Sunday, 4 July 2010

playing with hard plastic .....again

As already mentioned a matt black undercoat was used (citadel), I'm of the opinion that the undercoat should probably be a satin not matt finish as that would have provided a smoother paint surface and reduce the chalky/grainy type of surface you see in the pics. I think back in the day when I used enamels (which I'm not so sure should be written off entirely) I used a satin finish undercoat, this needs a little more investigation on upcoming painting tests. Base coat for the armour including the apron thingy and belt was tin blitz (citadel) followed up with a top coat of mithril silver, that's it finito! The brass fittings and the apron had a mid coat of brazen brass (citadel) and highlighted with shining gold (citadel). Oh yeah before I forget the metal potion of the pilum was painted using the same colours etc. as the plate armour.

The groovy skirt (ok tunic) was pretty simple, a base coat of blood red (citadel) applied with a heavy dry brush technique (damp brush?), this allowed a good deal of black to show through so I figured the mid tone could be blood red again reinforcing the colour but this time I deliberately avoided going into the deep folds of the cloth. highlighting was done with blood angel red (citadel) I picked out the high points of the cloth with downward strokes (like what the good painters do) instead of dry brushing across the folds which I would probably have done if this was a 15mm miniature. To finish off and help blend in the highlights and mid tones I gave his lil frock, sorry tunic, a light going over with red wash (citadel), most people prefer the highlights to jump out a bit (hands in the air , me too), but I thought it might be interesting to give it a try, can you pick the before and after wash pics? The picture above is definitely post wash, and it looks like the pre wash pics are in the first bit (known as part one to edumicated people), I'm liking the blending effect the wash gives, that's a keeper.

With the flesh I was sort of flying blind and trying something different base coat is a 1:1 mix of elf fleshtone and pale flesh (vallejo) and pretty much blocked in solidly, over this I used a brown wash which I mixed up using an artist watercolour (unknown origin). I didn't feel inclined to use the citadel wash I have as it is heavy with red pigment and usually leaves me wishing I left the lid on it, this colour just washed a straight brown and the pigments used didn't over power the basecoat or separate, the wash was dribbled around the brass belt also darkening the tunic where it disappears under the armour and over the sandals.  Once that had been left overnight (I don't trust washes) I grabbed the pale flesh again and with a very soft old brush dry brushed over the flesh. Now when I say dry brush I mean just that the paint was just a soft powder (just like your old nan uses on her cheeks) I ran that damn brush over a piece of paper and removed all the moisture until there was just a very faintly damp powder left and dusted that on as my flesh highlight. I'm not quite sure how I feel about it exactly, it works in a fashion and I'm thinking about giving it another try.

That's it for now I'll leave the rest for the next post where I'll wrap it up. It's a pity I don't have half a dozen more of these, it would be good to continue refining this try out. I'll go search the lead mine maybe I have bought something similar on a whim way back in the day... a "once upon a time" project that never saw the light of day. As if wargamers have any of those!


  1. I've had problems with grainy basecoats too - normally blamed on weather conditions (too hot/humid), coupled with spraying too far from the model. I wouldn't give up on matt for satin though. Try spraying a little closer, but being careful not to spray so much it obscures the details with too much paint. The Roman looks great - nice pose and good color choices. Dean

  2. The heat and humidity can be a real problem here in Queensland too, painting will go off the agenda for a while in summer I think. The basecoat is brushed on this fellow (will try spraying) and was thinking Im not thinning the paint out enough? (actually just read that on the vallejo blog) Didn't realise Acrylics needed so much thinning. Or, Im picking up paper fibre as I unload the brush of excess paint before applying, perhaps a sponge would be better. Thanks for the support and the tip Dean.

  3. What I did on some pretty grainy spray coated figures was take an old toothbrush and gently smooth it off. It actually worked; but of course, it was a fix to a bad symptom. Far better to get it right the first time. Best wishes on your future projects. Regards, Dean

  4. I'm in Sydney and experience the undercoat problem sometimes as well. I think he looks pretty good though - now about 1000 more needed!

  5. *sound of chair toppling over backwards, gurgling noises*

    Thank's Furt (where's frank?), You know I could just about be converted if it wasn't for the one part missing from the figure (hint, starts with sh... and ends with ield), I have it the part in question, a bit too daunting for the moment! (whatever a daunt is?)


Good, bad or otherwise I love to hear what you think..... mostly