Welcome to Librarium Online!
Ok, so I'm brand new to the tabletop scene, and I am all about the dwarves. I've already ordered the first pieces to my first army, and after a lot of looking around and deliberation, I've settled on a color scheme that I want to use for it.
Well, after seeing this picture, I'm settled on it; this is how I want my army to look.
ImageShack? - Gallery
But it's not so easy, I need y'all's help. As I said, this is my very first time attempting anything like this, and even though I've been looking at every forum I come across and feel like I'm understanding the mechanics of it all much better, I'm not 100% sure that I can reproduce this effect.
I'd really appreciate it if y'all could take a look at my analysis of color choices and technique and put your 2 cents in wherever you think they fit. What I'm trying to figure out for certain is how to produce the armor look. There are plenty of weapon and skin tutorials to help me on the way with the rest. The sexiness of my army is depending on you!
note: the colors I'm referencing are chosen from the GW main website.
First of all is the armor plates:
As you can see, the armor plates have a dark, maybe chaos black undercoat. What I think is happening after that is a dry-brushed coat of Chainmail, followed by a dry-brushed coat of Mithril Silver towards the middle of the plates (where they shine more). After that, I think I would follow up with a watered down Badab Black wash at maybe a 1:1 ratio, focusing extra layers of wash towards the edges of the plates where the shadows gather. After that, I would do a wash ove the entire plate of watered down Ice Blue (also 1:1). Maybe 2 or 3 coats of Ice Blue. After that maybe just a tiny bit of Mithril Silver on the parts of the plates that would reflect light.
The next part is the edging. It has this really great golden look that is almost a red, and the depth of the look between the darker and lighter parts of this detailing looks simply awesome.
I'm really not certain about how this is done, but here's my best attempt:
I think I would do a watered down wash of Tin Bitz (1:1, aren't my methods diverse?), followed by a dry-brushing of dwarf bronze, followed by a good amount of Shining Gold dry-brushing.
And finally, I was thinking that maybe varnishing the whole thing would complete the look, but I'm not sure, so please give me your opinions.
Anyway, this is my curret gameplan, but as I said, I have no experience whatsoever, so I may be way off. Please give me any insight or suggestions you may have, and thanks in advance for your help, as well as for even reading this lengthy post!
Edit: for the bases I wanted a uniform style using sand painted Scorched Brown, and with snow. Sound good? Bad?
Last edited by TheSaxon; April 9th, 2009 at 05:30.
Your basic approach is sound, but if you follow that exact formula you'll just have a speckly bright blue dwarf.
This is the formula I used for the metal on the mini below:
Base Coat Boltgun Metal, Wash Badab Black , re-highlight boltgun, extremely light painted highlight (but could be dry brushed) mithril silver, glaze gw enchanted blue in Vallejo glaze medium.
Now, a glaze is more like 1:10 or 1:15 paint in glaze medium. 1:1 is paint in water is close to what a lot of people paint with normally! She only has two coats of that on her and you can see she's already approaching the look you're after in places, a few more coats and you'd have it. If you painted it at 1:1, you'd just have a blue mini
I don't think you want to drybrush chainmail over black, that's the sort of technique (imo) that makes the model 'look' speed painted. It hardly takes more time to do a solid base coat of boltgun and then wash it black.
As another alternative, the blue on this model was done in exactly *ONE STEP* I used a clear primer, and then painted about a 1:5 mix of GW Midnight Blue to 20% future floor wax in water onto him. I think you could get the look you want with a lighter mix. Of course that doesn't work so well on plastic minis, but you could still do it over a base of like 3:1 boltgun:chaos black
You can get the edging to look like that with way less work. Paint it bronze, higlight with mithril silver with a bit of bronze in it. Wash it with Gryphonne Sepia @ full strength. Done.
That method seen here:
If you want to step it up a notch you can base coat tin bitz, then hightlight bronze, then highlight silver, before washing. But remember you're gonna be doing like 80 of these!
As another note, you can't really make a wash out of a metallic paint as you've suggested, the surface tension doesn't work right with the stuff they add to make it metallic, it just swirls around and covers unevenly.
I'd try not to rely too much on 'dry brushing.' GW Staff push it cause they're trained to teach 12 year old kids who don't have fully developed eye hand coordination to paint Dry Brushing is great for stuff like fur, scenery, scales, highly textured irregular surfaces. Broad, smooth, gently curving plates of armor, not so much. Don't be intimidated by painting on your highlights. It's easy on armor and the washes will cover early slip ups anyway.
