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White seems to present a huge challenge to most painters. I'll admit, I've only recently gotten the hang of it. I'm currently working on a loyalist army that's got white armour, and I've got a pretty simple method of getting a lot of shading and clean-looking armor. You can apply this method to painting yellow as well, since yellow paints tend to behave very similarly to whites-- you should be able to simply replace white with yellow in the steps below if you're painting Imperial Fists, for example.

-Undercoat with white primer
-Wash with Graveyard Earth. Be sure to get all the recesses.
-Paint ALL areas that are not going to be white with Chaos Black.
-Layer on a 50/50 mix of Graveyard Earth and Skull White onto the white areas.
-Layer a 75/25 mix of Skull White and Bleached Bone onto the armor
-Finish the highlights by either using the extreme edge highlight (pure Skull White) or blending the previous mix up to pure Skull White. Both yield similar results.
-Any detail that may have gotten obscured during the layering process can be lined with a 50/50 mix of Brown ink and water. Have a paper towel or rag handy and dab any excess away quickly so that the armor doesn't get stained.

The "dip" method can be used as a substitute for the Graveyard Earth wash-- find a light-toned wood stain at the hardware store and mix up about a 50/50 stain to water pot to dip the model in. Even a light wood varnish dip will come out darker than the Graveyard Earth wash, so you'll have slightly browner shading once the model is finished. It actually looks better if you're using a brown base scheme, but the Graveyard Earth wash is probably better for any other base with the exception of an arctic themed base.

Occasionally it's kind of cool to see an army with an arctic themed base scheme. Brown shading on a sky blue or white base doesn't look quite right, so the method listed above is altered slightly, as follows:

-Undercoat with white primer
-Wash the model with a 50/50 mix of Fortress Grey and Codex Grey (for a grey shadow, or use Shadow Grey instead for a blue-grey shadow)
-Paint any non-white areas black, as above.
-Layer on a 50/50 mix of Fortress Grey and Skull White
-Layer a 75/25 mix of Skull White and Fortress Grey
-Finish with either the extreme-edge highlight or blending up to pure Skull White.

A crappy picture of a finished model using the techniques listed above for non-arctic bases. I'll take new pictures soon. I just suck with my digital camera.

 

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must admit, i always hate the prospect of painting white in any large areas. And i consider myslef to be an above average painter. I'll have to try the techniques you describe out and see how they go for me :)
 

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I agree-- white is a pain. I've always liked the look though, so it was worth figuring this stuff out. It's largely based on the techniques that are described in white dwarf (maybe like eight months ago or so) for painting Deathwing terminators, but simplified and done with slightly lighter colors for white instead of a rich bone color.
 

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bone i've founf i cant paint really well On smaller surfices, but when its larger ones it can be difficult. Luckily, its usually smaller areas/details that are bone anyway
 
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Depends on what sort of white your going for, as you could start with a blue, or a blue grey, and build up to white the most important thing about white is to use clean water.

The Tau that I am doing they are going to be snow camo, shadow grey undergarments, and whit plated armour, If I had a dig cam I would show pics of them so far.

I'm gonna give the white a magical ink of blue, very watered down and with Pva glue mixed into it, so far they are looking pretty cool
 

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hey does velejo or whatever have a white that goes on easily? because ive noticed everyone does white tutorials with GW
 

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That's a really good tutorial tSoH. I like hpw you have a highlight on it too. I do it differently but I don't get highlights so I'll try your way out. I prime ir black, over brush adeptus battlegrey, leaving the black in the deper recesses, then do several coats of watered down skull white. it get's a smooth flat surface with shading but no highlights..
 
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