Wednesday, 13 November 2013

So what's your favourite colour to paint with?

Hi all,
It must be Wednesday, I'm feeling a bit random today, so I figured i'd talk about a subject that's close to my heart, painting.

Now we've all had that rush of excitement when we open a new box of miniatures to see what's inside, are the models really as good as the picture on the outside, how many configurations can they be built in, what spare pieces are going in my bitz box for later. But not all of us seem to have the same thrill when thinking up paint schemes for models. By that I mean that I see loads of models on a weekly basis that aren't painted, often with little intention of being so, and I know plenty of people for whom painting models is a chore not a joy. Similarly those models that are painted are often done so in a scheme that's 'standard', by which I mean space wolves, or blood angels, or any number of similar schemes thought up by Games Workshop to show off those miniatures. This article probably isn't intended for those people therefore, since it's very much about what inspires you to paint.

Now personally I've always got something on the go on my painting table, usually several different items all at once. And that's not just because I'm indecisive, or I get distracted easily (though I'm as guilty of that on occasions as the next man). No, it's quite simply because I like to be painting different schemes and sometimes I just fancy painting something red. If I just had the one project, then I can certainly see that I might fall into the trap of getting bored of painting stuff.

That being said, my colour schemes are often influenced by whatever colour paint I'm particularly taken with at the time, and at the moment, I'm in a 'stone' phase. I'm currently getting great delight out of using Rakarth Flesh, Agrax Earthsade and Pallid Wych Flesh over a basecoat of Mournfang Brown to get some really nice shades of stone, with plenty of dirt accumulating in the crevices thanks to the Earthshade wash. I have noticed that my paint schemes tend to run with a theme like that too. At University, my armies all had a strong black theme (but then so did the clothes in my wardrobe). After that, I fell into a love of purple, starting a marine army that I still use and planning an Eldar Craftworld force. The Eldar set me off however, I painted a Wraithlord with that strong purple but felt like I needed something neutral to set it off, and that's where stone came in (Dheneb Stone at the time, to be precise, which has now been replaced by Rakarth Flesh). Since then, I've completed a Necromunda Gang of Orlocks using this method for their colours, and have started my Bloodstone Knights, who carry a strong stone theme to their colours (and their name, see what I did there?) I've also painted a Norse bloodbowl team who use a smaller element of the same colour to set off their icy blue armour. Which is another theme I've carried around with me - the purple marines I mentioned earlier had all the cloaks etc painted using shadow grey and fenris grey, now The Fang and Fenrisian Grey respectively, and I've continued that through the bloodbowl team to my latest creation, the Iron Fists, whose armour is almost completely Fenrisian Grey over a basecoat of The Fang.

So where to next, I hear you ask? Well, my Bloodstone Knights have Given me plenty more experience in painting a bold red, and the new colours have certainly restored my enjoyment of painting that colour. I'm slowly accumulating an Escher Necromunda Gang, who I've named the Gore Brides, and I'm thinking that I'll definitely go for painting them with a deep red theme.

The exception to this thematic way of painting armies are my Dark Eldar, who are covered with a basecoat of dark grey using bright green, yellow or blue highlights depending on exactly what type of unit it is. This came about through a conscious decision to use some colours I wouldn't normally go for when painting, to give me that variety. I have very much enjoyed painting them, even if they have stalled somewhat at the moment with all the other projects on my table. They definitely taught me one thing though, and that's that I need much more practice at painting yellow. And that's inspired me too, as my club is going to be doing a tale of x gamers style event next year, when I'm planning on collecting a small ish Necron force to take part, and I'd love to try and paint them all with a yellow marble effect over a really dark metal.

So I'll leave you all with a question, and please feel free to comment below, what colours do you enjoy painting, do you have a preference? and if you sit back and actually look at your collection, are there colour themes running through them over time.

Till next time remember, Chuck Norris visited the Virgin Islands. Now they're just called The Islands.