During the past week I’ve managed to make some substantial progress on my entry, though not as much as I’d hoped I would as I got less done during the weekend than I’d planned (but more during last week). The base and body have now both been finished from a modelling perspective and both have received a coat of grey primer. The base received it’s airbrushed base colours yesterday but I took a bit of a side step when I tried to wash the lower half and all I managed to do was basically darken it when I airbrushed the wash on (and make it satin shiny). Before I hit the sack yesterday I applied the wash again to some parts of it with a brush, which did shade it a little, but didn’t give it as much depth as I wanted.
Although I’ve a couple of jobs to do when I get in, I do have time this evening to spend on it. My first step is to selectively apply some wash into the deepest recesses (by hand and using other colours). Once that’s dry (a good point to do some chores ; ) I’ll re-apply the base colours with my airbrush, shade and then apply gentle highlights. I will then drybrush the various elements and if necessary blend in using the base colour from the airbrush. I might even treat myself to one or two of the new GW drybrush paints.
One thing that I managed to get done, is some “naked shadow pics”. Now this does sound very dodgy but is quite innocent. What it consists of is assembling the core elements of the piece (preferably undercoated all the same colour*) and setting the model up with a single light source (or multiple depending on what you’re after), in a dark room. If you carefully look at your model, you will see all of the shadows and variations in colour on pieces. Then, setting up a camera on a tripod with the flash turned off, slowly go round the piece and take photographs of it. Don’t touch the actual model or light as you want every angle to be taken under the same circumstances. It is very important to use a tripod as the low light level will mean the camera has to keep the aperture open for quite a while so any slight hand tremor will blur the picture.
The end result is a set of pictures that you can use as a reference for the blends when painting your model. For regular miniatures you don’t get masses of benefit from doing this, however with something larger or with big areas of flat surface (i.e. armour) this can really make the difference between an “average” and “realistic” piece. Plus if you’re airbrushing it doesn’t actually take too long to achieve this 🙂
* It should be obvious, but when taking pictures in the dark it’s best to avoid using a black undercoat