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Citadel Paint System - Layering

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Looking for some guidance from veteran painters regarding the Citadel Paint System and Layering technique.

I guess the overall questions is:

Do you typically use the Citadel Layering System without your first highlight being the original base or do you go straight to the layer?

I use Citadel paints and I am a complete novice usually looking to Sorastro for guidance on color choices and techniques.

I have started to venture out and find my biggest challenge is mixing colors and transitions.


I have a minor dilemma and am hesitant to put the first highlight on my Alliance Rangers.

I have based the pants and hoodies of my Alliance Rangers with Deathworld Forest 

I have washed them with Athonian Camoshade

I am now at the crossroads where I am hesitant to use the suggested layer Elysian Green because of the contrast from the based / washed Deathword Forest / Athonian Camoshade.

It seems like to great a jump from the dark to lighter green...

I am considering the first layer being Deathworld Forest before going straight to Elysian Green.

I could of course do some testing away from the miniatures but being a novice I have really come to rely upon the veterans who are willing to offer advice as that advice is almost always spot on.

So what do you think?

Have you had experience with Citadel's layering system?

Should I jump straight to a thinned down version of Elysian Green?

Should I use the Deathworld Forest base as my first highlight?

Any guidance would be appreciated.

Thank You and Happy Painting!

Edited by malfak

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For cloth, I'd reapply the base tone and then slowly add in the highlight color.

Probably something like.

1.  Base tone

2. Wash

3.  1 Base tone: 1 Highlight

4.  1 Base tone:  2 Highlight

5. Highlight 

6. Add in a brighter color for the edges and extreme highlights.

A third 1:3 layer could be in before the highlight layer. 

The 1:1 could be substituted for Base tone and midtone and 2:1 could be subbed for pure midtone.

But you can do as many layers as you are comfortable with.


Edited by nungunz

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Thank You. 

This is precisely the well thought out and detailed feedback I was hoping to find when I posted.

It makes perfect sense and something I don't often consider is the type of material being painted and how that effects the highlighting technique.

Being cloth, it makes a whole lot of sense to go back to the base and work towards very subtle transitions.

I plan on following your advice and will post some pictures when complete.

I really appreciate the assistance.

Thanks again.

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Just a final comment looking at my paints and I do have all those paints.

Ogryn Camo is a bit bright for me to have on anything other than and edge highlight for cloth (unless it's a glossier material, but I bet that rangers would use a matte material).

I'd go something like.

1. Base

2. Wash

3. Base

4a. 1 Base: 1 Mid

4b. (Optional) 1 Base: 2 Mid

5. Mid

6. 2 Mid : 1 Higlight

7. 1 Mid : 1 Highlight

8. 1 Mid : 2 Highlight

9. Highlight (edge only)


Add or remove layers as you desire. If Ogryn Camo were a bit more muted, then I'd tweak the ratios a bit.

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Likes some time travelling paint wizard you have gone into the future and nailed it...

I used the first formula but got a bit overzealous with the Ogryn Camo on the final highlight and it is indeed far to "bright".

Which is a shame because the transitions were coming along very, very nicely...

Still repairable 

I am going to attempt to either add 1:1 Camoshade / Lahmian OR 1:3 Deathworld Forest / Water and attempt to glaze down the highlights a bit before deciding if I am happy with it or if I need to build back up.

Certainly open to suggestion on how to repair highlights gone wrong (in the bright direction.)

Thanks again for the spot on advice.

* I ended up reapplying the Deathworld Forest base. This was the only way to go to get back to something I could work with.

Edited by malfak

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Here are the results.

Forgive the pictures and lighting.



I am happy with the way they turned out.

The source I was most closely referencing was the game art and movie stills from Return of the Jedi.

After making my initial "mistake" with the bright Ogryn Camo I opted to limit the highlights to just Elysian Green utilizing multiple layers to build the transitions.

This was loosely the formula I used.

1. Base (Deathworld Forest)

2. Wash (Athonian Camoshade)

3. Base (Deathworld Forest)

4. 3 Base, 1 Highlight (Loren Forest)

5. 2 Base, 1 Highlight

6. 1 Base, 1 Highlight

7. 1 Base, 2 Highlight

8. 1 Base, 3 Highlight

9. Highlight

Thanks again for the great advice.

Old Ben and the Alliance Smuggler are in the queue...


Edited by malfak

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