Friday, 29 January 2010

A model a month - The Red Knight

As some of you might remember, back at the start of the year, I set out some aims that I wanted to achieve this year. One of those was to paint one non-guard model a month to improve my painting ability, as the problem with guard is that they're uniform and so although painting my guard has improved my precision as a painter and taught me a lot about paint consistency, they haven't given me a chance to try more advanced painting techniques or to work with different colour schemes.

With my lovely wife getting me both Heroquest and Advanced Heroquest for xmas, I now have a stack of models that I can use to improve my painting. Last night, I finished the first of these, The Red Knight, and I can honestly say that this is the best model I have ever painted, the pictures just don't do it justice.

I really have pushed myself with this model, the face was done following a GW faces masterclass pdf, and although initially, I wasn't that happy with it due to the highlights. Once I realised that trying to compare it to GW modern faces, I became I lot happier. I'm not blaming my tools so to speak, but the latest GW painting techniques work really well on detailed faces, whereas this model was cast over a decade ago. It's also the first time I've done teeth or lips, eye's are still a challenge to be met one day.

The red clothe and shield were done with layering and washes, basically mechrite red, then black wash in the recesses, then reapply mechrite red, then scab red, then scab/blood red, then blood red, then blood red/blazing orange, then pure blazing orange and finally a red wash to tie all the layers back together. Now that was an experience, but produced a great look.

The armour was more a simple working of a base of boltgun metal, followed by various washes and boltgun highlights. Quite simple really, but very effective.

Finally, his boots and gloves, which started like the red clothe with a base colour and a black wash in the recesses, but instead of using different colours, I simply got my base colour calthan brown and my highlight colour bronzed flesh and mixed them up as I painted, and then used a devlan mud wash to blend the highlights back together. It's the first time I've ever mixed paints on the fly, and once I sort out a wet palette, it's something I'm going to be doing a lot more of, it's so much quick and produces and much smoother look than different colour layering.

So there you have it, my first model a month and in my humble opinion, an outstanding one at that. The other thing I've noticed is how much I've enjoyed painting him up. My guard are normally batch painted to get them on the table but this guy was just a pleasure to paint. I'd highly recommend doing something like this yourself if you've been batch painting an army for a while.

Don't worry, more guard stuff coming soon but keep your eyes peeled for another Heroquester at the end of next month, although I'm not sure if it's going to be a elf, wizard or dwarf as of yet, only time and inspiration will tell.


Mordian7th said...

Very nice! I especially like how the red turned out - I really must give that method a try. My reds always end up looking a bit too cartoon-y to me. Highlighting up to orange then washing back down to red may be exactly what's needed. Keep up the great work!

Dannis said...

The model turned out great! The face ended up really good indeed, can't say anything to that.
The red cloths are very good too, I myself have always done the reds another way, with other colors which turn the red to an whole other red then yours. I must try this technique some time for sure. The armor good, you really got that nifty old look to it, which fits perfectly!
Now for the other critique, I would have done the shield another color, it turned good, but not my color to choose for this model. Same goes for the handle of the sword, which I would have given another color as well.
The plume could have had a lil' more highlights for my taste, but that's all personal opinion.

These 3 points are all matters of taste, and the plume can even be the blame of the picture. However the one thing that I would redo is the sword. Invest some 5 minutes more into it, to get the look of the sword a bit better, perhaps the same style as in the armor. Because the harsh highlight of Chainmail directly on top of the darker color is a downgrade for the whole model (see the pictures, I can't really express myself that good in English).

I really love the model, turned out really great! Retouch the sword and it will be even better. I will look forward to your other HQ mini's!

The Dark Templar said...

Great looking model, I especially like the reds.

That's one of the best bits of the hobby I think, when you push your abilities and raise your painting bar to a whole new level.

HuronBH said...

Congrats on the goal of pushing yourself and becoming a better painter. Your first model in this line looks great. I like the depth of color in the metals and the reds look good (though are not to my taste, I usually use Dwarf Flesh to instead of Blazing Orange).

The secret to eyes, at least at first is to remember you can paint over mistakes. When I am painting eyes quickly, I apply black or dark Brown first. Then inside that put in a white oval. One secret is not to paint the whole eye in one go. Paint from each corner into the center of each eye.

So right eye, from the right corner into the center, and then from the left corner into the center. Then repeat for the other eye. Then I put a black dot in the center. Do not worry if this goes outside the lines you have created but make sure the edges touch the outer rim of dark color, or else the model with look like it is scared.

If you accidentally paint to much and block out all the white on one side of the eye, or both, just put a dot of white back in. Then touch up around the edges of the eye with you face tone and you are done. I will post a tutorial sometime.

Anonymous said...

Wow, those knees really pop.

First modelling, now painting: you're really the complete package. Will you marry me?

If not, how about just making an army for me? :)

Dan Eldredge said...

He looks great! I really have to agree with mixing up your painting queue--batch painting the same kind of mini over and over again can really lead you into the doldrums. Painting something new and different can really revitalize you.

Admiral Drax said...


My knees pop, too.

Col. Corbane said...

@Mordian - Thanks matey.

@Dannis - Thanks for the critique mate, it's always good to get friendly feedback. On the plumes, it's not the pic, they're shit. I just didn't know how to paint then and couldn't find any good tutorials. On the shield, I wanted to do a red dragon on a white background, but bottled it, so used it to practice detailed red rather than clothe. On the hilt of the sword, in hindsight, I'm probably going to repaint gold once I've had a bit of practice on something large.

Thanks for taking the time to post.

@DT - Thanks mate, on raising the bar, if you're just going to tread water, what's the point?

@HBH - Cheers mate, thanks for the eye tips. I've got a load of heads on strips a friend gave me, so I think I'm going to try to get some face painting practice in before I start 1st (vet) platoon.

@W39 - Can you cook? ;-)

@DW - Cheers mate, I really enjoyed the process, I just wish I'd started the model a month sooner.

@Drax - Cheers mate, my knee's pop too.

Col. Hessler said...

Your painting is really improving! Any chance I get get a link to that GW PDF?


Unknown said...

Another knee-popper here - love the model, the Advanced Heroquest heroes were fantastic little models, especially when compared to the later Warhammer Quest stuff.

Your paint job looks really nice too, the edging on the armour works well, and the leather looks, well, leathery! If I had one criticism (and it's more personal opinion/preference than critical)it's that the hilt of the sword would perhaps look better gold rather than red.

Otherwise it's great!

Craig said...

nice one dude, love it

Col. Corbane said...

I'll consider that's high praise indeed, especially coming from someone who's painting skills should get him a job on the 'eavy metal team.

Anyway, shouldn't you be on a boat? lol

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