Speed painting Imperial Guard: Qirkirin AAT

I came around to printing a Qirkirin Armored Assault Transport to shuttle my brave lads around the tabletop. It turned out well, so here’s how I did it. (Astute readers will notice I use this blog as the paint scheme journal I don’t keep otherwise.)

AAT in action

Basic idea

With this paint job I wanted to chase my personal Holy Grail, nailing down a bluish gray that doesn’t look boring. On this attempt, my strategy boiled down to undercoating with saturated contrasting colors, then tying them together with a desaturated gray. I also decorated key focal areas with contrasting textures and colors to draw the eye and look good. As always I was balancing speed and quality.


Since I had them to hand and like them, I used the same Molotow One4All paints I’ve been using to undercoat my IG infantry. I started with a base coat of Signal Black through the airbrush, then sprayed generously from below using Purple Violet, and from the sides and above using Petrol. For the desaturated highlights I sprayed from above a custom chromatic gray, mixed using Golden High Flow acrylics in contrasting colors – Naphthol Red Light and Phthalo Green (Blue Shade).

Custom gray and its constituent paints – PR112, PG7, and PW6

During this step I used the airbrush to simulate OSL from the headlights and high-beams, for later. I also blocked in the tires and a few other details with Secret Weapon Tire Black. I was so pleased with the result I had to leave it alone for a couple days before I had the nerve to continue.

Fresh off the assembly line

Mud spatter

This transport needed mud. I dirtied up the tires with Vallejo dark earth texture goop. To get a mud splatter effect, I thinned down Raw Umber craft paint with plenty of water and just a bit of gloss glaze medium. I flipped the model on its back and used the airbrush to spray air into a paintbrush loaded with this mixture. I tried to aim where I imagined the tires would kick up mud as they spin. After a first pass dried, I decided it was too dark and lightened the mix with a little tan for a second pass. The two tones together look better than either one might look alone.

Off-roading in progress


After panel lining with phthalo blue and black oil paints, I tried some titanium white and cadmium yellow oil paints for the headlight glow. I stippled the paint where I thought light would fall, concentrating the white nearer the lenses and the yellow farther away. Then I blended the stippled paint together using a big soft dry brush.

OSL headlight effect using oils

Forces mustering

My local gaming group will soon embark on a Warhammer 40k Crusade campaign, so lately I spend my hobby time getting a force ready for that.

First troopers deploy near an ancient tunnel created by my buddy Lawrence.
Survivors get to hose off the rear hatch afterward

A second Qirkirin just came off the printer, joining another twelve guardsmen in my painting queue. Next week will be my first game of 40k 9th edition. I’m excited to get these troopers on the table.


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