Algonquin Shaltari Tutorial

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Algonquin Shaltari Tutorial

Post by Bistromatic »

I realized the other day that i had never published the english version of this tutorial outside of Something Awful. That aligns perfectly with giving this forum some content so here's a step-by-step for my own Shaltari scheme:
Bistromatic wrote: Who's ready to learn about Alien Sparkleships?


Algonquin Tribe Shaltari

Took me a while but i finally managed to sit down and hammer out a decent draft for another tutorial. Shaltari are quite a different beast from my main UCM fleet, they’re absolutely loaded with tiny details and they have very strange technology so none of the little bits are readily identifiable as anything familiar. For this scheme i went with comparatively simpler techniques and relied more of the amount of details than fancy execution to get the overall effect. Judging by the reactions they get it works out.

Do Test pieces! The sprues have plenty of extra parts and if you put on too much violet or purple you can’t really lighten it up.

First, prime your models black. Metallics usually work best on a black undercoat. It doesn’t really matter if it’s a small rivet or something but if you’re doing a whole mini in metallics there should definitely be black underneath. If you want to go the extra mile you could look into gloss black primer for an even better effect. If you do be sure to send me pictures! Since wasn’t going for maximum shiny i just went with the Vallejo airbrush primer i normally use.

Next i sprayed a basic gradient of Gunmetal, Chainmail and Silver, going lighter toward the front.


After that i hit the front with some violet. A light coat will look almost pink, a heavier one will bring out the colour you see below. Definitely do experiment, even the light coat with look great after it gets a little bit of violet.


The final touch on the hulls is the violet. I sprayed it all over but went lighter on the front and heavier on the back. You can reach a very dark colour with two or three coats, use this to build a nice gradient over the whole of the ship. Below you can the comparison before and after the violet, so don’t worry if your ships don’t look great after just the purple.


Overall i went a bit darker than i had originally planned. This helps all the glowy bits stand out more though so all is well.

Set your ships aside for a while and let them dry thoroughly, i recommend at least 24 hours.

The Golden paints will have a pretty glossy finish so hit your fleet with some satin varnish. This will help you make out details and also protect the purple in case you need to make corrections I also found that the glossiness plays a pretty big role in how the metallic purple comes out. I went with Citadel Munitorum Varnish as that has just the right amount of shine for my taste.

You also can’t really do touch-ups on the metallic purple but since the varnish will protect the paint underneath you can clean up small mistakes with a bit of thinner. You can do this before the cores and hit your models with a second coat afterwards or if you’re confident in your cleanliness you can wait until after the cores are done. In any case, once you get to the dots you /will/ appreciate it.


Varnish or no, next up are the cores. Start out with Meridius Blue and try to get a nice even coverage with two or three thin coats. In general you want to avoid too many coats on these parts, even if they are thin ones. Otherwise the paint will build up about the dots on the cores and make them harder to paint neatly afterwards.

After you got the basecoat down shade with Coal Black


Highlight by mixing in white and go all the way to pure white. Be sure to let the paint dry thoroughly then give it a thin and even glaze with Turquoise Ink, this will give a nice depth and richness to the colour.

Sadly the picture for this step didn’t come out too well but i think you can still tell the difference.


From here on you can do things in any order, i decided to proceed with the dots.

I used Schmicke Primacryl Titanium White, it has great coverage and a nice consistency. Thin it down only a little and add some drying retardant. Then take a small brush with a relatively heavy load and carefully dab a bit of white on each dot. You’ll get a feel for the right brush load and thinning pretty quickly and the retardant will help to keep the pain wet on the brush.

Don’t worry if you mess up, as long as the paint is relatively fresh you can easily do cleanup with a stiff brush and some Vallejo Airbrush Thinner. As i mentioned before, a coat of varnish really helps to protect the underlying paint. Without it you have to be extremely careful not damage the layers beneath.

After the white the dots get a wash of P3 Turquoise Ink, this both gives them a bit of colour and acts as a pin-wash. You can be relatively generous, i think it actually is a nice effect if the turquoise extends outward a bit and adds a little bit of variety to the purple.
The picture below shows the difference.


Apart from a million dots a Shaltari ship has a whole bunch of other details. I decided to do these in a gold tone. Nothing fancy here, just a basic gradient of Deathless metal -> Bronze -> Gold at the very tips. Larger parts get a 50/50 mix in between the steps.

The weapons got the same treatment as the cores but i skipped the Coal Black as i wanted them to glow more brightly and they didn’t need the “depth” of the cores.


And that’s it, all done! In my opinion Shaltari don’t require super fancy techniques but they strongly reward patience and diligence.

Paint List:
VGA = Vallejo Game Air
VMA = Vallejo Model Air

Prime Black
VGA Gunmetal
VGA Chainmail
VMA Silver
Golden Permanent Violet Dark
Golden Transparent Dioxazine Purple

P3 Coal Black
P3 Meridius Blue
P3 Arcane Blue
P3 Turquoise Ink

P3 Deathless Metal
Golden Iridescent Bronze
Golden Iridescent Gold

P3 Turquoise Ink

Citadel Munitorum Varnish

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Re: Algonquin Shaltari Tutorial

Post by overlord »

This is fantastic! Thanks for sharing. I have a Shaltari fleet myself.

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Re: Algonquin Shaltari Tutorial

Post by NiciusMax »

Really good looking fleet. Still undecided about my own third fleet but this going between the new Resistance and Shaltari!

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Re: Algonquin Shaltari Tutorial

Post by Sikil »

Awesome tutorial! Thanks for sharing!
"I should warn you. This is hardly a fair fight..." - Lucifer Morningstar

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Re: Algonquin Shaltari Tutorial

Post by Nodri »

You just saved me a lot of time experimenting. I've been thinking about a scheme similar to this one for my upcoming Shaltari fleet and having this ready-made tutorial at my disposal will speed things up considerably. I hadn't considered doing any trim in gold (was originally thinking silver or black metals). I gotta hand it to you though, your color theory is on point and the violet/blue/yellow-orange triad looks really sharp on space hedgehogs.

Nicely done!
Passion has little to do with euphoria and everything to do with patience. It is not about feeling good. It is about endurance. Like patience, passion comes from the same Latin root: pati. It does not mean to flow with exuberance. It means to suffer.

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Re: Algonquin Shaltari Tutorial

Post by Thunderboy »

Thank you!
“We're like the Forums little pitbull. You'll beat it, mistreat it, and once in a while we'll escape to attack somebody.” ;)

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