Welcome to the Reclusiam, Brother. Here you will learn the myriad techniques of brush-mastery which will help set you on the path of achieving pretty painted miniatures. Contents -1. Dry Blending.
2. Advanced Human Flesh.
3. Edge Highlights
4. Layered Highlights
5. Blended Highlights and Shades
6. Washes for Shading
8. True Metallic Metallics
10. Off Source Lighting
12. Standard Human Flesh
13. On Source Lighting
14. Non Metallic Metallics 1 - Blades
16. Tyranid Striated Carapace
17. Tabletop Tau Skin
18. Prepping Metal Minis
20. Pinning Models
21. TO House Chapter Rosen Knights TT Standard
22. Undead Flesh
23. NMM Blades - 2 White Metal
24. ...Citadel Colour SheetCitadel / Vallejo Comparason Sheet
Ok so I’m going to do a sort of series covering a few painting techniques and methods, mainly aimed at the competent beginner or novice painter, but some more advanced stuff too. Things like drybrushing, wetbrushing, washing and glazes, blending, highlights, extreme edge highlights. Hopefully should help out anyone wanting to try something new or just re-cap old methods.
GW= Games Workshop
VGC= Vallejo Game colour
VMC= Vallejo model colour
Reaper= Reaper master series paints
CdA= Coat d'arms paints
Mantic= Mantic Games Company
Vents= Small spines of unwanted metal on metal minis to be cut away.
Mould Lines= The small line that usually seperates a mini in half where the two pieces of the mould join.
Flash= Excess metal or resin due to imperfection in the mould or added by the casters to aid the casting process.
Tags= Tags are added to metal or resin minis to join small pieces together as one part. The small pieces should be cut off and the tag discarded.
TT= Table topKitchen Towel
= Wipe away excess paint from your brush on it. Brushes
= To paint with .. nuff said. Buy a selection, sable hair mostly. The GW ones are perfect. Drybrushes can be synthetic if desired.
NMM= Non metalic metalic
TMM= True metalic metalic
SENMM= Sky Earth non metalic metalic
Striated= Small uniform lines or groves over the surface of an object.
OSL= On source lighting
SW Grey = Space Wolf Grey
OFSL= Off source lignting
SM= Space MarinePallet
= Mix your paints with water and each other upon it.
[anchor]#dryblending[/anchor]Awesomeness: * * * * /5
Difficulty: * * * * /5
Dry blending is the easiest type of blending to do on your minis. With a bit of practise it can look really stunning on all sorts of minis. The real trick is the application of paint and having patience. Blending is subtle, its going to take a few layers of paint until you start noticing any real effects.
Ok first off lets get together your painting equipment. You don’t need anything unusual for dry blending, just what you should always be using when painting.
Here is a checklist. What you need:Brushes;
basecoat brush, standard brush, detail brush (if you are blending a small area). Don’t use synthetic brushes, the Games workshop ones are great quality and value for how they perform. I’d recommend them to any mini painter. Pallet.
A pallet can be any clean surface that you mix paint on, I use a segmented plastic pallet, you can use a tile, old plate, piece of plastic or even the pallet that Games Workshop sells. Water.
A water pot of fresh tap water to water down and dilute your paints. You should never be applying paint directly from the pot, I know it covers well, I know watering down paints seems like a lot of hassle, but watering down paints means you can achieve much better quality miniatures and the sooner you get into the habit of doing so, the better. (It is also is essential when blending.)Kitchen Roll.
A piece of kitchen roll folded into 4 is perfect for wiping away excess paint on your brush, applying a saturated brush to the miniature will make the paint run where you don’t want it, pool in the recesses and generally make you have less control over it. Foam from a Blister Pack
A couple of pieces of these are perfect for drying you brush with after you have washed it in your water. Miniature.
I recommend space marines
(because I love them) but I supooooose other armies will do as well
Ok so now you are sorted, you have your equipment, you are sitting at your desk, music going, relaxed, mini’s ready and eager to paint. Perfect. Method:
Ok first off, prime your mini. You can do this with a spray paint (go outside, spray) or with a brush on paint. I actually prefer brush on primer for 28mm minis because its smoother, you only have to tidy up spray primer afterwards with a brush anyway, and I live in the UK where it stereotypically rains a lot – not great for spray painting outside.
I use grey primer most of the time, because my style of painting involves working with midtones (not the dark shades, or the bright highlights, but the mid colour) and then applying both shades and highlights. Many people use black primer and then gradually work upwards lighter. Some people use white. It depends on your army, I do use all three depending on what I’m painting. As a general rule, if you are painting a bright figure like a White Scars Space marine, it makes no sense to prime it black then spend 3 days adding enough layers to it to get it to white. SO PRIME IT WHITE TO START WITH! If you are painting a batch of troops with a darker scheme, most minis fit this category, prime it black. If you are doing a one off showcase piece and have a weird painting style like me, prime it grey.
