apply a thin coat of slightly light bleached bone. After that the fun will start: Filters, washes, chipping, rust –yes, a little ;-) – etc.


02-05-2006, 10:09
Oh oh oh, you rock.:D

02-05-2006, 10:10
I will be watching this with interest as i have just bought an airbrush to work on my tanks with and this should prove valuable advice.

03-05-2006, 09:02
If you don’t have an airbrush, don’t care, you can do it with a brush although it varies the technique a little:

Painting until this point without an airbrush:

Paint the tank with the base colour, then dark it slightly the colour, dilute it and shade.

When it dries, apply a dry brush very soft over the shaded areas, attempting to fade the clear areas over the dark ones, the results must be like the photo.

The result of this would make that for example, panel would be clearer in the central area than in the borders. Something like that as the dread of my avatar (that was painted with a brush).

I'm now working in the Step 2


03-05-2006, 09:23

Once finished the general painting of the tank (plain color without painting details like lamps and sights) we’ll put the decals.

The tank now is ready for the filters sessions that it will be the following step.

This is the currently look:



I’ll paint missile-pods at the end (or when I get bored).

I’ll posting images of the tank after each filter layer, by this way we will be able to see how it goes to alter the tone (and I will also see it, I have curiosity).


Still learning
03-05-2006, 11:05
very nice looking tank. nice flat colours. keep up the good work man.

03-05-2006, 16:41
Step 3

We are entering in the phase of treating the colour of the tank. We are going to begin to apply filters.

The idea of a filter is to alter the tone of the tank besides to unify and to eliminate contrast. Another effect that gets the application of the filters is to give a special shine to the colored surface. The painting doesn't shows the same texture if we apply it on a metallic surface or on plastic (that it is the case that occupies us). Successive filters make that the surface has a similar shine to the painting applied on metal.

Think of a filter as when we put a filter in the objective of a photographic camera. We sometimes put filters that make that the warm tones are enhanced in the pictures, other filters "cool down" the colour. Therefore, a filter should be a mixture very very water down. In my case first mix water and medium in a proportion of 8:2 and then I add to that mixture 5% of painting. 95% "dilutes", 5% painting. If we surpass 5% we will leave of being applying a filter to make "washes." The washes ones, of those that will speak later on, reflects the dust and dirty swept down by the water on a vehicle.

Depending on the surface we should apply more or less number of filters. On a dull surface, the effect will be noticed a lot, so 2 or 3 filters would be the correct one. On a glossy surface we will apply the triple more or less than the matt one. The brilliant surfaces are more difficult and I advise you that you use more medium because it will be difficult to cover the surface correctly.

We should apply using a soft paintbrush nº3 or bigger and of rounded tip. With the paintbrush wet in the mixture, we discharge it lightly on a kitchen paper and we apply quickly on the tank, trying to not to go twice by the same place. We must allow to dry it well and we proceed with the following one.

We can make filters with the colours that you want, you only have to have clear that tone wants for your tank. In the case of my Hammer, I have begun with a filter with bronzed flesh (my "Skylight") filter.

As you can see in the following pictures, the effect hardly appreciates. It is necessary to keep in mind that this it is the first layer, and besides changes the texture, difficult thing to appreciate in the pictures.


Now I'm going to rest, more tomorrow.

Best regards

03-05-2006, 22:23
Just curious, but is English your first language? I'm having trouble understanding the techniques you're trying to present.

04-05-2006, 07:55
No english is not his first language he's being kind enough to translate for us.

04-05-2006, 14:30
No english is not his first language he's being kind enough to translate for us.

Ok, like I said, just curious.... and Doh! :o missed the second sentence of this post. My sincerest apologies Javi.

04-05-2006, 21:27
No, I must apologize for my English ;)

I'm thinking about to do more tutorials translated... this maybe improve my Englist isn't it? :D



PD: I'm now finishing an hiper-reallistic project... pics soon

04-05-2006, 21:52
Then, just curious (again)... can you post the tutorial in your native language (maybe hosted on your own site or something) and just let us use a program to translate? (babelfish for example). You may be mis-using some words and that could be causing some confusion (for me at least). Getting a couple of different translations could help clear up any confusion readers might have.

I really do appreciate the effort you've put into the tutorial, the translations you have provided the best you can and the pics are wonderful.

