Sunday, 21 July 2013

Project Ragalia: A colour scheme blueprint - Part 2

Managed to get a few hours painting in, thanks to my gorgeous wife for taking care of everything that needed doing while I relaxed. So, on we go with part 2 of my experiment :)

Experiment A: Bone-coloured Robes
Day 2:
After looking over the last 2 test marines, I found that I didn't like how red the Sandy Brown appeared, especially when partially coated over with Sand. As a result, I decided to try a different paint scheme on 3 of the 6 marines.

I repainted marines 1 through 3 with their Sand base coat to give me a fresh start. I then used the following sequence, all using my H&S Evo with 0.20mm needle:
1) Med Camo Brown @ 20psi, no thinner - concentrating on the deepest recesses and edges of the cloak only.

2) Light Brown @ 20psi, no thinner - leaving the darkest recesses alone, but essentially coating the rest of the cloak.

3) Light Brown + Sand 1:1 @ 20psi, no thinner - again, leaving some of the previous colour in the recesses and working my way back to the peaks of the cloak.

4) Sand @ 20psi, no thinner - now I left the folds in the cloak alone completely and very carefully painted the large flat areas and outward folds only.

5) Sand + White 1:1 @ 20psi, no thinner - painting only the edges of the outward folds and the centres of large flat areas.

6) White @ 20psi, no thinner - final edge highlights.

Wow! I don't really understand why I found the AB so much more controllable than the last painting day, but the end result is fantastic! Without thinning, and at 20psi, I found I could achieve a suitably fine line that I could control the blending of without too many issues at all. If anything, the only thing Id do differently is take out the Light Brown:White mix layer as the mid-tones need more contrast between layers.

Experiment A: Conclusion
I'm completely happy with the sequence I used above to paint cloaks. I'm almost certain the results will only improve with practice as I get better fine-line control, the colours are great, and removing one of the mid-tone steps will give me a good contrast between folds. I'm going to consider this experiment concluded and use this method on cloaks moving forward. Very happy bunny!

Experiment B: Dark Green Marine Armour
Day 2:
Ok, time to tackle this little frustration! I started with a black undercoat (for the third time!), and used my H&S Evo with .20mm needle.
1) German Grey @ 20psi, no thinner - sprayed a horizontal highlight. So far so good, this gave a nice smooth coat with no speckle.

2) German Grey + White + Thinner (2:3:1) @ 20psi - spraying a vertical highlight this went on smoothly, but wasn't nearly light enough. It was basically invisible...

3) Grey Primer @ 20psi, no thinner - again, spraying a vertical highlight. This coat was more controllable using the smaller AB, but again speckled. I'm beginning to think that the primer simply isn't suitable for anything other than an even coat over entire surfaces, but comparing my miniature to the screenshot I took from BuyPainted's video, I think it's as good as its going to get.

4) I did a quick little comparison of my alternatives to DA Green. In the photo below you can see the following:
- Left: GW Dark Angels Green
- Bottom: VMA Olive Green
- Right: VGC Dark Green

Ignore the top, it was DA Green but improperly mixed. You can see from the photo that Dark Green isn't quite a match to the original DA Green (hard to see from the photo, but DG seems to have less depth), but still considerably closer than Olive Green which is quite a bit darker. The consistency was different between all three, but at least this pot of DG has better coverage than the last pot, which is a relief.

The funny thing is, I laid out these samples while I was spraying my robes, and probably would have used DG with thinner had I sprayed the green armour right away. However, as they dried in the palette I found that DA Green turned a lot darker and was almost identical to Olive Green, whereas the DG essentially stayed the same colour. I decided to give Olive Green a whirl and see what happened.

5) Olive Green @ 20psi, no thinner - as I was applying a nice liberal coat evenly across the miniature, it was obvious it was going to look great. And I was right; as you can see below, the colour depth is fantastic as it transitions from dark to light, and blends excellently between tones.

Experiment B: Conclusion
Ok, I'm still disappointed that you can see speckle in the pre-highlight coat, but the method itself works perfectly. Moving forward I'll replace the Grey Primer with either a grey VMA tone, or mix a medium grey myself. This should give me a smooth tonal transition base for the Olive Green and let me get on with good results.

Day 2: Final Thoughts
I'm ready to close off both Experiment A and B at this point - I'm confident enough in both the colour scheme and method that I'll make the minor tweaks I've talked about on my next batch of actual troops. On to experiment C for the next painting session; DA vehicles. Having had a bit of time to think about it, and using the pre-highlight approach on the green armour, I think I've arrived at an approach I'll test out:
1) Prime coat in black
2) Base coat in German Grey, fading up from and leaving black at the bottom of the tank's sides.
3) Pre-shade panel lines in pure black
4) Pre-highlight edges in the medium grey mix/colour mentioned in the Green Armour technique
5) Olive Green coat
6) Figure out next steps - perhaps post-highlighting, perhaps just edge highlighting, will have to determine next steps based on how it looks.
Until next time, happy hobbying.
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