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Painting Space Marines: Crimson Fists Done Quick & Easy


Today we’re going to be running through a quick and easy method of getting Crimson Fists painted in a quick and easy way that will get the Battle Brothers of the legendary Pedro Kanto onto the tabletop nice and quickly. This method can be done with an airbrush or a paintbrush and shouldn’t be used when you’re trying to make a display army or a centerpiece miniature, in the future we may also be looking at other factions from within the setting and their various paint schemes done in a quick and easy fashion.

For our example miniature in this piece, we’ll be using Brother Titus from the first series of Space Marine Heroes while replacing his Ultramarine Color Scheme with that of the Crimson Fists. Unlike our previous quick and easy miniature, I won’t be painting this miniature in sub assemblies, but you can do that if it makes you more comfortable, it won’t impact your final paint job. For the unaware, the sub-assembly method would involve painting each piece individually then putting the miniature together opposed to building the miniature and painting it.

Like before, the method we’re using is a tried and tested way of bringing your miniatures to a tabletop ready level with minimal effort while ensuring the miniature is easily recognizable as belonging to a specific faction. Unlike last time, we won’t be using a zenithol-esque base coat to imply shading because Crimson Fists already make use of a dark blue, additional shading wouldn’t even be noticeable when viewed from the distance of your average gaming surface. We’ll still only painting what can be seen however, that means no edge highlighting on the underside of armor, no additional details on the underside of wargear and equipment and a lot of blocked in black panel lines to give the miniature more definition when viewed at a distance, though these will be hard to see anyway given as how we’re working with Kantor blue as our base. And like last time, we’ll also be avoiding the use of blending techniques for the most part as the strength of this quick and easy method lies in the use of block colors.

For this Crimson Fist, we’ll be operating under the assumption that he’s a 1st Company Veteran, that means both gauntlets are red.

I start off by priming the entire miniature in Grey. In particular, I didn’t use an Airbrush this time and instead went with Simoniz Grey Primer for Plastic. This is the only rattle can that I’ll use for priming miniatures as it provides (in my experience) a tremendously smooth finish with a quick drying and curing period. You may notice a few differences between other painter versions of Brother Titus and this. The most noticeable being I’ve removed the skull emblem from the forehead of the helmet.

Next up, we need to coat the entire model from head to toe in Citadel’s Kantor Blue, a dark blue paint named after the Crimson Fists Chapter Master, Pedro Kantor. Two thin coats all over will do nicely, but you can avoid specific details if you prefer too. I painted straight over the Aquila, grenades and ammo pouches, but avoided the hands and most of the bolter. As is often the case at this early stage of painting, tidiness isn’t an issue, so don’t worry about a little bit of stray blue, we can easily course correct later. Right now, the aim of the game is speed.

Up next, you’ll want to hit your metallics. As you can see in the image above, one thing coat of your preferred metallic paint won’t be enough to cover over the dark blue that wants to show through. I advise putting down two thin coats of The Army Painter Plate Mail Metal on the extra magazine, the metal frame of the bolter, the aquila, helmet piping and power cabling before revisiting it with a single layer of The Army Painter Shining Silver once your Plate Mail Metal is dry. That should give you sufficiently opaque coverage. While it dries however, you can move on to the next step.

Next up, we’re going to add our black definition line work. This won’t be readily noticeable at a distance, but it will certainly add more depth and shape to the miniature. Similar to what we did with the Imperial Fist, we can use a heavily thinned black paint or a citadel wash of your choice. Given how dark the blue we’re working with already is, I went with Tamiya’s Panel Line Accent Color (Black) to make sure I got things as dark as possible in the recesses. As usual we want to paint the undersuit in a plain black while using our accent wash to panel line any recessed area that’s going to help break up the blue. This means around the knee armor, the panel lines on the arms and legs, the recesses of the helmet (if you wish) and along the pauldron trim. Panel lining the pauldrons will help a lot on Crimson Fists as it helps break up that large, consistently blue upper body. Taking off the power pack will help make the black detail work on your pauldrons much easier. You should also take this opportunity to paint the body of the bolter in black.

Next up, we add the red details. Now, if you’re working with the Crimson Fist upgrade parts, be sure to add the red details were required, most important by far is the large Crimson Fist insignia on the left pauldron. Otherwise, you’ll want to get a nice and rich red onto the gauntlets. (To clear up any confusion, the left gauntlet is painted once a scout aspirant ascends to the rank of Battle Brother. The right gauntlet is painted when the marine is promoted to the ranks of the elite first company where he serves as a veteran.) Typically, the Crimson Fist should be painted a matt red, but I like to throw on a brighter color in a single highlight line across the knuckles to make the gauntlets really pop. If you happen to have some gloss varnish on hand, this can add to the distinctive look. For this, I used The Army Painters Pure Red with the highlight line being painted in with The Army Painter Mars Red.

For our final touches, block in your sidearm holster, the grenade, pouches and containers to give a bit more color to the miniature. Simple things like this help to break up the blue even more and lend the miniature a more detailed look, even if you don’t add any definition to these items. There’s no set in stone paints to be used for these items, so use whatever your comfortable with. Some folks like brown leather holsters, other like black polymer holsters. Some folks like black grenades, red grenades, green grenades and I’ve even seen pink grenades, so just use what feels right for you. Don’t forget any purity seals! You wouldn’t believe how many miniatures I’ve come across for Space Marines where painters have forgotten about purity seals. And at this point you can slap some paint onto the decorative parts of your bolter. Canonically, Crimson Fists use gunmetal iconography on their bolters, but I went with The Army Painter Bright Gold Metallics to help break up that black slab of a gun.

For our absolute final step, add some panel lining to your now dried metallic detail areas, this will help lessen the shine while making it look like it has some more depth. And with that, slap him under some moody lighting and admire your work, because you’re done! Batch building and painting these guys is much faster than many other chapters from the Space Marines because of the fact that they lack a pauldron trim, and this miniature took just over 30 minutes to throw together. So, assuming you work relentlessly (and may the Emperor save you if that’s how you prefer to paint) you can complete and entire Tactical Squad of these guys in about 5 hours or so.

We have been wounded sorely. Yet still we stand with fire in our hearts. Let them think us beaten. We shall teach them otherwise.’ – Pedro Kantor, Chapter Master of the Crimson Fists