No Quarter Prime #01 - Miranda's Superfluous Review
Painting Red
January 14, 2015 by ExiledAT
Welcome back to another tutorial from Wargamers Consortium! This week we’ve been discussing how to paint red on your miniatures. Red is a tricky colour for a lot of people. Using too much white it becomes pink, or using too much yellow it becomes orange. So how do you find the perfect balance? This tutorial will show you one of the ways I tackle painting red and how I keep it red despite using yellow and white in my highlights.

So let’s start. We’ll continue working on the Blood Angel Dreadnought from my previous tutorial on painting gold and we'll be working on the right side of the model.

Today we’re using paints from several ranges. Any can be subbed out for a similar colour from your preferred range. Generally I do not use the new Games Workshop paints, but when I did the original side with the gold these were the paints on my desk from another project.

  • Beaten Purple (Privateer Press)
  • Black (Rackham)
  • Mechrite Red (Citadel)
  • Mephiston Red (Citadel)
  • Evil Sunz Scarlet (Citadel)
  • Wild Rider Red (Citadel)
  • Yellow (Andrea)
  • Menoth White Highlight (Privateer Press)

Since we have already begun painting this figure, I will not reprime it! But for those just starting I use Mr. Surfacer 1200 spray primer. It can be ordered from multiple sites online and has great surface coverage.

Step 1

So our first step will be to lay a basecoat down of 50/50 Black/Mechrite Red. It can take a few layers to get a smooth coverage. I use multiple thin layers rather than one thick layer in order to keep a smooth surface.

Step 2

Once the basecoat dries I begin applying pure Mechrite Red to the figure leaving the basecoat in the deepest points.

Step 3

I begin to apply highlights using a 50/50 mix of Mechrite Red/Mephiston Red. I keep these very broad as they’re just the first light.

Step 4

At this point we can begin to see a slight difference in colour. The next highlight really will increase the contrast. The highlights continue with pure Mephiston Red. Keep this colour on your palette as we come back to it later as our midtone glaze.

Step 5

Continue to progress your highlights mixing in Evil Sunz Scarlet and begin scaling down your highlights to finer lines. As I apply my lights I use my midtone to keep the transitions smooth by glazing it over the transitions.

Step 6

We continue to build the highlights using Wild Rider Red, Andrea Yellow, and Menoth White Base. At this point as I’m blending my lights I also push the shadows. This is where Beaten Purple comes in and is used to push the deepest shadows. It is a dark colour that mixes well with the red and doesn’t require you to use pure black in the shadows.

Step 7

Finally we come to the final stage where I use a Yellow/White mix to create the final highlight. I continue to work with glazes of my midtone and purple to smoothen out the transitions and bring the highlights back from orange/yellow to red while keeping the contrast.


And here we have the final product. There are many ways to change this tutorial to your own style. On the original side I used more of my lights in broader strokes across the top. It also helped having the large flat surface above the wing.

Good luck and happy painting everyone!

For more Painting and Hobby discussions, check out the WGC Artists Group.
About the Author
AJ is an award winning painter from Dallas, Texas. He's been working in the miniature industry for over fifteen years. He is very passionate about miniatures and constantly working to evolve as a painter and player.
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