Thursday, 3 November 2011

Guest Post: It's not easy being orange (Part One)

By Gravitas   Posted at  00:08   painting No comments

The excellent Ghost In The Shell meets Necromunda cyberpunk skirmish game Infinity really needs its own write up, and maybe I will do that one day when I'm bored. For now it's enough to say that I've enjoying playing the game with proxy models while slowly purchasing and painting the actual figures.

Painting them ORANGE.

It is no secret that I have a huge nerd-boner for space, in particular the exploration of Mars - probably due to being bitten by a radioactive copy of Kim Stanley Robinson's excellent Mars Trilogy when I was but a wee lad*. So a Mars-based color scheme seemed like an obvious choice, striking enough to stand out but still a logical choice for a combat unit.

However, I had a problem. I had no idea how I wanted to paint martian camo. Did I want to attempt a DPM pattern? How red is the red planet? How do I avoid everything becoming a blur of warm colors? Clearly I needed to experiment.

So I did. Because I give precisely zero damns for the secondary market, I used as my test models figures from the slightly-rare Schaeffer's Last Chancers. Partly because I had them lying around, but mostly because the ridiculously sculpted model named "Shiv" had become some sort of unstoppable force in the games I used him in.

Proxied for a lowly mechanised infantry trooper, he would wade through incoming fire to murder models many times his worth with a shotgun. Clearly a model who deserved to be rewarded.

Rewarded with a MANLY BEARD sculpted from the most MACHO OF GREENSTUFF

The scheme I used on the model I affectionately call Stabby McStabberton was based on pictures from the martian surface, a deep red/brown tending to orange and pink. After a coat of white primer, his uniform was base-coated in Dark Flesh, then highlighted towards Blazing Orange. I think I gave it a Thrakka Green wash too, because why not?

Secondary colors were a desert yellow and a neutral grey/black. The yellow was Desert Yellow with a Gryphonne Sepia wash, then highlighted to Bleached Bone. The black was Chaos Black with simple Codex Grey/Skull White highlights.

I knew that I needed a cool color to make the whole thing come together, so any metal surfaces were hightlighted with Shadow Grey and Astronomicon Grey. I had decided not to use any metallic paints on these guys both as a stylistic choice and as a way of experimenting with non-metallic-metal techniques. I spent a bit more time on the knife than I did on the gun, and while I don't think I really nailed the effect, it was an interesting experiment.

The skin tone was another experiment, as I had never painted non-caucasian skin before. I didn't want to use Dark Flesh as a base, as it was already the base of the uniform, and also I thought it was a bit too red. So I eyeballed it, starting with a base of Beastial Brown and a wash of Leviathan Purple, highlighting towards Tallarn Flesh, then changing halfway through to Elf Flesh. Think there might have been a bit of bleached bone in there as well.

The result is good, though I probably should have aimed for a lighter shade to contrast more with the uniform. It's more Indian Subcontinent than the Middle Eastern tone I was aiming for, but I quite like it. Finally, the hair has a slightly blue shade to help it stand out against the skin.

Overall, the colors on the miniature are okay, but not quite what I was after. It's too much a mass of red, and ironically it blends too much into the base (Dark flesh, heavy drybrush Blazing Orange, light drybrush Elf Flesh). The yellow, and the blue-metal were promising. Time to try something a little brighter.


I never did finish this guy, firstly because the figure itself never inspired me (he's no McStabberton that's for sure), and secondly because by the time I'd got half finished, I had a pretty good idea of how I was going to go about painting the actual figures. His jumpsuit is a stylish Blazing Orange with a Devlan Mud wash, highlighted towards Elf Flesh, and blah blah blah, I'm already sick of this guy. The darker skin (only basecoated and washed) looks much better against the orange than it does against the red though.

So the orange contrasted nicely while still being in an acceptable Martian color range, though it was a bit bright (and too much of it made it look like a prison jumpsuit). The yellow was just about right, and in fact could probably be used more liberally. The red would be okay for an accent color for pouches and the like, but not suitable for anything larger. The metal was good, but there needed to be a bit more blue to make the whole scheme pop.

Now I had a workable plan, a little experience with some of the more unfamiliar colors and techniques, it was time to paint the actual models I bought for the task.

Next: I finally get around to painting the damn things.

* This is not actually true, I didn't read Red Mars/Green Mars/Blue Mars until I was in my mid 20s, and they were only slightly irridated at the time.

0 bleatings to Megapope:

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Who is this beardy weirdo?

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Hatching from his egg high in the glacier crowned majesty of the Himalayas, the Megapope quickly devoured his other siblings and later on his parents, for being damned cheeky. He ran a bloody campaign of terror across the wind swept steppes of the north, coming to be known as 'That Horrid Bastard' by the terrified tribes of the region. Many years later he came second in a beauty contest, won $10, didn't pass Go and didn't collect $200.

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