A noob painting tip for other noobs: basecoating

If you’re like me, you find that it’s a bitch to paint red on black or white primer. They either turn up too dark or too bright. Probably the same goes with any colours as well. The problem with black or white is that if you miss a spot they make a glaring gap in your paint job. Not to mention that they dominantly dictate the shades of the colours used on top of them. This makes painting light colours a bit tough.

The basics of painting is to lay down many thin coats to achieve a uniform and smooth finish. Slopping on 7 layers of red on black to get a good shade of red is okay, but it takes a while. So how do you mitigate this? I accidentally discovered that there are only 2 main basecoat colours while painting my Space Hulk minis: the colours are brown and grey.

Brown is for ‘hot’ colours (i.e: red, orange, yellow, olive green, etc.) while grey works best with ‘cool’ colours (i.e, white, black, ummm…. grey, blue, purple, some greens, etc.). Using these two base coats saved me a lot of time layering the same colour over and over again. After laying down a couple (or even 1) of brown coats, usually a couple of red coats is enough to make it look good.

This is especially useful while painting human faces. You paint a brown base, semi highlight the raised features with a skin colour of your choice (make sure to leave the recesses brown to give your model more definition), wash it with brown ink if it looks too pasty (optional), then finish off by highlighting with your skin colour added with a bit of white.

Give this a try and tell me later how it went on your end. It went snazzyingly well on my end 😉


Posted on November 16, 2010, in WarmaHordes and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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