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Just finished my first batch of SoB units and thought I'd put them up for some criticism
Heavy Flamer (not completely finished):
Sister with Bolter (bit blurry)
Thoughts are appreciated
The squad looks pretty good. Just a few things I could see (its a bit hard to see some of the detail clearly)
The highlighting on the red cloth looks a bit severe, like you've done one dark colour, then a very light colour on the edges. You could try another colour in between these two. Should give it more definition, make the highlight look smoother and bring out the cloth colour a bit more.
Your metallics seem good, but the white in places looks a bit patchy. Maybe go over the white and neaten up the edges as well?
Don't take it the wrong way! They look good and will look great when the bases are done. I reckon a lighter coloured base would help the darker models to stand out as well.
But I call to God, and the LORD saves me.
Asking for criticism is great, but it might help to have some idea where you're looking to end up! After all if you want advice to have a nicely painted but complete army you'll probably receive quite different advice than if you're looking to snaffle a golden daemon for a complete squad in the future.
That said I've got a couple of things that you may wish to consider.
1. Better photos! At the moment it's quite hard to see a lot of your models clearly in the photographs which means any advice will be less precise and might not suit your painting as well. Minus_t has a really good tutorial for how to produce decent photographs so I'd suggest you take a quick look at it when you can.
2. Metallics are often relatively easy to improve. It looked as though your models had a flat coat of a metal - probably boltgun (although it was so dark it could easily have been chainmail). It's been painted neatly and therefore looks good, but I think you might be able to manage a bit more if you have a go. You might find that following a simple metal recipe could improve the look of your models easily without too much trouble. I'd recommend the following as an easy method.
a) Basecoat boltgun metal and leave to dry completely.
b) Apply a brown ink wash. This should have some water mixed with the ink, in about a 50-50 ratio. Leave to dry (this will take a bit longer). Since the paint is so watery it's easy for you to get too much on the brush so once you've 'loaded' your paint brush touch the side of the brush against a tissue to remove the excess.
c) Apply a black ink wash. As above: water it down, make sure it's dry before doing anything else and don't flood the paintbrush as you'll get 'tide-marks' on the model (odd stains where the pigment has dried around the edge of a water spot).
d) re-highlight the edges and areas you want cleaner with boltgun. Leave to dry.
e) Small highlights with chainmail on very edges.
This should result in an attractive but relatively quick and simple metal. You can add a nice touch to the flamer and melta-guns by doing the following: apply chestnut ink to the end of the barrel, when this is dry apply brown ink over the end of the barrel (but leave half of the chestnut ink showing), finally once this is dry apply black ink over the very end (but again leave half the brown ink showing. You won't have to dilute the ink for this and it will look as though the gun has been stained by the intense heat it creates... which is kind of cool.
3. Water your paint down a little bit - it looked like there was some very stark lines on some of the robes, and thinner paint might improve this look a little bit. Once you get the hang of it paint consistency becomes one of the most important parts of painting. Use a palette to control the mix of water and paint you use. Either get a 'proper' palette or just use the plastic part of a blister pack to start with - it's amazing what a difference it can make!
4. You seem to have picked on the idea of extreme highlighting. This is a great way to get a good looking army painted quickly, and really works on the table-top where subtle highlighting can easily be overlooked. However I'd recommend you use three colours rather than just two. For example, a blue 'extreme highlighted' might have regal blue as it's dark base, with a band highlight of enchanted blue and a final, very thin highlight of ice blue to really make the model pop. If you can't find a colour to go in the middle of your highlight and base then just mix the two together and try that!
This is just a few ideas on how you might look to improve. That isn't to say you've not made a fine start - because you have, and your models look a darn slight better than mine even after a few years of trying to paint (I was a slow learner) - but everyone has some way they can improve and you seem keen to do just that. Every time you paint a squad try and think what you could do better. Paint a little slower and thin your paints a bit to improve brush control and see what can happen.
I really look forward to seeing some more of your sisters, and hopefully a full army of them before too long!
Thanks for the help
The robes are actuallythree colours (GW lich purple/chaos black, GW lich purple, Gw lich purple/skull white) though its nearly impossible to tell.
I loathe painting skin, for the heavy flamer I have its mearly dwarf flesh, any quick tips to make it look a bit more natural?
Once I finish my Inquisitorial squad I'll post some pictures of them with better lighting, etc.
Ah, you've already discovered the joy of the tri-colour technique! I've got a quick point to make about your mixing of colours and will then address how to paint skin in a decent (ish) way.
Obviously when mixing paint it's important to look at paint consistency, just as when using a normal colour so do try and water your paint down. Since you've already begun to experiment with mixing paint you might like to consider getting a glaze medium to help with controlling consistency. I use glaze medium and matte medium a great deal and would heartily recommend both products to any painter who wanted to get a bit more control over where their paint ends up.
When mixing paint there are a number of factors to be considered: consistency, colour, tone (by this I mean cool/warm - not sure if this is really the correct terminology) and intensity. I'll examine what I mean by this with reference to Liche Purple - one of my favourite colours.
When I want to shade Liche Purple I don't just add black, I also add some dark blue (i.e. midnight blue). This keeps the colour a little bit more 'alive' and stops it looking too drab. By doing this I preserve the intensity of the colour. This alone doesn't do a lot, but when I mix in something to control the warmth of the colour when highlighting it gets rather more promising. Rather than add skull white to liche purple add bleached bone. It's a softer, warmer colour and stops you turning your highlights into slightly pastel shades. This also helps maintain the life of your base colour, liche purple. Combining both of these together and you'll get a much nicer effect.
My advice re: paint mixing is summarised below in case that got too confusing!
Highlighting: Add bleached bone when you'd normally add white. It stops the colour turning into a pastel shade. Also try to add a colour that will keep it 'alive' in a similar way - i.e. add orange to bright red, or yellow to bright orange.
Shading: Mix in another colour with your black to avoid turning the colour into too drab a shade. As a general option darken your paint with a mix of black and a bit of turquoise (far more black than turquoise obviously) since this makes your shades 'cool' colours and stops the drabness of flat black.
My simple recipe for painting skin:
1. Tallarn flesh. Remember to water this down - it will need a bit more water than normal as foundation paint is that bit thicker.
2. Wash of Dark Flesh - lots of water as we want this to be thin and settle mostly in the recesses.
3. Highlight Dwarf flesh.
4. Highlight Dwarf flesh + bleached bone - adding more bleached bone for the successive highlights. How many times you highlight (covering less area each time, obviously) is up to you and depends on how much time you want to spend and how important the mini is.
5. If necessary I'll shade the flesh a bit more with a highly thinned dark flesh painted specifically into the recesses, just to give the model some more contrast if I think it needs it.
If I can find some pictures, or get a chance to pop out and take a couple then I'll add a picture or two to try and show you what I'm talking about more clearly. After all, isn't a picture worth a thousand words?
EDIT: Photographs Added
This is an example of the flesh I have described with a slightly clumsy effort at object source lighting on the eyes. I'm sorry the photograph isn't better but the light is terrible over here! Hopefully you can still get some idea of the sort of thing I'm describing in my text though and can see whether you want this or another flesh style.
This is a rather old photograph (maybe 3 years?) when I first got some tips about intensity and warmth with regard to colour mixes. I'm afraid the painting quality isn't as good but it might give you some idea of what sort of effect can be attempted by mixing paints differently. I'm afraid I don't have time to find anything a bit more recent today but if you want me to I'll see what I can manage over the weekend.
Last edited by Murderous Monkey; January 17th, 2008 at 12:47. Reason: Adding photographs