Friday 12 March 2021

Project P30 - Part 9. Metallics, molars and monster skin.

I’ve made a good start at establishing the flesh tones on my Demon Engine but, before I get too far into the project, I want to turn my attention to the metalics. The contrast between flesh and metal is a big part of what this model is all about. So I want to establish that contrast at an early stage. I’d decided quite some time ago that true metalics were the way to go on this project. The difference between the shiny true metalics and the flesh would add to the overall material contrasts on my model. The large size of the model lends itself to the use of true metalics as there will be plenty of space to play with the effect. 
I prefer to paint my metalics over a dark base so I blocked out the eyepiece with Black Leather from Scale colour. I find that using a brown hue for my base colour helps to give the metalics a dirty and corroded look. My plan was to paint the main box as dull steel and the lens mounts and other parts in copper and bronze hues. To get things off to a start I painted a layer of GW’s Leadbelcher. 

As I painted the flesh tones I’d begun to wonder if true metalics were the correct way to go but this was nothing compared to my reaction to the colour I’d just applied. I loathed how the metallic paint looked on my model! Normally I’d stick to my guns and persevere, to resolve any issues, but this time I decided to switch to painting non-metallic metals (NMM). There was no deeply thought out reason for the change, I was simply following my instincts.

I decided to paint all the NMM colours using the palette I’d already devised for the flesh tones. I think my negative reaction to the metallic paint was, in part, because it looked very artificial and separate to the rest of the model. By using the same overall palette for the flesh and metal they will sit together more comfortably on the model. 


I was still going to use a dark brown base colour and would, for the most part, paint my metalics from dark to light. This approach, along with the use of sharp highlighting and strong tonal contrasts, will create the material contrast between the soft flesh and hard metal. In short, although using the same colours, I’m using different techniques to represent different materials.

I don’t want to get too bogged down while painting one small area at this early stage. However, my painting needed to be slower and more detailed than anything I’d done on the flesh so far. I needed my work for the eyepiece to be crisp and precise to emphasize that material difference. It took me a couple of days to resolve things but I am very happy with the result and I’m now sure that NMM is the correct approach for this project. Of course this means that I’ll now have to repaint the belly cannon at some point!

Once the eye was painted I turned my attention to the teeth as the next step in completing the face. I usually paint teeth with a warm ivory hue but I felt this would be to clean looking. For the highlight colour I would use Flayed One Flesh as usual but I decided upon a dark base colour of Black Leather, which also serves as my global shadow colour. In the mid tones I’ve used a variety of blue, yellow, green and brown hues all mixed with Rakarth Flesh. This creates a subtle greenish/grey hue to the teeth and creates a slightly rotten look that feels appropriate.

It was especially fiddly to get my brush into all the areas where I needed paint on the teeth. Without a doubt this model, due to its size and shape, is tricky to paint; and it’s going to involve some awkward brush angles! The solution requires patience as I’m spending a lot of my time making repeated passes to gradually refine my, initially crude, painting. I’d already painted and varnished the tongue as a sub-assembly so once the teeth were done I could glue it into place. The mouth is now fully painted although there will be a layer of drool effects added at a later date.

It’s easy to lose track of the overall balance within the paint scheme on a model of this size, especially when concentrating on one small area at a time. So this was a good time to step back and take stock. I decided to extend my painting to the upper belly/torso areas so that I could get a better feel for my overall scheme. Where necessary I’ve adjusted the colours and tones I’d painted with a combination of stippling and glazing. 



I’ve also begun to tidy up and smooth out some of my earlier painting. The intention is to refine and adjust my painting but not to smooth everything evenly over the entire model. There is a lot of sculpted texture on my tank but I want to add painted textures too. This will add interest and variety to the surfaces and enhance the material contrasts. Rather than adding painted textures as a separate stage I am trying to incorporate them as the scheme develops. 


This project continues to challenge me both physically and mentally but that’s the entire point of it after all!