Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Test Mini: Zenith red

A while back I came across From the Warp. The author, Rob had a nice little blog going with some good ideas. Sadly, he stepped away from his little corner of the internet about 6 months ago and hasn't been seen since, but his words live on. I've pondered over one of his speed painting techniques for a while, and this week, with the onset of my rekindled interest in Warmachine, I've decided to give his Zenith overhead painting technique a go.

If you don't feel like clicking the link above the premise is simple: using two cans of spray paint to create a two-toned basecoat for your minis. Rob posits that you need a black basecoat, and a dark color for a secondary coat, but I'm trying something a little different in order to paint a Khador Juggernaut Heavy Warjack.

Khador's army usually uses a red scheme, so in the interest of selling this guy on eBay that's what i went with.

I used two colors of Krylon: Burgundy, and Pimento (both with satin finishes) I wanted two tones of red, and for the lighter color to be a bit more orange instead of "cherry."

Here are the simple steps:
1. A light black primer basecoat
2. 1-2 coats of Krylon Burgundy. When you first spray the paint on it doesn't look like it's well covered, but just give it a few minutes to dry, and it'll be more obvious where you need more paint.
3a. Wait for the dark basecoat to dry, then hold the lighter color, Pimento, at about a 45 degree angle above the front of your mini, so you're spraying down on it. Then make 2-3, light, even passes with the paint. The first layer looks really splotchy, but it evened out with a few more coats, and also as it dried.
3b. The initial spray didn't cover the back of the gauntlets, so I sprayed them individually, using an envelope to shield the rest of the mini from overpaint.
4. After that dried, I went through and painted highlights along the edges (I used Mechrite Red through Firey Orange, through Sunburst Yellow).
Steps 1 through 4 literally took a single hour. So I'd definitely call it a speed painting success.

Finally, I coated all of the red bits with a wash of Baal Red. This served a few purposes: It deepened the red into the right shade, helped even out the fade between the two colors, and it dulled down the glossy sheen of the spray paint.

Here's how it looks now, after about three hours of painting. I might actually be able to finish it tonight before I go to be. (Unlikely, but possible)
I think this technique is ideal for large minis with wide flat areas. I imagine the smaller you go the dicier it becomes. The Khador 'Jack is idea since it has these wide, flat panels, but detail-heavy Menoth 'Jacks might not fare as easily.

As Rob noted in one of his last posts, this method can easily obscure finer details. For instance, the holes in the Juggernaut's face plate appear to be divets instead of vents (or whatever they're supposed to be).  The best way to prevent this is by placing a bit of masking tape over details you don't want painted, or want to protect. You finish painting, and the tape strips away clean once the paint is dry.

The next step for me (other than finishing this mini, and it's brother) is to try a new spin on the Zenith technique with Fenrisian Wolves. I'll keep you updated on that once I give it a go.


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