The Base CoatWell 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!