I’ve been through a few different ways of doing the red for my Thousand Sons. I experimented with painting a matte red that would be kind of like 40k Blood Angels, but settled on wanting the “candy red” of Forge World’s displays and most people’s 30k Sons.
I don’t own an airbrush, so I had to find a way of doing it without. Like most I started with the Retributor armour spray from GW. I have had horrendous luck with this spray, the finish coming out as totally different across different models in a batch, even from one press of the can to the next, not 5 seconds later. Some models are really smooth and shiny, others have a duller, more grey tone. I sprayed it on over a black spray for the most part, though a couple of models were done from bare plastic (would not recommend).
From there I tried a couple of things. The first was multiple layers of thinned down Spiritstone red, thinned with Carroburg Crimson. This is a play on the Excellent method by ElectricEve. I found that I couldn’t get the consistency right enough of the time to get the coverage and finish I wanted, and it was taking too long.
Next I tried Spiritstone red over the gold directly, and it looks awful.
Finally I tried a purple wash over the gold to tone it down, and then Spiritstone Red over the top. This was a little too bright so a wash with Carroburg to deepen the colour was in order. This made the colour far too flat, so I tidied it up with a thin layer of ‘ard coat to restore the shine. This is the result:
Quite quick to do and really effective I think.
With this in place I have now finished 5 guys with more on the way.
I’ve also put together one of the Exalted Sorceror models from the current 40k Thousand Sons to use as a Praetor, using bits which seem era appropriate, to use as my HQ along with Amon.
The next task is to get the red done on the whole pile including my two contemptors
then I will reward myself by building the Primarch of the Thousand Sons, Magnus the Red.
Thanks for reading!