Monday, March 29, 2010

Captain Rull Mothantis, part 4: Painting

To paint Rull, I wanted to do something a little bit different to normal. I decided that I would have one half of the model in darkened conditions, and the other half in light. Effectively, this means that the (imaginary) light source will be coming from one side of the miniature, with the other side almost silhouetted. The above photo shows the finished product (apologies for the camera flash causing bright spots on the wings -- doing it without the flash looked a lot worse). The light source is coming in from the right hand side of the picture (as viewed face on).

To paint the miniature, I undercoated it black to help out with the dark side of the miniature and the darkened crevices that I knew would be present in the final painting. I then made a start on the lit side of the miniature, painting it pretty much in the same style that I've developed for other plague marines -- a rusted feeling with some greens and brown, edged in a lighter cream colour.

The tough part here was figuring out which parts would be lit, and which parts would remain in darkness given the source of light.

To do this, I ended up shining a light late at night on to the miniature and just looking at where the light fell, what parts of the miniature were visible and which were hidden away by self-shadowing.

If I were to think about which was the hardest part of this, it would be the wings. Given their curvature, I had to pay special attention to which folds of the wings would be lit and which would be darkened. Hence I applied a lot of selectively located washes to this part of the miniature.

The darkened side of the miniature was easier in some respects: I knew it had to be dark, so I didn't set about painting it in glorious technicolour. I did however, selectively highlight a number of areas just to better define the shape of the miniature (e.g. the armour on the legs, the wing tips, and I even gave the bolter a very gentle boltgun metal dry brush).

There's just enough colour in there to suggest reflected light coming in from the other side of the miniature. For instance, it is obvious that the wings and the tree stump are brown and which parts are metallic, but it is hard to gauge any real detail, or fine colours in there as would be the case in low light conditions.

Overall, I'm happy with the way this miniature came out -- it has been an experience for me painting in this manner as it is not a technique that I've used extensively or am particularly familiar with. But the experiment has worked for the main part.

In battles, I will use the miniature in regular games (i.e. not using the rules I came up with) to represent unique plague champions or a winged chaos lord with the mark of Nurgle. Alternatively, I might just use the miniature in a kill team warband from time to time, or even as part of a fast attack raptors squad.


Chris said...

This looks really great. I've been wanting to try some different lighting effects myself. Like the base as well.

jabberjabber said...

Thanks Chris! I've wanted to explore different lighting effects for some time; this seemed like the perfect opportunity to do so (i.e. on a single character rather than a whole squad).

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