Sunday, 4 September 2016

Descent: I'm back baby!!! (again)

Wow, just over a year has passed since my last blogpost, and it feels horrible!

I've always been a sporadic painter, I'll hit it hard for 5 or 6 weeks and then can't seem to find the time. It's frustrating because it's absolutely the worst way to learn a skill - every time I take a break I come back rusty and have to relearn everything again. It's actually why I started this blog - it at least lets me document things like colour schemes and techniques I've tried and their success or failure. Unfortunately, I also live in a house where the study I paint in is closer to the sun than Mercury during summer, so I actually only have about 12 weeks of painting time left before it's not going to be possible due to the heat. 

Anyway, enough waffle. Trenloe...I started him alongside Shiver and then shelved him to focus on more necromantic pursuits. So, time to get back to the shiny knight (and boy is he shiny!)

1) I started with the skirt:
     a) 2 DY : 2 BB : 3T to shade and tone down the yellow tones 
     b) 2 DY : 2 ES : 1T for a first highlight
     c) 2 DY : 6 ES : 2T for the final highlight
     d) I edged the skirt with some thinned down VGC Brown Ink

2) The face was a bit of a nightmare. I'm still not all that pleased with it, but after two repaints I'm worried I'll start getting chalky build-up. Here's what I ended up with:
     a) Pure ES base
     b) Custom purple wash (see below) to shade
     c) Re-base coat in pure ES
     d) Highlight in 1:1 ES and PF
     e) For the stubble, I used the ES/PF mix and added just a touch of CG. I thinned this heavily and slowly built up the hairline. I didn't think it was dark enough but I was scared if I went any darker it'd be way too dark so I've left it. 

3) Belt, bags, red sash on skirt, weapon - all the little bits that needed to be done were pretty basic. BB on the bags and belt, CB on the weapon haft, SR on the skirt hem, and BW with a wash of VGC Brown Ink. 

4) Silver, silver, everywhere! So, this was one of the two experiments I wanted to run on Trenloe - Vallejo's Liquid Gold paint range. This paint really is something else, and went way beyond my expectations - as you can see from the pics it's basically chrome in a can! The only downside to this amazing stuff is that it's thinned in alcohol instead of water, so I grabbed some 100% isopropyl alcohol from the local HW store and set to work. It has amazing coverage, it's easy to work with, and the results were fantastic. The only thing left to do on the armour is to wash it with black/brown, but that's for the next update. 

5) The I wanted to do something a little different for Trenloe's shield. In the box art it looks like he has a wooden shield either covered in blood smears or red paint that has flaked off in battle. I've assumed the latter because a blood soaked shield just didn't make sense to me for this model. To that end I've decided to try using Vallejo's Chipping Medium to recreate the effect. This medium is supposed to be airbrushed onto a sealed colour coat, after which you paint on a different colour and then use a damp brush to "activate" the medium and remove sections of the second colour, exposing the original underneath. My idea is to paint a wooden shield, then airbrush it Scarlett and use the medium to remove most of the Scarlett coat in as natural a worn and chipped look as I can. 

I've started with the wood (on both faces of the shield). I wanted something akin to ash wood, so I used a mix of 2 CG : 6 LB : 1T, and then carefully painted hair-thin squiggly lines in VGC Brown Ink to represent wood grain.

Not knowing if airbrushing the Chipping Medium onto the decorations on the shield would layer cause me issues with Liquid Gold (isopropyl is a pretty strong solvent after all), I thought it would be wise to also paint on some Vallejo masking fluid. Big mistake! This shit is horrible! It's very likely it's because I've had it sitting on the shelf for over a year but it was like adding a cup of water to playdough and trying to brush it onto the model! No idea if it will protect the model, or even come off later when I want it to, but there's not much I can do about it now /shrug

That's it for now. Here's some pics of where I've left it:

From here the plan is to finish the shield (varnish, Chipping Medium, Scarlett, then weather it back to the wood grain), remove the masking fluid on the shield and paint his belt buckle, shoulder pad, shield decoration and the two circles on his breastplate in Vallejo Liquid Gold, varnish the model and finally wash with oil-based washes. 

Hopefully I'll get all that done without another 14 month break! Anyway, until them, Happy Hobbying!