Leman Russ: Painting Strategy

Peter D asked a great question in the comments on the last post. It’s such a good question, it deserves it’s own blog post. I didn’t want to hide the answer among the comments.

The acrylic paints that you get for a buck or two at the local craft store are cheap and come in a wide variety of colors, but a lot of them aren’t thick enough to show up against a black background. The lighter shades really need to be applied to a white background to get the full effect. Without the white drybrushing, the light greens and purples won’t show up.

The white drybrush coat also gives you more texture for less work. When you block paint a color onto the white ares, the places where the white isn’t as thick give you colors that are muted. This means more shading in the figure’s colors. You can even control the amount of shading by controlling how thick you apply the dry brush. A dark figure gets a thinner coat of white, and the same color will wind up darker. You’ll see exactly what I mean when I post the fully painted tank. In the meantime, here’s a sneak peek:

Notice all the black lines in that picture?  Those are a result of the black base.  The white drybrush also turns your miniature into a bit of a coloring book; that is to say, it leaves you with a lot of black lines and a clear indication of where the colors go and where they don’t.

This technique works for pretty most figures.  I haven’t been using it on the 10mm figures, as the ink wash does the same job with less hassle on the smaller figures.  You can use both techniques on bigger figures, though, and you get even more depth in your miniature. Maybe one of these days I’ll post a step-by-step of my technique on a 28mm figure to show what I’m talking about. Thanks for the inspiration, Peter D.