Painting Vor's Shard
By Anthony Karl Erdelji
I am always looking for new, yet quick ways for painting up armies of
miniatures without resorting to the old standard of drybrushing. Since the Shard are made up
of crystals I thought about the technique I use when painting
gemstones; Tamiya clear paint over a metallic basecoat. With some slight changes
I thought it would be an interesting and quick way to
paint them and get them out onto the battlefield.
||I started by removing any flash on the model with a hobby knife and file. It
is extremely important that I did this stage very carefully since I won't be
primering or painting the model with the standard of opaque paints. Any imperfections left on
the mini will show up when finished. Since I had only a few of the Shard
models at the time of writing this I decided to add some variety to the army by
bending the limbs of each model into unique poses. Most of the models have thin limbs which can
easily be bent into new shapes by hand. Any multi-piece models
were glued together with super glue. I was careful not to get the glue on the
outside of the joints. They were then glued to their bases.
After all of the figures are assembled I washed them down with Formula 409 to
remove any oil left on them from my hands or metal shavings. You can use some
soap and a brush at this stage, but using a household cleaner such as 409 is
easier and assures a clean surface.
Normally at this stage I would primer the models, but I'm going to skip
primering this time. This is why it is so important that the surface of the model be clean and free of
any contaminants that would prevent the paint from adhering to the model. This
painting method calls for Tamiya paint to
be applied to a metallic surface. While I could of primered the minis and then basecoated
with steel or a similar color, why bother to waste all that time when
painting directly onto the pewter will get the same effect.
||Before I get into the actual painting of the model let me give you some
information on Tamiya clear paints. Contrary to the name, they are not actually clear, but transparent.
They are acrylic water-soluble paints, but their chemical make up is different
from your standard acrylic paints. Along with buying the paint you'll also need
to Tamiya thinner to properly clean your brushes. The colors available
are red, blue, green, yellow, orange, and smoke (black) so your color palette
is limited to what's available, however you can mix them together to get different shades. The paint is rather thick, slightly thicker than
milk. It is best applied with a stippling motion rather than brushing it on.
While it takes a while to completely dry, about 20 minutes, it begins to dry and become sticky
and difficult to work with about a minute
after applying so if you miss an area its best to wait and apply a second coat
rather than going over the same area twice while the paint is drying. The
paint also has a tendency to eat through your basecoat if its brushed around too
much, so don't go over the same area twice until the paint has completely dried.
||Let's get on with the painting. I began
with a wash of slightly thinned Ral Partha black wash for shade. When that
was dry I began stippling on the Tamiya clear paint. I wanted to paint the
"tendon" areas a different color so I was careful not to paint these areas. Since
these paints are transparent any mistakes would show through no matter how
make coats of paint were applies over it. After the first coat dried I painted
on a second coat to cover any areas I missed and to increase the illusion of
depth. I could of applied additional coats for a deeper effect, but with over forty models to paint
time was of the essence and I was satisfied with just two coats.
||The tendon areas were painted next with the
same method as above. I tried to use a color that would contrast well with
the rest of the body. You may wish to paint these areas the standard way with
regular acrylic paint if you chose to or if you got too much of the Tamiya paint
onto the tendons. If you did the later and still want to paint them with clear
paint, touch up your mistakes with some sliver paint and give it a wash of black
ink. It won't be an exact match to the original pewter color, but its close
||To protect the paint and to give our crystalline
buddies some extra shine I brushed on three coats of Future floor
wax. Yes, that right, floor wax. It gives a good shine, gives good protection, and at six dollars bottle
its a lifetime supply. If
it can stand up to repeated foot traffic on your floors, its got to be tough
stuff, right? You can use a regular acrylic glosscoat if you wish.
||Next are the bases. It occurred to me at
this point that
it would of been wiser to prime the bases before attaching them to the figures.
So much for thinking ahead! I
covered the bases with Basetex which is a paint and sand mixture. I then
painted them with Vallejo flat earth, washed with Ral Partha brown ink, and
drybrush the highlights with Vallejo Yellow Ochre. Two layers of
Aeromaster flat coat was then brushed to protect them from wear and tear and
to remove the gloss from the ink.
When that was dry I attached some static grass with white glue and drybrushed it
with yellow ochre. All done!
||Well there you have it. A quick way to
paint an army without resorting to drybrushing. This method allows for a
great amount of painting variations. You can basecoat the miniatures with
metallic colors such as silver, gold, or copper. You can try Tamiya Clears over a non-metallic basecoat. Or you can use a lighter color ink
to shade instead of black. A lighter color like yellow should make your guys
appear as if they are glowing from within. Transparent paints are fun to work
with. Experiment with them and I'm sure you'll come up with something