Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Deathwing - Step by Step Part 3

I've had to change my lighting for these images, because the highlight was getting bled out by my lightsource. I really do need to sort out a proper lightbox for macro-photography, but until I get my study redone its very much a project on the back burner.

The next step (or steps as I've done a few things) is to apply the highlight to the parts of the model which get the most light. I generally work on the basis that my lightsource is more or less directly above, at a slight angle. I do play a little fast and loose with this for the sake of the mini looking good and keeping definition where I want it.

The principle of this is simple enough, in that the parts which get hit by the most light are the brighest with the colour gradually bleeding out the further you get from the lightsource or where areas are in shadow. Actually explaining how I do it is somewhat trickier. Hopefully you can see in the picture above what I mean, in particular the areas in shadow. Those areas are untouched by the highlight, most notably the vent area at the back of the carapace and the sides of the torso.
The two images above show more of the shaded areas and also the much stronger contrast between the upper surfaces of the model and those areas which are shadowed. You might also be able to see that I've washed the gunmetal parts and grey of the figure with a thinned Badab Black wash, to add some depth.

The technique for the highlighting and getting a reasonably smooth transition to the dark is a bit of cheat really. Rather than wetblend the two colours together (which takes ages), I instead thin the highlight paint a fair bit (Reaper Master Series Aged Bone) and then gradually layer that on.

Now a reasonably thinned paint behaves like a wash, so it needs to managed carefully. It also pool at the point of contact with the model, so you have to be careful not to apply too much paint to your brush. My technique involves first applying the brush to the area I want the main highlight to be, drawing the paint away a bit, then drawing it back leaving a thinned coat behind. I do a few passes, drawing the brush further away it each time, building up the top highlight while bleeding the colour out further. Because the Reaper triads compliment each other so well, this is a surprisingly fast way of getting a decent blended bone highlight. It doesn't look as good as a full blown wet blend but, doing that would drive me to distraction.

You might also have noticed that I've left the skull and crossbones on the Terminator Honours as bone. While the standard Terminator fluff is that the Honour is carved from the rock of Marines homeworld, I've never been keen on that for my Deathwing. I've done my own fluff here and drawn my inspiration from the original Deathwing novella, where the marines are a tribal people akin to the Indian tribes of North America. Part of their Terminator Honours are carved from the bones of fierce beasts they've hunted (as part of a coming of age ritual), fused with the stone cross and then covered with a protective layer of something. However, as the beasts they hunt are naturally very tough, the bones are unusually resilient anyway. The new Dark Angels novels (which are pretty good imo) have the recruits hunting down incredibly dangerous beasts on the deathworld of Caliban, so the whole bone Honours thing carries through. The trick is getting the bone effect on the Terminator Honour to look different to the rest of the armour. At this point its early days, more work to do there yet.

Finally, I've also washed the Dark Angels green on the Storm Bolter, chest Aquila and other elements of the armour with thinned Badab Black.
I've realised that I like the green on my Dark Angels to be quite dark, so making it as dark as possible first means I can avoid the fairly aggressive yellowy highlight I have on some of my earlier Deathwing minis.

No comments:

Post a Comment