Chaos Marine WIP (focused critique please)
Results 1 to 13 of 13

Thread: Chaos Marine WIP (focused critique please)

  1. #1

    Default Chaos Marine WIP (focused critique please)

    I feel like I've been really pushing my skill with my last few minis, but I've arrived at a place where I'm A) scared to try more for fear of screwing up and B) not sure WHAT to even do to make the model more interesting.
    Here's the WIP of a chaos marine I'm working on, I'd be very grateful for your critique:

    One problem for me are the horns, I was trying to keep them looking rough in contrast with the model. but I think it just ended up looking sloppy. How would you change that?

  2. #2


    Far above what i am currently capable of. I think it looks fantastic. With the horns maybe some dark red in the recesses? Not really sure honestly. Really really like that shoulderpad with the eye/crosshairs thing. Nice work!

  3. #3
    Senior Member CyAniDe's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Rheinland-Pfalz Germany
    Rep Power


    I feel like I've been really pushing my skill with my last few minis, but I've arrived at a place where I'm A) scared to try more for fear of screwing up and B) not sure WHAT to even do to make the model more interesting.
    Know exactly what you mean.
    Do you paint single models just for the fun of painting? Or do you collect troops/armies that you want to use for gaming and that should look coherent ?
    The second question is, how long did it take you to paint that marine that far ?

    Why do I ask this...
    scared to try more for fear of screwing up
    has a lot to do with speed. Took me a while to recognize. Eye opening was a tutorial about drawing. And a lot of people there have the exact same problems. At a certain level they start a drawing but get afraid to mess up at a certain point and don't want to try new stuff. Because it was so hard to get there AND TOOK A WHILE, you don't want to try new things you aren't comfortbale with since it could destroy everything you have achieved so far.
    That's why speed matters.

    When I started out to paint for "showcase" or better painted just for the sake of painting, I nearly exclusivly worked with glazing. Glazing was the only technique I could pull off but it took ages. Painting just a swordblade in NMM with glazes took hours.
    It wasn't fun either and I quit for 1-2 years and had other long breaks in between. What really brought me back to painting were faster techniques like Wetblending, Feathering or Loaded Brush.

    I don't say you have to speed paint. But when it's not that hard to reach a certain state, you are much more comfortable to try things. With speed you'll also get confidence.

    The second question was if you paint just stuff for painting or for collection/playing. If you just paint minis that are just ther for experiments, you are much more likely experimenting on them and leave your comfort zone. But if you paint a model for an army or want to integrate into a squad of already painted models, you probably want to play it safe.

    So my best advice for that situation would be: Just grab (or buy) some models that just for experiments and try new techniques or things that are out of your comfort zone. You don't have to finish them either. But don't take models that you don't like. If you don't like the model and force yourself to paint it it won't work.
    I for example just bought a small box with 3 plague marines and a small box with 3 primaris marines to try some stuff and because I liked the models. They were 12€ each so cheap enough -> great for painters.

    You want to come to the point where you don't have to think about how you do technique XY or thin your color should be for this or that, so that you can concentrate on the more important stuff like contrast, effects, colors, composition etc.
    This of course needs some practice. But you'll get there. -> Maybe you're already there ^^ I don't know xD

    To the model:

    Great job so far. Love the clean and tidy look so far. The armor tells that you know how to blend
    Some transitions here and there could be a bit smoother, for example 2nd picture, right leg, the transition from the turquois into the more greenish tint could be smothened with a couple of glazes. But that's minors.
    What I also like a lot are the scratches and battle damages.

    What I'm missing more is some more contrast especially on the metals. You could go much deeper into the shadows there.

    The horn. -.- Hate painting these things myself... reminds me I wanted to get some Gor Beastmen ...
    Yap sadly it looks a bit sloppy since some of the bonewhite went into the recesses. So I would "clean" these out. With the bonewhite I would just "edgehighlight" .
    Maybe look up some reference in the gallery and look how other good painters did it and try to copy what you like most.

    This is another good "trick" a lot of people underestimate. COPY! Copy a lot. When you find something that really inspires you safe it. I saved a lot of pics with NMMs, nice skincolors, interesting light situations, OSLs etc. When I'm not certain how to paint a strange metal shape I look through there to look for something similar or close. Look at other peoples stuff. Search for things. Why is the skin so smooth. What are the tones, how much contrast is in there. Why does some NMM look so real that you are not certain if it is NMM or not?

    Some of what I wrote you probably already knew when I look through your gallery ^^ but I hope at least some points were useful xD.

    Keep on the good work and keep posting. Always love to see WIPs

  4. #4


    @Cyanide, oh man, that is SUCH great advice. Yes, these CSM are supposed to be my main army, my magnum opus. I'm much more focused on the painting aspect of the hobby, but I still keep the army as a whole in mind when painting them. So when I'm painting something for one of my "secondary" armies, I always go for speed, but I never actually push myself, and when I'm working on my chaos, I'm afraid to push myself because I have so little time to paint so I'm afraid of wasting it! I've never actually realised how bad that is for my progress!

    Thank you very much for the tips, I'll be sure to try them, especially the experimental models.

    And a small note about glazing - I really don't mind spending time on it! I was even quite surprised how quickly it went with this model - sure, it's a bit rough in places, but this is a basic trooper intended for a huge army, so I'm purposefully limiting myself timewise and focusing more on contrasts and colours.

  5. #5


    This looks great and I definately can’t top Cyanide’s advice.

    To me there is a color issue with the horns. They look nice by themselves, but to it seem to be black with some bluish type brown which doesn’t seem right compared to the warmer red tinted brown of the biege shoulder pads.

  6. #6


    For what it's worth...I think you paint work is awesome.

    As far as color of the horns, I would be playing around with red toned browns (see KruleBear's post). With my eye, the horns get lost in the other vertical bits; adding red hues would create the contrast needed to separate those horns from other things, while creating a homogeneous color palette with the reds already present in the eyes/shoulder pads.

    Cool piece though, keep 'em coming!

  7. #7


    Just jumped in to congratulate on the mini, I cannot add much to cyanide's post. (Maybe to paint the right eye to grey? )

    But there is a Painting Buddha video especially for you:

  8. #8


    Hey, thanks guys! Lemming, those horns look great though they seem to be a completely different type (more natural and organic). I'm gonna try with one of the later models. In the meantime, after some corrections and a base, I think I'm gonna call it a day and move on to the next one.

  9. #9


    That blue looks did you paint it? Painting the horns as a natural thing and not metallic might make it look better. My eyes are crap so I hope you’ve painted them metallic. Also, I know they are small but some vertical striations painted into them could help too.

  10. #10


    Unparalleled job buddy!!!

  11. #11
    Freak! SaintToad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
    Blog Entries
    Rep Power


    You’ve gotten a lot of good advice already but I thought I’d add my voice to the chorus of those saying great job!

  12. #12


    Looks awesome! Great job!

  13. #13


    I know you said you were calling this one complete, but a few things I would add are:
    There isn't a lot of transition between the colors on the horns, I think they could have been blended a little more so that it wasn't such a stark transition. (you probably saw this in the video that was linked)
    The gold trim doesn't look like there is much highlighting on it (could just be the picture) but especially the shoulder pad with the chaos star looks a little too flat especially with that white/creamish color you have on the shoulder pad. All in all though really great job on the CSM.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts

Privacy Policy  |   Terms and Conditions  |   Contact Us  |   The Legion

Copyright © 2001-2018 CMON Inc.