I’m not one to venture too far out of my comfort zone. Something I am learning to get better at so when the first paint swap challenge was suggested I was a more than a little excited.
The colours I was given on the first challenge were orange and pale blue. A challenge indeed. I mostly paint Dark Angels and Death Guard so this was very much different from what I would normally do. To add to that I was only allowed to use tones of those colours no others! I added a further restriction to myself and decided I would get it done over a weekend! That might have been the hardest part for me as a fast painter I am certainly not (well I wasn’t then at least!).
I chose a Marine as my model and when I was thinking about the colours I got this little scene playing out in my head, a lone marine scouting out an objective. He was stood atop a rocky outcrop under the pale blue light of the moon. The only other source of light the glow from toxic sludge following from a pipe from one of the manufactorums pooling beneath him.
This was just as the country had entered lockdown amidst the COVID-19 pandemic so I was short on any real hobby supplies. I did however have a garden, some Milliput, biros, and some water effects and a quite healthy bits box! A few hours with the hobby knife and some imagination and I had something at least.
Giving myself a weekend to get this done might not have been one of my better ideas I thought to myself I recall. It had gone from a marine to a small diorama base. Oh well, I’m committed and excited so let’s crack on. The marine was a total hack job of bits from scavenged from a grey knights sprue, some reiver bits, a push-fit intercessor I had spare, and a little greenstuff.
Day one out the way and the base and the figure was done I had to wait for the Milliput to dry but I was 50% of the way done. Just to paint it then.
Day two: right let’s get out of the comfort zone and get some paint laid down. I went with a directional pre shade. Since I was going to have two light sources this was a little more involved than the usual zenithal technique I would usually do. Top rear for the light coming from the moon and front under highlighting for the toxic glow. Then I decided it was going to be a power sword he was holding too with a nice pale blue glow just because I was not overwhelmed enough. Idiot!
In my head, I could see what I was going for but I wasn’t convinced anyone else would. I hit up the Iwata eclipse and got to work laying down some inks. For the orange, I started with burnt sienna and added more orange to bring it up. This to my surprise was starting to look ok! I might be able to pull this off I thought. I do love OSL and so tried to be a little more reserved with my use of it on this guy.
There was certainly something missing at this point so, to reinforce the setting a little, I decided to paint the backdrop. This was the right thing to do it seems. I went from not sure at all about it to feeling like I had something that really pushed me in a direction I would not have normally gone learned a hell of a lot about directional lighting.
With the final step of adding the resin to finishing off the toxic glow, this was something else totally new to me. My first use of water effects and resin in general. For a first attempt I can’t say I wasn’t happy with how it turned out but I next time will be much better.
All that left to do was add a few more brush highlights to really pick out the details I wanted to add emphasis to and call it a day. Here is what I ended up with and still I think it’s one of my favourite pieces.
Is there anything I would change? Yes of course. For a starter, I really am not at all happy with the power sword. Really, I needed to push the contrast here to the extreme to make the most of it. Would that work with two sources of light already without it losing the subtleness I wanted? Not sure to be honest but it would be worth a go. How the pipe with the toxic waste interacts with the marine I’m not fond of either and I feel there is something I could have done to make it fit together more. Maybe adding some trees to give it more verticality in the scene would push the effect of him scouting out something?
Overall though I really enjoyed the challenge. Not only did it push my painting in a different direction but I also got to do something more interesting with the basing, which is something I have been hesitant of for a long time.
I can’t wait too for the next challenge!