I had my first actual week of leave (as in, where I wasn’t doing other work) in more than a year, and it was amazing.
One of the things I did was experiment a bit with a way of batch painting which will help getting a semblance of an army ready before 9th hits. For this I tried some of the Army Painter stuff which most of you will probably be familiar with and did some testing.
First of all the undercoat. I went for the plate mail primer due to the amount of metal on the spearmen. For archers or other troops I will probably stick to a white one (the GW one is still pretty good as primers go).
The army painter primer is tricky to use, and many people don’t like it because it dries differently to most primers. This is probably related to the pigment to solvent ratio, however this is nothing bad, just different. Even after some experience I had to fiddle a bit to get it right. You see that the spearman in front has a very smooth coat on his breast plate, which is how it should be. Others in the batch came out slightly grainy, mainly due to me not spraying properly.
After this was done I slapped on some basecoats. Nothing fancy, mostly GW base paints. I went for Khorne Red as the main “spot” colour since I really like the dark crimson contrasting with the whites. I also went for Ratskin Flesh as the flesh colour instead of Bugman’s Glow, since it is more yellowish than reddish and closer to the old Bronzed Flesh that I’ve always really liked.
After that it’s dipping time (using a brush, not the wasteful actual dip method!). I tried two variants, the strong tone (which is dark brown, close to the old Devlan Mud) and the dark tone (which is black pigment based). The main difference with these dips compared to washes is the viscosity, causing it to pool more naturally and giving that easy shading and lining effect. The fact that it also gives a protective coat due to the varnish is a nice bonus for gaming pieces.
I could have stopped there, but I added some extra highlights to make them pop, since the end result is VERY dark with my choice of colours. The brown parts where highlighted with Skrag Brown, the reds with Wildrider Red and the gold with Auric Gold (which I’ll replace with a 50/50 Auric/Ghenna mix next probably since pure Auric is a bit to muted). I also did the gems post dip to make the stand out more. A matte varnish spray later the end result looks like this:
A little dry brushing of the sand on the base later I can consider these guys done. I like the strong (black) tone marginally better, mainly due to the higher contrast. All in all I consider the test successful. Next I’ll need to decide on the shield colour, so stay tuned for further updates.