04-05-2006, 22:39
This is a great tutorial thanks for sharing it with us. :D

04-05-2006, 23:47
I'm not having difficulty understanding you, but yeah, maybe posting in your native language and allowing someone with a bit more practice in English translate it would be a good thing.

Thanks for the tutorial, great work :D.


05-05-2006, 09:23
Ohh, this is great! Keep it up, and don't worry about your english right now. It is good enough to understand and as you said, writing tutorials can only make it better.

Mato Noupa
05-05-2006, 15:12
I too have no problems with your English at all. Keep on writing and translating it yourself there's no better way to learn a language.

What you could do is to write words you're not completely sure if you picked the right translation in brackets.
Like this.
I had a dog (Hund, chien, whatever).
Thus someone else could help you with a translation.

And thanks for doing a tutorial on proper weathering looks good so far and if I can learn something from it I'm more than happy.

Greets from another non-native English speaker. ;)
Mato Noupa

old guard
05-05-2006, 16:23
No, I must apologize for my English ;)

I'm thinking about to do more tutorials translated... this maybe improve my Englist isn't it? :D



PD: I'm now finishing an hiper-reallistic project... pics soon

Dont apologise, most english speakers when abroad do not make an attempt to learn or speak the language of the country they are visiting, they just tend to talk LOUDER:rolleyes: . It's great that you are trying (and doing quite well)
So, you carry on we can cope and for those that can't..... just type in upper case:evilgrin:

06-05-2006, 00:25
Cant' wait to see how you did the chipping bit.. looks so simple it's confusing me!

06-05-2006, 09:45
Hi all,

Thanks to all, I'm still working to improve my English ;)

The tutorial is now in stand-by because my wife and I just finished another project:


We made a new little Bloodclaw, look the first pic howling ;-)


Lord of Skulls
06-05-2006, 09:55

Looks even better than the Hammerhead;)

06-05-2006, 12:38
Hmmmm. Are we going to get a tutorial on how you did this one too? :D

06-05-2006, 13:07
Congratulations indeed :).


Mato Noupa
08-05-2006, 08:21

You must be grinning without end now.
At least until you start loosing sleep. :rolleyes: :D

Mato Noupa

08-05-2006, 10:51
Congratulations! Wow you could style that hair. Boy or girl?

I'm still enjoying other people's children at the moment. That way when they get stinky or loud you can give them back.

08-05-2006, 11:24
Is a boy. :)

Well, I'm in the work again, the tutorial will continue tomorrow.


09-05-2006, 12:47
After my father responsibilities, the tutorial must go on.

Well, I’ve done the filters and with them the step 3

I’ve applied another bronzed flesh filter, other with green, and the last filter with space wolves grey.


In the Step 4 I’ll begin with isolated washes.
In the 5th, chipping, water down, more chipping, rust, etc. -the fun techniques :)-


09-05-2006, 12:50
Congratulations on your new project :D #
The hammerhead is cool, Im looking forward to stage 5 so that i can then weather my tanks etc :)

09-05-2006, 17:00
I too am eagerly awaiting the fifth stage, it's the one we've all been waiting for :D, and happily distracted from by the rest of this painting guide :p.


09-05-2006, 18:18
I too am eagerly awaiting the fifth stage, it's the one we've all been waiting for :D, and happily distracted from by the rest of this painting guide :p.


I second that!

10-05-2006, 15:51
Great work man, the finished product is simply THE best tau tank I have ever seen!

11-05-2006, 10:19
Step 4:

In this step we are going to apply weathering effects. These techniques will show the sign of the inclemency of the weather that the tank suffers day by day.

We must to imagine a “movie” with your tank as main figure, in this “movie” the most important thing is the timeline, in this timeline it happens actions like hits, scrapping, chipping, rain, cleaning, maintenance, battles, dust, more raining, more hits...

First of all, we begin with some old chippings (maybe 2 weeks old or more). With a dark colour we can make the tone mixing scorched brown and black. Ever with irregular marks and with little dots around the big ones.

Next, the Watermarks

Imagine a tank with dust over it, then it rains, and the water draws down the dust and the dirtiness, grease, etc. then more dust over the tank, it rains again, etc. A very good example of this is my car ;-P

To achieve this, we must use the same mix as the filters but this time with a 10% of paint. You can use sand, brown and grey colours. Apply it with a soft brush making circles on plain zones and from up to down on the vertical ones. It must look like dribbles. If the mix accumulates in some gaps, maybe it isn’t wrong because the dirtiness usually fall in these gaps, between armour plates for instance. If you don’t want it, you can dry the brush and pick up the mix from the gaps with it. Two or three layers of these watermarks can be enough. Notice that you must apply the mix with your brush following the logical path of the water flooding over the vehicle.

