Thursday, 3 November 2011

Guest post: It's not easy being orange (Part Two)

By Gravitas   Posted at  12:13   painting 2 comments

In part one, I went over in rather pointless detail about the reasoning behind my color scheme and the test models that I used to experiment on. In part 2, it's time to start painting the actual Infinity miniatures.

After all that mucking about with test figures, in the end I decided on a variant of the official scheme, but with more orange and red shades. You can see in the work in progress pictures that I've started with the metal areas and the desert-yellow cloth areas (these Naffatun are actually the second Infinity figures that I painted, but the only ones I took WIP pictures of).

There's a school of thought that says you should paint "from the inside out", starting with things like skin and cloth, then working your way through the outer layers. While there's definitely something to be said for this approach, I always paint anything that needs drybrushing first, so any overlap can be easily obscured without having to re-highlight surrounding areas. You can see how I've almost completely finished the gun, piping and exahausts before starting on the yellow cloth areas, since part of their highlighting involved a drybrush of Shadow Grey over their Adeptus Battlegrey/Badab Black basecoat.

I used the same Desert Yellow/Gryphonne Sepia/Bleached Bone that I used for the pouches/gun casing in the test models, but applied it to any cloth/unarmored areas. Instead of the super-bright Blazing Orange, any armored areas were basecoated with the more subdued Solar Macharius Orange then given a Devlan Mud wash.

The armor was then highlighted from orange to Elf Flesh on the edges. The pink of the Elf Flesh ensures the orange doesn't end up as chalky as it would with Skull White. It's still a bit washed out at the end though, so to add definition and depth I watered some Dark Flesh down until it's basically a wash, then paint it along the back edges of the armor plates and into recesses. A similar technique is used for the yellow, but with Snakebite Leather.

The pouches and fuel tank were basecoated Dark Flesh, then highlighted with Red Gore and Blood Red. The boot laces were picked out with Ultramarines Blue and highlighted with Ice Blue, as I thought the lower half of the model needed a spot of cool color.

The visors I did last, though I am not sure why. Perhaps because I didn't want to get orange paint on the nice gradient? The base color is Necron Abyss, highlighted through Ultramarines Blue to Ice Blue and Skull white at the bottom, with a small speck of white at the top for a specular reflection. The little nodules on the gauntlets are painted the same way.

To my irritation, half way through painting I noticed that the white primer I used wasn't doing its job well at all - paint was constantly rubbing off the gun barrel and outstreched fingers of the figures. The problem was compounded when I dropped the female trooper just before taking these photos - you can see how chips of paint have come off her hand and just below her knee, as well as the hose disconnecting from her backpack. I'll fix it before I varnish them, but right now I am too annoyed.

The plan was originally to do the bases in the same way I did the one on my test model, maybe with some more variations like scattered dark stones. That changed after I saw the amazing Urban Fight Bases from MicroArt Studios in my local game store. They were perfect! Plus, hexagons! Hexagons are futuristic.

I wanted to suggest that the figures had bought the Martian landscape with them, that the conflict had destroyed the barrier between the city and the wilds and that the dusty regolith was pushing up between cracked cobblestones and asphault.

The cobbles got a basecoat of Adeptus Battle Grey, a wash of Badab Black, a heavy drybrush of Codex Grey, then further, lighter drybrushes of Codex Grey mixed with increasing amounts of Skull White, paying particular attention to the edges of each individual stone. The discarded rifle on one base was painted the same way as the miniature's own weapon.

I then went over the base with an extremely watered down wash of Dark Flesh, concentrating on the cracks between paving stones, gutters, and the areas around the piles of debris. While this was still wet, I gave the rubble piles a basecoat of less-diluted Dark Flesh. When this was dry, I drybrushed more dark flesh in any places that I felt needed it, usually around the areas of wash that had not quite blended properly. These areas were then drybrushed heavily with Blazing Orange, then a light final drybrush of Elf Flesh. I didn't bother to avoid the feet of the miniatures so they would have a natural layer of dirt and dust on their boots.

Right at the start I mentioned that the two Naffatun weren't actually the first Infinity models I painted - that was this chap here, a Hassassin Lasiq. In my opinion I did a better job on him than the other two. I'm very tempted to re-base him on one of the Urban Fight bases, but he is pretty solidly in place. The only real difference between his scheme and the Naffatun is that to avoid using too much yellow I gave him a black under-armor bodysuit. I also made the armor nodules on his legs into blue gems - he's got a form of optic camo so I figure they're blur projectors. The holster and knife sheath should have been red rather than "metallic" but OH WELL.

The interior of the cloak is Bleached Bone highlighted to white rather than the normal desert yellow as a vague nod to countershading. I thought he looked a little clean for someone sneaking around the Martian desert, so I added some Dark Flesh to the hem with a torn piece of sponge. It's good, but a little regular in places.

Overall, I am not entirely happy with the Naffatun, but they look acceptable. I think I did a better job on the bases than the models themselves. I may try a Ogryn Flesh wash on the orange rather than a Devlan Mud, I think it will make the overall color a little richer. I should also push the edge higlights on the metallic surfaces more, and maybe do the same on the orange as well.

Or maybe I should just stop overthinking this crap and paint more.


  1. Cool post! I really like the dynamism of the models and the paint scheme looks really good. I can imagine them tearing around the martial landscape.

    Also you made me realise I totally need to do a basic Ultramarines step by step post at some stage.

  2. Infinity models are really nice, the only problem with them being so dynamic is that they're much harder to convert (the whole range is metal).


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