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Author Topic: WH40000 - what's your opinion?  (Read 82122 times)

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Offline arkhos

Re: WH40000 - what's your opinion?
« Reply #1475 on: July 30, 2015, 09:35:42 AM »
Im rather shocked to admit this, but my father has become fascinated with 40K, though he admits that hes kind of confused by it al and wants to buy a book to read.

Can anyone tell me of any novels with the Imperium that would be a good way to start him off? (I say imperium because I don't want him getting sympathies for the unholy Xenos)

!!!!!!!!!!

'Unholy Xenos'?!!!!? BAH!

But, I will still make a recommendation. :)

If he's interested in the Imperium, then a good basic starting point would be the Ultramarine series by Graham McNeill.

http://www.amazon.com/Ultramarines-Omnibus-Graham-McNeill/dp/1844164039/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1438266806&sr=8-1&keywords=ultramarine+omnibus

If you don't want an omnibus (even though it's cheap), you might look for the first novel 'Nightbringer' instead.

You can find more recommendations here:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jenniferbosier/2013/04/03/getting-to-know-warhammer-40000-beginners-guide/

Pretty much anything written by Abnett or McNeill should be more than adequate starting points. :)


« Last Edit: July 30, 2015, 09:40:52 AM by arkhos »

Offline BeorningTopic starter

Re: WH40000 - what's your opinion?
« Reply #1476 on: July 30, 2015, 01:01:40 PM »
Dhi, I really like that mini you posted!

Any advice on shading? I have no idea how to do it aside from putting wash over various parts of my minis... I'd like to finally try doing some proper shading someday.

Offline eBadger

Re: WH40000 - what's your opinion?
« Reply #1477 on: July 30, 2015, 05:36:46 PM »
What does a tabletop standard involve for you?

Tabletop, to my understanding, means it's intended for presentation on the tabletop during play - where it's going to be seen amongst many other models from a meter or more away.  Thus, it's painted, with some recognizable contrasting colors, preferably with some technique (shading/highlighting via some technique) but doesn't involve detail or the nuance of a figure meant to be seen close up that would be mostly or entirely lost at a distance.  It's the opposite of display models, which are intended for close personal examination or photos showing them magnified and usually individually. 

There's no absolute standard to it.  My tabletop is better than the best painting others can do, and my best is nowhere near tabletop standard of many others.  Nor is it necessarily 'worse', it's just simpler and with a different goal. 

Offline BeorningTopic starter

Re: WH40000 - what's your opinion?
« Reply #1478 on: August 01, 2015, 03:57:59 PM »
Using these criteria, I can happily declare my minis to be of tabletop standard :))

No advise on shading, people? I'm going to have two free weeks now, so I'd like to come back to painting...

Offline arkhos

Re: WH40000 - what's your opinion?
« Reply #1479 on: August 01, 2015, 04:12:34 PM »
Using these criteria, I can happily declare my minis to be of tabletop standard :))

No advise on shading, people? I'm going to have two free weeks now, so I'd like to come back to painting...

By no means am I a pro, or even good enough to give very good advice. ;)  BUT...



and



Might be good starting points for you! :)

-ark

Offline Dhi

Re: WH40000 - what's your opinion?
« Reply #1480 on: August 01, 2015, 06:42:15 PM »
Chris of AG Productions mentions in one of his reviews, I think for the Jeremie Bonamant Teboul, something like "this DVD is for truly advanced painters. If you still consider washing a good technique for shading your miniatures this is probably not for you."

Chris is an intelligent person and has a more lucid way of teaching than a lot of these guys who just sit behind a tripod and ramble, but if you watch more than a few of his videos you may pick up that he's a condescending guy with a very rigid way of thinking. Because he's trying to make a living selling these DVDs, it also pays to sow some seeds of doubt in the minds of the beginner to intermediate painters who are his target audience.

But there never comes a point where artists graduate from washes, which are an inherent part of the three dimensional medium. The models have crevices, and shadows typically pool in crevices. Of course thinning a darker shade so that it stains the crevices is a good way to do this. What else are you going to do? Carefully pick out every detail with a fine brush? No, that would be bollocks.

What Chris does is start with the darkest shade and layer up highlights. It isn't that he's graduated from washes, it's that he doesn't have a step for shading. His whole technique is building up layers of highlights. In the end his pieces are solid. They look clean. It takes a lot longer and in my opinion lacks the color variation or visual interest that makes a thing feel alive and textured and not just a colored plastic toy.

Here's one of his last Let's Paint projects for reference.

