Darkening + Weathering Marines
It happens all to often, especially to me, when you have a marine sitting there that you've just 'completed', but you know you dont like it, and you know you want to do something else to it to improve it.
This little guide will aid you in dirting up marines using paint and washes, not adding battledamage and the like. Basically, it will turn the mini on the left, into the mini on the right.
My example model is Veteran Sergeant Dominicus, who I've pretty much 'basically completed' just now. As you can see from the following picture, he's tabletop, but he lacks highlighting, and looks incredibly plain. This guide will show you how to cure this all too common look.
Firstly, we add a bit of highlight. Basically, to prevent inking from still looking 'showroomish', we drybrush codex grey (I use codex grey becuase my army is based in an ash/rubble terrain, my advice would be to use either a brighter colour of your armour, or the same as your base.) over the entire mini, minus the face (helmets get done too).
I recommend that before doing this you paint over any purity seal text, or any other fine details as they will get done over by the inking at a later stage.
I also add a heavier drybrush of Codex Grey around the marines lower legs, followed by a drybrush of Fortress Grey over that, and then another light drybrush of Skull White over that. This builds up the dirt on the marines leg armour to look like he's actually been running around in the terrain he's in.
We're now left with the following mini.
As you can see, he looks dirtier, and the codex grey has also brought up the edges of the armour.
Now we get onto inking. I use Games Workshop black ink for my armour, simply becuase I aim to darken up my Regal Blue armour base significantly becuase I believe it's too bright for Crimson Fists. If your playing Ultramarines, or Blood Angels, or any other brightly coloured armoured army, you may wish to use the matching Ink colour to keep that bright touch.
Basically, I mix up a 4:1 Water:Black Ink cocktail and heavily coat the mini in it, don't worry if it appears incredibly dark when you begin, as it will lose contrast as it dries. Multiple layers of inking won't hurt either.
So, after the Inking, the mini is really starting to look nasty, and has a lot more depth than the original.
Onto the last stage, and that is finishing up the fine details; script on purity seals, the eyes, and anything else that lost a little too much detail during inking. You'll find that if you go over the purity seal 'seal' parts, they tend to ruboff (or they do to me for some reason anyway), so you'll have to touchup the red on them again.
Your mini is pretty much done now; you can go back and highlight the armour if you'd like, but I prefer not to, mainly becuase it takes time (my armies just tabletop), and to me my marines look fine as is. Now all thats left to do is base him.