Thursday, September 8, 2011

Painting my Retribution of Scyrah miniatures.

I have spent quite a bit of time scouring the net and talking to people who have painted white, one of the trio of terrible colours in the Trimurti of Trauma that is red, yellow and white. Testing times truly!

Due to the lack of opaqueness these colours have, you can spend a lot longer trying to make them look handsome than you would if you used something with better coverage, such as black or blue.

opaque |ōˈpāk|
adjective ( opaquer, opaquest)
not able to be seen through; not transparent : the windows were opaque with steam.

I have spoken to Meg, who is a PP studio painter and she was very helpful. She told me that to make up for the lack of opaqueness that white paint has, manufacturers will put in more white pigment into the paint, to rectify that problem. Which is fine, until you start thinning the paint, which you should do to get thin layers and a smooth finish.

More pigment means that thinning the paint with water, reducing the carrying medium, will just leave more particles, and less medium/gel around them. So it looks grainy and bleurgh. Boo!

Using a medium to thin the paint will reduce the thickness of the paint, but also still give the particles something to sit in once the paint has dried, thereby reducing the isolated pigment particles from sticking out like grains of sand.

I also spoke to Spiky James, who painted the White Scars Marines that appear in the Codex: Space Marines book. They look pretty swish if you have not seen them. His technique is to not actually paint the white at all, but to use the undercoat as the white itself. So use a can of white spray paint, apply it twice, and voila! that is your white done. Then you paint the rest of the mini as normal. Any mistakes onto the white get covered with a very light grey, such as GW's Fortress grey, and then with Skull white. To counter the graininess of the sprayed white, which is noticeable compared to sprayed black, Spiky James says to then varnish the white areas, which fills in the gaps around those white pigment particles.
Clever, eh?

This technique I will be using on the Halberdiers unit.

Finally I spoke to Colonel Festus, whose smooth looking RoS can be seen on the PP forum. He uses an airbrush to get his smooth, smooth white finish. So I will be aping his technique for the Myrmidons and Dawnguard units, who are mostly white armour.
Spray the unit a black spray can. This provides a basecoat and a shadow. Then airbrush GW's Fortress grey. Finally, airbrush with Skull white, but from 'above' the mini, so that it hits the top of the mini, but leaves the underside with Fortress grey. This shades the mini for you.

These are the techniques I will be using and will be posting pictures once the units are finished painting.

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