Thursday, 25 June 2020

Copper Necron Lord

I'd already started this colour scheme before Games Workshop decided to copy it and use copper Necrons for their 40K revamp :P. This was a second-hand "Finecast" resin model from when GW decided to raise the prices and reduce the quality by using resin, and true to the Failcast reputation, the casting quality was horrible and took 2 hours to clean up as well as having missing pieces and irrepairable lumpy bits.

The blade and bone took ages to get smooth enough blends, but the copper was mercifully easy using a good basecoat colour and translucent bright coppers. Recipe as follows:


1. Basecoat Screaming Bell
A very rich orangey copper, pretty much covers in one coat.
2. Black line all joins
Optional but useful for a model with many joins, tidy up with SB afterwards.
3. Wash Nuln Oil
Current Nuln Oil is weaker than the previous one so this doesn't dull it down too much.
4. Recoat Screaming Bell
Over most of the armour, leaving the recesses shaded. 
5. Layered highlight Hashut Copper
On the raised areas - a brightish translucent copper that doesn't need blending.
6. Layered highlight Sycorax Bronze
Ditto, but closer to the edges.
7. Blended glaze of Rhinox Hide into recesses
This brings back some colour and matt contrast into the reccess, much easier than trying to blend the metallics.
8. Edge highlight Mithril Silver
To get that nice crisp shiny edge.
9. Wash Agrax Earthshade 
To bring back some colour and tone down the brightness a bit.

Sunday, 24 May 2020

Eldar Ranger

Another one donated by an online gaming friend. This time the colour scheme is all mine, but the cloak colour was actually inspired by watching a Starcraft 2 stream in bed one night (as I do most nights to wind down) and seeing some map designs with purple fading to electric blue, so I thought I'd give it a try! Again a bit of distracting varnish shine in the photos but I need it to stop my sweaty paws rubbing off painted areas.

Wednesday, 13 May 2020

Orc Shaman

Donated to the TEAMShambler painting cause by Kinn aka Slenge from his extensive suggestion of 'hams. He suggested the split colour scheme for the robe, and he was right! Subdued court jester style. The photos don't quite do it justice due to varnish and light reflections, but here you go...

Saturday, 9 May 2020

Painting Tips And Tricks.

A few personal ones from the last few decades.... There's a shit load of information on the internet from "two thin coats" to "juicing" to "zenithal undercoat spraying" etc etc. These are ones that I've worked out myself to be useful. Particular favourites marked with an asterisk.

General tactics:

1. Put a layer of soft foam on your painting tray / desk. So when you drop the model you don't fuck it. *

2. Leave the top of the head / weapon tips for last as you're more likely to hold them / rub paint off. *

3. If you're prone to rubbing paint off protruding sections (I am), then paint over them as you finish them with matt varnish. It makes touching up mistakes a bit harder....but still easier than touching up lots of worn areas. *

4. After doing a matt spray varnish, recoat the metals etc with gloss, or at least, satin varnish.

5. Get a pipette to thin down extra thick paints in their pots, easier than dabbing lots of water in.

6. Paint bases first if they're going to involve lots of dry-brushing / stuff next to the model's feet. Feet are less likely to mess up than the base and the base will need less fastidious touching up.

7. When you're starting to paint, take care early on to get the desired level of painting quality, so you've got a standard that's suitable to stick to. I.e. avoid spending 5 hours on Golden Demon-winning undergarments and then realising you don't want to extrapolate that to a 60 hour model to make everything match that quality.

8. For larger / more complex models, avoid getting daunted by the size / timescale by simply applying paint each session you tackle it - don't think about the whole model or even the whole area you're doing, just focus on each paint coat and you can get over "the hump".


9. A thin wash (thinned black or a wash paint) can be pretty useful on the bare metal / plastic / resin to check mould lines and flaws to clean.

