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First, a little background about me. This isn't necessary to read and you can just scroll past it to get to the pictures, but at least the title will make more sense if you read it .
I am a perfectionist. Everything I do, I want to be the "best" at, as it were. I began playing Warhammer 40k exactly one month ago, today. Being such a perfectionist, and fiercely competitive as well, I immediately found LO and began reading just about every thread on the site that had to do with IG. Then, I found the painting and modelling forums. I was hooked. I knew that I wanted to be good at this, even more than I wanted to win in the actual wargame.
I started painting that day. I had had no previous training or experience in any sort of painting, modelling or otherwise. Upon starting my first squishy little Cadian with a codex gray basecoat, I promised that in one month I would post here with something to be proud of, and document my..."evolution", if you can call it that. I think I have achieved that goal, more or less, although I am disappointed that I did not finish the chaos knight in time to make my deadline. Nevertheless, I thought you LOers might be interested in the growth that someone who has never painted anything in his life can accomplish without training if he sits on his butt and reads this forum every day
P.S. I have no idea how to photograph models, and I got this done later than I would have hoped (damn work and getting home at 5!). Hopefully you can still see them alright despite the large shadows. Will post better photos if needed on Saturday.
Without further ado:
The absolute very first model I ever painted. I didn't understand exactly what highlighting was, and I did it in the completely wrong areas. I kept him that way, though, to show my progress honestly.
The commander from the second squad I painted. The eyes are horribly large and there is no black dot in the middle (demon commander! yikes!) and the metalics are still dull and unhighlighted, but I think it is slightly better. This was done 3 days after having finished the previous model.
My first larger-than-a-cadian model, the sentinel. The camo scheme is...rough, to say the least, but I am actually relatively happy with how it turned out. Again, the metallic areas are very flat and sloppily highlighted, but I tried. This was 8 days after the first model.
My first tank! The awesome Chimera. I wanted this to be realistic, so I opted out of a camo scheme. I mean, think about it... a huge, multiple ton vehicle shooting volleys of laser fire and flames and transporting ten guys across the battlefield...and you want to put camo on it? Like that's gonna do anything?
So, I tried to paint it nice and clean. This isn't really done yet as I want to do a little bit of rust and some drybrushed mud but i am afraid of marring the nice (well, for me) even finish. Plus, when I did it I didn't know how to weather vehicles, so in the interest of preserving my true progress I left it like you see here. 15 days after first model.
In my opinion, the first piece that approaches quality. Painted 22 days after my first model, it is nothing spectacular, but everything is at least even, and this is the first model which I watered down my paints to paint. Yes, it took me three weeks to figure that one out, even though i read everything in the painting forum 6 times over. It is also my first attempt at conversion work, and more importantly, green stuff.
The first metal model I ever attempted to paint. Not gonna lie, I had some trouble with this one. It still isn't quite done because I got rather frustrated with the black highlighting. I bought it and converted it to wield a power fist not because that is good in game terms, but because it is cool. First major conversion I attempted. I am sad I could only get one even decent picture of this one, will try again on Saturday when i can use natural sun. Begun 26 days after first model, stopped 27 days after first model.
And last but not least, the piece de resistance, the chaos knight I've been working on for the last 3 days. I transfered to fantasy to get some variety and because the chaos knight models are...awesome. I knew I wanted to try and get him done but I just couldn't make it, mainly because I couldn't find anyone with a bretonnian archer head so i could green stuff my knight holding a severed head by its hair in that enclosed fist. I tried to put everything I had learned over the course of the last month into this model. I hope it looks pretty good, and remember, it isn't quite finished yet. I am a little ticked that the pics I got were of sub-par quality. Again, will post more on Saturday.
So there you have it. Whaddaya think? How can I improve?
First off, for a month of painting:
a) wow that's incredible.
b) you painted a lot of models in a month. ToP eat your heart out...
c) you're improvement is noticeable.
Things I could see you improving on. Thin your paints, and thin your paint strokes. I'm not sure what kind of a brush you are using, but some of your edging and highlights are very thick and blotchy. I will, for the moment, attribute that to the brush.
I'd also say, use more in-between colors. This is mostly seen on the knight. The sword could use some blending for those reds, it doesn't seem fluid enough.
When doing camo dots, it generally looks good to highlight them, same as you would with the pants (note that in your pictures I can't actually tell if you pants are highlighted or not). Also, for colors other than black, use a black outline for the dot. Make it nice and thin.
So basically, thin everything!
You're doing great, have a rep.
Black Templar (W/D/L): 4/6/2
Dark Eldar (W/D/L): 4/1/0
Warriors of Chaos (W/D/L): 3/0/1
Thanks for the reply, and the encouragement!
I actually painted several more models in this last month, including the rest of the first guy's squad, the command squad, another command squad and another sentinel. However, I just took samplings of each "stage" to get a good idea of what I did therein. Am almost done with the second command squad, which looks a helluva lot better than the first. Will post pics on Saturday (should be able to get them done by then, hopefully the knight too!).
As far as the pants go, I had not figured out how to highlight correctly in any of the uniformed pictures I posted, so they were it just isn't noticeable. The new command squad has highlights, as well as thin black around the camo and better flesh tone.
I tried to blend on the sword, it ended up looking really disjointed and busy. This is probably because I did something wrong, I'm sure. So, I just took a toothbrush to the sword in an effort to slough all of the paint off and that popped out, and I actually sort of liked it so I kept it that way. Might try and blend in those reds later, if i figure out how.
