Hello again, Immortal here with a "how to" article on painting power weapons as part of our "power weapon week" series.
Now, there are dozens of styles and ways to paint your weapons, and each have there merits. I chose to go with a style very similar to those shown in Codex: Grey Knights; a mirrored blue color. The majority of my Blood Angel army is (you guessed it) Red, but a few of my units such as my Sanguinary Guard are not (see my "Death-(From-Above)-Star" article further down LINK. The blue accents the fact that the weapon is powered just by contrasting the red (or bone/white) armor.
Choosing a Color:
I have seen other armies use a variety of different colors from green to red and even purple. My suggestion, find a color that is not prevalent in your army and is also a good contrast. Green or blue for red, purple for yellow, ect. On the other hand, it is fine to choose a color that is already in your army, and this is personal choice of course. Now, on to how I did it.
What I used:
Citadel "Detail Brush"
Why the water you ask... I'll get to this.
This one is simple. After priming the model, black or white, coat the whole blade in Moridan Blue. This is where the water first comes into play. I, after coating the whole blade, but before it is fully dry, dip (just barely) the brush into the water (with the paint still on it). Then lightly 'smooth' the paint that you already brushed on. What this does is even out the blade, keeping it flat. Be sure not to over do it with the water so that the primer color shows through.
Take a 2:1 mix of Enchanted Blue and Moridan Blue. Paint the blade in such a way that it creates a base for the areas that you want to be highlighted, if you look you can see "rectangular patches,". This part can be tricky, as it is often hard to tell based on the curve or shape of the blade how the light would reflect off it. I refer to codex's and other gaming books for help here, as the pro's seem to have a handle on this aspect of it. Now, paint the base of the color wide enough that it will encompass all the lighter colors over it, but still leave the darker Moridan Blue underneath.
For this step, I will combine a number of smaller steps into one. From here you want to paint the blade in the areas that you intend to 'shine' aka the areas that you already put the Enchanted Blue mix into. Each layer should show a little of the layer before so that it looks like it is blending. Again, I use water after each layer to smooth the paint. I find that lightly dry brushing the paint onto the exact area that you want it, then using the water to smooth out and blend the dry brushed paint works best. The last thing you want is for the blade to start getting chunky looking, it ruins the whole effect. Here is the color progressions that I used:
Enchanted Blue 2:1 Moridan Blue (as mentioned above)
Ice Blue 2:1 Enchanted Blue
Skull White 1:1 Ice Blue
Skull White 2:1 Ice Blue
This step uses only Skull White. Get a little paint on your brush and brush most of it onto a piece of paper or what have you (we're about to do a super delicate dry brush). Now, very, very carefully, take that skull white and using the side of the brush hairs, apply the white paint to edges of the blade... any where the blade sticks up and the actual edges of the blade. Carefully run the brush along these edges until the white starts to show up on these edges. You're bound to get some on the surface of the blade, but don't worry about this. Now, some of you may be gifted enough or comfortable enough to do this step without drybrushing it. If so, more power to you!
Now that you have the edges painted, time for touch up. Using Moridan Blue again, go back and fix the areas of the dark part of the blade that you may have missed the edges.
Steps 4 & 5
Step Six: (Optional)
You don't have to do this step, but I did it and felt it really softened the effect and made it look great. Take out your Ice Blue. Dip your brush in it, and whip most of the paint off (but not all like in dry brushing). Dip in water with the remaining paint still on the brush and whip it off again. Repeat this a few times until you get a Ice Blue Ink. Carefully paint this ink mixture over the parts of the blade that are white. What this does is make the blade look like its reflecting, rather then glowing, but still have that energized look to it.
Bam! you have yourself a powersword! Enjoy, and I hope that even the seasoned painters out there learned a thing or two from this.