Friday, 9 October 2009

Crashed Rocketship Terrain Board part five

With the construction completed and the board under-coated I now had to think about what colour the board should be. My first plan was for a Martian red board, similar in fact to the bases of my Space 1889/Aeronef miniatures. I checked through holiday brochures for trips to America and studied photos of the Grand Canyon and Arizona Desert but felt that the red rocketship would be lost against such a bright red and orange base. I checked through modelling magazines and found that most sand coloured boards were to bland, all golden sand with no colour break. In the end I used an article from an old White Dwarf that gave a tutorial on Necron bases and board colours. A dark Flesh base, Vomit Brown midcoat and Bleached Bone highlight.

I picked up a dark brown/red tube acrylic from a cheap art store which matched more closely with Vermin Fur. I was happy with the colour and felt it could be darkened with a black wash. Two coats later the Venetian Red base coat was down. It does look a bit stark at this point, but a pretty heavy black ink wash toned it down quite a bit.

Once completely dry I ‘ferreted’ about in my paint box and came up with a cheap coffee brown acrylic paint which I scrubbed onto the red base, ‘by scrubbed I mean, used a large brush with little paint (slightly more than if drybrushing) and heavily brushed or scrubbed the paint onto and into the red/brown base colour.’ The finish looks slightly strange, with lots of the red/brown showing through, but we still have the highlight colour to add.

The highlight was a light cream acrylic, almost an exact match for Bleached Bone. Which was drybrushed on with a 2 inch wide household paint brush.

At this stage I felt that a second highlight was needed and used the cream paint and pure white acrylic to highlight the very tops of the rough texture. It was getting late and I allowed the highlighting coats to dry over night. The next morning I felt the whole colour scheme looked to ‘muddy’, difficult to explain, I just wanted a more vibrant base. I re-painted the cream mid-colour adding some dark grey and again highlighted with first cream and then cream/white.

I was almost there! Much later I tried a painting experiment and loaded my airbrush with the Games Workshop Brown Wash (Gryphonne Sepia - one of the new washes) and a drop of water. I over-sprayed all of the board with a wide nozzle setting and this ‘toned down’ the whole base giving a warm golden tint to the stark drybrushed white. Full of confidence I then loaded the airbrush with the brown and red washes (about 50/50) and this time picked out the flat areas. Later still a brown and black wash (again 50/50) was sprayed into the shadows and around the rocks with a fine nozzle. Before finishing I gave an over-spray of water and wetting agent (washing-up liquid) across the whole base, which ‘blended’ the effects into one another. Now I knew I was getting there! The finish reminded me of an article in the Privateer Press magazine No Quarter, where a desert scheme figure base was painted with a small sponge using the same basic colours.

When dry I added the rocketship to check the effect and I was very pleased, a natural looking base colour but not to glaring. Before cleaning the airbrush I used a straight black wash to ‘glaze’ the rocket engine trough and define the burnt areas, while still wet I brush painted some black and then black/grey acrylic paint onto the centre of the trough. I did not want to over-do this and kept the effect subtle with a very light drybrushing when the washes had dried.

The board is still not finished, but is getting close - in the next post I will detail how I decorated the painted board.


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