Harlequin Detachment Development Pt. III: The Stencils and Starweavers Experience

Hey guys, Cavalier checking in, commission painter for Frontline Gaming and co-host of Splintermind: The Dark Eldar Podcast back again with a return to my Harlequin Detachment Development series. In this installment I’ll be discussing how my experiment with stenciling a diamond pattern on the all important Starweaver went.

The Starweaver is definitely a pivotal unit in the detachment I’m developing. I’ll be featuring at least 2 in the early goings and adding a 3rd when I hit that 1,000 pt level.

Even after developing a quick technique for painting the diamonds by hand, I wanted to see if I could paint them even faster using a stencil. I used the Jester Diamond airbrush stencil from Fall Out Hobbies for the task.

So I airbrushed the vehicle Khorne Red, masked off the nose taking it from it Chaos Black, to Dryad Bark to Khorne Red and then dove right in and applied the airbrush.

After that I applied the stencil and airbrushed Ulthuan Grey diamonds on to the nose. I had been warned in advance that the stenciling process is not very clean with the Fallout stencils, so I was hardly shocked when I peeled off the stencil and saw the somewhat rough shape of the diamonds.

Despite the messy appearance of the diamonds I was fairly happy with just how much work I managed to accomplish with just a few puffs of the airbrush. The next step is just diving in with Abaddon Black and Ulthuan grey and straightening out those diamonds.

This was a fairly easy process and I was happy with how quick it went. I’ve repeated this many times in my articles, but Ulthuan Grey is an amazing paint. It goes over the black so easily and really expedites the process. Again Ulthuan Grey is the same color as Corax White primer so having with an easy to work with alternative over Scar White or Ceramite is a dream come true.

All that being said, it was time to extend the diamond pattern out a bit and help it flow visually over the rest of the model. I did this with by both extending the pattern out from the original stencil pattern, but also throwing a few diamonds out in isolation further back from the nose.

It was at this point that I realized the hand painted diamonds were much sharper and better defined then the airbrushed diamonds. The airbrush pattern is just softer and less precise, something that is less than desirable for me as I want this to be a real showcase army. The stencils have to keep the “punched out” diamonds further apart to avoid having the stencil tear when taking it off its adhesive sheet. While in the end the airbrushed diamonds look really solid, it just doesn’t have the sharpness I want. I realized after painting up my Troupes, it may have been easier to paint them by hand the first time as in the future I will most likely go back and do a fairly intensive series of touch-ups

Neverthless I pushed forward and brought the model to completion with the diamonds as is, just to see how noticeable it’d seem to me in the end. I applied the exact same approach as that presented in my Drukhari Venom: In Depth Painting Tutorial article from awhile back to complete the vehicle.

Overall I’m fairly satisfied with the vehicle at this stage of completion. I will doubtless go back and fine tune the diamond pattern (and paint the crew!) as I often do on all my models at some point down the road. Its certainly tabletop worthy and will stand proud amongst the other units in my army, but in the end… this is a Harlequin army and you gotta push it to the max!

I’ll wait to circle round back to this at the end however as I experiment with hand painting the diamonds on my second Starweaver and my Skyweaver jetbikes which are inbound in the mail this week! Next up in this series will definitely be featuring those highly coveted haywire toting Harlequin jetbikes which I’m thrilled to add to the collection and get on to the tabletop, so stay tuned for that!

So I hope you found this article informative, if you have any questions or tips of your own please share down below, I’d love to know your thoughts!

Also if you are interested in exclusive Dark Eldar and all things Aeldari coverage check out our podcast Splintermind the Dark Eldar Podcast which just released our 50th episode.


And remember, Frontline Gaming sells gaming products at a discount, every day in their webcart!




About Cavalier

Commission Painter for Frontline Gaming + Co-Host of the Splintermind: The Dark Eldar Podcast
0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
3 years ago

The results from just the stencil seem kind of mediocre, but once you tidied them up and added the extras sort of fading the pattern along with the black to red blend, it really came together.

There are a couple of stencil sets I’ve been thinking of checking out and using a friend’s airbrush to try, but they’re more organic patterns (primarily scales for my Alpha Legion), so a bit of poor definition from the stencil sealing unevenly isn’t as big of a deal.

3 years ago

As someone who is in the process of planning out a Harlequin army, this series has been an invaluable source of advice and inspiration. Looking forward to the next installment!

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x