Sunday, December 20, 2009

Eldar How to Guide

As I was working on getting my two Vypers ready this weekend, I thought I'd use the opportunity to do a quick, step-by-step guide on my I paint my Eldar.

Basically, with these guys I wanted a very simple scheme that didn't require extensive conversions and which could be reproduced relatively quickly. For other projects, like my Vampire Counts and Noise Marines, I spend more time with conversions and 'lavish' paint jobs; my goal with the Eldar from the start was always to have a fully-painted, battle ready force that wouldn't take 2 years to complete.

With that in mind, the color scheme is very basic: all models are painted with some variant of Shadow-Grey as their base, with highlights of white, black and scab red as 'pop' colors. Having a simplified pallet was important, as my opportunities to paint can be very hit-and-miss, so I didn't want to run risk of painting some of my troops in a custom-mixed color only to be unable to reproduce it at a later date (I'm also notorious for forgetting to write down the ratios in custom blends for latter usage...)

With this base color, 95% of the models in this army start with the same setup: a primer coat of skull white followed by a base coat of shadow grey.

From this point, a bit of variety can be inserted. For lighter models, two successively brighter highlights of Shadow Grey+Space Wolves Grey does just fine. In the case of the Vypers, I wanted to go a bit darker, so I mixed a batch of Shadow Grey plus small amounts of Liche Purple and Chaos Black and then watered this down heavily to use as an ink wash.

To keep my vehicles easy and consistent, I then trace over the model's seems with a watered down highlight mix. This part can be very tedious, but it really gives the finished models a sharp appearance. Finally, a lighter, thicker blend of the highlight s reapplied to the corners and sharp angles.

Here's an example of this technique on a 'lighter' model:

To finish, I like trying a bit of freehand designs. These can really go either way, giving the model a real stand-out appearance or spoiling a delicate blend job with a shoddy, hastily painted design. (Straight lines can be especially difficult to free-hand, so having some tape so a straightedge nearby can really help.) My only advice here is to wait to do this last bit until after the model has been completed and had time to sit for awhile. This should give adequate time to for you to consider the possibilities and to avoid rushing through the detail work at the end of an already long session.

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