So after plopping down a fair amount of money into plastic bits, the big question was: how do I make these dull grey plastic bits into an epic looking standing army?
My experience with painting in life has been spotty at best. I painted as a child in school (poorly), I attempted to get into watercolour (sucked at it), and I thought pastels would be an interesting medium to work in (messy and I was terrible with it). I think my greatest painting achievement was painting Gundam models as a teen, but even then they were sub par from my point of view.
I think one of the biggest issues was that I never learned the proper steps to painting, how to put layers of paint on, what order, how to blend colours, how to bring out colours, etc. So jumping into Warhammer painting was a more of a leap of faith.
Luckily, the guy at the local Games Workshop was very kind and seeing that I was a complete newb at this hobby gave me a quick tutorial at the store about it. I wish I had the foresight to take pictures of it at the time, but I’ll describe it as best I can and show you what I ended up with.
The first step is priming the model with a quick spray of black (Chaos Black in this case). This apparently provides a suitable layer of paint for you to add onto; it helps other layers of paint adhere to the model. Other colours would probably help as the base coat depending on what you are trying to do, but it seems that black is a pretty universal starting point (white/grey if you are going for an overall lighter theme).
Next up is the base coat of paint, the meat of the model really (in some cases literally). What the majority colour of the model will be is what you should paint first and at this point, you want to start with the ‘inner’ colours first as well. In my case, I wanted a very ‘Romanesque’ colour scheme, so silver (Leadbelcher) and red (Khorne Red) were my main colours. Thus far pretty straight forward.
Now this is where things kinda go into unknown territory: we add shading. In my mind, shading is something you do with extensive amounts of work, adding dark tones onto areas of shadow, adjusting to where the light source comes from, mixing paints to get the right colour, etc. Games Workshop have thankfully come up with an interesting kind of product aptly named shade paints. The starter paint set I bought has something called ‘Reikland Fleshshade’, but since my base colour wasn’t gold, the shop owner advised me to use ‘Nuln Oil’ as a shade instead. Basically taking a bit of this stuff and dipping into the recesses and nooks and crannies of the models. The shade will settle in lower areas (thanks gravity) and darken those areas accordingly, saving us a lot of time and effort!
The shade takes some time to dry, but afterwards we go onto the highlighting bits. Some parts of the model will be darkened quite a bit by the shade, so you may need to re-apply some base paint colours to brighten them back up to what you want, but the main point is that the shadowed areas will remain dark; just be gentle with the application of more paint.
Continuing on with the Roman army theme, I gave a lot of the accent/embellishment areas a nice coating of gold. With that I had my very first painted Warhammer miniature: a Stormcast Eternal Liberator!