Hobby Tip - Painting 40K Shoulder Pads

 Now I'm not sure about anyone else (mainly because I don't know many other painters), but I prefer to paint and prime the shoulder pads (and backpacks) separate from the figure, primarily because I like to make sure the figure itself gets as much paint and primer coverage right from the get go. Maybe I'm finicky, but it kind of bothers me if I know that I don't have at least a shade coat in the areas that aren't very visible - since I don't use black primer, this is maybe more relevant, because white primer glinting out brightly from crevices is a little jarring.

 Anyways, I paint shoulder pads separately, and a while back I settled on a good way to paint the pads after priming without them touching or resting on anything and thus not getting good coverage themselves. When priming, I use two-sided masking tape and stick them to a paper plate on an angle. It lets me turn the plate 360° and get the pads from all sides, and get both bottom and back edges after a quick flip over once the first coat's dry.

For applying actual paint, I use the following method:

 I attach the back of the pads to a coffee stirrer or something similar with poster putty (in the case of the image, they're stuck to the end of plungers from the 1mL syringes I use for measuring out paint ratios, using UHU-Tac reuseable putty) so that way I get 360° access to them when I'm painting, and can simply set the whole thing down to dry - post, pad, and all, when I'm done applying a color. I can do a bunch of 'em assembly-line style, as they don't take up a lot of room, and by the time I get done applying color to the end of the row, the ones from the beginning of the row will be dry. Two of these will be going on the Berzerker from my Disciples of the Four warband, as seen in the top-right of the picture, while the other two are saved for his friend, the inducted Ultramarine Berzerker I showed some while back - they're both nearly done, and should be getting pictures posted "soonish".


  1. I tend to paint them separately as well. Mine is more due to a habit of dropping things and I tend to use metal shoulder pads so that doesn't end well.

  2. I actually have a question that is largely unrelated to the shoulder pads.

    What kind of syringes do you use? I've been thinking about taking a poke at these (sorry) for mixing paint myself, and I have no idea where to start.

  3. @ Doom - Old School Eldar I've got. Old School (C)SM's, not so much. I can sympathize with the concept, but I don't think I've ever set hands on metal Marine pads.

    I hate dropping stuff I'm working on, though, which is why I love UHU-Tac so much as a putty for things like this - stronger than poster putty, and more or less comparable to the Blu-Tac they always write about in the WD magazines.

    @ Lauby - I think I'll have to do a write-up in future as to my painting style. I don't know that many painters in Real Life™, and the ones I do know generally don't paint to the same standard as me (display vs. army), but I haven't run across anyone else who uses ratios and such the way I do.

    The short answer is that the syringes I prefer are 1mL oral medication dispensing syringes from a company called Baxa - they do bulk medical supplying to a lot of pharmacies. The longer answer is that between out old cat who needed topical thyroid cream that came in them, and our two children who have both had GERD, I've collected a lot of 1mL syringes for painting over the years.

    Now that some of 'em are getting old, I've got to pharmacies and asked for some for "a painting project for school," and gotten lucky here and there, but it's not quite the same. It's a few hundred dollars to order a case, but it'd be a lifetime supply(!).

  4. thanks so much for responding, man. I really appreciate that. One last question, though. What kind of nozzle do you look for on the syringes. I'm aware that some syringes come with an especially wide nozzle to accommodate a metal needle or some other attachment. Do you make use of any of that or is it just the stock hole for you?

    Also, while doing some poking around for syringes, I came across a number of places that will sell you a box of 100 1ml oral syringes for about 30 bucks including S&H. Allegromedical is one place that seemed OK. They're also lacking the annoying minimum order BS.

    Again, thanks for your expertise.

  5. I'm ideally looking for as small a diameter as possible, to allow for precise control of individual droplets - more or less equivalent to the dropper tips of Vallejo (or Reaper Master Series) bottles... only cheaper and can be used to draw up paint. One that fit needles are too larges and ones that comes with needles (insulin needle syringes, say) are impossible. I've found 1ml (1cc) are best.

    Allegro Medical might be getting some business from me - thanks for the tip. If I were to order, it would be these:

    If you knew of somewhere that sold Bard-Parker rib-backed scalpel blades for a #6 handle, that would be the whip! Much preferable to an X-Acto for durability and sharpness, but I've run out of blades...



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