Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Does Rotting Flesh tan, or just burn?
When finally painting the infantry models in my Vraksian Renegade Militia, I encountered a serious issue. How was I going to paint gas masks, without turning the infantry into a bland mess? Color recipes incoming!
While I really like the Forge World Vraksian Renegade Militia figures, I struggled with a color scheme for almost a month. I did not really like the all brown scheme the books presented, and I couldn't find much online to view. I knew how I was going to treat my metallic tones, so the shoulderplates, weapons and backpacks were all set. I needed to pic colors for the actual clothing, and the leather straps and cuffs. Most importantly, I needed to decide on how to paint the head of the model.
So long as the hands and heads of the models were painted in a bright and interesting way, I was ok with using a neutral tone on the clothing. I knew that the ruddy red soil and khaki lichen on the bases would balance whatever brightness I put on the top half of the model. I had the dark red of the soil to bounce off of, and I had the vehicle color scheme that I needed to be able to relate to.
I first tried painting the gas masks black, with several coats of Pledge acrylic gloss. This gave the model a "fetish" look, but I didn't like it. Your eye could not really find a good place to focus, so I scrapped it. I next tried some P3 Underbelly Blue, in a reference to the pale blue skin of the villains from Voltron, a staple of my childhood Saturday mornings. I did not really like the way the blue worked with the metallics, and it also seemed to get lost in the grey folds of the jumpsuits.
I had already decided to use thinned down Leviathan Purple to give my tanks some depth and shadow, so I tried to think of a color and tone that would work with the purple hints. I eventually settled on a Rotting Flesh skin tone, shaded down to Asurman Blue with a tiny touch of Hawk Turquoise. This pale pale green worked very well with both the deep red of the soil, as well as the faint purple suggestions in the vehicle shadows.
I also had to focus on the faces, as I was going to be forcing a "painted conversion" on the model's heads. I was going to be giving the impression that the gas mask itself ended just below the model's eyes. If you can imagine Darth Vader with his helmet off, you won't be far from what I was going for. If the rest of themodel's head would be painted as flesh, so this meant they would be lacking ears and noses. While this would certainly dehumanize the models, perhaps this was an outcome that suited my aesthetics. The final product would be infantry that had lenses implanted in their faces where their eyes would be, rebreather technology affixed to their mouths, and blank, featureless faces. Not too shabby for traitor IG!
Here is the run down:
Primed black, then all clothing drybrushed codex grey. All leather belts and cuffs were painted vermin brown. Then, all metallics were painted either boltgun metal, with tin bits on all decorative facets. Grenades were drybrushed with a dark green, with boltgun metal pull-rings. This base was then washed with devlan mud. Once dry, all grey cloth was highlighted with straight codex grey, wherever light would fall, like on elbows and knees. All boltgun metal surfaces were given an edging of more boltgun metal. The scratches and bullet holes were touched with ogryn flesh. The edges of the metallic rings on the eyes were touched with boltgun metal. All tin bits areas were highlighted with tin bitz, then eventually tin bitz mixed with a touch of chainmail for highlights. These areas of bronze eventually were given random spots of hawk turquoise, each containing a dot or smear of rotting flesh for depth. This the kind of represented corrosion you might find on brass that has been exposed to the elements.
Next, I carefully painted the hands and face of each infantryman with rotting flesh. I made sure to keep the wide-eyed lens look, and was also slow to delineate the location where each model's face vanished into his gear. Next, I washed this flesh with asurman blue, twice, with a thin coating. I made sure to manipulate the wash, and keep it in the recesses, preferably where the flesh met the gear. After these washes were dry, I highlighted the ridges above the eye-lenses and the top of the skull with more rotting flesh.
I painted all hoses black at this point, then painted on two thin coats of acrylic Pledge onto all tubes, and the eye lenses. This added the textural differentiation that I wanted, to break up the continuity of the models.
This recipe may sound very similar to how I described my approach to the vehicles, and there is a reason for that. I was aiming for army-wide continuity, and I think I achieved that.
I do wonder if these recipes are helpful. While I do not expect people to try and replicate my exact scheme, I hope that sharing my thought process and work regiment, offers some insight.
If you guys have any questions, be sure to fire away.