BattleTech - The Board Game of Armored Combat

BattleTech Miniatures and Terrain => Hobby Tips and Tricks => Topic started by: worktroll on 19 July 2021, 05:08:23

Title: Using white contrast - example
Post by: worktroll on 19 July 2021, 05:08:23
So I don't know if I'm boring the pants off you all, but there may be some people who'll find this helpful.

So what you need to start with:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/pw/AM-JKLU8YlolW4XkAPGvzL5yRbgT9_M0blE8B37ft7XhHC1bkFOCyqscoxkqyBuF_6_7lfROUy5jckBmu4JLsg5JBhCXMqp0l_Wvc8fdhzfuO6wnaDgp9mlVs-9SDn734hFCS10_KOaXB7o85HbhG0NfRB4M=w1064-h462-no?authuser=0)

4 paints: Citadel Grey Seer, Citadel Corax While,  a white primer, and Citadel Apothecary White (not pictured). A large rounded-end brush, available from art shops/craft shops. They get beaten up, but keep on ticking. Oh, and a rag to wipe paint on - I prefer using cut-up bits of old towelling.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/pw/AM-JKLVKVJ7karQLLg91xArGpVRB5sLSa36pynPqzoK8Ia6tcNBQBiu-8I-Z9k_JdBIxb2A_iGVVQJ5uWaMh3DCUn1dpd13L8DGtDuGKHeGKUkBpD89qeFqnSJOYdc6HtNaWcOBAnmkB7V3nQsq_9fNo_gCK=w563-h408-no?authuser=0)

So here's a comparison - the Shadow Hawk is just primed in Grey Seer, while the Thanatos has been liberally brushed with Apothecary White. The Thanatos is darker, but that provides the detail later.

The quality of the prime coat really matters. The Apothecary White has to run & pool and surface-tension into all the nooks and crannies. Don't fret if it pools on the flat, we'll fix that later. Normal primes have a slightly gritty, chalky surface - this will hold the contrast in place, and it won't work as well (I've tried.) If you need to substitute for Grey Seer, try a semi-gloss light grey, mebbe.

Corax White is white with a little blue added, giving a cool colour. Citadel's other white has brown added, for a warmer look. I like my mecha cool. The primer is just white white.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/pw/AM-JKLUdfy5LFmmo8gpnH1pHPnssB3ZVh1NRHth1keZWEtMoO29aKHohBUznbDljqzcy3X5-BAO_uHmgzqj8TTstk4lFNFyos-y72xaslvMOuzxKlCBTLI2uRdPe1ruSkHpOu_qDmjun8O9OxcYE9-Tc2kqh=w470-h189-no?authuser=0[img])https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/pw/AM-JKLU2BEAALAlaHUWXgPigdVcX1KaHh_GBn9mc9rLwsa5svJU0y6r5wvkxxrbly4oacRo5bzn5hDr0Mrcsdyd_3ajphm_Twk9_Bcu5WrOtdfo9xn3v3Ojf8y2NuHPIMMSkpOMPKJnAYXv6JkPmbyO0xtYS=w711-h404-no?authuser=0[/img]

If you haven't dry-beushed before, just get a little paint on the brush, then wipe wipe wipe until you don't see any colour coming off. You can see there is a little paint on the brush.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/pw/AM-JKLUT0oJWMTe4N3DG2ZcPzDAWSn91pQgtyTM6PApSYUczUO_4UQx5h2PqhmHXfmE7DIro95D7HvT6dZ0xbfi0IRTB3jvuBMV6Uh2ahVvp9thqWVyPubRpZcZjVgoWnKp7DhF7Q1HoSD3gRiUxSkta7T6Q=w608-h562-no?authuser=0)

Then wipe the brush over the mini. Don't push, a light swiping action will do you best, and not fill in the panel lines. One brushload got be through about 1/3 of the Thanatos - see how the mini's top right is lighter than the lower left? That's what the drybrush lays down. Rinse repeat, keep going until you feel you've got sufficient coverage & covered any flaws. Remember, that brush has to be dry - so one tip is to always start on the back of the mini, so if your brush is too wet/loaded, no-one will see it ;) The good point is the paint drys sufficiently fast you can just keep going over & round until you're done.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/pw/AM-JKLUhROzq95cAgV5JdIc4j3WXJDUOWyPLsjZV4yfcpHoNFithkgpm06QkyF2i_9zfBNcJJmnCS2PawRi0NUS18kTfMdYKAj4TvpMV5oA4XILE4jYmZswAl8T8BSmTpG1tMqAaVcQtS28olvwxZu1ih94g=w933-h619-no?authuser=0)

