Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Painting: How I paint Beastmen. 3rd and final installment

I've got a game coming up soon for my Beasts of Chaos army that means I need a few more Bestigors than I currently have.

I'm working in fits and spurts to paint up a batch of 28 models, just doing a few minutes here and there as time permits. I've always been very happy with the appearance of my Beasts, so I thought I'd share how I paint them up step by step.

It's basically a repeated application of drybrushing.

First off the models are primed with black spray. For this I use "plasti-kote projekt paint" which I buy from a local DIY shop. It's inexpensive when compared to the GW spray (currently £9.80 for 400ml can). I buy a 400ml can of this stuff for about £6.00 and it works totally fine.

Next up I drybrush the "skin" area on the models with a very dark brown colour. Again, I'm not using GW paint here - I  tend to avoid it as it's soooo expensive for such tiny amounts. I do have some from years back when I started - you'll see it in use later. Currently GW are charging £2.40 for a 12ml pot of paint (i.e. 20p per ml). I buy this stuff from a local art/craft shop for about £5.00 for a 250ml pot (i.e. 0.5p per ml). By my reckoning that works out as 2.5% of the GW price. It's thicker than GW paint and so goes much, much further too, when thinned. It's still an acrylic and washable with water, same as GW paint.
Black undercoat with dark-brown drybrushed flesh


One problem with that range of paint is that it's very limited in the range of colours. It's designed for artists to paint on canvas who will typically be frantically mixing on a palette as they go, so range isn't a requirement. No matter, as the same shop also stocks a range of hobby paints, as shown in the next step.

After the first round of drybrushing, I apply a second layer of a lighter brown to the "skin". This paint comes in 59ml pots and costs just £1. It is very similar in thickness and coverage to the regular GW paints but again the range of available colours is lower (that said there are still at least 50 colours available). Doing my sums again that means that this stuff costs 1.69p per ml, so is just 14% of what GW charge. This paint is also a water-washable acrylic, same as the GW paint.
A layer of mid-brown drybrushing applied to the flesh

Shop around!

Anyway, the "skin" is now finished, as far as I'm concerned (and so is the lecture on buying cheaper paint!) so I move on to the next area. I chose to do the "metalwork" on the model next, again just drybrushed:
More drybrushing - metal details this time

The next phase of the process is another drybrushing application - this time in a light grey colour (the exact colours used are shown in the photo below - about a 50:50 mix) to pick out the hair, fur and horns. The same shade is applied to the model's base (which was textured by applying PVA glue and some gritty sand before the black spray undercoat was applied).
Yet more (and final application of) drybrushing - light grey to pick out fur, hair and horns

I'm only aiming for "Acceptable Army Standard" with these models so I'm close to finishing. All I plan to do from this point is pick out the eyes (red), teeth (I use bronzed flesh for this - white is far too stark), the belt/butt-flap and the weapon-haft. So far I've invested about 5-6 hours into this unit of 28 models so you can see that this is a fairly rapid process so far. By my reckoning, that's about 12 mins per model so far. Going forward I move away from drybrushing to simply "painting" and then applying a one-stage highlight. Progress will be slower, but should still average out (I hope) at about 1 model every 20 mins.

The final part of the process went a little faster than I'd expected. I found when I applied the last few colours that to reach an "Acceptable Army Standard" that the one-stage highlight wasn't required - the colour itself over the base colour was sufficient.

So all I needed to do was to apply paint to:

  • Eyes (red)
  • Teeth (Bronzed Flesh)
  • Bracelets (Bronzed Flesh)
  • Belts (either black or dark brown)
  • Wrist-pennants (on the right wrist just beneath the hand) and Butt-flaps (either red, grey, dark brown or mid-brown)
  • Weapon-haft (dark brown with a Bronzed Flesh drybrush to bring out the wood-grain).

The final result looks like this:
Two models, front & back

A slightly different perspective
And the whole unit of 28 looks like this:
The whole unit
Start to finish time came in at about 18-19 minutes per model so about 9 hours for the whole unit.

These guys won't win me any Golden Daemon awards, but they will look splendid on the battlefield with the rest of my  my Beasts of Chaos army