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Painting: Absolute Zero

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awp832
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Painting: Absolute Zero

Welcome

It's been a while since Iurked the forums,  happy to say I return.   Lots of sentinels things going on these days to keep me interested.   For now though,  painting!   Have some amazing Sentinel Tactics minis and it's about time I got down to painting them.  It's my sincere hope to do at least one Sentinel Tactics mini a week, if not more, and post the results around the board.  After that I might do GSF,  we will just have to see.   I'm posting this on the general topics instead of the Sentinel Tactics forums because I thought that any >G fan might be interested to see, regardless of if they're into Tactics or not.    For these articles I'll be showing a few pictures of my miniatures and trying to give you a brief guide of what I did and how.   This is more or less targeted for non-painters, so painters might find this a bit remedial.   Hopefully I will find some middle ground here and appeal to a wide audience.

General Painting

For those of you who just want to see Zero, you can skip down to Absolute Zero below, but I thought I'd talk a bit about my general setup for those who mean to paint their own Tactics miniatures.   

-How long have you been painting?
        It's hard to say.  I started really painting when I got into Warhammer 40,000 in high school,  but you could say I had tried my hand before that at painting model rockets, and planes and stuff which I really loved as a kid.  I'd say I've been painting *well* about 5 years,  and at least giving it a heroic effort for about 10.

-What paints do you use/  what paints should I use?
      You should use Acrylic paints,  is the first thing I will say.  Do NOT use enamel paints.   You want to be able to mix and blend and thin your paints, all of which are a pain to do with enamel paints.  Acrylic paints you can just add water and mix away,  it's much easier.    As far as specific brands of paints, I started out using the Citadel/Games-Workshop line of paints (for Warhammer) but recently I have begun to switch over to Reaper Masterclass.   I will say I am very happy with Reaper Masterclass.    The paints come in a wide variety of colors, they are not too expensive (considering) they look great, and they are far easier to use/store than the Games-Workshop line.  I wish I had more of them,  for now though,  it is a mix of Games-Workshop and Reaper Masterclass paints.

-How many colors do I need to get started?
       This is a tough question.  You need a black and a white,  you need a handful of colors relevant to the miniature that you want to paint.   I am a fan of brown because there are a lot of miniatures that have leather straps or shoes, or armor, or brown cloaks or something like that.  But obviously if you're painting Absolute Zero you might want to hold off on brown and get some blues instead.   Slowly build your paint library.   Ultimately it is helpful to have as many shades as possible,  but if you are just starting out I wouldn't bother.  You can achieve a lot of colors by mixing say white in with blue to get a lighter blue, or black in with it to get a darker shade.   It's not as easy,  but ultimately it will save you from needing to by 4 different paints per color you want to use, which is hard on the pocketbook.  Another thing I would reccomend is Black Ink.  It's different from black paint, it's designed to flow into the contours of a miniature and help make the detail stand out,  it's very useful.    Short list:  Black paint, white paint, black ink,  1 of each color you plan to use (be prepared to mix for lighter/darker shades).

-What Brushes should I use/  Do you use airbrushes?
       I do not use airbrushes.   I would be interested to try at some point, but no, I do not use them.  Your best bet according to everyone I have talked to and my own personal experience is to use a basic detail set of brushes.   You can get a full set of them at wal-mart for about $5-$7.   Occaisionally you need to replace them.   There is no need to buy a very expensive brush.

-Anything else I need?
     You need a well lit space, a towel or cloth you don't mind getting paint on, a mixing pallate (a plastic lid to some container you no longer plan to use is ideal), a cup of warm water, time and perserverance.

-Are you going to do a painting guide for all sentinel miniatures and GSF?
    It's my sincere hope,  but no promises.


"He robbed from the rich and he-
gave to the poor.
Stood up to the Man and he-
gave him what for. 
Our love for him now,
aint hard to explain,
the hero of Canton,
the man they call "Jayne""

awp832
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Last seen: 9 years 4 months ago
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Joined: Aug 11, 2011

Absolute Zero

   

Decision Making

This was a tough start.   I really wanted to do Absolute Zero in his "classic"  SotM "Black" suit.   I think he would look amazing.    However,  this was senetinel Tactics and ultimately I decided I was going to go with the Tactics "White" suit.    I knew I was in for a challenge.   There are two things in minis that are what I call "The Special Hell of Painting"  one is Yellow.   The other is White.    They share similar problems.   Yellow and white as colors makes it difficult to correct your mistakes.   Everything shows.  