How you do washes is important. Often beginning artists will use a prepackaged brown wash from GW for everything, get a grimy earthy look. If and when you feel like this is no longer sufficient, you will need to make your own washes. I have a couple of emulsions I use for all washes. How much I use and how dark of a shade I use depends on texture. Cloth demands some pretty soft shadows, metal has very sharp highlights, skin and faces benefit from blending after washes.

Color variation happens naturally in things that aren't manufactured plastic. In some of their painting tutorials, Privateer Press talk about creating shade colors by mixing in a bit of a complementary color, like green to red, for the shadows. For even greater visual interest, try layering a couple of washes and with unusual mixes of color. Your base color becomes subtly tinted with these rich colors, and the shadows become more interesting, more alive, than just dark outlines. But you're still using washes, because there's nothing wrong with washes. They're a fantastic tool. It's how you use them that matters.

Offline Dhi

Re: WH40000 - what's your opinion?
« Reply #1481 on: August 02, 2015, 08:46:46 AM »
These are some things I've been trying for the first time.

Fabric translucency
Object source lighting
Marbling
Custom swaps

Reaper Bones and the quality of the plastic were being discussed in another thread. I've been working with Bones a lot for the last year or so. The stone golem above is a Bones piece. Here are some others I've finished, and the issues I've had with Bones.


Kyra had no nose; the fingers on her right hand were misaligned and had to be chopped off and resculpted. Details such as the bracers and the etching on the top of her helmet were too much for the plastic injection and needed to be painted on.


Candelabra would not straighten after repeated boiling. Some things can't be corrected by resetting and this was one of them. Given the choice of whether to drill all the way up through the core and support it with brass rod, I decided "this one is just going to lean."


Evil altar is squashed, and this is most apparent when looking at the misshapen skulls at the corners.


Tre Manor's gnoll is one of the initial run of Bones, before the Kickstarters, and the quality of detail is really close to the white metal. There is a little decay of crispness around the base of some of the armor spikes. That level of detail drops with each new run. It seems unlikely to improve so long as the quality control is taking place at an overworked Chinese plastic injection plant and out of Reaper's hands.

Offline CountessJess

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Re: WH40000 - what's your opinion?
« Reply #1482 on: August 02, 2015, 10:04:06 AM »
Just want to pop in and say, Dhi's avatar's breasts are really something.

Online Oniya

Re: WH40000 - what's your opinion?
« Reply #1483 on: August 02, 2015, 03:32:47 PM »
Love the marbling and the translucency, Dhi.  Did you hand-craft the veining or did you use an immersion technique?

Offline Dhi

Re: WH40000 - what's your opinion?
« Reply #1484 on: August 02, 2015, 07:15:29 PM »
I tried out three different techniques that came recommended for marbling with acrylics. The sea sponge technique seemed like it would work best since we use it on larger projects for visual interest, like verdigris on bronze tiles. Across such a small surface, the dappling just looked messy and weathered like a well handled miniature... it didn't communicate the smooth texture I wanted.

One artist did a video where he glazed on different tans and reds for a really stunning marble effect. He showed which colors he used and showed the final product, but didn't even talk about the technique, which is the most important part. Not everybody who makes videos is necessarily a good teacher.

Another was doing rings of paint by watering down acrylic and letting it dry so that the paint settles at the very edges. It's a neat effect, but as time consuming as it is on a flat surface, it simply doesn't work on a three dimensional surface. The water will pool into the crevices. So I made one base this way, but quickly decided it's not the technique for me.

Since none of these tricks were working, I ended up painting all of the veining by hand. The most important techniques were tracing the veins in highlights made translucent with matte medium, and once it was done going back over everything with green mixed with glazing medium to give the illusion that the veining goes below the surface instead of just being painted on.

Immersion is a cool effect and something I'd like to try with oils. I don't think there is a way to achieve the same effect with the acrylics we use, since they're miscible with water. After seeing some of the advantages of oil paints, they're something I'd like to try out in the future. I guess I'd need to use some craft store brushes for oils? I don't dare clean my expensive Kolinsky brushes in mineral spirits.

Offline BeorningTopic starter

Re: WH40000 - what's your opinion?
« Reply #1485 on: August 03, 2015, 08:28:15 AM »
Sea sponge? Immersion? Boiling? What does it all mean, people? *headsplode*

Anyway, the golem is amazing! I like the flames on the altar, too.

