Friday, October 15, 2010

I love it when a plan comes together....

A few weeks ago I made the silly mistake of painting an expensive model while ...not fully sober.  The result was not bad and actually above tabletop standard however I was annoyed at the fact that I wasn't sure how much paint would be stripped after I dunk the model in Simple Green.  So.. I ordered another Ultraforge Dragon and this one looks sooo much better.  I figured better to have two of them than one ruined in case the dunking doesn't work.

Why do you ask?  I planned ahead this time!

I first primed the model's pieces black instead of white.  White is a great primer color but I think I enjoy using black more because it takes a lot more effort to make colors pop on a model. And I feel the extra work shows in the end.  Secondly, due to the fact that this absolutely wonderful model is fully detailed everywhere, painting it when assembled is a huge pain.  So I painted it unassembled then glued it together afterwards.

I absolutely love this model.  The detail is incredible and it looks like the type of dragon I envision when I think of a dragon.  When I saw this model I immediately decided that some how, some way my Wood Elves were going to have a damn dragon in the army.  It didn't matter if it was to be the mount for my general, a count's as Treeman or a big unit filler for my Wild Riders.  Fortunately when 8th came out the Lore of Beasts provided me with an answer.  Transformation of Kadon baby!

Here are some more images of my Wood Elf Spellweaver turned into a dragon!

Here is the dragon unassembled and painted.  The painting process only took about 4 2-3 hour sessions involving me getting up and watching TV then returning to paint again.  The process was actually very simple.
1. Wash model in soap and water to get any weird resin coating off.
2.  Prime the model black and make sure you get full coverage since resin models are that white/greyish color that will show if not primed.
3.  I then LIGHTLY  went over the entire model with a tooth brush to smooth out any hanger ons and to also polish the model to make the black shine.
4. I actually painted each piece separately instead of batch painting, the reason why I chose this method was to save on paint since I was getting just the correct amount out for each section.  Also, the wet palette method for painting is amazing but after a long time the paint gets very thin.  So I had to pace myself for each part.
5. I basecoated with dark angel green - few thin layers to ensure I wasn't overloading any cracks or detail.
6. Drybrushed goblin green over the dark angels green.
7. I painted any underbelly or under-limb? sections desert yellow.
8. Drybrush/highlighted desert yellow sections w/ Bleached bone
9. Painted armor sections with Dwarf Bronze.
10. Painted straps with boltgun metal.
11. Basecoated teeth and claws with graveyard earth.
12. Painted teeth and claws with bleached bone.
13. Painted tongue and roof of mouth with Foundation paint mecharite red.
14. Washed mount with Baal Red.
15. Highlighted Teeth with Skull White.
16. Painted eyes with Icey Blue
17. Washed underbelly/arms,horns,claws, teeth, straps and all armored sections with Gryphonne Sepia.
18. Painted base with Codex Grey
19. Washed base with Badab Black.
20. Glued model together.

I found using the wet palette to be the best method for painting so far. You can dole out a small amount of paint and you don't have to thin it. Just let it sit for a few moments and roll your brush in it. The paint will thin itself and provide you with excellent coverage without clumping up.  I also purchased a daylight bulb for the lamp I use at my workstation. It really, really made a difference however it isn't great for taking pictures unfortunately. The image below (1st assembled shot) is what happens when you use a daylight bulb as your lighting. I am going to have to break down and use one of the From the Warp tutorials for photographing miniatures and build a station for it.  I can't always count on a sunny and dry day to take pictures.
You will also see that there are some gaps between parts, that is intentional. I did not want to fully gap-fill in case I decide I want to magnetize the arms/neck/tail later and having a single adhesion point vs. an entire surface is preferable for when I attempt to disassemble the glued pieces.

The lessons learned from this exercise:
1. Don't paint after drinking Scotch.  It may seem like a great idea at the time but ...yeah no..
2. When in doubt, prime black. Especially if you are worried about white spots not getting painted over later.
3.  Larger models, don't be afraid to paint then assemble.  Proxy the damn thing until it's painted/assembled.
4.  I'm pretty awesome in every regard.  It's not really a lesson learned, I just like to remind people that I am awesome.