Ok, so have we primed the mini our chosen colour? Good.
Mine is “Grey Primer” from Coat ‘darms (the company that made Games workshops paints in the 90s).
You may have noticed I’m using a strip of plasti card rather than a model. This is so you can see what I’m doing more clearly; of course you are going to use a mini and not waste time painting plastic strips (although it is a good way to practise your blending skillz…)
Ok now take a selection of paints that you are going to blend with. Start by picking a midtone. I’m using GW Mechrite Red for this example.
Ok now pick a couple of highlight colours, in my case, blood red and blazing orange. (see the transition of colours going on here?) And also some shade colours, in my case bestial brown and scorched brown. If you cant think of a highlight colour, add a little bleached bone to your midtone, this will usually do. If you cant think of a shade, add a little scorched brown to your midtone.
Ideally however you want to pick colours like these above.
Some examples of colour choices.Blue:
Regal blue+ Scorched brown> Imperial blue > Ultramarines blue> Ultramarines blue+ Ice blue.Red:
Dark Angles Green> Knarlock Green> Snot Green>Goblin Green > Scorpion Green.
Right, got your colours. More painting, less talking, I know, I know.
I’m starting with the midtone as a basecoat, this means I’ll work upwards to the highlights, then backwards with the shades. If you undercoated black you can start with the darkest shade colour and work upwards from that, lighter. Not advise by me, but hey. You can also start with your brightest highlight if you undercoated white, and if you have a few marbles missing. Again not advised by me.
As I said before I like working with midtones, so that’s how I’m going to show you this.
Water down your midtone to your as a basecolour first on your pallet, look at the consistency of mine.
Apply about 2 or three coats of basecolour, waiting for each one to dry in between, to the area of your mini that you want to blend.
Nice eh? A boring flat colour. Now we are going to start blending it up to the highlights. The next paint in my line (scroll up an check the line
) is blood red.
So mix a bit of this blood red into your midtone which is already on your pallet (we don’t want to let this dry up on our pallet as we are going to keep using it).
Mix that in so that it becomes ever so gradually lighter. Add water so that the paint is thinned down and diluted. Look at the consistency of mine on the plasticard. About the consistency of milk (does that make sense now?).
Ok now apply this to the upper part of the mini, the area you want to blend to a lighter shade. I have photographed the paint when it is still wet so you can see where it was applied.
Drag your brush up away from the join between colours, on that picture, drag brush from left to right so that the seam is as smooth as possible. You will notice a bad difference if you push the paint the other way toward the centre of the blend.
Ok let that stage dry, and mix some more blood red (or your highlight colour) into the mix on your pallet. Keep it diluted to a thin consistency.
It should be ever so slightly lighter.
Ok now apply it in the same way as before, to a smaller area of the mini where it is going to be lighter.
Let it dry.
Add in some more blood red, and even a little blazing orange now into your mix. Add another highlight stage.
Add more blazing orange to the mix and apply to the lightest part.
Ok so now we are done with highlights, we are going to repeat this with the shade colours on the other side of the blend. Mix up some of the fresh midtone on the pallet, mix in a small amount of your shade colour (beastial brown in my case) to darken it slightly.
Let that dry then add in more brown to the mix, keep it diluted. Drag the brush away from the centre of the blend when applying paints.
Add in some scorched brown to the mix now, apply this to the darkest edge of the blend.
You can see here the stages of paint used in the blend, from 1-10 and where they were applied.
Ok on large areas which are difficult to blend (like 1 inch squares of plasticard…. ) you need to glaze at the end to bring all the colours together.
Mix some of your midtone on your pallet with water. Water it to a very thin mix.
See how thin that is? Very thin. That’s how thin.
Now apply this all over your blended area, if it ruins all your work you just spent the last 20 minutes working on … your glaze was too thick. So its better to have a glaze that has too much water in it, than not enough – you can always apply another one afterwards if it was too watery, but you cant take it off if it was too thick.
So now you should have a lovely blended area on your mini. Or if it’s your first attempt at this – a streaky sort of blended area. It takes practise to get it right, so go stretch your legs, get some fresh air and then try again. After about 10 attempts your colour blends will be as smooth as a James Bond chat-up line.
Remember, smaller areas are easier to blend, but larger areas are better to practise with. Conclusion:
This basically sums up why blending is so awesome. It’s a great skill and with a bit of practise it will become second nature, you will not even realise you are doing it.
It may be slightly more difficult that standard highlights or glazes but its well worth taking the time to become proficient at it.