So there's the mini with the initial drybrush finished. It's white, and you still have the details picked out.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/pw/AM-JKLVT0PNdRYtrmM-SMCkYkc3X9bDQrZ5Yj7WHveF-Kc_DnLIXQwaCVnzOGYL9jPk7LVX3W4pxb1Wk2WKDL2le6_cUpaRL_xrhGhzOinWG6zSHx6TSyQdbeOA0a65BiFwNepTTiEoURBktzbrO9NCSiFYM=w395-h440-no?authuser=0)

Then the magic happens. Make sure your brush is dry - if it's damp still, this stage will muck up. Get a little of the white primer on the brush, then wipe it down like before. Then do it again. Then do it until you swear there's nothing coming off. This is the ghostbrush stage. When you wipe the brush over the mini, the paint will come off on the edges, not the flats like before. And it lifts that flat white into something nicer.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/pw/AM-JKLXPmCej9L3G5jyl3vrZtpgVTKtKPBCNtz4nMrWu7412r0fyhffOb4Bh92cHl9IaQKTFte66FwrrjMAo0CeDkR7IYceg7foc_4kXcwd_S6RXifqvagBLb-_uBXjNwqlrNYaLw_SbigWtfyhyNpwnAgZG=w504-h513-no?authuser=0)

Now for advanced idiocy! I decided to do Dawn Guard. Yes, I know ... but I had a lot of DA Feddie vehicles & BA to pair them with. And it lets me mix bigger IWM sculpts - like the Thannie - with KS minis when Wave 2 hits. So here I'm brushing on Citadel's contrast yellow (Naazdreg, IIRC) over the white base. And unlike before, I want a thin coat - if the yellow pools, it looks orange, and I don't want that. So I'm using a small flat brush, and trying to be reasonably careful (but slips can be fixed later).

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/pw/AM-JKLXveF_rRo9Hv6j-wqv8QUfpmDdLZimpZs2XhcUcYmavHDNMVwVtPprIfyBeNhG60_mJ_pqVV734y6RQKbBRGS3xIh35FfR3ZxHP-ir00mCEIbZ47MYh1hf24L3ufpa18OFac-AjcQdJhATMMuURMp3j=w583-h603-no?authuser=0)

Then I've done a drybrush layer of Phalanx Yellow over the top of the yellow contrast. This flattens the colour, does provide some highlighting, and IMHO makes it look more BattleTech-ish.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/pw/AM-JKLWzDq2xgSKDegDS-wI5y7Y_BIN9KQaKPFnKXa7sFvtcgNMmZf0HlxuY7HnwBD5j-GXv5vDv0Uo3pBxExL5xMm-FvqWTscpovaLJbC_Esuq7Oc2TdjTtildsGZaeOtd-KDdv_kWDq0aK0d2i-ky3U_n2=w495-h468-no?authuser=0)

And here he is ready for basing. Metallic bits painted black, then drybrushed Leadbelcher over them. I then used a small/medium brush to drybrush Corax White where I needed to clean up - this covered any metallic misses, and let me straighten up the edges of the yellow. Tipped the lasers, must go back and colour the PPC muzzle, but getting ready to fight for Julian Davion.

This took about half an hour work time over a few hours, while doing other things. This I find the joy of big unit painting - you just keep moving, you do different things between stages, and it flows. Yes, there will be boring bits (eg. priming everyone), and periods where you have to wait (for the contrast to dry), but I usually have some sub-jobs percolating through at the same time (eg. proof of concepts for the next few units).

Anyway, no Golden Demon or CSO artist, but if you want to field white on your table, have a go, and share your experiences!
Title: Re: Using white contrast - example
Post by: FenderSaxbey on 19 July 2021, 10:18:23
Nice write up. This is my go-to technique these days. Once I got the hang of the contrast paints, getting good table-ready results is a lot faster these days with slightly fewer steps.
Title: Re: Using white contrast - example
Post by: RazorclawXLS on 22 July 2021, 10:28:28
Thank you for this tutorial WT.

I am wondering how does Apothecary White applied on Grey Seer undercoat compares to it applied on a white undercoat?

When I was doing my first Lyran Guards mechs way back, I undercoated the mechs in white.

Right now I have new Lyran Guards batch ready to start painting, which are undercoated with Grey Seer. I was intending to basecoat the right sides of them (which are meant to be white) in white, and then do what you did, starting with Apothecary White and continuing on.

EDIT:

Worktroll, I'm kinda confused about the white primer you mention.

From the text I read, I understood that you undercoated the minis with Grey Seer, applied Apothecary White over the Grey Seer and then drybryshed Corax White over Apotechary White, before continuing further.

I don't see where white primer gets involved. Can you give a quick countdown of steps and what you do in each step? Just the order of steps, you already provided the details.

PS. A little side note - the lid on the Corax White pot is not closed properly. I hear/see people complaining about GW paints drying in their new pots, which is something I haven't experienced so far (knock-on-wood, some of my GW paints will be 3 years old this september), but I have been paying attention to close the lids all the way down, and have taken care to clean the inner edges of the lid and of the pot where the lid connects from paint residue as much as possible.
Title: Re: Using white contrast - example
Post by: MarauderD on 22 July 2021, 11:29:39
I've never used Apothecary White over Grey Seer--I'll have to give it a go when I get a Zeus and Atlas with Wave II and do another lance of Lyran Guards. 

