Zen and the Art of Blending
I learned a lot about myself this week painting. I learned that when I have a goal in mind, I can relentlessly pursue it, and that I actually have a pretty good eye for color. I also learned that I'm actually pretty impatient...
The Blood Angles test figure project continues at a steady pace, with this week's challenge being two very different methods of painting Blood Angels. I tried a paint guide from White Dwarf 221 (May 1998), and the tutorial from Darren Latham's YouTube page.
The WD221 painting guide yielded similar results as the 'Eavy Metal Painting Guide marine I showed last post. The red ink made the model shiny, and erased any highlights I did on the figure. The guide seemed simple enough (too simple, maybe): Spray Skull White primer, spray Blood Angels Red color primer over top, paint a thinned-down Ruby Red over that, paint Blazing Orange in highlights, then paint a thinned-down Red Ink over it all. I didn't have Blood Angels Red spray, so opted just for Blood Angels Red (Angel Red from Coat D'Arms) painted on over Corax White primer. It came out as orange as you'd think with Angel Red, and it was at this point that I remembered how different the old colored sprays were to their paint pot analogs. I clearly remember Blood Angel Red spray being more red than orange. The Ruby Red made a little difference but didn't match up with the deep red of the picture at all. Blazing Orange barely showed up, so I mixed in Suburst Yellow into Ruby Red and did some basic layering highlights. The Red Ink made short work of that.
For one, I realized after I applied the Red Ink (Nostalgia '88 by Warcolours) that the WD221 guide existed in the weird time between the hex pots and the twist lid Citadel Colour range. The ink they mention in the guide, therefore, would be a deeper red than the original Red Ink. Sadly, I don't have any Red Ink from that era anymore as I gave all my inks away when the Citadel Washes came out in 2008. Secondly, I'm just really disappointed in the quality of Coat D'Arms paints. They claim to be the same paint as the hex pot-era Citadel Colour, and I don't doubt that claim, but the batch quality leaves something to be desired. They're routinely thinner than the hex pot paints, and even in some cases the colors aren't as close as they claim. I did a test with Ultramarines Blue (Citadel) and Marine Blue (CD'A) and found Marine Blue to be noticeably darker. It's a shame, as I really thought it would be neat to continue using some of the paints I used back when I first got into the hobby, but I anticipate myself getting frustrated with these paints during prolonged use.
With that, I painted a thinned-down coat of Blood Angels Red Contrast over the whole figure and can now start again (it removes the shine of the ink, and truly obliterated any highlights I did). I'm going to break the mold of this project and try to experiment on this figure rather than sticking to a strict guide.
I then set to work on following along with the Darren Latham video. One of the things I love about his videos is that they're so approachable. He's such an amazing painter, and he demonstrates his steps on the figures, demystifying his results. One thing I don't love about how I go about things is that I definitely didn't have the patience to follow along for this project. I think what I'm doing is the wrong project to try and sink as much effort into as his process calls for. I would love to do eight layers of glazing on armor panels, subtly working up a highlight or down a shade, but for a model that might not even be replicated (and admittedly I knew would be too dark for what I wanted to achieve) it was really doomed to fail. I encourage everyone to watch his videos and give them a shot, but I definitely wasn't in the right headspace for such an undertaking and my results look muddy (my favorite moment was doing the shade glazing and noticing tide marks on my figure at the same time he described on the video how to avoid getting tide marks). I might try and salvage it for a more basic modern Blood Angels paint guide example.
I think that's it for today. I'm going to spend the weekend working on finishing all the rest of the stuff on the test figures (bolters, trim, bags, eagles, etc.) and getting them ready to hit the display case. I'll then take a poll through various means and decide which scheme to base an army on.