Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Back in Black!

 Wow! and Oh dear. It really has been almost 5 months since I updated here.

I confess. The Gundam figure broke me, following on so closely from my general unhappiness with my Dark Angels. It really was one of those "dark nights of the soul" where I felt like I couldn't face painting another mini and being unhappy with it. I also found myself looking at the Azrael figure I had underway and feeling rather disenchanted with that as well. So I just stopped. Call it a crisis of confidence.

I'm not sure what it was that prompted me to pick up the brush again last Friday and pile headlong into painting Inquisitor Asmodai. Maybe it was all the game's day stuff I'd seen. Maybe it was the new Dark Angels set that GW released. I don't know, but as it was I went at the painting full bore on Friday and Saturday, by which point I'd gotten so far....
Being a little indulgent with the painting helped me somewhat. I used techniques that I hadn't used in ages in favour of time saving approaches that I now realise had become to feel unfulfilling. The black armour was done by painting mid grey, highlighting with light grey and then applying blue wash, brown wash, black wash, over and over (retouching the highlights where necessary) until I had a coverage I was happy with. It is a time consuming technique, but it produces such a rich black with a lot of depth that just painting black doesn't have. It is also, I think, a very easy technique, it just can't be rushed.

The robe at this stage only has the base coat, mid coat and washes on it, but I'd already started wet-blending the mid and base tones everywhere I could. I really enjoyed this, working fast and loose while the paint was wet, got a smoothness of transition I'd been missing from the other highlighting techniques I'd been using.

I knew what I was going to do with the sword, so that was no worry. The banner was a problem, being already fixed in place and partially obscured by the Crozus, painting that was going to be a challenge.

And in the very short end, this is where I got to.
This pic shows slightly more clearly the transitions on the robe than the first one, largely because I fiddled around more carefully with my lighting. My only gripe with the figure is that the particle effect round the eyes didn't work as well as I'd have liked, but I'm happy enough with it.
I'm quite pleased with how the sword came out and I used the same technique I applied for Kaldor Drogo all those months ago. Progressive washes at either end blending into each other, while periodically dry-brushing a light off-white shade (Reaper Ghost White for preference), to give a little particle effect and to help with the shading. The lighting is freehand, with a couple of washes over it so it blends into the colours.
Obligatory side shot. Worth mentioning here that the technique I used for the gold on the armour and sword, was a base of Formula P3 Cryx Bane Base (a rather nice off black) and then Formula P3 Blighted Gold, followed by a quick mithril highlight and a devlan mud wash. The P3 Blighted Gold was recommended by Ron in one of his Deathwing posts earlier this year and I have to say, it is definitely the best gold I've worked with for getting the slightly moody effect I like on my DA and DW. Sally forth and buy yourself a pot today.
The banner. Now there banner was where I thought I was going to "break" myself again and give up in despair, but I tried to keep it simple. So I freehanded on the red stripe and the scroll for his name. The skull, which neatly matches his helmet, was a transfer that I painted over. Simple, but I'm really happy with how this came out overall.
Final shot of the rear. The robe was done with the trusty Reaper bone triad, wet blending as I went and then doing a final dry brush highlight with Reaper Leather White. This shot also shows what I think is a real depth of colour in the black of the backpack. There is a slight blue tinge, which I rather like and the highlighting round the edges is very fine and nicely diffuse into the black.

And there you have it. My first mini in five months and one I am quite pleased with. Certainly this has given me sufficent fuel for my fire to press ahead with finishing Azrael and he'll be up next.

Until then, I'm back. Back in Black.