I'm been using Krylon Fusion White Primer for my SoL/Lyran Guards/Davion Guards/Victoria Rangers because I thought it would brighten up the contrast paint.  I'll guess I'll experiment more with Grey Seer as I round out those formations on Wave II.
Title: Re: Using white contrast - example
Post by: FenderSaxbey on 22 July 2021, 12:29:35
FWIW, Apothecary White turns out great over Grey Seer. Just remember to do that dry brush to bring out the edges and to tone down the blueish tint a bit and it looks great.
Title: Re: Using white contrast - example
Post by: worktroll on 22 July 2021, 14:19:47
Worktroll, I'm kinda confused about the white primer you mention.

Whoops! Technically it's in the paragraph beginning "This is where the magic happens", but I've edited it and bolded the correction. Let me know if that makes sense now! Sorry!

And yes, I need to gouge out the lid of the Corax White again  ::) Got lazy. But it's nearly done. 

(Not only did I prefer the old old Citadel lids, they make great one-hex bunkers too ;) )

And why Grey Seer? TBH, it's not about the colour. Contrast White is indeed thick enough to cover black in the panel lines, but I don't know what it would look like. It's more about the surface Grey Seer leaves. I've used Lifecolor light greys, and they just don't work as well - I think if the surface the primer leaves is smooth, the contrast paint will flow & collect in the panel lines & gaps; if it's rough/chalky, the contrast paint can't flow as easily, and ends up flat. Grey Seer works wonderfully well.

(And I have to say that there are some things Citadel does just wonderfully. Nuln Oil is at exactly the right depth and consistency that you don't need to water it down, and can do two coats if you want without making the mini bleurgh. Same with Agrax Eartshade and Biel-Tan Green. And their metallics!  It makes sense that they tailored their bases, or at least Grey Seer, to work just right with contrast paints.)

But give anything a go & post pics. I'm wondering what white contrast would do on an Abbadon Black base?

Also opening up the floor for others with their experiences. I've used Citadel contrasts for white, yellow, orange, and light blue. In all those cases it's been on a Grey Seer base. All have benefited from subsequent drybrushing. For those of you who've used other colours - red, brown, green, darker blue - what's been your experience?
Title: Re: Using white contrast - example
Post by: RazorclawXLS on 22 July 2021, 15:43:25
Whoops! Technically it's in the paragraph beginning "This is where the magic happens", but I've edited it and bolded the correction. Let me know if that makes sense now! Sorry!

Oh, I can't believe I missed that.

So if I understand correctly, you use Apothecary White to give a whitish base with shading, over which you drybrush Corax White, using it not to highlight the edges, but to basically paint the panels a more white color. Then you do edge highlights with white primer?

And why Grey Seer? TBH, it's not about the colour. Contrast White is indeed thick enough to cover black in the panel lines, but I don't know what it would look like. It's more about the surface Grey Seer leaves. I've used Lifecolor light greys, and they just don't work as well - I think if the surface the primer leaves is smooth, the contrast paint will flow & collect in the panel lines & gaps; if it's rough/chalky, the contrast paint can't flow as easily, and ends up flat. Grey Seer works wonderfully well.

Yes, you are right, Grey Seer gives a satin finish, sorta like Abaddon Black. I've heard some people saying that Abaddon Black is matte, but it's not. When I first started using Abaddon Black, I was to correct mistakes I made to my Raven Guard miniatures, which were undercoated in black. You can imagine my surprise when the surface where I applied Abaddon Black was shinier and stood out like a t*rd in a punch bowl. Had to basecoat my Raven Guard with Abaddon Black for a consistent finish.

I am asking how Apothecary White looks on a grey base, because it is a grey color. I am expecting the contrast effect to be diminished when compared to Apothecary White on a white base, but I don't have experience with using that paint on grey base.

If the difference is not that great between the two cases, I might skip painting halves of my Lyran Guard mechs that are supposed to be white in the end, with a white base before applying Apothecary White, and save time.
Title: Re: Using white contrast - example
Post by: FenderSaxbey on 22 July 2021, 17:10:32
The trick, to me, is to do a drybrush of Corax White over the Grey Seer first. When the contrast paint goes on after and does that pulling away from the edges bit, it stands out quite a bit more.
Title: Re: Using white contrast - example
Post by: RazorclawXLS on 22 July 2021, 17:33:30
The trick, to me, is to do a drybrush of Corax White over the Grey Seer first. When the contrast paint goes on after and does that pulling away from the edges bit, it stands out quite a bit more.

Why the hell didn't this came to my mind, I don't know.