Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Throwing it against the wall

Today's Theme: Vallejo Umber Wash.
I had a couple high-concept ideas for this post, Worthy Topics to address.  What I've ended up with is yet another wasted afternoon on the interwebs with nothing to show for it.  As such, I'm plunging in.  I may get to those ideas some time, but for now I'm doing what I know: painting rundown.  Once again I had somewhat more than modest plans for painting yesterday, plans which were scuttled.  I did manage to avoid a complete loss on the day though and got in about two hours worth of quality painting time.  I got the skin finished on the third batch of Shootas, along with an initial layer of blue.  About halfway through the batch I realized I had forgotten to add the Nob to the assembly line, so he's lagging behind the rest.  The Nob's skin is washed and ready for actual painting, so when I get to it I can just get going.  This snafu may turn out to be a blessing as I'll be able to spend a little extra time on the Nob without holding up the rest of the group.  Come to think of it, I may just lump him in with the Big Mek.  Then again I have some new plans for said Mek, but more on that later.

Batch 3, now well underway.
I got some Vallejo washes as part of a previous Warstore order, "Devlan Mud" and "Gryphonne Sepia" under different names, and I figured I'd give them a try.  One of them at least.  The sepia I'm still sitting on, though I plan to give it a shot on the blues in this latest batch of Orks.  The umber/mud got quite the test run.  The main reason I've started using the Vallejo paints is the dropper bottle.  I'm sure I've gone on about this feature before, so take everything I've written about the paints and apply it to washes.  Before getting into anything new and exciting, I started washing in the usual manner.  I thinned the wash in the same way that I'd thin paints, aiming for a rough 1:1 mix.  I thought this might be too thing, and I was right.  I let the pool sit for a few minutes, then added some more wash to it and started back in.  I ended up with a somewhat watered wash, maybe 3:1 wash to water, and it worked pretty well.  The Umber Shade seems a bit browner than Devlan Mud and perhaps a little lighter overall, but I'll put that down to the thinning.  I washed the Goblin Green basecoat for the Ork skin I was painting as normal, then went back with the Goblin Green for a second pass, again as usual.

The results of thinning paints with washes.
For the first highlight I switched things up.  While the Vallejo washes are cheaper than their GW equivalents, my real purpose is getting them was to try using them to thin paint with.  I've heard the virtues of this method extolled in various interweb sources, but the logistics of using a brush/stick/dropper/straw/whatever to transfer a wash from a pot to my palette made precise mixing all but impossible.  With the dropper, these problems become trivial.  My initial highlight of Snot Green had been a bit bright, but in trying to keep the process as simple (and quick) as possible I let it go instead of trying to mix up a suitable shade.  This time I used the Umber wash to help thin the paint, using a 2:1:1 paint to wash to water mix.  This took the green down a notch or two, so when I used it liberally it didn't look so garish.  I had wanted to add another highlight to the previous batches since the Snot Green was as much a lighter basecoat as it was a highlight, but see above point about speed.  This time I decided to just go for it, so when I was done with the initial mix I added in some Bleached Bone.  The mix was roughly 1:1, but it's hard to pin it down since I was adding new paint to an existing mix.  This approach took a little longer than the old method of Goblin Green, Snot Green, Mud wash, but the results are much better than the last batch.  I'd like to speed the process up a bit as I spent almost the full two hours on skin for 7 models, but overall I'm happy with the new process.

The big shoota is for the future 'Ard Boys, but will do for now.

Since I have another picture, some bits and bobs.  First is a new model up at the Privateer Press site, Constance Blaize.  This mini has the whole female knight vibe that I so enjoy, though the sword is a bit unfortunate.  I'll have to finish (ha!) my Khador before starting in on another faction, a queue that already features Trollbloods and Farrow, but I like this model enough that I may pick one up just to paint.  Speaking of Warmahordes, Lost Hemisphere has been doing a monthly painting thing called Paint the Target.  I wanted to get in on last month's iteration which was for a model with a ranged attack, a broad enough category that I could have done any number of models.  This month the target is solos.  I'm considering painting up Kovnik Joe once I finish the Shoota mob as a change of pace and as a way to get something done for my poor neglected Khador.  Also under consideration is finishing the Manhuntress, finishing the Wardog, and doing the Widowmaker Marksman.  Finally, I'm considering a wargear change to the Big Mek.  He has two options to replace the choppa: power klaw and burna.  I dismissed the power klaw almost immediately as I don't really want to get the guy in melee, but I'm thinking that will happen sooner or later whether I like it or not.  Recently I've been thinking about the burna.  It would be a power weapon, something sorely lacking despite all the klaws, plus the template part of the weapon would circumvent Orky shooting.  Since the model already has a choppa, and is primed to boot, I'd be adding the burna in a sneaky manner: by Grot.  I could model up a little Grot assistant who carries the burna, maybe on one of the teeny Gorkamorka bases so that it could sit on the Mek's base when needed or get pulled off if I don't run the burna.  This would mean the model wouldn't always be 100% WYSIWYG, but I have no immediate aspirations for this army outside of friendly games with EV so I don't think it'll be a problem.  Of course I've also been considering kitbashing a KFF Mek in case I want to run two, so maybe I'll just look at that instead.  I do like the idea of a burna-toting Grot though.

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