Relic Knights: Painting Lights


by Dave Taylor

The visual aesthetic of many far-future, dystopian-nightmare universes that surround the miniatures games we play is typically dark. Dark, grim, and very desaturated. Dull metals, grimy browns, deep reds, dusty greys; even the creams and whites are regularly muddied around the edges.

Well, not so in the universe of Relic Knights. Despite the encroaching Darkspace Calamity, the Relic Knights setting draws its visual cues from hundreds of bright and flashy anime offerings. Dirt, while still present, is certainly not the feature. It is this dynamic flair and clean approach that sets Relic Knights apart visually from many other tabletop wargames. Subsequently, it can sometimes be tough for players to be able to “switch gears” when painting their Relic Knights models. In this series of articles I hope to show you that painting whitesbright colors, and glowing lights is not as daunting as it might initially seem.

Painting Lights

Across the Relic Knights range, there are plenty of opportunities to paint numerous tiny, glowing things. Whether they’re glowing runes in a weapon, a glowing sphere on a staff, or the glowing interior of a weapon, they can all be painted in a similar fashion.


Glowing lights are typically the brightest thing around, so starting with a fairly dark background can be incredibly helpful in getting that impression across. In the first step of painting the glowing runes on the club of a Noh Berserker, I added a wash of AP Strong Tone around the shape of the runes. Once the wash was dry, I added a thinned 2:1 mix of VMC Blue Green and VMC White around the runes, trying to keep fairly close to their shape.


After that wash was dry, I painted VMC Blue Green into the shapes of the runes, and followed up by highlighting them with a 1:2 mix of VMC Blue Green and VMC White.


In this example with the Doctrine Novitiate, didn’t want an incredibly bright green, but just enough glow to show on the gold around it. The example of the Diamond Corps minion used the same colors as the glowing runes, but set in a much darker and tightly focused area.

Hopefully these examples have shown you that it’s not too difficult to achieve clear and crisp whites, brights, and lights. It just takes a little patience, a willingness to work with some thin layers, and a steady hand.