Online Oniya

Re: WH40000 - what's your opinion?
« Reply #1486 on: August 03, 2015, 01:53:42 PM »
As Dhi pointed out, the sea-sponge and the immersion techniques do not work well on itty-bitty 3-D surfaces like minis, but if you ever wanted to paint something large and flat, you can learn about it here:



The paint is floated on top of the water (so acrylics won't work).  It is then swirled with a brush or stylus into patterns.

The sea-sponge is simply a coarse-grained sponge used to provide texture.  Again, with the size of a mini, the grain is a bit too coarse to make a proper marbling.


Offline Thorne

Re: WH40000 - what's your opinion?
« Reply #1487 on: August 03, 2015, 02:12:46 PM »
For large-surfaces it works fairly well. I used a small sponge to get a decent mottled-leather effect on the wing-fabric of the Clockwork Wyrm.
That's a fairly large area, and I used a small sponge, though.

Offline BeorningTopic starter

Re: WH40000 - what's your opinion?
« Reply #1488 on: August 03, 2015, 02:32:22 PM »
... okay, so what's the use of "marbling" the paper? Yes, it creates interesting patters. But the paper itself is ruined, as it becomes wrinkled etc. So... what's the point here?

BTW. I painted my first Wych today. Tried shading, failed again. Drat.

Offline Dhi

Re: WH40000 - what's your opinion?
« Reply #1489 on: August 03, 2015, 05:04:26 PM »
The guy in the video talks about teaching students something about science, so I assume the purpose is to demonstrate something about miscibility.

A practical immersion technique with a finished product looks something like this.


It's something I'd like to try, maybe for an agate or slate stone effect on a base.

Boiling is just prep work, not any kind of painting technique. Bones miniatures are made of soft plastic which unfortunately can warp when it's lumped into bags with a hundred other miniatures and shipped across the country. Dipping it in some boiling water softens the plastic and should make it relax back to the position it was cast in... then dipping it in cold water should cause it to harden in that position.

Unfortunately some just won't cooperate. The issue may be that not enough plastic was injected into the mould, so it becomes thicker on one side and wants to curve like a creeper vine.

What happened with your shading?

Online Oniya

Re: WH40000 - what's your opinion?
« Reply #1490 on: August 03, 2015, 05:20:06 PM »
... okay, so what's the use of "marbling" the paper? Yes, it creates interesting patters. But the paper itself is ruined, as it becomes wrinkled etc. So... what's the point here?

BTW. I painted my first Wych today. Tried shading, failed again. Drat.

There's actually a Turkish painting technique called 'Ebru'  that involves floating paint as well, but I was specifically looking for a video that was more 'this is how it's done and why it works'.  There are some lovely examples of ebru painting here.

/hijack

Offline BeorningTopic starter

Re: WH40000 - what's your opinion?
« Reply #1491 on: August 03, 2015, 05:47:31 PM »
A practical immersion technique with a finished product looks something like this.


Wow. Amazing! Although I'm not sure how this guy's gadget doesn't get damaged by water? Electronic stuff is supposed to be vulnerable to it...

Anyway, that's definitely one cool technique...

Quote
What happened with your shading?

It just... didn't work out. I painted the Wych with a base colour, then applied the black wash. Some of the details became more pronounced, but the base colour became too dark. So, I tried to brighten it by re-painting most of the areas areas with the base colour again... but that destroyed the shading.

I also tried highlighting: Wyches have these bits of plate armour I thought I could paint that way. So, I painted the armour with a darker metallic colour and tried highlighting the edges with a lighter one... but I'm so imprecise that I actually covered all of the darker colour.  ::)

I also tried shading the hair, but it didn't work out too well, either. Somehow, the red wash I used for hair didn't enter too many of the crevices in the hairstyle, so not much of shading was done. I tried to add some more shades but painting some of the crevices with a darker shade of red with a detail brush, but the results are so-so. Hm.

There's actually a Turkish painting technique called 'Ebru'  that involves floating paint as well, but I was specifically looking for a video that was more 'this is how it's done and why it works'.  There are some lovely examples of ebru painting here.

Interesting! Thanks for a link :))

Regarding painting, I have a question: if I have an acrylic paint and add water to it, will the paint's colour be changed? I'm asking as, when painting the Wych, I ran into the annoying problem of Dark Eldar skin colour. They are supposed to be pale, but the "pale skin" colour from Vallejo is too lively for them (in fact, I use it as a normal skin colour for my Sisters). I was wondering whether adding a lot of water to that paint would make it lighter?

Online Oniya

Re: WH40000 - what's your opinion?
« Reply #1492 on: August 03, 2015, 09:05:10 PM »
You'd probably want to add white and mix it.

