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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

+ inload: Painting the Aldebaran 18th +

+ inload: Painting the Aldebaran 18th +

+ When starting a new project, whether a single figure or a whole mass of troops, I like to start by having a think about what I want to achieve with a colour scheme.

+ Having just finished an Eldar army for a campaign on Frigia (an ice world), I'd had great fun with bright, vibrant colours. The scheme had a warm-blue and yellow as the main (complementary) colours, with a pair of complementary accent colours (magenta and turquoise) that worked in a tetrad. Quite a complex scheme, it worked well. For this new project, I wanted to try something much more restrained and muted, so I'm opting for a simple three-part scheme of blue-grey as the primary, warm brown as the secondary, and red as the accent.

+ The cool blue-grey here is represented on the overcoat and rifle body. On the coat, white primer is shaded down from a midtone of Fenris Grey to Charadon Granite (essentially black in the recesses) and up through Space Wolf Grey to white, which is the dominant tone of the finished area. Light colours reflect more light and so catch the eye, while the deep tones in the recesses provide strong contrast, which builds on that effect.

+ Little of the midtone remains on the coat, which ensures striking contrast – the target of the paint scheme. The rifle has nearly the same range of tone, but restricted to the recesses and edges, so much more of the basic midtone is visible. This means that the two blue-grey areas are coherent in hue – even if the basic tones are very different. This coherency helps ties the model together, while the contrast in tone makes it visually interesting and striking, and makes the gun stand out against the coat, which stops the whole model becoming visually confusing.

+ For the warm brown, I've used Calthan Brown, and this is used on the gloves and respirator. Warm colours draw the eye, so using them on the head and hands makes sense – these form a triangle on most human-shaped figures, which leads the eye around the model and makes looking at the model both restful (because the eye is led around a contained shape) and interesting (because there are multiple points of interest). 
+ As an aside, it's important for this effect that these points (the head and two hands) add up to an odd number – people seem to find these more interesting and visually pleasing. Using an even number of points encourages people to rest on one. This isn't hugely important on a single piece miniature, as the composition is largely done for you, but it's worth bearing in mind when doing conversions. +
+ At this point, the model has interest provided by the strong contrast in tone, but it doesn't catch the eye. For this reason, I added strong reds. These are danger colours that we've evolved to pay attention to! I've used them on the goggles and as a freehand helmet stripe, in order to draw the eye to the head. This, in combination with the wealth of detail here in comparison with the clean spaces of the other areas, makes the head the focal point. 

+ With the red in place, the scheme started looking a bit busy (it's a small model, after all), so I muted the warm brown of the gloves and respirator by adding white to the colour and highlighting them up. This reduces the contrast in hue, and ensures your eye goes straight to the helmet. From here, it travels to the face (respirator), then on to the gloves, where the eye is led back to the focal point.

+ To keep the eye on the model, the figure received a simple base made with Mourn Mountain Snow, one of GW's new texture paints, and a light drybrush of pure white. I added some little tufts of lichen (sponge) for interest. +

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