I recently finished a pretty large commission to paint a friends Iron Hands chapter, and as promised I am doing a tutorial so that if he decides so paint more infantry in the future and I am otherwise busy, he has a go to in order to learn what I did to get some decent results in a relatively quick time per miniature.
Step 1. After priming the model black, I went to work starting with putting down a base of Khorne Red on the weapons and legs. I use a fairly large brush for this part because I find it helps me get a nice smooth finish while working rather quickly.
Step 2. I use the same large brush to put down a base layer of Eshin Grey on the gravel of the base. I just glue down sand from the beach using Tacky craft glue for the basing. Simple, yet decent looking when finished.
Step 3. I paint iron breaker over all the metal parts of the miniature. In this case, since it's an assault marine it includes the vents on the jump pack, the grill over the mouth, the metal on the weapons, the hands, the accordian parts on the knees, elbows, shoulder, and hips, and the raised edge of the shoulder pads. This step usually takes the longest and I make sure to clean by brush between each model in the batch when I'm on this stage.
Step 4. Next a base coate of XV-88 is applied to all the areas that will eventually be painted gold or the ribbon part of any purity seals, or raised scrollwork. So in this case it's the eagle on the chest, and the insignias on the jump pack for the most part.
Step 5. For the canister on the flamer I used a base of Averland Sunset. For the shroud over the tip of the flamer I used Sycorax Bronze. The sycorax bronze takes a few coats to get a nice even coverage without plugging up the bloody holes.
Step 6. Before I start doing the "clean-up" painting I drybrush celestra grey on the base. That way if I happen to hit a boot while drybrushing it's not a big deal, I'll be going over the black again anyway.
Step 7. Next I paint the ribbon part of the purity seal or any raised scrolls with Screaming Skull. If you are doing this over the red, try and be neat, but if it's over black like below, just try and get as close to the details as you can with the paint, and don't worry about getting a little over because it's a lot easier to clean up the edges when you do the black clean-up.
Step 8. Next is painting Auric Armour Gold over the XV-88 from earlier. The base of brown makes the thin gold color go on a lot easier and look a lot nicer.
Step 9. In this step I go through and paint the eyes with a base of Khorne red and a slash toward the top of the eye with Wazdakka Red. That way I don't have to be as careful when painting the eyes because I'm about to do the black clean-up, but it still pays to be as careful as possible so you don't have to try and get too close to the eye to clean it up.
Step 10. Cleaning up the black with Abaddon Black is a fairly quick task, with the nice addition that as you clean up the black you are automatically cleaning up all the other colors at the same time so to speak. After the black is cleaned up, I do a high-light of Wazdakka red to the upper portions of the legs, weapons, knees, etc. Not real heavy but enough to reflect where the light would naturally make the armor look a tad lighter.
Step 11. Here is where I edge highlight using Eshin Grey to define the edges on the model, as well as hitting the upper portion of the shoulder pad with a light highlight.
Step 12. The easy step that can be hard. This is where I apply a wash of Nuln Oil over the entire miniature except the base. The wash should be applied heavy enough to give depth to the paint by getting into all the cracks and crevices, but should also not be so heavy it drowns out the paint. It's a fine line that is easy to cross.
I lost the pictures for the final stages, but they are pretty easy. I go back through and touch up the high spots of the Iron Breaker with Runefang Steel, and also do a tad bit of edge highlighting on the gold with the Runefang Steel as well. This gives the upper edges some shine and makes the gold look more reflective. I finish the eyes with a tiny dot of white in each back corner and a larger dot of Wazdakka Red for a "pupil" so to speak.
Lastly I paint an insignia on the shoulder pad, which I won't get into here, but save that for a discussion on how I do free hand, or try to anyway.