A guide on how to paint Battlefleet Gothic Ships @251stExpeditionaryFleet Colors used in this guide: Sons of Horus airbrush Leadbelcha Retributor Gold Necron Compound Drybrush Black Wash (Nuln Oil or your pick) Shyish Purple Contrast Talassar Blue Contrast White Paint (Your pick of, I used Pure White from MSP core colors range) Flesh Tearers Red Contrast For BFG and BFH ships, because the models are so small - there’s a few steps we can do to cheat and make it seem like there’s a lot more detail than there really is. So, to zenithal or not to zenithal? It is fully possible to do zenithal gradients, provided you have an airbrush, though admittedly it will only work on larger ships. You can try it on escorts and small ships, though the results are negligible. The zenithal techniques’ beauty is that it gives depth to flat panels (excellent for tanks, terrain, shields, etc) - and as there are few flat panels on ships that i’ve seen, though there are many companies and brands that have their own take on sci-fi ships. I don’t mean to generalize! - So, zenithal? You could say that it is superfluous. At best, you’ll see it mostly on prows, on side-wings (such as that of a barge, strike cruiser, etc). It boils down to preference and if or not you have an airbrush. I’ve tried both, and I like both approaches. One other tip I recommend is slotting in whatever you will be using as the stem. If you want to keep them clear (or see through) just use masking tape before priming, and remove once you’re done airbrushing or using rattlecan sprays. (Above; SoulForge Studio Left: Credit to ItalianMoose) Here you can see I have gone for the zenithal approach (Sons of Horus Airbrush), and as you can see - most of the transitions are noticeable on the prows and on the edge wings. Because they are largely mechanical constructs, there will be of course, a lot of metal. Pick your choice of metal paint, and apply it to areas that are exclusively metal and wouldn’t have ‘faction flavor’ paint on them. Things like antennas, guns and defense turrets, engines, etc. You can choose to paint the engines as the same metallic color, or not, we will get to this later. I’m using Citadels’ Leadbelcha metallic here. Once you have blocked in your choice of metallics on things like weapons, auxiliary systems, engines, etc, you now review the composition of your ship. Does it need an extra color to break up the solid color? A spot color somewhere? Sometimes a tertiary color is necessary, but don’t go overboard. It should be complimentary, not fighting for supremacy over the main faction color. I decided to add gold to this Slaughter Cruiser. I used Retributor Gold, again from Citadel. That’s looking a lot better! The gold breaks up the sea-green of the Sons of Horus color scheme. Look at artwork to get an idea for what colors would work best. The Sons of Horus use lots of golds and blacks, black would be good here, but I wanted this ship to mirror another in the fleet. Once that is done, you are ready for washes. Use your pick of wash, but I stick with black for the most part. You’ll want to wash the whole model, don’t let it pool too much. Build it into the creases, there are more details on the blocky ships than you might realize! This will serve the purpose of adding depth. Important to all model painting, but doubly so for something of this scale - these things are massive! While BFH and BFG are ‘scale agnostic’ (Ships are simultaneously in scale and out of scale with another) we can get a rough idea of how they look in relation to one another. The model this ship is representing is roughly 5 kilometers. Certainly something of that size would have definition. You could call it finished here if you want, and this certainly looks table-top standard. We can push it another step forward with another familiar hobby technique, drybrushing. I won’t go into the details and how-to of drybrushing here, but once you’re familiar with the technique, return here. Before we get to dry-brushing, if your ships have any flat areas that you would wish to place any sort of transfers or decals on, now would be the time to do so. Your weathering should go on top of the decal, not vise-versa. Drybrush your choice of steel or light metallic color (lighter than the choice of metallic for guns/auxiliary systems). Be SPARING here, you want a little bit at the edges. This will act as a replacement for an edge-highlight, picking up raised areas - - defining details. I use Necron Compound here, hitting the guns, edges, antennas, and importantly - the engines if your model has distinct visual engines. Here you can see the Roman numeral for 16 on the starboard side of the prow. Once you are satisfied with the drybrush, you are nearing the finish line. The last few details I like to add are colors to bridges, view ports, engine heat, and also navigation lights. Whilst they aren’t necessary and you may choose to freely skip these, I think they go a long way of adding a ton of flavor and nuance (and realism) to the models. Little navigation lights show the silhouette of a ship or aircraft so they don’t slam into one another. Ideally. Here are some of the navigation lights I've done. Think what works best for your color selection, (I recommend a glance at a color wheel) but for this fleet I’ve gone with a bright blue (Talassar Blue Contrast) over dots of white, and red viewing domes and bridge terminal (Flesh Tearers’ Red Contrast). The engines can be left alone, or they can be painted in such a way as to resemble them working, propelling the ship forward. For this fleet, I also opted to do that, going over the metallics to show-case the intense heat. Using glazing techniques, I layered Citadel Contrast paints, first purple - then blue, to showcase this (Shyish Purple, Talassar blue). This is just my method for this particular fleet, experiment with what you think works best. If you have an airbrush - you can give brief bursts of orange paint, transitioning to white, etc. Again - think on color theory here. If you are doing a really warm Red scheme with complimenting gold and whites, maybe go for some purples and blues on the engines. The bases are optional and for you to explore on how to paint them. You can leave them clear if you wish, or paint them black like the void. Journey onwards my friends. The void is vast and there are plenty of sights to see, to explo- WARP SIGNATURE DETECTED. HOSTILES INCOMING. WEAPON SIGNATURES DETECTED. CRAFT IN-BOUND! SEAL BULKHEADS. ARMSMEN TO STATIONS. TORPEDO IMPACT IN T-MINUTE THREE. BRACE FOR IMPACT.