First off I did a quick (REAL quick) color test to see how the scheme could be painted in a fair quality, but would not take too much time. I found out tht mailnly the black armour would prove the challenge - as black always will!
The customer had sent me standard Marines models only. The flaming patterns would not be difficult, but getting the skull-theme into those models needed some looking in to. I decided to paint all helmets, exhausts on the backpack, the eagle on the chests and one of the kneepads in a bleached bone scheme, which turned out pretty darn good, if I may say so.
Now beware: both the picture, as the paint job is not overly well done, but it was only to see how things would look:
The customer was satisfied with this first 'sketch', so today I finally went and started on the first 5 marines.
I started with basecoat Black. Especially for this job, I purchesed Valejo's Charcoal Black, a great off-black color, for the black armour. I went for a kind of zenithal highlighting approach, and did a first layer of Charcoal Black + Chaos Black. The next layer was pure Charcoal Black. Then I mixed Fortress Grey with a bit of Charcoal Black, and roughly did some edge lining and final hightlighting.
When that was dried, I added a Blue Wash coating over the entire model - something I did not do on the test model. Blue makes the black so much more richer, and deeper, and really worked for me here.
After the wash had dried, I used pure Fortress Grey for some final edge lining and extreme highlights.
Here's the result: left the painted model, right a model in base coat only.
That's probably as far as I'll get today, as there is still studies awaiting me.
Tomorrow I'll do the bone parts, and maybe even metals. Hell, I'll see how far I'll come!