Monday, January 17, 2011

Painting Power Weapons

All of the power weapons in my army get painted a kind of glowing blue so that me and my opponent can keep track of where they are. Also the blue helps to break up the black and white or black and red of the models, so that it wont (I hope) be boring to look at. Here are some photos I took while I painted a power weapon on one of my catulun bikers.

Starting with a black weapon that just has a coat of primer on it, the first thing I did was to paint two layers of watered down white paint all over the weapon. Even though most of it will be covered up, it will still have an effect on the way the lower parts of the sword look. That's because lighter paint colors have some translucency. With some colors (like yellow or red) you can really see the effect if you paint it over white or over black. With other colors the effect is more subtle, but its always there. So base coating the sword in white will have the effect of making the blues brighter than they would be if they went over a black color.

The next step was to paint a layer of ice blue over all of the sword except the lower part, which will remain white.
Then a 1:1 mix of ice blue and enchanted blue on top of that, again leaving a small part of the ice blue exposed.
then enchanted blue
then a 1:1 of enchanted blue and regal blue, then regal blue, then a 1:1 of regal blue and black. finally a little bit of black at the tip. So we started with white, and brought the sword down through shades of blue to black, progressing from the bottom of the weapon to the top.

At this stage the borders between the colors are still pretty sharp though, so the next step is to tone them down. I'm sure there are a bunch of different ways to do this. I put some water on the part I'm trying to blend and then add a little bit of both of the colors. The water will both mix the colors and increase their transparency, which will have the effect of softening the border. The important thing here is to use small amounts of paint. The whole sword is only about an inch long, and at this point there are eight different colors on it. So the part of the sword that will be any one color is pretty small, and the border between the colors is even smaller, so the paint can easily get out of control. Especially because of the water, since when you add paint to water the paint is going to go wherever the water goes. So small amounts of water, small amounts of paint.
So after some blending I was pretty satisfied with the way the sword looked.

I then painted the arrow and the electrode boltgun metal and put some black ink around it to help it stand out a little bit from the rest of the sword.

If you're an experienced painted there probably isnt anything new here. If you're newer, I can just say that it doesnt require any special talent to do this. Mostly you just have to have a willingness to spend 20 minutes or so on a pretty small area of a model, and to try something new and maybe a little intimidating. Because there arent many details on the sword the whole process is pretty forgiving. If you make a mistake you can just paint over it - it wont look blotched or messy unless you do it 10 or more times. Working with watered down colors is only a little bit different than working with colors strait out of the bottle. Just remember that once a color gets into the water its going to go wherever the water goes, so use small amounts of water and small amounts of paint. Also be sure to wait until the water dries before moving on to the next step, or else things could get pretty messy. Ok hope that helps!

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