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Lea tries to learn to paint minis

Stephen Lea Sheppard

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These look so much better washed and matted.

Once again I want to rave about the efficacy of my 1:1 Army Painter Dark Tone / Army Painter Quickshade Mixing Medium mix as both a dark wash and a matting agent. This time I was much more careful about applying it; even so I got some pooling and tide marks I'll have to conceal with weathering later, mostly because of the absurd winter low humidity I'm dealing with here. After ostensibly "finishing" the actual wash process I spent about a half-hour just going over them finding glossy spots where the wash hadn't settled and applying more of it at a thin filter/glaze consistency just to matte those spots down. I think I've got almost all of them. It's a bit of a moot point, since the penultimate pre-oils step later will be Dullcote, but I hate seeing those glossy spots on my other models.
 

Stephen Lea Sheppard

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Taking advantage of the Inceptors not having to stand on their bases to do some base work I couldn't get away with for footsloggers.

(I swore I'd never put a skull on one of my Space Marine bases, but that corner was just calling out for it....)

(Also there's masking fluid on the portions of the flying stem not covered by tape.)
 

Stephen Lea Sheppard

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Help me out here -- do I want to paint the skull separate, or is it best to leave it as understated as it is? If it's been there long enough to have been reduced to a totally fleshless bleached skull, then it's covered in the same crud and crushed cement dust as the decaying concrete around it, right? And I'm really happy with the desaturated minimalist palette I've achieved on these bases, because I think they look good if you examine them, but if you're not looking at them they look like nothing and just vanish into the background, leaving the focus on the mini. Which was my goal. On the other hand, as a visual accent point it does sort of call for something.

Process:

The bases themselves are built out of 3mm cork sheeting, 1.5mm cork sheeting, 0.3mm plasticard for the outer sections of the walls, a random assortment of plastic pipes, I-beams, and L-beams I bought as a variety pack from Greenstuffworld, Vallejo Black Lava/Asphalt paste, 1:48/1:50 scale baked clay bricks from the Secret Weapon website, and then to conceal the corkiness of the cork surface I hit it with superglue (citadel thin; I find the brush applicator useful even if the bottle is overpriced) and sprinkle baking soda on it -- the baking soda accelerates the glue drying and turns into something like very small scale grit; much better than sand.

The basic workup is an all-over prime using Vallejo German Panzer Grey primer, then a zenithal highlight of Vallejo Ghost Grey primer and a very light second zenithal highlight of Vallejo White primer. Once that's dry I wash them with Vallejo Model Wash Dark Grey, then drybrush them with Vallejo Model Color Pale Sand. Then they're washed all over with Army Painter Soft Tone, then the dirt around the edges are washed with Strong Tone, the recesses are washed with Dark Tone, deep recesses that don't seem to be getting dark enough are washed with Vallejo Model Wash Black, and then random patches are washed with Army Painter Military Shader; all the washes are applied quickly enough that the Soft Tone is still wet when I'm applying the Military Shader, so they all run together and blend naturally.

Then I do the rim with Scalecolor Flat Black, I re-paint the metallic areas with the same Flat Black, then base them with Scalecolor Black Metal, broad highlight them with Thrash Metal, spot highlight them Scalecolor Citrine Alchemy, and then wash their bases and the areas of the base in contact with them with very dilute Secret Weapon Orange Rust, then wash them again all over with undiluted Secret Weapon Sewer Water.
 

Ithaeur

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The bases look great! I think the skull looks just fine as it is, but I also imagine it wouldn't be too distracting from the mini if you touched it up a little. :)
 

Stephen Lea Sheppard

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...can I even post thirteen images in one post? (EDIT: Yes.)

Anyway.

I did a light white drybrush on the skull at the recommendation of a dude on the SomthingAwful forum whose painting I like, and it came out sort of wrong, like it was being lit with different lighting than the rest of the base. So I then went over it thinly with a roughly 1:1:1 mix of Army Painter Light Tone / Strong Tone / water... and I really like the result! It dulls down the visible pale sand drybrush that dominated it before.
 

Stephen Lea Sheppard

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One thing that's not apparent except in context...






...is that rather than using my super dark blue-grey as the midtone between the black and the Mecha Color Grey Z, I used Vallejo Model Color German C. Black Brown, so it's a subtly warm black instead of a subtly cool one. This should make his black armor very slightly distinct from the black armor of the rest of the army, and also ought to go better with all the warm off-whites I'm inevitably going to paint all his skulls. I count, uh... five? Helmet face, shoulder bird, ass bird, and the two hanging from his belt? Not counting the ones that'll be in metal, which woul be the left knee, the ones on sides of the gun, the one hanging from the front of the gun, and the crozius.

(The Imperium definitely doesn't further the will of Khorne with its endless wars, no sir.)

Honestly I may end up going over him again and broadening the highlights tomorrow; he doesn't look as bright as my other models, and given how much the all-over wash inevitably darkens them up, I may need to... ugh. To quote Kenny Boucher (sigh), I may have to bring him to eleven before bringing him back to ten.

New quick release with the built-in pressure valve works great, incidentally.
 

Mecha-Shiva

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I really like the effect you got on the Inceptors. I want to see if I can adapt your method to doing a very dark green, almost black Dark Angels army. Are these the steps you took for them?

1) primer black
2) basecoat black
3) airbrush midtone for highlighting
4) airbrush light tone highlights
5) satin varnish
6) edge highlighting and other colors
7) gloss coat
8) decals
9) wash with 1:1 mix of AP dark tone and AP quickshade mixing medium.
10) final matte coat
 

Stephen Lea Sheppard

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I really like the effect you got on the Inceptors. I want to see if I can adapt your method to doing a very dark green, almost black Dark Angels army. Are these the steps you took for them?

1) primer black
2) basecoat black
3) airbrush midtone for highlighting
4) airbrush light tone highlights
5) satin varnish
6) edge highlighting and other colors
7) gloss coat
8) decals
9) wash with 1:1 mix of AP dark tone and AP quickshade mixing medium.
10) final matte coat
Kind of. You need step 6a) do another layer of gloss coat over the decals after you've applied them and before you apply the wash, and also your step 6, "edge highlighting and other colors" is only for colors that are going to get the same wash as the main body. You'll need a step 9a for the eye lenses, pouches, purity seals, or any other areas of color that will need a separate wash -- Dark Angels tend to have cream-colored chest aquilas, so you'd probably leave them blank, then paint and wash and highlight them in between the dark tone wash and the matte coat. Finally, you'll want to apply your final, highest metallic point highlights after the "final" matte coat.

For Dark Angels I'd use a much fiddlier order because I'd use a green wash on the armor and I wouldn't want it getting on the metallics.
 
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