I've been collecting Citadel Miniatures for many years, but until recently I've been one of those stereotypical collectors who tends to stick new acquisitions in drawers to gather dust. It wasn't always so; until the late 80s I was a keen gamer, and over the past couple of years I've taken up that pursuit once more. One thing though that I've never really spent much time on is painting, which is a shame given the number of figures I now have. So I'm trying to do something about it. I've painted a handful of figures (most of which I haven't actually completed), but I'm now going to try in earnest to improve my painting.
There's a good chance that you share my love of the painted figures that appeared in the 'Eavy Metal pages of White Dwarf in the 1980s and early 1990s. Vivid colours and an imaginative approach to colour combination was the name of the game back then, and this is the approach that I'm trying to emulate. Here's one of the first steps on which I hope will be my road to that destination:
There were a couple of techniques I wanted to experiment with when painting this Rogue Trader era Bob Olley sculpted Adeptus Mechanicus: thinning paint, and glazing with inks.
Yes, I appreciate that you painty types who are reading this probably think I'm stating the obvious when it comes to thinning paints, but it's not something that I've formerly been fond of. This has been particularly true whenever I've used colours such as yellow and orange, and I've been of the belief that these pigments are already thin, so why thin more? Consequently I've ended up with rather thick and not too pleasing paint jobs. So on this occasion I was determined to give this thinning lark a go. The figure was undercoated white and the first thin coat of hobgoblin orange/red core (old Citadel paints) was applied. As I suspected it looked very thin, but I let it dry for a couple of minutes and perservered. About 4 or 5 thin coats in my mind was blown! I was so pleased with the result! Thinning subsequent highlight and shadow colour combinations made layering so much easier. My eyes have been opened!
I'm also a big convert to thinning with inks. I used Winsor & Newton or old Citadel inks on this figure, and glazed pretty much every part. The glazes really give depth to the colours and at the same time lift them and make them really vivid. Another conversion for me!
I have to be honest and say that once I'd painted the orange clothing - which I'm really happy with - I got a bit bored with the remainder of the figure, and painting the other parts was a bit of a chore. Ah well, I made it to the end at least.
So now I'm hooked, and I'm looking forward to sharing more painty stuff with you in future, and I genuinely would appreciate your feedback in how to improve my technique. One of my goals is that once I'm up-and-running and gaining in confidence, I'll be turning to painting my collection of unreleased figures.