Saturday 22 December 2012

Hobby: Quick and Easy Weathering

Many painting methods require hours of patient layering, mixing, and subtle techniques to achieve look that may, to the untrained eye, appear only 10% better than the equivalent wash and dry-brush technique. I always end up spending hours on a single model that looks a million bucks at the end of my nose only to find the detail gets lost in a squad, let alone on a table top full of scenery, dice, templates and rule books. 

(Half of this is of course colour palette, but that's a whole other topic!)

WIP Primaris Psyker (left) and 'weathered' AEGIS section (right)

In an attempt to reverse this trend I have recently started painting my AEGIS Defence Line, a perfect excuse to try some painting techniques where the end (a good looking model) justifies the means  (quick and dirty methods). Any mistakes will be easily hidden once all sections are finished and placed end-to-end.

Perfectionist on the left, Quick and Easy on the right.

My first 'section', on the left, was a dismal failure. Mixing paints, multiple washes, edge highlighting, a first ever attempt at chipped paint, and an evening's hobby time spent on one twelfth of a piece of scenery! My next section on the right was a lot quicker, as shown below:

Brown Wash, Cream Highlight, Grey Chips. Done.

As in any form of painting in the last thousand years, the key to making features look realistically three-dimensional is the shading, highlighting and perspective. Since models already have their own perspective, we can enhance this by adding shading and highlighting, in this case through the easiest forms by washing (for shadows) and dry-brushing (for highlights). As shown above, the process for making the model appear both weathered and more realistic are very simple, all in about 5 minutes (less drying time of the wash). Trainspotters will notice an additional layer of black wash, applied after the dry-brush. I also saved time using Games Workshop's Texture paint to add some sand/muck details to the lower edges.

The other extreme: the gun alone probably took me 3-5 hours!

For myself, whenever I use these techniques the end result looks very messy as I lack patience, preferring to go back over any wash with layer colours, and build up highlights with a fine detail brush until I am cross eyed and hunched over like Igor. Anything that saves time and looks great is a win!

Optional Extras

Now that I had a great looking model, I couldn't help but add a couple of extra details. These probably took the same amount of time as painting the steps above, but serve to draw the eye away from some of the messier darks and lights on the rest of the model. They can also tie in colours from the rest of the army and make a more cohesive army/fortification when on display.

A big thank you to Tale of Painters for their inspiring models!

Update: You can see my follow up work with Pigments here!

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