Offline Dhi

Re: WH40000 - what's your opinion?
« Reply #1493 on: August 03, 2015, 09:32:59 PM »
Are you using a manufacturer's wash or making your own? No matter what, a wash is going to stain your surface a little bit. That's normal. So if you're applying black wash to a much lighter color, it is going to look grimy and noticeable. Ink has much more pigment than acrylic paint, making this tendency worse. If you're not sure, a manufacturer's wash that goes on very glossy is likely made with an ink.

Try to cut your black wash with a small drop of your basecoat, add another few drops of water, and see if that looks better.

Some practice with brush control will help you to not cover back up your shadows when highlighting, but could it also be possible you're working with a brush that's too wet or not waiting for the wash to fully dry? When artists thin down paint with water for those thin layers, they also dab excess water off the brush. When I was new to blending I must have watched a dozen videos and nobody even mentioned dabbing off the brush until I actually saw someone do it on camera. Even though you get rid of a lot of water that way, if the thinned paint has been fully mixed with the water, it'll still go on thin.

Water will not change the color of acrylic paint. What it may change is its coverage. This means if you have a white primer and apply a watered down Vallejo (and I would definitely recommend watering down Vallejo) some of the white primer may show through. It might give you a whiter color, or more likely it'll give you a blotchy, uneven coat until you bring it up to a uniform color. Try to mix your pale flesh color with a tiny bit of warm white or ivory or very light pink instead.

Ultimately all acrylic paint is a little bit transparent. Pale flesh over a black primer is going to be darker than pale flesh over white primer or a white undercoat. I use a white gesso for everything because I want bright, vibrant colors to show through.

Vallejo droppers will also separate, especially the Game Color line. You really have to shake them relentlessly before using, until your arm hurts. If the paint comes out of the dropper too dark, the issue may be that pale flesh's component colors have separated and you're getting mostly the dark pigment.

Offline BeorningTopic starter

Re: WH40000 - what's your opinion?
« Reply #1494 on: August 04, 2015, 08:47:50 AM »
Okay, so... here's the Wych. It looks very rough / non-smooth, as usual...







Offline Dhi

Re: WH40000 - what's your opinion?
« Reply #1495 on: August 04, 2015, 02:07:45 PM »
When I first started painting I used artist's acrylics and craft paints. They ended up obscuring a lot of detail, although I didn't really notice it at the time... I just thought this was normal. More than any other advice I see given to new painters, it's thin your paint. Thin it with a little water and with some practice and multiple coats you'll get the color you want but preserve all your details.

Is this the one with the washes?

Offline BeorningTopic starter

Re: WH40000 - what's your opinion?
« Reply #1496 on: August 04, 2015, 02:28:48 PM »
Yup, that's the one with the washes. I think it looks better to the naked eye... For some reason, some of the details that *are* visible got lost in those photos.

Regarding thinning the paints - hm, how much water is "little"?

I painted a new Sister today... I tried doing the shading again. It... came out better this time around, I think. Overall, I'm quite pleased with how the mini worked out.


Offline eBadger

Re: WH40000 - what's your opinion?
« Reply #1497 on: August 04, 2015, 06:28:21 PM »
The sea-sponge is simply a coarse-grained sponge used to provide texture.  Again, with the size of a mini, the grain is a bit too coarse to make a proper marbling.

I've been told the foam padding included with many minis works well for this sort of thing. 

It just... didn't work out. I painted the Wych with a base colour, then applied the black wash. Some of the details became more pronounced, but the base colour became too dark. So, I tried to brighten it by re-painting most of the areas areas with the base colour again... but that destroyed the shading.

When using washes, you have to take into account the shading when choosing your base color: pick something a bit brighter than you want to end with.  You can also thin down the wash a bit with some water.

I also tried highlighting: Wyches have these bits of plate armour I thought I could paint that way. So, I painted the armour with a darker metallic colour and tried highlighting the edges with a lighter one... but I'm so imprecise that I actually covered all of the darker colour.  ::)

Brush control, and also using good brushes.  Note that the sharpness of the tip is more important than brush size when doing small details. 

I also tried shading the hair, but it didn't work out too well, either. Somehow, the red wash I used for hair didn't enter too many of the crevices in the hairstyle, so not much of shading was done. I tried to add some more shades but painting some of the crevices with a darker shade of red with a detail brush, but the results are so-so. Hm

I'm not sure exactly what went wrong there, but my initial impression is that the wash was put on too thin/dried too quickly.  It doesn't look like it pooled much at all. 