Last edited by InquisitorAffe; April 9th, 2009 at 07:01.
wow, thanks for the awesome response! like I said, I don't know anything about this stuff yet, and that includes the paint/water ratio for glazes lol. That feedback is going to go a long way to making my army look great! I know the look I'm going for will probably be time-consuming, but I'm not so worried about that. In my case, I'm more interested in having a really stellar looking army, even if it takes way longer to paint.
one quick question, when you say to highlight, what exactly do you mean? Is it a brushing technique, mixing technique, etc.?
Also, I'm not positive what varnish does, from what I understand it goes on at the end to make give the figure a glossy look? Do you think this would add to the effect I'm going for or just make it look too shiny?
I'll probably post again when I get home to comment on your pics; unfortunately, on my work computer, I can't view these images for some reason.
thanks again for the reply!
The *purpose* of varnish is to protect the model from chipping and wear. It can have the side effect of being glossy or not, depending on the type and brand you buy. Most people prefer as matte a finish as possible and achieve a look of shine through the way the mini is painted. The problem is a full regiment of models with a high gloss varnish on them, especially if there's a lot of metallic underneath, will tend to 'wash out' when seen at table height in bright light, all you can see is shine, not the color you took the time to paint them! You can get brush-on gloss varnish from GW to do spot treatment on specific areas you want to be extra shiny.
Highlighting simply means to paint-on the lighter colors of paint around the edges/raised areas/spots that would catch more light. The most basic form, which works great for metal armor, is to simply paint lighter shades around the edges of plates. As you get more advanced you learn to apply it in ways that actually mimic how a natural object catches light. (I've been painting for a pretty long time and am still not particularly good at that) There are no end of tutorials on the internet regarding the subject. Brush Thralls and Cool Mini Or Not are great resources for step-by-step material on the methods.
Varnish is to protect the mini's paint from chipping and it can also add gloss/matte. Usually you don't want gloss cause they'll look "wet" and shiny, so get a matte varnish (I recommend Krylon Crystal Clear spray for speed and good look). Of course sometimes you may want the gloss, on things like swords, crystals etc. so you can brush it on those places. If you're gonna play a lot it may also make sense to first apply glossy varnish and THEN apply matte over it, because the glossy one provides a thicker coat and more protection from chipping.
As to highlighting, it's a method of applying brighter and brighter colours towards the higher and narrower edges of things. There are tons of threads on this (and other) forums so maybe just do a search and you should find tons.
Just a tip, before you go to paint ur dwarves, maybe pick one and paint him fully to see how ur scheme will turn out and also to kinda get a feel for painting. A good idea would be to get a bunch of used/old/crappy miniatures to practice on before you start touching ur main guys, cause you'll improve your skills greatly over time and then may think that you could've done a better job later on. Usually when you start you don't know a lot of things, and you pick up techniques with time and also get a feel for painting. I know that's how it was with me.
Don't go too hard on drybrushing, for chainmail and rusty stuff yeah, it's useful, but for straight metal you're better off carefully painting the edges in a normal way. Also, don't do washes with metallic paints, watered down to a wash they're wird. Use inks/washes/paint for washing.
One more thing, make sure you use good brushes, don't go for some cheap packs at a crafts store, they'll just make ur work harder and lay useless once you find the power of true brushes.
 Damn, Affe must've been typing at the same time as me So hard to beat others with advice these days...I guess that's a good thing
Last edited by M'ichal; April 9th, 2009 at 18:49.
thanks for the great info guys, I feel like I have enough information to give it a try lol. Thanks for the advice on doing a couple practice ones. Maybe I'll try a miner or 2 to try and get the hang of it.
you guys rock!
Thanks to the help I got from these responses I've begun painting my army and I already have a couple figures done that I thought I'd share. They are exactly what I was envisioning, and do a pretty damn good job of pulling off the look I was hoping for. Please post with any critiques or comments!
ImageShack? - Gallery
thats some pretty sweet and real neat looking painting there for someone who claims to have just started
I first opened the cannon, and my first thought was "oh, damn!". that is a really clean paint job man, be proud. Althought they COULD use more highlighting. Add that and you're set.
thanks guys! I have to admit, it took me 2 tries before I got one to look like this, and even then my paint time is about 2 hours each, because I tend to be a bit too meticulous, but I'm getting the hang of it.
about the cannon, I know exactly what you mean, I had no idea what I wanted to do with it lol. But, after having done about 10 figures I felt confident I wouldn't ruin it. As you say though, Highlighting is still the weakest part of my process.
anyway, thanks for the feedback!