Thursday 11 September 2014

A 'quick' guide to painting ghostly and ethereal figures pt1

The latest releases from Games a Workshop are here - and they've taken the form Nagash and his minions.

Kidding. That's the old 28mm figure.

Each of these epic kits shows the main character 'riding' upon a sea of malevolent spirits. These spirits have a faded green glow about them - very effective, especially if the character is painted in contrast to the spirits.

While catching up on GW's current
batch of painting videos, I saw a nice technique for painting this type of elemental being. I'm going to reproduce that technique here, but with some slight differences.

Instead of Nagash, I'll be using a Finecast Galadriel, Protectress of Lothlorien figure. This would work well with any of the Army of the Dead figures from Return of the King, too.

If you remember the scene in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Frodo offers the lady Galadriel the One Ring to keep. She freaks out, turning green and warlike - "All shall love me, and despair!" she bellows, and then controls herself, becoming the peaceful queen of the forest we know and understand.

It's this scary Galadriel we'll be working on. See how she glows...

First things first: clean up the figure - removing all flash and mould lines. A dunk and light scrub in soapy water preps the surface for priming. An old toothbrush is best for this. And soapy water.

Brush on Citadel Imperial Primer. This stuff goes on nicely, but takes two coats or so to cover properly.

When dry, a foundation of Astronomicon Grey will bring the overall shade where we want it.

So here's the magic ingredient: Nihilakh Oxide. A bit thicker than a wash, and a tad chalky, but exactly the right feel for this ghostly effect.

With a number 2 sable brush, apply the Nihilakh oxide to the whole figure. It goes on easily, and the only retouching you're likely to need to do is in the recesses, with a smaller brush.

Next, shade the pleats and other sunken areas with Thraka Green.

Let her dry.

And that's it for part 1.

In part 2, we'll highlight using a varying mix of Nihilakh Oxide and Ceramite White - we want her to glow as well as be deep in shadow, and we'll work on the armour, too.

And we'll try to avoid drybrushing anything at all.

Thursday 4 September 2014

Zen, and the art of Time Management

Don't bite off more than you can chew.

Don't spread yourself too thin.

Are these phrases familiar? Stuff your parents told you when you were a kid?

I recently had a situation where all this happened. My wife had a weekend away with the kids - 3 whole days to myself! Apart from the obvious house chores, I had a plan: to crack on with my Golden Demon diorama, and also catch up with a bunch of movies on NowTV and Netflix.

Next step on the diorama is terrain work - lots of airbrushing - and that means working under the extractor in the kitchen. No movies, then. "I'll do that later," I decided.

So I grabbed my classic lead Space Marines box - I'm clearing the house of unwanted playing pieces, by painting them and selling them on as complete sets. Good idea, but doesn't help the GD entry.

Movie, snacks, Blood Raven minis. A Great Time was had.

I then set up the camera and shot some more unboxings, and project progression for the Delorean kit.


2 more movies and Blood Ravens - practising blending on the squad, to make them tabletop+ quality.

Dinner. more movies on TV. 2am.

Pass out on sofa.

That was Friday. Saturday was similar, and then Sunday I realised I had to sort the house out for the family's return!

I also grabbed the diorama to put in the kitchen, set up the airbrush station, and realised I didn't have the quantity of paint needed to spray the terrain, so put it all away again.

3 days. No progress with Golden Demon. Nothing. Nada. Not a sausage.

Achievements: I damaged the Delorean, grinding out plastic parts for lights. I ruined the Space Marine sergeant - the matt varnish altered the paint colours underneath. Touchups will fix, but the blending's not right anymore. Didn't finish the rest of the squad, either.

All in all, I saw a pile of movies I hadn't seen before, and learned some big hobby lessons:

Don't bite off more than you can chew.

Don't spread yourself too thin.