First off, welcome to LO, and on behalf of the mod community, I'm glad you're learning from the forums. That's what we're here for
More importantly, you are doing a FANTASTIC job for a mere 30 days of painting. I wish I did this well when I first started. To progress as much as you have took me the good part of a year.
Being a perfectionist isn't bad, but if you're not careful, you'll do what I've been doing lately: worry so much about each detail, that you never get anything done. With an IG army, you can afford a "quick and dirty" job on the guardsmen, since there tend to be a L-O-T of them. Save the meticulous perfectionism for the vehicles, commanders, and other "stand out" models. Trust me, you'll come out of this a much saner person!
Thinning your paints is a very good idea. Speaking of thin, have you been using washes? I can't quite tell from the photos, and you didn't mention it, so...
Highlighting clothing is a little weird, but just remember the same basic rules apply: The tops of the "folds" get the brightest color, the crevasses get the darkest.
Second the "in between" colors. On guardsmen, you need a quick and simple method, so the basecoat-wash-single highlight is fine, but on larger models, it pays to make the highlights blend a bit more.
The most direct (albeit more complicated) way is to add multiple layers leading up to the final highlight. For example, let's say you basecoated Dark Angels Green and want the ultimate highlight to be, say, Scorpion Green. Going from one STRAIGHT to the other is a harsh transition that will make it look like something out of "Tron." Instead, consider doing 2-3 "middle" stages, mixing say, 2 parts DA green to 1 part Scorpion green, then doing a wider highlighting "stripe" than the final highlight. Then, once that's dry, go over it with a thinner "stripe" of, say, a 2 parts Scorpion Green to 1 part DA mix, THEN do your final scorpion highlight. The more intermediate layers you do, the smoother the transition will be. Naturally, you'll want to save this for the "centerpiece" models. You do not want to try this with 100+ guardsmen models!
You could also use glazes to smooth transitions. This is, in some ways harder, but simpler. There are a few guides out there on glazing that probably explain it better than I can.
One more thing: I really like the Chimera. The highlighting on that looks superb. Only thing is, it looks a little... plain. Have you considered squad markings (like the decals that came with the model) or stripes? You know, like those red stripes on one part of the hull/turret that denote First Company or something like that?
As for the photos, it looks like you're using natural daylight, which is the best (not to mention cheapest) light source there is. Otherwise, things seem pretty in-focus, which is good. The only picture-taking suggestions I'd make is to:
1) Find some sort of background (not necessarily pure white) and hang/drape it down first, before placing your mini.
2) Make sure your camera is pointing in the same direction as the light. You can cut back on those harsh shadows just by circling to the right with the camera. If you're worried you will cast a shadow on your mini, try doing it earlier/later in the day, when the sun is higher in the sky. If you use artificial lighting, it's a little easier to line yourself up, or use additional light sources to eliminate the shadows. Whatever you do, DON'T USE YOUR FLASH!
Overall, very well done! Keep it up!
Thanks for the suggestions!
It is interested that both of you commented on the harsh highlighting on the knight. I actually kinda WANTED it that way, as strange as that sounds, because it defines each plate f armor very well. If it looks like crap I will change it of course. It is intereting to note, though, that the armor does actually have two layers of highlighting on it: a small touch of rotting flesh over thraka green-washed camo green. The "filigree," or my attempt at such, was done in camo green though so I thought I needed the harsh highlight of rotting flesh more, so I didn't wash over that. Overall does he look good? Took me over ten hours to do tha much, which is a lot for me.
I used a TON of washes. It is, imo, the key to progressing as far as I have. The knight has 5 different washes on him, and 5 coats of thraka green alone. I did NOT, however, wash the guardsmen you see, and I think I may start doing that.
I know the chimera is plain. Like I said, I am a-scared of ruining the clean highlights and such by trying to...well...make it ruined. I failed about 20 times to apply a 1 Roman Numeral on the side where I sharpied it in, and since then I haven't bothered with water transfers. I can't get it to work. Any help in that regard would be appreciated.
I figured around noon would be better, but like I said will only be ale to get that kind of lighting on Saturday when I won't be working
Oh, and as far as the blotchy highlighting goes...well...that is just my failing as a painter. I have hands no steadier than the Tower of Piza.
Last edited by Seraphim_Guard; October 30th, 2009 at 16:02.
The models look very good. I like the colour scheme you've used for the imperial guard.
Keep up the good work!
You are way better than me and I painted my first model what?.... 5 years ago. (not sure whether I just don't understand how to paint well, or just don't care . ) The "vines" on the knights armour looks great.
I have no suggestions except keep it up, you're doing an awesome job.
i am jealous, painting for just 30 days like that is very good. you did take some sort of art course or you have had some previous experiences? with maybe another hobby? anyway
here's a thought of the day to you ^^. for the perfectionist there can be no rest ^^. ( taken from the dow game ).
So...it's been awhile.
Been really busy with midterms and other such filthy time-wasting stuff like reading Jane Austen and actually...studying...*shudder*
But I have a few updates finally.
I now consider this chimera finished. The aim was to make it look like a lot of acid rain and pollution had been endured by this thing as my regiment is from a very nasty world called Sameter (of Eisenhorn fame) and has spent most of it's time fighting on hive worlds. I think it came out alright.
This is my first attempt at a "cool" base. The eventual finished base will include sprigs of green on the bottom and running up the rock.
This is the other sentinel, and i have dumbed-down the camo scheme but made it a lot crisper. The plan is for this to eventually get the same treatment as the chimera, but to a lesser extent since it is open-topped and wouldn't be out so much in acid rain...
Next thing to finish is my CCS, which has everything but the final highlights done.