No advise on shading, people? I'm going to have two free weeks now, so I'd like to come back to painting...

Not sure how much advice you want; Dhi is a far more skilled painter than I am.  But I've found a few techniques that work well, and simply, to achieve decent results. 



Breaking down by colors:

All the flesh is a simple base coat/wash; the key here was finding a really pale skin tone that looked bad in the bottle but doesn't look too dark after a wash.  You can compare the skin of the characters with the decapitated head hanging from the right hip of the right guard; the only difference was swapping a thinned brown wash (agrax earthshade by GW) to give more pallor and less healthy ruddiness.   

Zerkova's (the central figure) browns are two separate colors, P3 bootstrap brown and p3 gun corps brown, alternating from boots/pants/corset/bustier.  I applied a brown/black wash (custom, but I believe very closely based on Secret Weapon's Armor Wash).  That outlined all the detail and brought the colors together.  I used multiple coats of wash in a few places to build up some shading, and returned to some highly thinned original colors for sparse highlights. 

The metal is p3 thamar black base with a dry brush of p3 pig iron and a highlight of brighter silver (basically just a few touches on the most raised portions; I typically just dry brush a line down to the top of an arm/helm/weapon/etc).  A little bit of p3 armor wash; I usually just apply that when my dry brushing is too heavy.  Dry brushed metals are definitely something I suggest as a first step: it's very simple but adds lots of visual complexity.  Inks or non-metallic metals look better, but anything is better than solid metallic base coat. 

The fur is a mix of washes and drybrushing; I used p3 frostbite (a light blue/grey) for a mid tone, applied p3 armor wash for the deeper shadows, then dry brushed p3 morrow white for the highlights; the last one is actually used very sparingly, but it's so bright it's all you really read for color. 

Over the last year I've been working on two brush blending, which does require some skill but makes for some striking effects that I really like.  The red is Vallejo Gory Red as a base, mixed with a bit of p3 thamar black for a darker shade, then some more for a deep shade; I finished with some bright red (GW - maybe scarlet suns?) for a couple small highlights (top of the cap, her belt).  I used armor wash to enhance a couple key details: the pocket on her left and the frogging down the front of her jacket. 

The blue is successive dry brushed highlights (p3 meridian blue, arcane blue, arcane/morrow white, an a final touch of morrow white).  I wanted to do some object source lighting but didn't feel confident enough - I need to get some junk models to practice on. 



Some of my practice models, using two brush blending to create effects.  2bb involves laying down a base coat, then using one brush to paint a line, then a second brush - nearly clean, but wet - to smooth the edge out into a fade.  This gave the two-tone cloaks, the three-tone swords (I mixed some vallejo metallic medium into the colors), and the light-glare look on the quiver. 



2bb used to shade a light orange with a dark red.



Shading whites and blacks are notoriously difficult; this is a practice model for white after taking a class.  His entire jacket is a mix of p3 gun corps brown and morrow white, with no pure versions of either.  Washes only on the leather and rope. 



The brown bottom of the coat combined 2bb (darkening from top to bottom) and washes (to pick out the details and edges). 

So, back to your stuff: use washes, but plan for them.  Your clothing didn't shade well because there's too little contrast between the wash and the paint color; that's fine if you're adding more highlights, not so good if you aren't. 

That goes for the rest of your colors, too: you need another color in your palette that will work with your red to make easily identifiable shapes, rather than a formless monotone (a brighter gold rather than a bronze?  switch to a different hair color?)

As mentioned, thin your paints just a bit.  They will flow better, requiring less pressure on the brush and therefore a sharper point and better control and detail. 

Regarding thinning the paints - hm, how much water is "little"?

I painted a new Sister today... I tried doing the shading again. It... came out better this time around, I think. Overall, I'm quite pleased with how the mini worked out.

The best description I've seen is to try for the consistency of milk.  It should hold some form, but should flow readily and easily over the surface.  Watercolor is bad.

And post the new mini!!!
« Last Edit: August 04, 2015, 06:47:15 PM by eBadger »

Offline Dhi

Re: WH40000 - what's your opinion?
« Reply #1498 on: August 04, 2015, 07:56:32 PM »
Ooh, the new Zerkova! I've been looking forward to that one, didn't realize she was out.

Offline eBadger

Re: WH40000 - what's your opinion?
« Reply #1499 on: August 04, 2015, 11:28:01 PM »
Pre-release; general release isn't for a month or two.  A lovely trio of models; had to grab her although I'm a ways off from having the force to field her.