Friday, July 27, 2012

Finishing Touches - Eldar Sun Blitz Phoenix

Its been a busy few days, what with having two kids to wrangle and all, but I've nearly finished the paint job on my Phoenix.

Basic colours
Having finished the main body, hihlighted the edges with Bubonic Brown and a tiny edge of Sunburst Yellow, I did a pretty basic job on the pilots and glued on the canopy. Most of the gems are blue as a contrast to the flaming yellow of the fuselage, with just a couple of orange ones for variety.

With added highlights

Something was missing though. My Nightwing fighter has a nice Sun Blitz crescent (not a spiral, as I had previously erroneously described it) but it was not so easy to get this painted onto the bomber.

I tried the liquid mask method I used on the fighter, but it just didn't look as cool as I wanted it to when I pulled off the frisk. Actually it looked awful. So bad I had to respray the whole thing :(

The problem is the shape of the plane. It doesn't have a lot of large flat areas for painting such details on. It has a tiny strip of wing on each side, connected to the jet sections by a very thin strip, then the dorsal surface is, well cluttered and there are the two fins to get in the way too. I just couldn't see a way to paint on the crescent, or even crescents, without it just looking like a weird red stripe.

So, a couple of nights to think it over were necessary.

I had my eureka moment this morning. I had thought I was going to go with a sort of sunrayish motif, using the two panel/instrument pods as the centres. Their location was still a little problematic though and I couldn't figure out how to do it, using a freehand brush, and get the lines to look straight over a curved surface. I was dreading putting the brush down to find I had just painted, again, some weird stripes.

But then it hit me - the Phoenix! It is, of course, a legendary bird of flame, not just a pretty word the Eldar (the Imperium?) used to denote this flying beast. So, perhaps I could freehand a flame motif on the wing.

A quick bit of research (google) gave me this image:

I also found some other, less savoury pictures
I then practiced drawing those organic, naturally curving and authentic flames/feathers in a notebook (another good tip for freehand painting - practice it with a pencil first) before committing paint to model.

Too much?
 I used thinned Mechrite Red, followed up by a thin layer of Blood Red. Then I went too far, trying to add realistic flame effects, with lines of Gold Yellow, Blazing Orange, and Sunburst Yellow. In the flesh, as it were, the flames looked ok. Only ok. Part of the problem was I'm not very good, that is, haven't practised, at drawing flames. The other part was the yellows and orange were too close to the plane's base colour, giving a sort of diluted effect to what is supposed to be a strong contrast colour.

Not a complete disaster though as I was able to paint back over the flames with Mechrite and Blood Reds. I then added a thin highlight or Blazing Orange and thin shade line of Dark Flesh to each flame. It looks pretty good, albeit not as smooth a finish as it should be. 

I will probably add some more layers of Purity Seal on top and may even polish this, so I don't think the unevenness of the paint will be too apparent in the end. I will also do some better quality shots too as the paint job is, in places, better than these pictures show.

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