Friday, January 11, 2013

Painting OSL Weapons Effects in 5 Easy Steps

Adding an Object Source Lighting (OSL) glow on your armies weapons is an extremely effective way to make your minis stand out on the table. While it seems complicated at first, it's actually not that hard and can be quickly mastered in 5 easy steps.

Much like my tutorial from last week on Painting Fluid Filled Vials, this articles goal is to show you how to do quick and simple OSL effects on your weapons in 5 easy steps. Like the previous article; this is not Golden Deamon quality, but rather High-Quality Table Top and very effective.

Before I get into the steps, let it be known that I prefer an airbrush for this technique. However, if you do not have one, you can use a drybrush for steps 2&3.

If you are using an airbrush go for a dual-action for greater control over the spray width. outlines the differences well.

The Process 

Step 1: Block out the illuminated area with a base color.
(In this case Vallejo Violet Red)

Step 2: Airbrush or drybrush a blast over the illuminated area with the base color lightened up a notch.
(In this case Vallejo Violet Red mixed with a dab of white)

Step 3: Airbrush a second blast of the previous color lightened up 1 more.
(Vallejo Violet Red mixed with more white)

Step 4: Hand paint a strip of the color used in step 3, lightened up even further.
(Vallejo Violet Red mixed with more white, or GW Tentacle Pink)

Step 5: Hand paint a thinner strip of color that is almost white for the final "hottest" part of the light effect.
(80% White with a dab of the base color to offset it a little)

Here are the results on a few figures.

Here's the same technique done in turquoise.

Now go make something glow!


  1. This is a fantastic tutorial. Thanks for contributing with such quality articles to the community! :)

  2. Excellent tutorial as usual, I've been experimenting with this technique a lot lately myself. I'm going to give your tut a try on a Necromancer I have planned. For myself, a lot of what I've done is WFB Chaos, so some of my colors get a little out there. Lately I've been using Vallejo Fluo for the lightest highlights on my OSL stuff which seems to be working well so far, I can't wait to try it using your technique.

  3. Very good effect. Thanks for the tutorial.

  4. Thanks guys! Glad the tut helps out :)

  5. Quick and to the point. Great job on your Scourges.