10. After the main cleaning a soft brass brush is great for final cleaning / scrubbing to get a smoother surface - on tin-based models only, not lead-based!! *

11. Sub-assemblies - lots of people like separating models into sub-assemblies, but my general motto: if it's really hard to get a brush too, it's probably really hard to see, so glue it together and just make sure there's some darkness inside there. But sub-assemblies can also be useful to avoid spreading paint on the rest of the model, sometimes base-coating / shading subs are enough.

12. If you do have sub-assemblies, put a wee blob of blu-tac over the areas that will be glued together - easier to glue and saves cleaning paint off them later. *

13. A useful "mixed" undercoat is a black spray undercoat followed immediately by a faint white spray undercoat, or even a fine white drybrush once dry. This gives a neutral surface, a bit of texture, but dark shadows.


14. It can be worth blocking out all / most of the base colours in thinned down base colour first - it gives you an idea of how a colour scheme is going to work, and can sometimes reduce the amount of overspill with later final base coats. *

15. Keep all mundane areas (pouches, straps, buckles, wraps, handles, etc) in simple colours with simple painting. They'll look more natural, won't detract from intended colours, and as "supporting" areas they don't need fancy painting, just some definition.

16. Sometimes, especially for batch painting, it's useful to choose a colour scheme around the paint colours with best coverage. Within reason of course - no pink orcs - but it can definitely speed things up.

17. Maybe shade with muted colours or black added to the mix. Shadows are relatively desaturated in reality so it can look pretty natural.

18. Maybe stick to similar hues of the mid-tone / base colour for highlighting - again it can be more natural and usually makes smooth transitions easier. *

19. Contrast....look at your WIP model with black and white vision. Then you'll see if it has enough contrast overall.

20. If you have a bunch of old inks, and of course at least Nuln Oil and Agrax Earthshade, don't buy coloured washes for small areas, a tiny bit of the ink mixed into a new Wash will work well.


21. Just like Quake textures, don't think of the surface as "what am I going to paint on top of this", instead think of it as "what is this actual substance", and that will encourage painting that suits the surface (which obviously can be dyed fabric or painted armour or daemonic skin and thus open to lots of creativity in that case.

22. Make the model angle and the brush work with you - hold and angle the model so you can flow along the suitable painting lines, use the edge of the brush on edges if needed. *

23. Most modern tutorial waffle on about really thinning paint down. Yes this can be useful but equally in the right circumstances (edges etc), straight out of the pot can be fine.

24. To get strong highlights in the right place, paint an area of solid highlight colour within the area you're going to highlight, then blend / translucent layer towards that to get the usual smooth transition. This also is a good tactic for blocking out and planning highlights (and maybe touching up with the previous colour before the blending stage).

25. Metals can work great with Washes (almost cheating, they're so easy), keeping the shadows matt as the metal wouldn't reflect light there, and some small bright highlights on edges and points that would reflect the light. Thinned paints dabbed on can provide a nicely dusty matt rust effect too.

Grot Tank!

Bring in the big guns.... I've always liked this cute and characterful little tank. Recently muk0r on #terrafusion has been posting pics of plastic tank and train kits he's made and painted with nice weathering, so I got inspired to join in and weather the shit out of this one. The basic painting is cruder than normal but it still took me 3 times longer than a normal figure due to the complexity. I think it works okay with the weathering and theme of the model overall, though.

Thursday, 30 April 2020


4 Pot challenge - black, white, silver, purple:
(I hadn't actually intended to do another 4 pot challenge but a friend of mine asked for purple and I found this Daemonette and I'm pretty chuffed with it as the painting worked exactly how it should)

Also... SQUIG:
Gotta love a good squigo and this fella is a classic. Painting is a bit rough from drybrushing but fuck highlighting all those scales individually - life, even in the misery of lockdown, is too short.

Monday, 20 April 2020

4 Pot Painting Challenge.

Four pots of paint only: black, white, silver, and one coloured paint. I originally started 2005 maybe?? With one figure, and a pot of red paint:

Challenging but satisfying especially getting so many different tones from the same hue.

15 years later I've completed the planned quadtrych: