To start the beginning of the new Hobby How To Tuesdays, I am going to talk about something I get a lot of questions about: Painting Metal! There are many instances in Warmachine and Hordes that you will need to paint some metal, anywhere from weapons, to armor, to parts of ‘jacks or battle engines. While there are various metallic tones, today I will only be touching on the silvers as they are the most predominately used. As with all my articles, I will be aiming to show you how to use silvers in a fashion that is both good looking and easy to accomplish.
For most models that have a large amount of silver on them, such as the Steelhead Halbardiers I am using today, I will always start with a model that is primed with black and paint the silver layer first. The reason for painting the silver first is that it tends to be a inaccurate process and thus I don’t want to end up painting over other colors I have already laid down. Before starting to add the silver to the model I will first overlay the model with a watered down black paint layer to touch up any spots on the model I did not fully cover with black primer. When the spots are all concealed in black I start with my darkest silver color and apply it to the model on every surface I plan to be metallic. Because this is the first layer of color I don’t have to worry about being accurate and can apply this layer less precisely, but still make sure I have covered all of the areas I want to be silver. The picture below shows the model with a layer of Bolt Gun Metal paint on it.
The next step will subdue the intended darker regions of the metal. This layer is were I use my inks/washes, either of which will suffice. If you use an ink you will most likely want to use a 50/50 mix of ink and water, otherwise you may put too much color over the base layer, thus ruining the metallic effect. Depending on how I want the silver to look in the end will determine what color of wash that I use. For shiny metal I will use a blue wash, but for more tarnished or dirty metal I will use a black wash layer. If you want to create a interesting look you can always try non-standard colors as well, for example I use a green ink over my Necron models to make them look like they were raised out of a swamp. For the Halbardiers I go with a black wash to have more of a darker metal effect. I figure this would suit a mercenary group always on the move. The picture below shows the model now with a layer of Nuln Oil Black wash over it.
For the next step Iwill bring the color of the silver back out on the highlights. To do this I use a technique called dry brushing. The technique is as the name implies, I use a very light amount of paint on the brush so that it is almost dry. I do this by getting a small amount of paint on my brush and then wipe it onto my pallet until very little paint is moving around and then I take the brush to the model. When you start to brush the model you want to lightly feather the brush across the higher surface areas of the metal areas. You will quickly notice the edges start to appear brighter, if you don’t it is because you dried your brush too much. Or, if your brush is too wet with paint it will be quickly evident because the recessed areas that you wanted to stay darker will immediately become bright with silver. If this happens just put more black wash over it again and start anew. With this step I also tend to use a silver that is one step brighter than the one I used for the base color. The picture below shows the model that has been dry brushed with Chain Mail silver.
Depending on how bright I want the model I may do a couple layers of dry brushing. In the case of the Halbardiers I want them to have a little bit of bright areas so I will do a second dry brush layer. The next picture shows the model with an applied second layer of dry brushing. For the second layer I used Mithral Silver sparingly across only the top most surfaces to really make them look shiny.
That is all for this Tuesday, I hope you have enjoyed a look at how I paint silver on models in a quick and efficient way. I apologize for the quality of the photos, taking them at night was not the best lighting situation. Next week I will be talking about basing your models…I promise to have taken better photos to show more detail.