After that (and when the watermarks are dry) we are going to do paint chip that has scrapped the previous layer of paint under the current one, the primer layer or bare metal. I’ve used a mix of stone grey and black and a little of scorched brown. Applied like the previous chipping step.

Sometimes, when the vehicle suffers small chipping and scrapping it is repainted, if the vehicle suffers more scrapping in this area, you’ll see the previous layer. You can represent this by painting chips with a lighter shade of the base colour. You can paint this effect in areas of contact with the crew, edges, etc.

You have to see the tank thoroughly before the chipping painting. Looking areas liable to suffer damage and the ones who can’t (hidden areas away of hits, use or friction).

Notice that the chipping must be done in a logical way, is a good idea to watch real trucks, diggers, etc. they are a great stream of inspiration. If you have a digital camera, take photos, so you’ll have a very good reference when you take the brushes.



11-05-2006, 10:20
Look at the Tau symbol, these stains should be the results of making a filter with too much paint in the mix. –in this case they appears because the surface of the decal is too bright, more than the tank's paint and the previous mix is not valid for this area- I’ve left it here to show you. After this, I’ll clean it with a cotton bud with a little of alcohol.


Now I’m going to paint the recent rust, the details, Step 5 and dirtiness Step 6


11-05-2006, 10:38
Very sexy. Very very sexy.

This thread is rated AP: Almost Pron.

12-05-2006, 14:48
Great work, although I'm tempted to say that needs a clean :p, there's a bit too much dirt and grime for my tastes.


19-05-2006, 15:42
Step 5

Well, here you have the punctual recent and superficial rust dribbles (a little) very localized and I’ve gone for the details: lamps, missiles, etc.


19-05-2006, 15:43

After that, I’ve cleaned big drops, and dusting. To make the dust effect you could use, sanded pastel crayons or better pigments.

Choose the proper colour: Sand, brown, black, etc. put a little over the part of the tank that you wish to dusting and rub it using a very soft brush. Currently I’m using a makeup brush to dust my models.

In this tank, you can’t see very much the effects of the dusting because the tone of the tank an the sand colour are very similar, but on the darker zones the effect is more obvious.

I’ve done some smoke effects on the cannon and engines using black smoke pigment.

For the base, an old Rhino door, sand, stones and cable. The Imperial Fists junk, is painted using some of the techniques of this tutorial, and painted in less of 10 minutes!!!

Some pictures of the finished tank in CMoN:


This is the end of this tutorial, if you have some questions about it, I’m reading you ;)

Regards / Salu2

Black DH templ.
19-05-2006, 16:39
Very nice! Some parts are completely clean though (like the rocket launcher pod), which is a bit strange.

19-05-2006, 16:44
Really Nice, I am going to use this as a reference for my airbrushing.

Thanks for all the details in your writing and even if English is NOT your primary language, you write well and concise.

Thanks again for a great tutorial and keep it up!!!

19-05-2006, 16:44
The pods are the only clean part of this tank. They are changed a lot of times, the only weathering thath the missiles have is dusting.


19-05-2006, 16:47
Really Nice, I am going to use this as a reference for my airbrushing.

Thanks for all the details in your writing and even if English is NOT your primary language, you write well and concise.

Thanks again for a great tutorial and keep it up!!!

How did I wrote the last part of the tutorial?


19-05-2006, 16:58
How well did you write this tutorial:

PREFECTLY! Even if your 1st language isn't english, you speak it alot better than around 80% of the British Population, and many of the R0FL L33T AW5OM3 M4N!111 people that inhabit these online forums.

As for the tank, all of it is spot on, I'd love to see an entire Tau army Painted like this, it would look great.

19-05-2006, 19:57
When using pastels, chalks etc to create weathering effects, you are unable to varnish or seal the finished model, correct? and there is chance of rubbing off if touched? Or does the pastel chalk work better than the "weathering powders"


19-05-2006, 22:57
Yes, but you can prepare the surface with some special products:

Here you have some of MIG productions.



06-06-2006, 15:57
Awesome. Really awesome, probably the best Tau tank I've ever seen and possibly the best tank I've ever seen. However:


Right there, on the railgun capacitor. Boooo. :p