Epic 40k Painting Guide: 30k HH Emperor's Children

This guide shows how I paint my loyalist Emperor's children for Epic 30k. I'm using Novan Elites from Vanguard miniatures as stand ins for space marines in this force. They are splendid figures and paint up really quick. They are nicely cast and the scale really suits the lore of space marines. (Models are around 7mm-7.5mm tall)

This 'Battle ready' paint scheme isn't the most detailed paint scheme, but its extremely fast to paint and the bold colours are striking on the gaming table.

  • I've skipped over the 'starter steps' of painting. This guide presumes you have painted before. If requested, I can go over beginner steps in future guides.

On to the painting Table:

1: Once the miniatures are cleaned up (vanguard minis have very minimal flash and mould lines. The shoulder pads on the novan elites are usually the only part that need attention) the models are sprayed with black undercoat.  I use halfords matt black, as though I do like the citadel sprays for smaller scales (due to the fine spray they achieve) I'm spraying a large batch of epic minis and halfords spray is far better value and gives great coverage.

2: Once that is dry, the whole model is given a wetbrush of Vallejos model colour flat brown.

I stick with vallejo colours for these next couple of steps. I've tried this scheme using citadels purples and pinks and they just don't have the vibrancy I want to see at this scale. Vallejo model colour is a little thicker too, which helps with the drybrushing. YMMV of course!

3: Once that has dried, the whole model is given a wetbrush of Vallejo model colour Royal Purple. A second, much lighter drybrush of royal purple is done once the first is dry. This is just to catch any areas that are missed and to give a little more colour to the focal areas- the head & the shoulder pads.
You can skip the second drybrush if you caught everything during the first pass.

4: Once the purple is dry, the whole model is given a drybrush of Vallejo model colour magenta. You want to go easy with this colour. You do want the colour to build up all over the raised areas, but you don't want to turn the flat areas bright pink. It's always better to do two (or even three!) passes of dry brushing. You want to mostly catch raised areas, but you do want an even pass over the flat areas like the leg plates and shoulder pads. You want it to only look neon pink in photos or an inch away from your eye. A foot away, the purple should remain the most defining colour! I will often test the strength of the colour on the gun or base before I hit the whole miniature, as these areas will be covered up later anyway.

It really doesn't look so neon pink to the naked eye, I promise!

 5: The whole miniature is now given a purple wash. I'm using citadels purple wash for this, as it works great with out needing to thin it down. Don't flood the model, but you want a decent coating as the wash will tone down the insane pink glow! Once it is dry, you will have a nice gradient of dark to light (though sadly, is now toned down enough to no longer be useful as a night light!)

 6: The model is given the lightest drybrush of magenta again. When I do this step, the brush is pretty much bone dry, so much so it's almost clean. You just want to catch the very tips of the edges of his helmet, the knee pads- any of the absolutely sharpest corners of focal points. When you think your brush is dry enough to do this step, it's still not! Wipe it off some more! If even a hint of too much paint is on there, it will completely undo the work the wash did and having to rewash the model will destroy the lovely vibrant gradient of purples! It would be better to skip this step then over do it! I find that this step is worth it though, as it just gives enough of a highlight to those sharp points to give some more definition to the model on the table top.

"When you drybrush things right, people won't be sure you've drybrushed anything at all" - God, possibly.

7: For the right shoulder pad, I paint it with vallejo model colour pale greyblue. I find that this colour gives just the right impression of white, especially with 6mm scale models. I find that using a pure white, and even vallejos off white, can be far to stark and will look awful, especially when painting such a vibrant scheme. The pale grey blue also paints over these more vibrant colours a lot better then pure white can. You can then also highlight with pure white, though I don't tend to do so at this scale, unless I'm doing chequers and want to define the shape a bit more.

Be steady with the shoulder pads- always paint away from main focal points of the models, like the face. instead, paint from the inside out or towards the back. If you make a mistake and catch this colour on part of the mini, it can be pretty annoying to try and fix. Painting the purple over the error will be pretty noticeable with the gradients now. I tend to aim for the backpack if I need too, as that can be repainted and won't be so noticeable.

Always paint in thin layers, two or three coats is always better then one. Whites can go on chalky and look horrid if painted too thickly, even the off whites. You can of course paint the shoulder pad grey first, then an off white, but with the pale grey blue I find you dont need too.

8: I paint the bolter in a gunmetal- I'm using citadels Leadbelcher as it covers in one coat. Be mindful of the hands (for every 10 of these I paint, at least one I paint the left hand instead of the bolter clip!) and it's better to stay a bit away from the chest then to mess up the purples- the next wash will take care of that area anyway, so no need to go all the way back with the gunmetal.

9: Give the bolter a black wash. Don't need to go mad, just enough wash to break up the panel lines and define the bolter from the armour. I'm using citadels Nuln oil. (Mostly because I have 400 pots of the stuff I brought in bulk!)

10: This is one of the very few times I will break out the #00 brush. Using Citadels retributor armour gold paint, I paint on the edging on the left shoulder pad. Their is no design details on novan shoulder pads, so this is all done free hand. I always put way, way more gold on to my palette then I am going to need for one unit, this is so you can thin it ever so slightly with water, but you want to keep it as close to from the pot as you can. The more you have out, the slower it will dry out and you need to keep the paint as flowing as you can with out it become too liquid- otherwise the paint will just run across the flat areas. You have to sort of guess-timate where the edging would go sometimes, as the some of the marines are slightly turned and the shoulder pads kind of sits underneath the backpack vent.

11: Edge Highlight the bolter, catching all the doodads and yokes on the body, as well as the barrel and the clip. I use citadels Ironbreaker, which is a mid silver. I prefer to use mithril, but as it's discontinued now, I'm saving my last half pot to finish off some fantasy projects I was already using it on.

12: I spend a bit of time cleaning up the basing circle the miniatures stand on by going over it all with some black. If you base in the classic glue-sand-paint, then there is probably no need to do this step. But I use my own home made basing texture paints, and the purple does tend to show through, as I use a very light grey for my urban basing scheme. But now they are ready for a matt coat and basing! Just another 200 or so shoulder pads to go!

There are tons of optional extras you can do with these miniatures. You could paint the backpacks, there is room on the shoulder pads for squad markings, there is a spot of room on the chest for the impression of the Aquila if your freehand is up to it, the helmet has enough details that you could break the purple up a bit more. But for me, I'm trying to move the lead mountain down to more sizeable pile, mostly as an excuse to order a ton more stuff! I may revisit these sometime in the future and add squad markings.