Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Miniature experiments

I have been experimenting a bit with painting techniques on some excellent Mantic Orx and thought I would share the results with you. I have been very inspired by two artists; Steve Buddle (now of GW fame) who is rightly held as somewhat of a pioneer of the use of the new Citadel washes, and the less well known Massimo Colombari. Massimo's work was featured waaaay back in White Dwarf 152. He paints using very bright colours, which I am increasingly fond of on miniatures as it is in keeping with their 'jewel-like' nature.

I painted this cheery fellow during Mantic's Warpath launch day with the help and advice of Tommie from the excellent Golem Painting Studio. I used a lot of Citadel Devlan Mud to achieve the shading and the green was the result of using Testors' Clear Green applied over a black base with white drybrushing. Although this chap is passable, I am not keen on how dull and dark he is.

This naughty Marauder was both a triumph and a failure. The white drybrushing over the black produces an abysmally chalky result which I hate. However, his flesh is much more pleasing and the result of using Windsor & Newton inks (see below). I love how bright it is, in contrast to his armour. The brass base and weapon also set off the skin nicely.

Although he's a bit 'all over the place' his cheeky chappy proved a successful experiment. He was my first use of Winsor & Newton inks on a mini. These inks provide quite even coverage (they don't pool like the new Citadel inks) and are very bright. Here I applied them straight over a white basecoat, and blended in yellow to the highlights on the skin and blue on the armour. The inks are also not entirely water-fast when they dry so the blending is quite smooth. I then applied a white acrylic highlight to the armour, into which the W&N inks bled, to form light blue highlights you see here.

To make an omelette you have to break some eggs, and this critter turned out to be a big old yolk. I was experimenting with a high-contrast cell-shaded look and it didn't go well. His right arm (facing us) was OK and did prove useful on two counts. I got an interesting result on the shoulder pad using the W&N inks, and discovered a good method for getting stark non-chalky b/w shading. On a textured surface like his arm, you base with black, drybrush with white, wash with Citadel Badab Black ink then selectively re-highlight with white. You end up with quite smooth shading from black to stark white, over which you can wash inks to get colour.

All these minis were shot using The BoX.


  1. Even though his skin's a bit muddy, I quite like the mottled armor on #1. Combine it with #3's skin and you've really got something.

  2. #3 seems almost un-orky with the palette you've used and I like it very much and hope you'll share a couple other views?

    I also appreciate you sharing your method for white-on-black that you used in #4. I think I will try it out this very evening.

    - Dai

  3. If you use ink over the white drybrushing on #2 you should get a good base to work with, I've had some success with similiar experiments (ink over black undercoat with a white zenithal spray).

  4. In the picture I rather like the dark #1, but suspect this would work better in larger miniatures (say 54mm+)

  5. We should all do more experiments with our mini-painting. My favorite here is the bright guy, model#3. I believe I have WD 152 lying around somewhere too... Bright chaos daemons, was it?

  6. Hi JRN - good to hear from you!!! Yes, that's it. Weird daemons using the first release versions of the Horrors in particular. Lovely stuff and highly original.

  7. Would you need a fixative if you sealed those guys?


  8. @Paul - yes, indeedy! In this case I think I used The Army Painter anti-shine. It's pretty good stuff and is on a par with Testors' Dullcote.