Daily Illuminator

August 17, 2020: Car Wars: Painting Apollo

I'm back with another Car Wars painting article! This time I'm featuring Apollo from Car Wars Miniatures Set 2. Follow along with the steps and try to recreate them, or just get inspiration for your own autos! Apollo is part of Car Wars Miniatures Set 2. Click here to preorder Apollo and all your other Car Wars needs.

My first painting article on Brimstone showed how I painted a car put together from rusty scrap metal. Apollo is also going to be a rustbucket, but for this vehicle I'm going in a slightly different direction. I envisioned Apollo as an old racer found in a junk yard, fixed up just enough -- with a new engine and some strapped on guns for a trip into the arena. That means flaking, chipped paint, rather than plate steel.


After the white primer on Apollo had dried, I gave the model a wash with Citadel's Nuln Oil to bring out all the detail. I primarily use Games Workshop's Citadel paints and Privateer Press' Formula P3 paint. Most Friendly Local Game Stores stock Citadel and some stock Formula P3 as well. If not, I've found that Noble Knight Games' Amazon store is a good place to pick up both brands.


I apply a thin layer of Formula P3 Gravedigger Denim to the body of the vehicle, shading it with a little Thamar Black while it's still wet. I imagine Apollo was a beautiful black, decades ago, but has faded with time. Fortunately, with all the weathering I'll be doing, I don't really need to worry about getting the layers smooth. In fact, it might even look better to leave the brush strokes a little rough.


An old racer like Apollo needs racing stripes, so I start to apply them with GW's Averland Sunset. This paint is a great tool for a yellow undercoat since it coats very evenly. I also use it a lot for NMM gold since I think it's a great color just on its own.

I also start adding little spots of Citadel Fenrisian Gray along all the edges, and just randomly here and there. This is the basis for the cracked paint that I will add in the next step.


I brighten up the stripes with a little bit of Citadel Evil Sunz Yellow. Then I paint over all the light blue areas I added in the last step with Citadel Rhinox Hide (a dark warm brown). The little edge of Fenrisian Gray that still shows through serves to define the edge of the chipping, and almost makes it feel like that paint is peeling right off the side of the car.


Now seemed like a good time to paint the windows. I decided a nice purple would contrast well with the yellow stripes. I used Formula P3 Beaten Purple with a streak of Citadel Cadian Fleshtone blended down the middle.  If you've found yourself, three articles in, asking "Why are all these windows so garishly colored?", it's because in the future that's just another way for duellists to personalize their vehicles. Not to mention the fact that Uncle Al charges 10% more for colored bulletproof windshields and they only cost him 2% more to make! OK, that's not actually canon. I just thought colored windows would look more interesting than having black or gray on every car. But that's another fun part of painting miniatures. You get to come up with your own stories.


Next I add a thin glaze of Formula P3 Bloodstone around the edges of all the dark brown exposed metal areas. You'll remember from the Brimstone painting article that Bloodstone is one of my favorite tools for painting rust. I also begin to define all the less-rusty areas with edge highlights of Formula P3 Underbelly Blue. The front fender gets some NMM streaks of Gravedigger Denim and Underbelly Blue, similar to what I described in my previous article on painting Jackal. In my mind, these areas were all chrome treated and so, while still beat up, are not in quite as bad shape as the rest of the metal.


On this step I'm cleaning up the final details. I smooth out the blending on the chrome and the windows. I add edge highlights wherever I hadn't already. Even the rusty edges need a thin streak of highlight to show where the shape ends. I add some more rusty patches to the fender and exhaust vents, since they shouldn't be totally clean. I paint a thick dot of Evil Sunz Yellow onto each headlight, then add a bit of Formula P3 Morrow White to the middle of each to create a kind of glowy look. (I decided one should appear busted, and left it dark.) I painted a few thin streaks of Underbelly Blue on it with some black streaks directly above them for that broken glass look. I also decided the Flamethrower fuel tanks should be copper, and of course they had to be tarnished like everything else. I used the same Bloodstone I used for the rust as a base coat for the copper, adding a thinned-down mix of Citadel Temple Guard Blue and Caliban Green as a patina.


The final step was to add a bright "shiny" highlight to the round fuel tanks. I blended some Sulfuric Yellow into the Bloodstone basecoat and used just a little Menoth White Highlight as the final central reflection point to make it pop. The fuel tanks ended up being the shiniest thing about the car. Other than the purple bulletproof glass, which is brand new, of course. Can't skimp on that.

And now Apollo is ready to duel. There are no set color schemes in Car Wars, so you can paint Apollo any way you like. Or maybe you think this look would work well on another car. Dragon, Hades, and Aristocrat also have classic auto vibes, and might look great with a fresh-from-the-junkyard feel.

-- Ben Williams

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