Painting, A general overview


So I am not going to do a step-by-step painting run down here. Maybe on some model some day. What I will though is go through my process and tools.

So I paint on the spur. Why? Well it’s easier to hold onto for one thing. I tend drop small bits and this means fewer small bits being lost and it’s just plain a lot less work. 

But what about cutting the parts out, doesn’t that wreak the paint job? 

Yes and no. Yes it can chip or cut away some paint. No in that most models have a joining spur from the frame to the part which is very small. Using clippers you can cut out the part with little damage to the paint. If you do damage the paint, no big deal, just touch it up, it normally is a very small gouge in the paint finish.

That said when I do sculpt onto a bit, I cut those out and do them free of the spur. Why, because the spur often gets in the way of the tools.

What tools and paints do I use? 

Any paint works, although I am partial the Vallejo paints. They have a great color selection and the paint will not break if you water it down.

Army painter is also a good choice. I love their shade wash set. Like all paints it’s expensive but you get a good selection of colors and they will last you a long time.

Great for washes, love using them

Hobby / craft paints work too, although they are not as fine a grain of paint, they are good for large areas and big scenery and table top terrain.

I have been using dip of late as well. Again Vallejo sells a large bottle that will last a long time. I use the black dip as a shade wash on metal parts of a model. It gives a dark, gritty look that works great on large machines like knights and tanks. Used over grey it works wonders.

Great for an all around shader and wash

What else as far as paints? Last year I backed a Kickstarter for an expensive set of model paints by Scalecolor Artist. Well over $200 bucks. Came with loads of shades and hues, drying retarder and thickener. I have yet to use them as they are better for wet-on-wet painting, which I do not do. I think I might break them out for when I start working of the extra deamon kits I have bought for this project.

Scalecolor Artist paint set

Brushes. I am hard on them so I avoid the expensive ones. Cheap paint brush sets can be bought for under twenty bucks and offers me plenty of brushes for a project. I prefer white nylon brushes over natural hair.

Other tools…

A thin tipped black ink pen is great for drawing on top of your paint. Use it for outlining edges like on checker board patterns or for dotting eyes.

So the process for me is fairly straight forward.

1. Cut out the parts to be sculpted or altered.

2. Prime all parts. GW offers a good selection of colored primers, although I more often than not using black. Why black? It saves me time outlining edges if the part is already black. Black though will muddy your colors so if you want a bright color, you may have to paint that section, or part, white first.

3. I now start laying in the base colors. For the knights that means the metal under carriage which includes the weapons, legs, and main carriage parts. I used a medium grey hobby paint on these as there is so much to cover and the paint is less expensive. I am very rough with this paint layer, letting edges of black show through, gaps and what not. I want the grey not to cover everything fully, but just most of the part to be painted. This will add to the metal look.

4. I next apply a coat of black dip over the grey, using a thick brush. I just slosh it on. It goes on dark but will break on the edges and settle into the gaps and hollows. It often leaves a gritty look to the part, adding once more to the metal look.

5. While that drys I paint the base color of the rest of the model’s part. For instance on the Khorne Knight this was a medium red on the armored bits. The bones on the caprice get a white coat of paint. 

6. Next I apply a wash on the other bits that I have just painted. For the Khorne Knight this is a wash of red shade from the Army Painter set. Now everything has to dry up, which is all overnight.

7. Off and running the next day I take my metal bits and do a hard dry brush using medium to light grey. Chainmail Grey works. Not a metallic grey though, but a dull, flat color. This heavy dry brush on the metal bits ties in the greys and the dip shade. On top of this I hit the parts with a very light dry brush of silver or some kind of metallic color. If I want the metals to be rusty, I instead hit the parts with a light brown-red coat.

8. Other parts, after the wash has dried, a lighter dry brushing of the base color, followed by successively lighter hues as I work in one direction. For the Khorne Knight I worked lighter as I moved towards the center of the part, red to light red to orange at the very center.

9. Now that I have the parts’ main colors laid down I work on what I call black lining. I go over bits, parts and extensions with a watered down black, hitting just the edge of that part where it joins another part or color. This creates a fake shadow between the two areas and makes the parts jump out. It’s a tedious process, but well worth the time. Once this is done I either move on to a new part to be colored or added details to parts fully colored.

10. Rivets, bolts, wires and the like are now painted in. A base color if it’s a large bit is paint followed by a same, but darker hue wash and then a dry brush with a light hue.

11. Any details are now added on, patterns and details I want to add. Patterns are finished often with a thin tipped black ink pen to bring out the edges to shape effect.

12. Often as a final step I either do a very light, I mean very light dry brush of white or a very light grey. This hits all the raised edges and makes everything pop. You have to be careful here not to over do it or have too much paint on the brush. I mean very light. I do this instead of edging everything with a light hue color as I find that process to be tedious and I just do not like its effect. A white or light grey dry brush does the same thing and I think it brings the model together better by letting the under cost of paint speak for itself.

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