Sunday, 1 May 2016

Painting Gold

So painting gold is hard...really hard.  I have talked in another post about how I do small areas (chest plates, decorations etc) but when you want to do a whole mini that system breaks down.

I have to say, I can claim no responsibility for this way of painting gold...its pinched from someone else. Big props to Kenny Boucher at Next Level Painting for his guide, which I have modified to work with brushes not an airbrush.

So I used to have a metal Dante figure. I didn't really paint him that well, and the years have not been kind to him: 

Sad Dante

That horrible yellow-gold colour was achieved with a bright gold followed by a flesh wash (don't ask me how I remember the technique from over 20 years ago!). I don't really like that look, and I want my Dante to look like he's wearing some ancient aged brass armour. Kenny's method does this well, with a little modification.

So first things first, I stripped him off in Dettol. Then reattached his gun arm. The axe was problematic as it had snapped in the mid shaft. Basically I filed both ends off, drilled a 0.8mm hole in the dead centre of either end (with a pin vice) and then pinned it with a cut paperclip (my favourite pinning trick). I then pinned his foot onto a nice resin base I had lying around: 

Also primed in black

It turns out that the old metal sculps are a bit lacking on the detail front, and dont have the same depth of features as resin or plastic. This meant painstakingly hand painting in the details like abdomimal musculature to enhance their depth. Painful. 

So the next step was to paint the miniature in a bright silver (I used Runefang Steel) and apply a coat of Vallejo Model Air Copper (with a brush). In this context Copper is going to act as a 'dark gold', and the silver Base coat is to provide a really bright starting point.


The next step is to drybrush (quite liberally) Vallejo Model Air Bright Brass. As you can see I quite like these Vallejo metallics, and it was Kenny's tutorials that really turned me on to them. They are designed for airbrush, so are beautifully thinned and have great depth of coverage and pigment density. Another thing you will notice is that I never actually use a gold paint whilst painting this gold...


Next up is to try and increase the depth of darker tones, and this is done with a very delicate series of washes. The GW washes are ace, and carefully going from Seraphim Sepia to Agrax Earthshade and then down to Nuln oil gives an amazing result.  I then did a light drybrush of Bright Brass to re-establish the high tones.


The next step was the most important I think, and that is to reinforce the deeper tones with a very thin almost wash of burnt umber (vallejo model air range is my favourite...again). You need to be precise, it's almost like painting a very fine lowlight into the recesses. This took a while and a whole bunch of practice going up and down in tones until I reached this stage: 


Now clearly I have also painted some other details on at this stage as well. I have tried to keep a full on gold look, with as much variety of gold tones as possible (for practice as much as anything). I decided not to go with the white wings look, I don't think it matches the rest of my force.

So there it is, he still needs the finishing touches put on but is basically finished. I really enjoyed painting the gold tones, but it was much more time consuming than I had figured. Maybe down the line I will get some sanguinary guardsman...who knows.