Colour Shifting, Dry brushing Metallics, Jerry rigging, Heavy Pigments and SPEEEEEED Painting...
Few bits to cover in this blog, so lets take them 1 by 1.
Manual Colour Shift Paint Scheme
I found a really interesting tutorial by Dr Faust's painting clinic on youtube, that described a method for creating interesting colour shift paint schemes using colour theory. It essentially states that with each layer of highlight, you move one step on the colour wheel, thereby moving through colours, and creating a mystical effect.
I was curious, and looking for a break from speed painting stormcast, so using a model from the Critical Role set I got last year, I elected to give it a try. I started with a red base for the cloak/jacket, and then went through Orange, Yellow and up to green on the highlights. For the top elements, the sort of shoulder coverings, I then went backwards through the colour wheel.
I was blown away by how the cloak looked after a couple of hours, and this is without much smoothing and glazing too. I largely rush painted the rest of the model, before returning to my speed painting project (more on that shortly), but as a proof of concept, and as a way to test myself, this was a really valuable side project, and I am looking forward to using this technique again in future!
Quick tip - Drybrushing Metallics
As part of my speed painting process, i elected to do all the metallics of my Stormcast Sequitors, Castigators and ballistas using drybrushing, and my oft overlooked model colour metallic paints. Since I had base coated black, using Montana Metallic Black spray paint, I theorised that I could get a good worn metal look this way, and that it would be a quicker technique than brushing on my Vallejo Metal Colours like normal.
I have generally ignored my model colour metallics since getting the Metal colours, as in terms of coverage, constistency and saturation, they fall short on every measure. They are just too thick, and the metallic elements are too large, meaning that if you thin them, you get a glittery sort of effect, which whilst fine is some scenarios, is not the look i wanted for my army. However, the thickness of the Model Colour metallics does make it an interesting range to dry brush with, and the graininess of it can look quite effective over black, if you are happy with a worn finish. Then with the application of some Army Painter Dark Tone over Vallejo Model Colour Gunmetal, and Vallejo Skin Wash ink over the Model Colour copper, we can get to a look that approximates my early prototypes. Here is an example of the look of my individual units, when painted with the Metal Colour range.
The Speed painted versions, using drybrushing look like this:
You can see that there is a drop in quality, but I think its close enough to be a worthy concession in a speed painting process. Its part of the speed painting process that you have to understand and accept the comprimises between end product and painting time, and I am happy enough with this standard in return for being able to paint 3-4 models in the time I would normally paint 0-1 models.
Cheap Alternatives - Plasticard and Jalepeno Jar Lids
As someone who rarely can afford to buy new plastic kits, I have become a fairly adept ebay user, buying often part painted and badly constructed models from those whose grey pile of shame has overwhelmed them. The trade off is that I don't often get to paint in subassemblies, create interesting bases, and often have to try and fill gaps that you could park a boat in. Sometimes however, it gets even more challenging. In a recent set, I recevived a ballista with no base, and a Sequitor with a snapped off weapon. Now, it just so happens that the same day I received my ebay order, I also finished a jar of Jalepenos, and as I was rinising the jar out, I was looking at the lid...it looked about the same size as the other ballista bases I had...and a quick comparison showed that it was in fact very close indeed. Superglue, bam, makeshift base sorted! Now what to do with the missing Sequitor weapon. I have kitbashed Sequitor weapons before, I know they are supposed to wield hammers, but meh rule of cool, here are two vampire hunter Sequitors I played around with using cocktail sticks...
So I figured, whats the easiest thing to do? search through my bits, and try to find another hammer, or... Plasticard. It can be glued with plastic cement, its easy to cut and paint, and a sword would be quite easy to make right? It actually was pretty easy...its a little simplistic, isn't really in style with the other swords in the Stormcast, but I am actually ok with it.
Once within a unit, you quickly stop noticing such things...
Hobbying on a budget, it can be fun!
Vallejo Heavy Pigment Paints
As part of one of the ebay sets I ordered, there were some fairly well painted models, that already had the right armour colour for me army, but with a red cloaked theme.
Obviously in a speed painting project, any time saving is welcomed, so I decided I would attempt to just paint over the cloaks/helms. Now up to this point, I had been using a Vallejo Violet Ink to get the rich purple on my scheme, but for this, I wanted to get the same colour in a game colour paint. Whilst searching for this, I came across the Vallejo 'Heavy Violet' paint, which decribed itself as being a heavily pigmented version of the usual paint, and this seemed like it would be ideal, allowing me to thin the coats down without losing coverage. With two thin coats of this paint, I was able to sufficiently cover the red, and I was impressed by its coverage and vibrancy.
Time saved, new paint variety discovered, win win.
Speed Painting - Conclusion
So I now have everything painted except for Character models and a set of cheap liberators I picked up on ebay that are due any day now, so what did I learn? Buying a coloured spray paint, that helped provide the base coat for the army was definitely a big help, even if it was darker than i originally wanted. It provided a primed and tinted canvas that made the next steps much easier. The drybrushing of the metallics for the entire army in one go, was also a great help, as it was something I could do in downtime, quickly and without having to worry to much about accuracy etc, as the next steps would clean up any mistakes made. This then meant I effectively just had to paint the cloaks and very basic highlights to get to a tabletop ready level. In this regard, the heavy pigment Violet was very helpful, as one coat gave great coverage, and the second coat made the saturation very vibrant, meaning a quick wet blend on layer highlight with a Sunny Skint Tone mix was enough to give the units a nice look with little effort. My basing was a bit lazy, but because I wanted uniformity across sculpted and unsculpted bases, I based coated them with Tau Sept Ochre, and added a few grass tufts to break up the bases a little. All models were then given a matt varnish to help protect them, and to remove any unwanted shine. I will be looking to take some pictures of the army soon, perhaps once I have a character or two done, but these I am taking my time with, but this will be covered in a future post. Overall, I stuck to my plan, accepted where I was making comprimises, and lowered my expectations in order to have the army completed as quickly as possible. The standard of painting is...ok...certainly decent enough when viewed at unit level, and the most important thing is that I now have around 2000 points painted in a short time, ready for my to actually try playing Age Of Sigmar. Lets hope I like it after all this!