Auspicious Alchemy: How to Paint Biel-Tan Guardians

Hi, I’m the Warlock.

You might remember me from blogs such as The House of Paincakes, The Warlock’s Domain and the Comment Section. Isn’t it nice that the advent of the internet has allowed us to share and distribute ideas and information? Wouldn’t it be easier if we had internet sites dedicated to sharing this information?

Troy McClure voice aside, Today’s FUN FILLED ADVENTURE will be for all those people out there who are stuck with Eldar miniatures but don’t want to paint Siam-hann or Iyanden.

That’s right folks, I’m here to show you how to paint Biel-Tan Guardians- the main turn off for people who want to reclaim the Eldar Empire from the clumsy hands of the Imperium. Yes I know I was doing time management, but that’s kinda wrapped up for now so here’s some painting tutorial goodness. Or badness, if you’re the PDF of a human-settled Maiden World.

Painting Biel-Tan not guaranteed to get you all the hawt babes.

Firstly, there’s a few guides out and around but (from personal experience) they didn’t work for me. It’s almost as if, y’know, I suck. Yeah, hard to believe right? 😛

Worth pointing out that this guide isn’t going to win golden demons, crystal brushes or the Annual Bogan Paint Huffing Championships 2015 but rather give a nice solid white for Biel-tan Guardians that looks quite respectable on the tabletop. I’m doing this for those future gamers who get inspired by the space elves in white so that they don’t waste almost a decade in wistful longing. Plus this isn’t a video, so you can scroll down to each step as you do it and not worry about pausing, rewinding etc.

Anyway, you’re gonna need the following or equivalent paints:

    • Vallejo Game Colour:
      • Snot Green
      • Dark Green
      • Goblin Green
      • Black ink/wash 
      • Glorious Gold
    •  Army Painter:
      • White
    •  Citadel:
      • Nihilahk Oxide
      • Temple Guard Blue 
      • Drakenhoff Nightshade
      • Shadow Grey
      • Blood Red
      • Fiery Orange or whatever the new one is called. Fire dragon something or other I think?
      • Seraphim Sepia 
      • Chaos Black Spray

    These paints you really should have though as they were vital for the end result:

    • Vallejo Model Colour:
      • Medium Grey
      • Deck Tan
      • Hull Red
    • Citadel:
      • Skull White spray (I use it as it’s the best white primer I can find)

    VMC paints are especially useful as they are higher pigmented and thus cover easier than say, a citadel layer paint.

    Getting down to business:

    Okay, this scheme takes a while to paint and I’d recommend not batch painting as that’s stressful. Remember guardians are found in squads of 10-20 (moreso 10) so don’t stress- it’s not like you’re playing Green Tide Orks 😛

    Step 1:

    Spray your assembled guardians white. No pics, as you should all know what white looks like.
    Ideally do two light ‘dustings’ of white as if you try to apply white primer like black primer you’ll end up with a lot of white seeping into recesses and taking forever to dry.

    Step 2:

    Give each guardian a light coat of  watered down Shadow Grey to the mesh armour, leaving the shuriken weapons, etc white. Incidentally, by substituting the VMC colours for blues one can turn this into an Alaitoc scheme. If I wasn’t a Biel-Tan man, I’d elaborate further.

    What? Craftworld Alaitoc? Warlock you lied to us! D:

    Step 3:

    Wash the armour plating you’ve coated in Shadow Grey with a blue wash. I used Drunkenhuff Nightshade as it was the only blue wash I had available. Make sure it gets into every recess of the armour, you can be messy- every stage past 4 is basically going to be a tidy-up. The end result should be a blue-grey with dark blue recesses.

    At this stage, coat each sword (if doing storm guardians) with a light layer of Temple Guard Blue. 

    Step 4:

    Do a light drybrush of pure VMC Medium Grey over the armour, making note to do brush work in such a way that the recesses are largely untouched. If you get some paint in the recesses, don’t worry- quickly FLOOD the area with water then start again once the miniature is dried. Or you can add some more blue wash into the affected area- this is early on, so it’s no biggie.

    Incidentally, Shadow Grey + Blue wash will form the basis for my Avengers

    Step 5:

    Mix a watered down 3:1 ratio of VMC Deck Tan (3) to VMC Medium Grey (1) and using a smaller brush, carefully go over the Medium Grey layer leaving recesses blue. The top picture shows the difference between steps 4 and 5.
    This picture below is what you should be getting so far- you can see we’re making progress! Hell, you can stop here if you’re not pedantic about a pure white, I won’t be angry as Biel-tan is finally fukken doable. Or at least, has an in-depth tutorial on how to do it. Whoever tells you to use Space Wolves Grey is a liar and deserves to be subject to a stern look of disapproval.
    You can use this if you like ‘dirty’ white as we’re at a basic tabletop level.
    While we’re here- give the swords (if using storm guardians) a wash with Nihilakh Oxide, then 1:1 Nihilahk Oxide and AP White to get that nice light turquoise green colour.

    Step 6:

    Mix up a watered down 3:1 ratio of AP White (3) to VMC Deck Tan (1) and repeat step 5. This will bring the armour to an almost-white colour. Though we’re getting to the endgame. 

    Using a small brush (0, 00 or fine detail) carefully apply the mix to the armour plates, gently painting near the recesses and around the boots especially. Again, if you paint over a recessed area, just flood the area with water, clean it up and start again. No drama!

    Note how the blue recess can still be seen yet the model is getting whiter? If your guardians look like this, huzzah!

    Step 7:

    Repeat step 6 but with pure AP white. Use the same fine detail brush and then repeat this step around 3 times until the white is largely smooth.

    Comparison of Step 5 and Post-Step 7 Guardians.

    Step 8:

    The Soul stone. Using an extreme detail brush, apply watered down VMC Hull Red to the soul stone. My camera wasn’t able to get pictures that could show these steps.

    Then, apply a 2:1 mix of Blood Red (2) and Hull Red (1) to the majority of the soul stone- don’t cover the Hull Red at the bottom right of the soul stone.

    Apply a small dot of Blood Red to the soul stone in the upper left of the soul stone.

    Finish off with a tiny amount of Fiery Orange in the top-left corner of the soul stone. 

    The mounting for the stone and the shuriken pistol were painted with Glorious Gold, the latter being given a sepia wash.

    Step 9:

    The Green- Helmets and such. For the white faceplate, follow steps 1-7 but use the smallest brush you have.

    Clip out the sprue with the guardian helmets on it. Do not remove the helmets. Carefully remove mold lines and then spray black.

    Once dry, apply VGC Snot Green to the helmet, then a layer of VGC Dark Green.

    Apply a layer of VGC Snot Green, leaving a small ring of Dark Green around the protrusions.

    Highlight the helmet with Goblin Green. If madness grips you, paint the base Goblin Green as well. Or not, up to you.

    I don’t have pictures for the actual guardians, but I did have some of the test miniatures somewhere but it’s disappeared. O.o 

    Step 10:

    Destroy the foolish Mon-Keigh. ‘Nuff said. #EndXenoDiscrimination

    Well, that concludes this tutorial. I hope you get a lot out of it as it took me nine years to be able to do this, which means I can tackle my 40k Dream Army project. If you have any queries, leave a message in the comments and I will incoherently ramble at you.

    The Warlock

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