Monday 27 February 2012

Seeing Red

Dark Eldar Diorama – The second Scourge part 5

It's been another busy week with less opportunity to paint than I'd hoped but the weekend saw some quality painting time. I've concentrated on working up the mid tones and highlights for the hair this time and although things need some refinement I'm happy with what I've achieved.

Red is often a tricky colour to get right and can easily go too pink or orange during the highlighting process. Personally I prefer to work the highlights up and then go back in with some red washes and glazes to enrich the red tones. The main challenges with the scourge's hair are keeping it a relatively dark shade of red and making sure the colour stays near the cooler magenta/purple end of the red spectrum.

Using a wash of Asurmen Blue mixed with Baal Red to shade really helped with this. The highlights are built up from Mechrite Red through a Mechrite Red/Dwarf Flesh mix finishing off with a Dwarf Flesh/Skull White mix. Some additional highlights/reflections of a Mechrite Red/Ice Blue mix help to liven up the colour with some contrast. The highlights are then toned back down with some glazes of a Baal Red/Red Gore mix.

Colour Palette
All the colours used are from Games Workshop.

Base colour:
Mechrite Red

Asurmen Blue + Baal Red

Mid tones:
Mechrite Red
Mechrite Red + Dwarf Flesh

Dwarf Flesh + Skull White mix
Mechrite Red + Ice Blue

Baal Red + Red Gore

Tuesday 21 February 2012

Dark Eldar Diorama – The second Scourge part 4

I'm going to try and take more work in progress pics this time around. As well as recording the minis progress I find photography is a really useful way of seeing it with fresh eyes and spotting problem areas. A photographic blow up shows all sorts of things the naked eye can miss. Its important not to get too obsessive about making the mini look perfect when enlarged but studying a photo can help you to refine the minis finish.

I always like to get the face painted as soon as possible it establishes the tone and character of the mini. If you don't get the face right the rest of the mini can't compensate, no matter how well it's painted.

I've tried to get a bit more life into the lenses of the mask this time around - hopefully giving a feel for some depth and reflection. I decided to pick out the 'beak' area of the mask in gold, it just seemed to suggest itself and it plays to the bird like qualities of the Scourge while helping to give the armour a richer more ornate feel.

I started on the hair at the same time as the mask. So far I'm just building up some deep shade areas using a mix of Asurmen Blue and Baal Red washes. The blue helps to give a more interesting shade colour than just adding black. 

Its early days yet and what you can see is still a work in progress but I'm feeling good about what I've done so far and that makes for a good start!

Saturday 18 February 2012

Dark Eldar Diorama – The second Scourge part 3

The Base Coat
Well finally! In my mind I saw this stage being completed by the end of the Christmas holidays but at least the base coat is now done and I can get on with the more interesting stuff. More interesting yes, but not more important!
The base coat sets out the foundation for all later work so it is worth taking the time and care to do a good job of it. For me that means building up several thin coats rather than trying to get good coverage in one go. Building up several thin layers means that you can achieve dense colour with the minimum thickness of paint possible. It helps to prevent the fine detail filling in and the build up of unwanted texture/brush marks. I've used Games Workshop's Foundation paints for this but I have diluted them down to something like the consistency of skimmed milk. With the base coat I'm aiming for flat even coverage with each area cleanly and clearly defined.
The base coat also serves to block out the main colour areas on the model and gives the first (rough) feel for how the overall colour scheme will look. It's worth pointing out that while the pale flesh and red hair/cloth areas are fairly obvious the brown painted areas will be given the same NMM finish as the first Scourge and so the final finish there will be more blue/grey than brown.

For me there is another very important function for the base coating process. It provides an opportunity to become really familiar with the mini before committing to the more involved stages of painting. It's during the application of the base coat that I get a feel for those tricky hard to reach areas and I can consider in what order to paint the different parts of the mini. A bit of planning at this stage can help to avoid a world of pain later on. 
With my previous Dark Eldar I approached things a little differently. I painted some elements before fixing them to the main body of the mini to help with access and handling. As this mini is heavily converted that would have involved a lot of sculpting and filling over the paint. I decided that it would be the lesser of two evils to paint the mini as a whole. Time will tell if that was a wise move - there are a few very tricky areas! 

Tuesday 7 February 2012

Ice magic - making icicles

I mentioned some time ago that I had an icicle production line on the go. 
I'd experimented with melting and stretching clear plastic rods to make my icicles but had little success with this method. I've seen others can achieve great results but personally I found it too fussy and very hard to control. So I tried my hand at another technique. 

I cut lots of fine triangular slithers from on old blister pack with a pair of scissors and attached them to a plastic rod for ease of handling. I then used water effects to bulk them up and round them out. The trick here is to work  with the icicles upside down so the the water effects pools at the base - where you want the thickest part to be. Just as with the slime and drips technique it takes a fair few coats to build up sufficiently but I'm very pleased with the result. I can trim them to the desired length and fix to the base as and when I need them.