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    Blue, Sweaty, and Angry

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    j-smuv
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    Join date : 2009-11-18
    Posts : 166

    The Waste Character
    Name: Ordesso Badatu
    Race: Minotaur
    Class: Fighter

    Blue, Sweaty, and Angry

    Post by j-smuv on 2010-04-10, 12:55

    Starting Out Overwhelmed

    I started planning the paint scheme for my 40k Emperor’s Children this past week. This nice weather has really kick started my desire to paint. And that got me thinking about why I don’t paint more than I do. I enjoy the finished product, and although painting can be tedious, it’s loads of fun too.

    I think the reason I don’t paint more is because I get frustrated easily, and then I get overwhelmed by the idea of painting an entire war-game army. Maybe you’re like me (I hope not, but let’s assume you are.) I thought I would share the pitfalls I’ve experienced with you, and some solutions I’ve found work for me.

    I always start by thinking about base coats, then primer, then highlights. I conclude the paint planning with the painting of a prototype or two to let me get a feel for how the army will eventually look. This is probably my favorite step in the whole process. It sees the completeness of a model through from start to finish. And although I have a vague idea of how I would like the series models to eventually look, the road leading to the completion of that idea is as deceptive as a single silk in a spider-web: harmless, fragile, and translucent.


    Harmless Details:

    “The devil is in the details. . .” This is the most counter-intuitive part of the process. This is a game that focuses on minutia. You’re painting something 28mm tall, with a brush that is 10 hairs-widths. It’s easy to get caught up in details that simply DON’T MATTER.

    When straddling the line between highlight and obsession, I always try to keep in mind that people are going to be at least 2’ away from my models when they’re on the table. That speck of paint, which is so glaringly obvious at 2” away, will most likely go unnoticed by my opponent and may not be worth touching up. The pistol or grenade on the belt of that infantryman will probably hide comfortably under the shadow of his gun. And his eyes are better off left alone as a dark wash over the face will shade enough to get the point across at 2’.

    All of these examples are especially true with basic troops. Basic troops are part of a large unit, and any slight imperfections will be lost to the collective colors of the unit as they march down the field. Additionally, I consider the amount of troops I will be fielding. A horde of troops will be less likely to be scrutinized than an elite selection of troops.


    The Fragile Process:

    “Don’t change horses mid-stream. . .” Changing any step of the process after it’s underway is a dangerous habit. All the changing should be done in the planning phase which should include a prototype or two. After that, put your blinders on, and get to painting. Once you make a single allowance for your budding whimsy, it will take root, cracking the foundation of your vision and your confidence. You will start to second guess all your choices, and be stuck in a state worse than when you began because now you have to strip the paint off all of the models you’ve already painted.

    Now, don’t get me wrong, if there’s a glaring oversight you should be flexible enough to change. But with proper planning, you should be able to tell you if something’s not going to work. This isn’t engineering, it’s frickin’ model painting! Get over yourself, and get to work!

    Here are some things that I like to think of in the planning phase to avoid any 11th hour interventions:

    l Primer color: sets the tone for the paints on top. You change this, you change the brightness of the surface colors. This makes units stick out like sore thumbs.

    l Weapon load-out and general assembly: if your sergeant is never gonna use a power-weapon, or your commander can’t wield a flame thrower, you should not assemble him/her that way. You’re creating more work for yourself, and invariably this will be the most gorgeously painted model in your army and you’ll never get to use it.

    l Metalics: Which metallics will go with your color scheme? Will they be polished, weathered, or rusted? Figure it out before you start.

    l Colors: the colors you use are not as important as how many colors you use. If you throw too many colors on each individual model it will take a lot more time than necessary to complete each model and have the opposite of the intended effect. He/she will look like a circus clown, not a bad-ass. Especially avoid bright color details. It’s ok for maybe one small detail per model (if you really want it to pop), but after that, it looks stupid. ß Fact not opinion.


    The Translucent Theme:

    “It really tied the room together. . .” The best themes are built out of consistancy and operate so seemlessly with the army, that they are barely noticed for what they are. To acheive this, you need to plan, plan, plan. . .

    Before starting a model:
    Figure out how many steps you want each type of model in your army to take. Plan out these steps before-hand. If you want to save yourself some time: for the sake of practicality/sanity, troops should have fewer steps than HQs.

    When starting a model:
    Don’t over-prime. . . Prime your models at around 8-12” away. Each company’s primer has a slightly different range and atomization of the paint. Initially you can find out the exact distance of a company’s primer by practicing on pieces of sprue. This is a VERY important step as primer is made to stick to models and is very hard to completely remove without damaging the model or exposing yourself to copious amounts of carcinogens. If you are too close, the primer will run/clump if you are too far away, the primer will leave little dots on the model because paint dried before it hit the surface.

    When painting the model:

    Keep a paint journal. . . Record paints and ratios of paints used for each step of the process. You may think you'll remember the formula forever, but 2 years later when it's time to do touch ups, you'll be left scratching your head trying to get the colors to match just right.

    Don’t over base-coat. . . Use a paint that is diluted with water (and maybe a slow-dry) to about the consistency of 2% milk. Push the paint over the surface of the model, and guide it with the brush. No bristle bashing! Layer these coats until you get a color slightly lighter or brighter than you plan your final model to be.

    Start from the inside and work your way out. . . This way, if your brush accidently colors anything in the surrounding areas, it’s no big deal because that’s the area you’re painting next. This keeps you from having to go back too much to touch up areas and cover mistakes.

    Use washes. . . some people put on washes with a spray gun, some like to gingerly “place” the wash in the crevices of the model. Find out which methods work for you and get to it! Washes are the quickest and easiest way to add depth to a model.

    Use highlights. . . I like to highlight after I wash, but I’ve seen it done both ways. This adds depth in the opposite direction of washes, and is easy to over-do. Be conservative with your highlights and your models will really pop!


    When Finishing A Model:
    Dullcote. . . Use a matte finish on your models. It will protect them from damage, and keep them looking organic. A gloss coat will offer more protection, but your army will look “plastic” or “toy-like.” Testors Dullcote is the best true matte finish out there. Beware! some craft store matte finishes are really “satin” finishes these are truly the worst of both worlds, as they don’t offer the protection of gloss coats and make your models look “sweaty.”


    On the Other Side

    Remember: don’t get overwhelmed.

    Details can be tricky: coupled with the other seemly innocuous elements, each detail can wrap you up and prevent your forward progress.
    Make a plan and stick to it: there are some things not worth painting in a miniature war-gaming army there are other details that are essential to your theme. With careful planning, you can figure out which of these are essential and which are timesinks. This planning will prevent many model painting headaches.

    I hope this will help you on your journey forward. Keep modeling, and I’ll post pictures of my Emperor’s Children and my other projects as they progress.

      Current date/time is 2017-06-28, 21:59