Monday, 23 May 2011

016 - Raising the Bar

So, with my Rezzers more or less complete (for the time being anyway), I'm now looking at other projects.

First on the list is the Malifaux tournament at the UK Games Expo in Birmingham in two weeks time. I'll be taking Pandora, as she's been neglected over the last couple of months while Seamus has had all the fun. Since I'll be choosing my crew each game from a 55ss pool of minions, I'm going to try and paint up a couple more Neverborn models for her before the 4th June to give me a bit more flexibility.

At that point I'll be working on my next crew - I've already bought the boxed set and made a start on the assembly. As for a clue to who this crew will be... well lets just say I've had to stock up on green paint...

For these new models I've decided that I want to bring my painting to the next level. I'm very proud of what I'm achieving so far, but I feel like I'm not improving, just repeating stuff I can already do and staying within my comfort zone.

To that end, here's my list of Objectives for painting my new crew:

1) Proper blending. At the moment I'm slapping on a couple of highlights without too much effort. I'd like to increase the number of highlights to 4-5, and build up enough confidence to move further away from my base colour in the highlighting shades.

2) More detailed bases. Although I really like how my sculpted sewer bases came out, they were rather drab, and so I want to pull out the stops and go crazy with detailed bases. This may involve using base inserts then adding some extra personal touches. I think this will be the most important step to being more competitive in future painting competitions.

3) Conversions. I'm not very confident with conversions and sculpting beyond basic weapon swaps and gap filling. I want to get my feet wet with some proper conversions.

My first step towards Objective 1 has been investing in some proper gear. My tatty old GW detail brush has been relegated to "undercoating only" (sorry old faithful, but you were losing hair like a scabby cat, and its a long long time since you held a point!) and I've ordered a Winsor Series 7 Kolinsky Sable (0) brush. From what I've read around various forums, these brushes are the Big Daddy when it comes to great paintjobs and I can't wait to try it out!

Step two has been the construction of a simple wet palette, which is going to help me with that blending. By keeping my mixed colours usable for much longer than using an old piece of tile or, more often, the back of my thumb (yes I know it's lazy - hence the change!) I'll also be using my paint more economically.

Here's how I made it.

Wet Palette
Plastic container that formerly held Chinese food (Kung Po Chicken yum yum), or a similar Tupperware box.
Asda's greaseproof paper
Sheet of grey sponge from a Malifaux crew box

Place the foam in the tray, then trickle water into it until it's just on the edge of floating.

Cut a sheet of paper to the right size and place it on top, then press it down so that it sticks all over.

And you're done!

Paint applied to the paper won't dry for a very long time. The greaseproof paper is semi-permeable - enough water gets through that it stays wet for hours. Sealing the lid on top of the container stops any moisture escaping and then the paint stays wet for days! It does seperate slightly if you've mixed a colour, but can be easily mixed back together again when you come to re-use it. It's absolute genius and I can't believe it's taken me this long to get myself one.

All being well, I hope to be showing off the first results of this next chapter in my painting career in the near future!



DarkTemplar said...

Genius idea with the wet palette, made up of things we're all likely to have around the house. Looking forward to seeing the results!

Adam said...

Hi Mike.

Here is a link to a conversion chart to the foundry paints I use. For the Ortega coats I used #12 Drab which is bestial brown according to the chart.

Hope it helps