Ok, time to start laying down a few firm plans and guidelines for painting the model.
Here’s the model in question with the default GW paint job:
Now, its a really nice model in many ways – definitely not one of the very ornate current crop of GW sculpts, but not like some of the very simplistic 2nd edition period ones either, or overly cartoony like much of the Rogue Trader stuff (which I love, BTW!).
The intention is to do the very best job I can, matching my Order of the Verdant Garden elite models like these:
So what colours are we looking at? Mostly white armour – a very difficult colour. Green robes. Gold and Green trim. Steel weapons and piping.
The white armour doesn’t look bad – its plain white with joints picked out in blue. That looks great on the battlefield, but isn’t going to cut the mustard in a painting competition. We need to up our game here, so we’re going to try the guide to painting white found here:
The gold trim, and steel weapons and piping, are another challenge for two reasons. First, metals traditionally don’t photograph well. The second reason is that I tend to just slap on a metal colour, add a wash, a brief highlight, and considered it done. Again, thats not going to cut the mustard here. I don’t want to jump totally into the unknown with NMM, and I would like a metallic colour to match the others on the field, so I’m going to try to follow the ideas found here:
For the green robes, especially as this model has a hood (in white in the GW shot) that will be this colour, I’m going to try following something like the process here:
My Rule #1, though, will be to paint the harder to reach (or hard to get right) bits first. It sounds really obvious, but I’d say 9 times out of ten I generally don’t do this – I paint the majority colours first. Looking at an example, take my Imperial Fists. Bam – yellow on first all over. I’ll then start adding details …. and often end up having to go back to the yellow to cover over any spread paint. In terms of the overall model, I’d have been better off doing some of the detail work first, then going back to add the nearby yellow. Paint by accessibility, not colour prevalence.
As an example of this, I’m going to start with the eyes. Notoriously difficult to get right, I’m not going to spend a month painting the model then screw it up at the end … not if I can screw it up right away! Reaper have a terrific tutorial on eyes that look much better than the way I’ve been doing them, so I’m going to follow it here!
Fundamentally the two differences are the underline around the eye to pick it out, and the use of an off-white rather than white. I always tended to use a brilliant white, and it always looked too glaring. A slight off white looks much more effective, and if I can get the eye underline thin enough, it’ll really make the eyes pop. I’m a little worried with the eye sculpt though – if you look at the picture from GW, even they didn’t bother with trying to pick out the eyes!
Next step – trying to work out the actual colours to use!