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I'm not entirely sure whether this should be in the painting thread, or here, so if it needs to be moved, I'm sorry.
I'm just getting going on painting my new tyranid army, and in general have been reasonably pleased with how they turned out, considering these are the first models I have ever painted. I'd show pictures, but alas, I am without a camera. The main aspect I am not really satisfied with is the carapace on my nids. They're supposed to have a black carapace, and I tried to highlight it with codex grey to bring out the black more. To do this I took a fine detail brush and painted a line around the edges of the carapace. Then I attempted to paint little lines coming out of the edges, in order to replicate what the pictures in the tyranid codex look like. Unfortunatly, these end up looking more like blotches of paint than anything else.
Long story short, what's a good way to get those highlights on the carapace? Is it done using a fine detail brush, and I just happen to be pressing down too hard? Or, is it done using some other brush or technique that I am unaware of? Also, should I be using 2 shades of grey for the highlights, one around the edges, and another going into the carapace?
I'm a firm believe in layers. If I'm doing black, I'd start with mixing my grey with black and working out to the grey shade from there. Sure you'll be doing 2-6 layers or so, but the end effect looks good.
If your going for the "lined" look in the codex, you need to do similiar with lines. Do larger undercoat lines with a mix of grey and black. Work out from there with smaller lines of lighter colors until you get to your final highlight color. That should be a much thinner line than you started with.
I like that idea about the multiple shades of grey. Now let me see if I'm understanding this right. Would it be best to paint a layer of darker grey around the edges, and then the lighter greys on top of that while slowly going further into the center of the carapce? Or should the ligher colors be closer to the edges?
The quickest and easiest way is to simply drybrush the carapace in a very dark grey, but im assuming you want a better finish than this so layering is your best bet.
Mix grey with black untill you have a shade thats just a little brighter than black. Water it down till its the consistancy of milk then paint 2mm from the edge of the carapace in this mix. When it dries you wont be able to see much difference, but once youve done this about 3 times youll see the colour building up. Next make another mix, slightly lighter and paint again, but this time only go 1mm from the edge. This will make a natural progression from one colour to the next until your done.
Another way would be to use inks. Use the same colour as the skin of your nids and apply multipul coats to the edges until the colour shows up on the black.
Then again, when you get to your big nids, your going to find a plain black carapace looks very boring, so id suggest painting a pattern onto your carapace instead.
My experence, the more methods you use in painting the better it looks. I both layer and Drybrush my nids. I'd try both the above methods. Layer your paint to black then use a very fine dry brush of your darkest grey, (Fortress is what i here is good) The brush should have little to know paint on it. test it on a paper before you use it on the model. It should take several strokes that seem to have no effect. If done right the higher parts of the model should be visable grey and the rest mostly black.
I use this method with dark blue and highlighted with a medium blue. I'm happy with the results on my own. I'm also lazy when it comes to painting so it should not be hard for you to get after a few models.
Army's used: Space Wolves, Tomb Kings, High Elves, Tyranids, Tau and Eldar.
Thanks for all these tips, they'll be very useful.