This is the first installment in a few painting How-To posts. This first post will be the simpler technique of the two. It looks excellent on smaller models, such as orcs and bestigor.
This pic shows what we're aiming to accomplish here. Grubby looking metal. This post will focus on the armor, but I use the same technique on all metal.
Here's our starting point for this How-To. The model is all set to have the armor painted.
The purpose of step one is to create a distinct black line anywhere that armor meets non-armor, or where larger armor sections meet other armor in distinct breaks.
Once this step is done, you should have nice black-lined armor plates on your model.
The brown based colors (Devlan Mud/Agrax Earthshade) add a poorly maintained, and tarnished look to the final piece. The black based colors (Nuln Oil) add nice shadow/detail, but don't lend the ill-cared-for appearance. The latter is great on Empire and Bretonnians, while the former is great on Beastmen and Ogres.
You want to lay this on pretty heavily, but be careful not to put too much around the edges. You don't want to mess up the painted areas around the armor by getting too much ink settled in those spots. I usually brush along the armor plate edges a few times, not letting much of it pool there. That will add color and depth, which will look just fine when coupled with the black-line effect left there from steps one and two.
Step four, time to highlight the armor. Here the goal is to add darker metal-colored highlights back to the armor plates. I used Boltgun Metal (equivalent to the current Leadbelcher), and painted all the spots that I wanted to be metal again. Be sure to water down the paint. Always start on the places that you want to be darker, where the areas inked in step three start to fade back into actual metal colors.
When painting with metallic paints, follow the same basic principles that you would with non-metallics. When you water it down, less paint pigments will be put on the model. I think doing this kind of work with metal tones is much easier than doing so with non-metallic tones. Perhaps this is a good place to start perfecting your blending techniques. If you over do it with the metal colors, you can always go back and apply watered down ink/wash to cover it.
You want to essentially paint in layers here. Each layer using paint that is less and less watered down, until the color you are using is what you're actually painting down; not some thinned, partially transparent version of it. This is the basic technique to getting smooth blends.
This pics shows the model with the first metallic highlight layer painted on.
Step five, continue the highlights. This step is almost exactly the same as step four, except I used a lighter metal tone. I go with Chainmail, but the new Citadel equivalent is Ironbreaker.
Follow the same technique used in step four, but leave some of the previous color exposed. I only do this interim highlight step on larger plates of armor. The shoulder, thigh, and shin plates were the only ones I applied it to. The bicep plates, belt plates, and wrist plates were left alone here. There just isn't enough surface on the smaller sections for this to be worthwhile.
Once done with that blending technique, go back and hit all the raised edges and rivets of the armor with this same color. You just want to put a tiny bit of the paint on in each of these spots, but it'll make a big difference.
Voilà! You have super sweet looking armor on your model.
The same general steps apply to the chainmail you see on the model, it's just a ton simpler and quicker. Instead of blending the highlights, simply use a drybrush technique. Otherwise, it's the same colors and number of steps.
Another important note about this technique is that it works the same for yellow metals. Just switch up your color palette, but apply the same techniques. I use the following colors for my layers: Tin Bitz, Dwarf Bronze, Burnished Gold, and lastly Burnished Gold mixed with a tiny bit of Mithril Silver. You'll have to look up what the new Citadel equivalents are, if you aren't already aware. When using these types of metal colors, bear in mind that your wash/ink color should be green, not black or brown.
Part 2 of this post blog post will be an expansion of the technique. I only ever do it on larger models; such as Minotaurs, Ogres, and the like. The additional steps will fall in between steps three and four. I'll show you how I add in a rust effect there.
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