View Full Version : Painting lesson1 (intermediate level) - Metals

03-27-2009, 06:37 PM
The other day, I wrote some stuff on painting for a beginner, and i realised that what i had described was probably too difficult for someone who was only just learning to paint. Therefore, I am starting this lesson with the note that to understand my methods, and be able to follow my guides, you will need to have a basic understanding of the main concepts of painting miniatures, and have had a bit of experience with each of the following skills:
1) Under coating
2) Base coating
3) Over-brushing
4) Dry-brushing
5) Inking
6) Highlighting

The names of colours of paints that i will be using will be from the Citadel range, as sold by Games Workshop, as that is where i get most of my paints and equipment. However, any water/mineral-based acrylic paints should work - I just like the colours of Games Workshop's ones. I will also be using Games Workshop models, as i have a lot of them lying around, waiting to be painted.
Right, without further ado, Lesson 1. Metal. A key part of many miniatures, metal forms the basis of most armours, and so often is very distinct on your model. I will be using Necron Warriors for this lesson, as the most generic way to paint them is to make their entire body metal. I will be doing 3 different versions.
i) Burnished and polished silver, with a blue tinge. Futuristic but puritanical looking, good for Knights or High-Tech characters.
ii) Dry and etched silver. Ancient and worn looking, good for characters that aren't designed to be perfect.
iii) Gold. The most difficult, but when done well can make both excellent detail pieces (sword hilts etc) as well as great armour plates.
All will start with a black undercoat.

Also, I apologise for the low quality pictures, my camera broke and I had to use a very low quality webcam.
i) Burnished and polished silver
http://img5.imageshack.us/img5/955/bluefnw.jpg (http://img5.imageshack.us/my.php?image=bluefnw.jpg)

Colours you will need:
Midnight Blue
Boltgun Metal
Mithril Silver

Step1) Base coat the whole area with midnight blue. Donít be stingy, make sure you paint inside any recesses, like between the ribs on my warrior. Usual base coating rules apply - 2 thin coats is better than 1 heavy.

Step2) Mix up a paint of about 1:1 Boltgun Metal: Midnight Blue. Overbrush the entire area with this, making sure to get a even coat across the whole area, but leaving the recesses untouched.

Step3) Overbrush the entire area with a 1:1 mix of Boltgun Metal: Mithril Silver, but leave the areas where shadows would play (such as arm sockets) only painted lightly, and donít worry about getting this as evenly done - let some areas be heavier than others, especially the middle of chest plates and things like that. Note that we missed out using raw Boltgun metal, as it dulls the colour too much.

Step4) Then mix a small amount of midnight blue with Mithril silver (about a 1:4 ratio, to avoid being too blue), and highlight the edges quite heavily.

Finally, highlight with raw Mithril Silver, and you are done - a cold, blue steel finish, perfect for chivalric knights, or space age technocrats!
ii) Dry and etched silver
http://img5.imageshack.us/img5/5121/silverrlf.jpg (http://img5.imageshack.us/my.php?image=silverrlf.jpg)

Colours you will need:
Boltgun Metal
Mithril Silver
Chaos Black
Bleached Bone

Step1) Drybrush the whole area Boltgun Metal. Be sure to leave bits of black showing, especially in the recesses.

Step2) Drybrush lightly with Mithril Silver, concentrating more upon areas where the Boltgun Metal is thickest.

Step3) Water down the black paint, to make a very thin ink. Brush a small amount over your knuckles - when it gets to the point that it fills the recess of your knuckle without pooling on the skin in between, it is the right consistency. When you have this, drench the area of the metal in it. Donít be stingy, once it dries the ink will fill a much smaller area. Wait until it has properly dried before moving on.

Step4) Very lightly drybrush the edges of the areas with Mithril Silver, then Bleached Bone. Follow a pattern with this - go on stripes from left to right across all the panes of armour, to make it look like windswept grazes on the armour.

And there you have it - damaged, worn silver, perfect for bodywork on desert buggies or battle damaged armour.
iii) Gold
http://img5.imageshack.us/img5/5892/goldkwj.jpg (http://img5.imageshack.us/my.php?image=goldkwj.jpg)

Colours you will need:
Dark Flesh
Brazen Brass
Shining Gold
Mithril Silver

Step1) Base coat the area with dark flesh. Make sure you get a solid coat over the whole area.

Step2) Overbrush the area with the Brazen brass. Make sure you get a very even coat, just leaving the very edges and recesses brown.

Step3) Paint a circle of Shining gold on a tissue, and smudge it across the area. Try to get a smooth gradient, starting at the centre and working out, getting fainter as you go out.

Step4) Paint Mithril Silver on a tile, then rub a tissue in to it, so you donít get too much on the tissue. Then very lightly rub it across the areas where the light would hit the most.

This brings us to the end of my guide to painting metals, with a colour that would make the Custodian Guard look epic enough to field in a game.
I hope this guide has helped those avid painters out there who needed that little extra push to finally go and start that interesting project that has been sitting on the shelf for the past 6 months. I will probably do a guide to matt colours next - the blue of an Ultramarine, or the brown of a Tau. I will leave pastel colours until last, as this is an area I havenít got much experience in - Iíve never collected Eldar, so Iíve never had much of a reason for pastels. But I will do my best to learn so I can get that guide out in the next few weeks.