Nothing is better than two well painted armies on a tabletop battling it out in an interesting mission. Even competitive events are moving toward a more stringent hobby requirement as seen by the new rules for LVO’s hobby requirements. Hobbying shouldn’t be scary or intimidating. You will most likely spend far longer painting your army than you will spend playing with it, so learning how to enjoy the process is important to enjoy all elements of the hobby.
As this Salamander Captain from 2003-4 shows compared to my 2018 Armies on Parade entry shows, skills build up over time and you will improve with practice. Small steps added up over time yield great results.
For this article on painting, I want to touch on painting a big model because they are often the showcases for an army, and while painting your 20th marine or 60th guardsman can feel like a chore, your big models are where you can use all your tricks and skills.
The recent releases of greater demons give you ample opportunity to come up with centerpiece models for your army.
In this step by step image of Rotigus, the named Great Unclean One, you can see the steps of how I approached painting the model. Initially, it was primed black so the shadows would be dark. Next, a strong xenithal highlight was applied so the areas cast in light would be brighter. Before bringing in the colors that I would use, I wanted to preshade all the areas of irritation and open flesh. Since those are darker, but also more red toned and purple toned for bruises and blood, I went with a purple and brown ink mix to provide the appropriate shading value and tonal hue of irritated skin.
Once that initial sketch of light and shadow was complete, I began with the skin tones using sickly pale desaturated green. Notice the purples in the recesses peeking out even amidst the skin tones being fully applied. The skin is not a single shade since our skins are made up of multiple hues. Some are sickly greens, some are bone, some are ivory.
Once the skin was complete, more purples and blues were added for skin irritation on the borders with the shadow purples, reds were added to the open wounds and the gut maw, with yellows on the fatty tissues of the open wounds. Google images will provide you with a host of reference images for what bruised, lacerated, and necrotic flesh look like. While the real life versions are grizzly, they are the basis for understanding what jaundice, gangrene, and deeply staged open wounds look like. Only once the flesh is complete do I work on the details. The horns go light to dark the way horns do in reference images. Because the flesh was desaturated and green I went for very saturated reds, pinks, and purples for the tentacles sprouting from the left arm. At that point I picked out details like the toenails, teeth, and the maggots spewing from his face mouth. Finishing touches were done on the skin with pastel powders to bring some yellow luminosity to points of light on the top of the arms, shoulders, and the part of the gut that would be exposed to the most light. Yellow is the brightest color, and warm light should have a yellow hue instead of going to pure white since seldom is white the natural highlight evident on something.
Let us know what you think! If you have any questions come down to The Bolter Hole on Wednesday evenings as we are painting and hobbying from 5-8pm. We are full of advice and tips!