Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Its better wet

I know I started this blog as a Space Wolves diary, but... I couldn't resist the temptation any longer and started a Blood Angels army at Christmas.

The major turning point for collecting Blood Angels, or Space Pimps as I usually refer to them, was the Stormraven. Yeah, I know lots of people hate it and its not exactly fashionable to speak in its favour, but I really like it. A Space Marines vehicle should be bulky, it should be severe, and it shouldn't be all sleek and curvy. Leave that sort of thing to the xeno's! We're using 10,000yr old designs here, from a time when man could barely get out of orbit, let alone look good doing it!

So I put Space Pimps on my Christmas list and was given a box of Sanguinary Guard and the Sanguinor. To that I've added another squad of SG, Dante, 2 librarian dreads, 5 Death Company, and a DC dread, the last two units being carried in a Stormraven. Its a compact list and is designed to table you rather than go for objectives.

It's turned out to be quite good at doing that, wiping out 1500 points of Eldar and a more traditional BA list recently. I have enough high strength weapons, especially if I give both libby's lance, to pop a lot of tanks, and there's not a lot that likes getting assaulted by SG, rabid Death Company, or, shudder, the irresistable force of a DC dread with blood talons. That thing has happily chewed through Dire Avengers, Sanguinary Guard, and Astorath the Grim (isn't he supposed to be in charge of rounding up these guys after the battle?)

When it came to painting the dreads I noticed the GW showcase one has had its force weapon done in NMM. I decided to try to emulate this using a homemade wet palette for the first time. I know you can buy these off the shelf so I'm glad I found this video first. They are really cheap and easy to make - you just need a plastic box (I used a takeaway curry container), some kitchen towel, and some parchment paper. I paid about £4 for 50 sheets of the paper on ebay and each sheet gets cut down to make two palettes.

A wet palette does two things for you: it keeps your paint longer and it helps you make lots of mixes, great for blending or layering. It does this by creating a reservoir of water beneath the paper that slowly gets absorbed on the top surface. Your paint, which would quickly dry out on a dry palette as its water evaporated, instead absorbs this fresh water so it stays wet for longer. I have some paint on my palette now I put there two days ago and its still perfectly good. Mixes stay wet longer too, meaning you can mix up your gradients of colours before you apply them and go back to them to retouch layers you need to fix. No longer do you need to go try to remix a colour to match a layer you've already laid down - the original mix stays fresh on your palette for ages (depending on how much you made in the first place of course).

So I now have two nicely blended force weapons to show off :) They're not 'eavy metal standard of course, but they're still pretty sweet.

The next big blending project will be doing the second squad of Sanguinary Guard in NMM. I had a dry run at it on my Sanguinor and it looks, well, ok. Not great, not awful, but ok. The biggest hiccup in the project was washing on thin layers of dark flesh as shadows around the highlights I had already painted on. I wasn't convinced it was the right colour to use and as a result put it on too thick or thoo thin. So parts of my Sanguinor look a bit, well, wooden. And of course I couldn't go back to reapply the layers I had obscured because I was using a dry palette and the shades had all dried up and I didn't have the energy to remix them. I'm hoping using the wet palette, plus having a little more experience of NMM will make my next attempts a little more convincing and natural looking.

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