Tutorial: Painting a Galaxy Cloak

Painting a galaxy cloak, or night sky, is something I have been wanting to do for awhile now, but never thought I could achieve with decent results. I put this mental block up around this technique by telling myself “You aren’t quite there yet as a painter,” but the truth is you can’t make progress as a painter unless you push your limits.

With the release of the Traitor Legions supplement and the new Alpha Legion rules I decided it was time to get over that mental block and give painting a galaxy on a cloak a shot. One of the Alpha Legion relics is called “The Mindveil,” which allows the bearer and his unit move 3d6″ in their movement phase. Even if they are locked in combat!

Getting started

I wanted the cloak to transition from purple on the bottom to black at the top. After priming the cloak black I started off with a 50/50 mix of Abaddon Black and Xereus Purple. Using this mixture I covered approximately 80% of the cloak.

Next step was to bring the purple out in the cloak to give it that early night sky look. I added another small dab of Xereus Purple to the 50/50 mix and painted the lower half of the cloak. I started on the edge and worked my way up using wet blending to get that nice even transition. I’ll  repeat that step a few more times until I get the brightness I’m looking for at the very edge of the cloak.

A Galaxy is Born

Now comes the fun part. Were you ever duped into buying that brush GW sells to clean finecast models? Well I was and I haven’t used it since. But after a little internet detective work I found that it can be used in this process (an old toothbrush works just as well, but I’ll be damned if I buy something and never put it to use!) Load about the top 1/3 of the brush with a color of your choice (I used White Scar). Give it a few flicks to knock a majority of the paint off. Remember it’s easier to add more than to remove it. I would recommend testing it out on a different miniature just to perfect the flicking technique, but really it only take some one or two practice flicks to get it down.

 

You could paint each star individually, but that really sounds like more trouble than it’s worth. I’m all about cutting down time when it comes to painting and this technique does exactly that. I also feel like it gives the galaxy a more chaotic feel. Now it’s on to painting the gas clouds. I started with Evil Sunz Scarlet mixed about 50/50 with water. The process I used was very similar to drybrushing, however I used a fine tipped brush and even less paint. The paint needs to be thin and watery for this stage as you don’t want the red to completely block out the background color. You will need several thin coats to achieve the desired result.

The red at this point is a little too bright for my liking. I used some of the purple mix to dull that color back down, and thankfully the wet palette kept it ready to use. I then went about adding the next color, Sotek Green, using the same technique used with the Evil Sunz Scarlet.

Finishing Touches

The final step now is to complete the galaxy by adding the bright twinkling stars. Again you can use just about any color for this but I wanted to stick with the bright white. Using the finest tipped brush I have I made small crosses on varying parts of the cloak.

 

Overall this is a very quick technique and has fantastic results! Hopefully you enjoyed this tutorial on painting galaxy cloaks and if you use this technique I’d love to see your results!

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