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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a mostly painted Sisters of battle army that doesn't look bad (mostly >.>). I feel that my painting skills have improved a bit and that it's time to strip away the mistakes, the thick paint, and primer mishap from my girls (anyone else ever get that "fluffy" primer mishap? x.x) and make them look at least half as good as they should. If I knew where the chord for my camera was I'd post a picture, alas it is lost to the gremlins.

My color scheme is Boltgun armor, Mechrite or Blood red robes washed Baal Red, Skull white hair, and dwarf bronze effects (insignias, symbols, ect). It looks good, but as I become a better painter I can see the flaws and lack of detail that really puts a damper on such detailed models. I want to start taking that step to really making my models pop, as it the expression goes.

Things I have trouble with:

Highlighting. No matter how many step-by-steps I see, I can't quite get it right and wind up making it look worse. The best effect I've gotten was a blue sheen via watered down Blue Ink on the armor.

Cracks and Crevasses. The spaces between fingers, inbetween armors, details on the armor itself, ect. It usually winds up loosing it's depth and just looks... fused. If you know what I mean.

Hair. It never turns out looking like hair. The detail is still there, but there's something about it. The fact that I hate GW white doesn't help either, but I had the same problem when it was black.

I would like to attempt to perfect these for a Celestine project I've been working on, as well as just becomming a better painter. What would you guys suggest to an intermediate painter taking his steps to the next level?
 

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For highlighting I don't know if I can help you much. It's really a technique thing to be able to get thin straight lines. It's always possible to paint the model your highlight then shade down with washes and inks.

For cracks and the like washes are your friend. There is a reason everyone talks about devlan mudd so much. Otherwise just be very careful when you're painting around them and be sure so leave your darker color in those recesses.

White is always difficult because you can't highlight higher than it and if you wash or ink or shade it, it ends up looking grey. Unfortunately that's really the only way to do it if you want white hair. An alternative is to use a more yellow to white scheme for the hair rather than black to white. Use an offwhite like bone for you shading and highlight up to pure white. For an example of whatIi'm talking about check my BT WIP in my sig, I did this with my neophytes chest aquillas(the rest of the thread sucks, I really need to updated it) I started at scorched brown then went to bone and finally went all the way up to white.
 

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Drills baby.
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Regarding the cracks and crevasses, thin your paints! It sounds like you use far too much paint when painting these parts. As Kelter Skelter mentioned, washes are a good choice here.

Regarding highlighting metal - it's difficult. Due to the way metal paints reflect light and stuff, you can't really shade and highlight them like regular paints. My tip would be use thin coats of a black or dark brown and just highlight with regular boltgun metal. You can add very thin lines of mithril silver as extreme highlights, but you should be careful about that.
This article gives some pretty good tips.

Hair is tricky to paint. Especially white hair. And GW's awful white paint doesn't help, I'd recommend picking up an alternative brand, like Vallejo.
When you look at white hair in real life, it isn't really white. More like grey with some white tones. The easiest (IMO) way is simply to go dark grey (I believe GW has one in the Foundation range. I use Vallejo Black Grey) -> Codex grey highlights -> Fortress Grey highlights -> White highlights. Done!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the tips. I have only recently started watering down my paints (thanks to a GW worker actually, crazy I know xD), but I wasn't just globbing it on before either. Even so, just watering it down has made all the difference on my new models. Finding the right consistency has been a bother though, usually it seems to watery or not watered down enough. I've heard "cream" should be what I'm after right? Also, I think I've been going a little heavy on my primer after reading around a little bit, which doesn't help, I'm sure.

I did see that article recently and I'll give it a shot.

As for washes, I've been using Ball Red and I must say, they are really good. I've recently painted some pink horrors by priming black, base coat of Mechrite Red, highlight with a bit of tentacle pink and then washed with the Baal. I will be picking up the Devlin Mud though, as it seems to be very useful for everything.

I did find an old picture of my work that was my first "big" project. She now has a mechrite red cloak/robes washed with baal and blue seals with bleached bone parchment. I plan on stripping her down though and redoing it. Green Stuff has always been my bane and is really sloppy here, and while my GSing hasn't gotten much better, I think it'll look better with pins instead of a blob of GS roughly molded into an arm xD.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v655/Ikbuh/canEvis.jpg?t=1262898740
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks, I wish I could show you what it looks like now. I touched it up a bit, made the seals blue with bleached bone parchment, and made the robes mechrite washed baal. The silver/red is beautiful imo. Now I don't want to strip anything till I find my camera cord >.<

I recently grabbed some Devlin Mud and sadly my local store was out of Codex Grey, both of which I have heard great things about, and can't wait to try out. Hopefully I'll be able to grab some at GW when my friends and I head up for the Nids release (much to my regret x.x). Also, my local store has GW Magenta Ink, which I thought might go well with the Reds I use. Any thoughts on that?
 

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Real Xeno
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For white You can use the old method that was used by decorators in the last century: put some blue in it. It will make it whiter.
What I`ve done with white armour: fenris grey basecoat-without black coat under it!, then a mix of skull white+fenris grey (maybe 4:1-never measured) then add more white, and at the end it can be highlighted with white. I have some pictures but they are far from the real look of the model-they too grey on the pic.
You can try it on a test model, hopefully You will like the results.
 
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