G’day webernetsis, Dwalin here.
Dunno if you read one of my last digests, this thing here, but in it I went to some lengths (medium lengths maybe?) to explain that painting miniatures for war games is, to me, a ball breaking chore of unfathomable dullness. If you read it you’ll also know that Bif weighed into my argument fairly extensively and, ultimately, called me out.
Laying down a challenge Bif reckoned he would get me enjoying painting, speed me up (one of the reasons I disdain the process of colourising minis) and get me feeling like the effort was worth it by gifting me the potency to make my models not look like they just erupted into the world from someone’s backside…
This post then folks, is a continuation and semi-conclusion to that effort…
Having recently purchased some Savage Orruk Boar Boys (not a fan of the ‘Orruk’ IP rebrand, but holy shit these models look awesome) I decided these were the best things to coat in acrylic first; I figured with Bif on hand I’d be able to not fuck up my first newly purchased GW stuff in over 15 years.
I had already constructed the models, and undercoated ‘em, before arriving at Bif’s. There in he thrust a dark green (Angel green from Army Builder – Bif) in my hand, along with a chunkyish brush, and said ‘paint all the skin you see in this and don’t worry about getting it on non skin bits’… Well, he did demonstrate first.
Once the 5 riders got a green-skinning we used a darkish brown (Citadel paint from the 90’s – Bif) all over the boars.
Next I was given a lighter green (Mutation green from Vallejo – Bif) and shown to do a mid-way-between-dry-and-wet brushing – again, Bif reminded me not to worry too much about coverage. I’m pretty sure at this point Bif noticed one of my first fatal errors: I was using the side of the brushes head to apply paint.
I’m pretty cack handed and I guess my painting skills generally arise from watching the generations of men in my family paint walls; the flat of the brush to get it smooth and use the paint. I guess common sense would’ve told me this was stupid with modelling but such is my unending ennui with regards mini painting that I guess I’ve never actually thought about what I’m doing… Thanks Bif!!
So, holding the brush like a pen, we put another, lighter, layer on the boars. Again a cross between dry brush and wet brush (A damp brush? – Bif). With the boars I was instructed to brush down to let the model cause shade itself, only allowing the paint to hit the upper sections of fur. Another great tip…
Next Bif let me loose on the finer details of the Orruks – stone bits on weapons painted a grey (Armypainter – Filthy Cape), wooden bits a reddish brown (Chaotic red – Army Painter – Bif), bone bits a bony colour (Skeleton Bone – Army painter)…
Orruks drying the boars got a bony colour face; we used the same tone for tusks and face alike…
Next was some homoerotic Orruk posing… I favoured the traditional doggy style posing, I think the violence and brutality inherent in these models suited such a forceful pose. Bif opted for a more romantic situation for the greenskins. This was very evocative and projected a loving nature amid the potential Orcish scandal that would inevitably arise, to be honest I reckon the seeds for a fantasy version of the love affair of Gylenhal and Ledger have been sewn… (Boarback mountain? – Bif)
Some coloured hair was added to the Orruks
During which time Bif put some red into the boar’s eyes, as well as a yellow dot pupil… He assures me I have the skill to do this on the next batch
A brown wash (Dark tone – Army painter – Bif) was added to the boars – holy fuck, they suddenly don’t look catastrophically shit!!! Where they were looking like I had spat paint at them indiscriminately they now look not shit!
Next the boars got a white drybrush on the tusks, to make it bonier than the face, and on the fur…
Some more dry brushing on the boars manes, I decided I wanted some more colour and so we went with some tones matching the Orruk’s hair…
Fine details on the Orruks – by this point Bif’s continual reminders (to paint away from areas already painted, turn the model lots, anchor my hands on the table, use the brush like a pen, use a small dip of paint on the tip of the brush and to use a light touch) had all sunk in – look I did a belt and didn’t fuck up!
It was also at this point Bif offered some more sage advice: walk away when you’re bored/frustrated/tired/pissed off/hungry/ thirsty/horny… Battling through makes you sloppy and ultimately really pissed off with what you’re doing.
So… A lemon Wit break and we returned, laying the rest of the detail on and, just when I needed it most, finishing the Orruks with an all over dark wash (Dark tone – Army painter – Bif)… Suddenly that nose bone and bone necklace looked defined and realistic – just like the rest of the model.
Final thing for the day: Bif set up his backdrop, threw down some light and took these snaps… I for one am unbelievably chuffed with these models; definitely the best paint job I’ve ever done. THANK YOU BIF!!!!
Soooooo…. Conclusions. Did Bif speed me up? Difficult to tell really. I reckon the answer is probably yes due to the base layer speed – but this is offset with the care taken with the detail, all in these 5 minis took about 5 hours; I shudder to think how long something more complicated will take me.
Did Bif make me better at painting? Absolutely! There’s not even a remote query with this.
Did Bif make me enjoy painting…???
No… And yes.
I enjoyed the day with Bif- good chatting, japeries, good beer and learning from a stupendous painter. I loved seeing the models come out not shit; I felt a sense of pride when I managed to paint that nose bone without fucking up… But I still felt like the actual task was a chore, like I’d rather be doing something else with Bif (ooo err)… Well, kind of.
The thing is with chores, you have to do ‘em to get what you want- a clean house or an incredibly immersive gaming experience. So, you know, I’m really bloody glad i did this. Bif also weighed in here- ‘I hated it, even when I was getting better… But now? I don’t. The more I’ve done, the more skills I’ve developed, the more ways to walk away from the annoying bits but still come back I’ve got, the more I began to enjoy it’.
So, maybe at some point I might relish painting. As it stands Bif has inspired me to make more of an effort…
And maybe I do hate it a little less…