 

Starting out

I basecoated the model in white, basically that means I put a white spray coat over this.   Word to the wise -don't use cheap spray paint to do this-.   Some sprays have lead in them which I believe leads to a "sticky" coating,  it's very difficult to work with.  One can of spray paint will last you a while when it comes to mini painting,   spend the extra couple bucks.   Ok 90% done, right?  Not exactly...

I proceeded to paint the black areas around his legs and arms with black paint.   I like his legs, his arms I should have thinned the paint a bit more so you could see a little of the contours poking through.  

inking 
Dillute your black ink and give your model a coat,  it will start to look better already, I swear.  You might want to let that dry for a bit.   I ususally do.   Painting a wet model is tough.   I also used a coat of blue ink on the ice,  but you could do this with dilluted blue paint instead.

Lines
Very carefully pick out the blue lines.  This can be tricky if you dont have  a steady hand (I do not) so you might have to try a couple of times.  While your at it, make the face plate blue

Drybrushing

Let me start by answering -what exactly is drybrushing?   It's a technique used by painters to cover the raised areas of models.  Essentially your black ink coat should look awesome at this point and you don't want to ruin that, but you also want his armor to be a little whiter since it's probably greyish now.  Drybrushing to the rescue.   Take a brush and get some white paint (a little dilluted) and wipe most of it off on a cloth.  You want your brush to be "dry" and not wet.  Then go over the surface you want white lightly with the brush, against the "grain" if you will of the conturs.  It can take some practice, but if you do it right you get color on the raised surfaces, while leaving the indentations black.

Highlighting
It's difficult to highlight white (it's impossible to highlight white unless your white isn't actually white, but increasingly white-er shades of grey.  A cool technique, but not what I did for this model) so I didn't do much highlighting on this model.  I did highlight his helmet a bit though.   Use a lighter shade of blue and get it across part of the helm, wherever you imagine the "light" is coming from.   You're trying to create an optical illusion that makes it look like the model is full size,  or like the sun is glinting off his visor.   It's what highlighting is for.   With some increasingly white-er shades of blue you can do this to a good effect,  a dot of pure white in the corner of the visor will give you that lens-flare effect which I love to do.

Ice

The ice deserves special mention.  I hadn't doen ice like this before, so I basically did trial and error.   I wanted his ice to be white, even though primarily it is blue on the cards.   I wanted white ice, with just a hint of blue showing.  As I mentioned earlier I did a light coat of blue ink on the ice, then put very dilluted coats of white over the ice over and over.   Then I highlighted the edges of the ice in white (you can highlight in this case becasue the blue is still showing just a tad.  Your eye can pick out pure white from blueish white).   

Shine

I hope you can see on the pictures but the visor, the focused aperatures, and the ice have  a little bit of a shine.  You can do this easily by painting a clear gloss coat over them.  

Basing

Right now as you can see I just used the pure clear plastic base.  I may do a snow effect on it later. I have not decided.  I am as much of a fan of "dynamic" basing as anyone else, it can really set the mood for the figure if Zero is out there in a snow field.   However, when you are going to be playing a game with miniatures who are going to interact together, sometimes having them all on the same, neuteral base is a wise choice.   Also I haven't properly glued him to the base, which is why he looks a little bit like he is hovering.


"He robbed from the rich and he-
gave to the poor.
Stood up to the Man and he-
gave him what for. 
Our love for him now,
aint hard to explain,
the hero of Canton,
the man they call "Jayne""

Nielzabub
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It's nice to see you back awp. Even when I don't completely agree with you, I think you have insightful opinions. I was afraid we'd never see you again.


Good ideas are usually just bad ideas a stubborn person eventually fixed.

XXVZ
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I like it, can't wait to see more!


"72% of all statistics are made up"
-XXVZ

MightySi
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Joined: Feb 23, 2014

Looking good! I hope to pick up the minis myself at some point, even if i never get the tactics game, as I enjoy painting and would like to have a shot at the Sentinels characters.

The ice especially looks great, its always a bugger to do convincingly.  Good work, fella! :)

Rabk
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I love it, AWP, and I especially love the detailed step-by-step accompanying your photos. I will most certainly be coming back to this when it's time to paint my own.


...yeah, me too.

Christopher
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Welcome back! 


"Your goodness must have some edge to it — else it is none."
 - Ralph Waldo Emerson