Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Painting a Guardsman, the Frag_Dad Way - Part II

Welcome back! (I'm hoping at least SOMEONE is reading this...) Today I'll walk you through the steps to finish off the Guardsman we started here. If it's been a while, I'd suggest you go back and read the General Tips I gave in Part I. At the very least, remember to keep thinning your paints!

The following steps should achieve:

We've basically finished the armour, flesh and fatigues, so let's do the final touches to finish our Guardsman! I think these bits are just as important as the rest of the model - no matter how well you've painted his armour, flesh etc., if you've neglected the details it really shows. When I first started painting I'd do most of the model but not be all that happy with it, but once I started finishing off the details it really pulled the paint job together and looked much better! So let's pick up where we left off:

24. We'll start with the chin strap - paint the lower parts it with Bleached Bone. (No picture).

25. Wash this with Devlan Mud.

26. On to the belt accessories. Paint the grenades and canteen with Gnarloc Green.

27. Wash the grenades with Badab Black, and the canteen with a heavy wash of Devlan Mud.

28. Once dry, highlight the raised areas of the grenades with Gnarloc Green, and do a 'rough' highlight of Gnarloc Green around the canteen. I say rough because I don't want it to look to clean and pristine - it gets used a lot!

29. Paint the handle of the knife with Graveyard Earth.

30. Wash the knife handle with with Devlan Mud.

31. Highlight handle with Graveyard Earth.

32. Highlight handle again with Snakebite Leather.

33. To make the leather of the belt accessories look worn, drybrush some Codex Grey over the surfaces which would see a lot of wear-and-tear, such as around the edges, the studs on the pouch and canteen, and the tip of the bayonet holder (is it still called a scabbard if it holds a bayonet?).

34. Going back to the chips on the armour, underline some of the more prominent ones with a thin line of Dheneb Stone. I tried white, but it didn't look quite right.

35. Overline them with a Scorched Brown. This simulates a 3D effect on the chips.

36. Paint the base with Scorched Brown. Make sure this covers the black properly, (especially around the rim) so this may take more than 1 layer.

37. Now we've done most things except for the weathering pigments and metallic colour. We need to do the spray varnish now (otherwise it will kill the metallics) so grab your model and give it a spray. Make sure you wait for it to dry before you continue! It's wise to test the spray first on an unimportant model (or a bit of sprue) to check that you're not going to destroy your hard work!

38. If you want 'wet' looking mud, paint some satin varnish on the base.

39. Now we need to tie the Guardsman into the base. He's trudging through thick mud, and it looks a bit odd without some consequence of that represented on the model. I use Vallejo's Burnt Umber pigment, mixed with brush-on Vallejo Matte Varnish (to get it to stick to the model) and brush that on around the boots. I try not to go too thick, so you can still see the colours underneath showing through, but just do what looks good to you. The matte varnish works very well - once the pigment mixture has dried, even scrubbing at it with a toothbrush won't take it off easily.

40. Drybrush the mud with Calthan Brown and then Graveyard Earth to give some depth and variation.

41. If the areas where the metallics will be painted have stray coloured paint on them, it's a good idea to paint them black now. There's not enough pigment in the metallics to completely cover the area easily, and you may find underlying colours tend to show through.

42. Paint all the metal areas (knife blade, if applicable, aquila, lasgun nozzle, grenade pins etc.) with Gunmetal.

43. Wash these areas with Badab Black.

44. Highlight with Gunmetal.

45. For some select spots, highlight with Chainmail. This is rather bright, however, so don't overdo it. (The Chainmail highlights here are much too stark - I since went back and dulled them down with thin layers of Gunmetal).

46. To protect the metallic paint, it is a good idea to paint some satin varnish on the bits that will get handled lots (such as the bayonet blade) to stop it wearing off.

And we're done! Hopefully you'll have something looking like this:

So in only 46 easy steps, we have our Guardsman! Now I realise that's a lot, but most of these took less than a minute to do. In addition, you can omit some of the layering (such as on the flesh) if you want to cut down on the amount of painting. I think all the work is worth it though, especially when you see a group of them together.

Even if you've only skimmed this guide and haven't painted up a model yourself, I hope you might have picked up an idea or two. In any case, thanks for reading, and happy painting!


Anonymous said...

Great tutorial!

FoxPhoenix135 said...

I would understand this many steps for a painting-competition showcase, but for most IG players this is simply too much. Even if most of the steps take a minute, your are realistically looking at around an hour per model. For a simple infantry platoon, that is literally an entire 24 hours doing nothing but painting! I prefer to limit myself to 10 steps per model if I wish to get more than a model done per day. Using washes helps cut down on the steps.

Great tutorial though, you really went the extra mile to make it thorough!

Frag_Dad said...

Thanks for the comments!

@FoxPhoenix: As I mentioned in the article, I realise this guide is longer than usual, but I guess it's an insight into how I approach my painting! It's certainly not a quick way of getting an army to the tabletop, but I personally prefer to take the time and do the best job I can. I know that not everyone feels the need to spend so long on the models, which is absolutely fine and I certainly understand the feeling!

Col. Hessler said...

A cool technique I learned recently is to apply a light wash of the base color to really blend in the shading & highlights. Try a 2:9 ratio of paint to distilled water. I was amazed at how much it improved the look of my Guard.


Frag_Dad said...

Thanks for the advice Col. - I assume you're suggesting I give it a go on the fatigues?

I'll certainly give it a go, they could definitely use some blending!

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