Painting True Metal

Quick step by step painting true metallic metal, or TMM. Painting metallic parts with metallic paint, that is.

I use glazing techniques when I paint and the advantage when painting true metals using that technique is that you don’t have to use the metal paint much more than for a basecoat, “touch-ups” and extreme highlighting at the end.  That reduces the risk of metalflakes going anywhere on the mini but on the metal areas.  

I start basecoat with Vallejo Air – Silver.

I guess you can chose what shading color you like for this, I really suggest something more fun than just using plain black! using a diversity of colors can give some really interesting effects. I usually start with a red/dark red like “Red Gore” red. I really like the old Citadel range as they give a little shine to the metal, but you can also try using a little ink in the paint.

For these Greatswords im working on at the moment I do however go directly from my favorite color, the old GW Midnight Blue color.

Try to find highlights and shading spots that make sense, glazing all around! 

Sorry for the not awesome pictures, true metal is hard to photograph well and I’m a crap photographer to begin with. Also, no Photoshop atm – no leveling... :/ 

Second shading color, Vallejo Smoke glaze. Making the armor more green-ish. With a little more contrast it could be it, if you painting some geeky elf or something. I however want it to look a bit rougher. 

Some Burgundy wine, reaper color, basically just hit and win color shade here lol, taking away the worst of the green shade, and get some nice color variation. 

some more shading in the darkest parts using a mix of Midnight Blue and black, together with a little black ink to make it even darker.

Cleaning up with diluted basecoat color, Vallejo air Silver. Highlights using Vallejo metal medium on the edges and some “dots” on the metal plate.

Also, not seen well in this picture, I used some Vallejo Dark red in the recesses, to give it a more rusty worn look.

Below, one of the finished Greatswords, using that particular color scheme. 

Enjoy True Metal!


  1. Great work SkelettetS, I must have a more indepth play with TMM. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Lovely. I noticed that you shade the same areas with TMM that others use with NMM to great effect! I use the same kind of deal on my golds with lots of greens and purples in the shadows. You are right, TMM is a pain to take pictures of though o_O

  3. Great tutorial. Your greatswords will be awesome.

  4. Nice tutorial. Can´t wait to try the technique out myself!

  5. Been messing with TMM lately, and I was going to PM you for advice, but looks like this tutorial has everything I need!!

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  7. So let me get this straight - you basecoat in the lightest color, then shade it down? No highlights beyond the final points?