Here I am again, with an update that is LONG overdue. But, as they say, better late than never, right?
Seriously though, I apologize for neglecting my project for so long. Thing is, in the middle of painting Illic Nightspear I was distracted for a few weeks by a trip to Hymalayas - and when I returned I dived back into painting which was getting ever more frantic with each passing week. But at least I now have some nice progress to share with you!
So, my approach to painting Illic wasn't particularly creative. I really like the way he's painted by GW Citadel team, and was aiming to do something similar. There was one part where I wanted to try something slightly different however - the ranger cloak.
The standard GW model has a fairly light and smooth-looking brown cloak with a simple camo pattern on it - and one thing I definitely did not want to do was camo pattern. On one hand, free-handing it would have taken me forever. But on the other hand, camo patterns always feel somewhat inappropriate to the Eldar - too mundane and too mon-keigh'ish in nature
I always envisioned the cloaks of Eldar rangers more as something akin to LotR - unremarkable yet blending into the surroundings just by the nature of their craftsmanship. And it was that vague image that I decided to try to re-create in my painting.
But first things first. I assembled the model gluing the right arm to the body but leaving left arm with the rifle and the head separate. I also had to saw off and pin back the rifle's barrel to make it look straighter (silly failcast!) Also, even though he comes with a small infantry base, I found that the nature of his pose perching on a piece of eldar masonry makes the model on a small base extremely wobbly. So I got a big terminator-sized base instead, and decorated it with a couple of "rocks" made of tree bark.
As always, I started with airbrushing smaller details - those which would benefit from smooth finish and which could also be masked off easily. In this case those details were blue armour details and the rifle.
I covered armour with liquid mask - and then came the time to paint the cloak.
After some searching I found the set of colours that felt ideal for creating that look of unremarkable, rugged and dusty cloak of an outcast that spends all his life on the road. The colours are the Citadel "grey-brown" set:
- Dryad bark;
- Gorthor brown;
- Baneblade brown.
I was super-happy to find out that Dryad Bark and Baneblade Brown are also available in Citadel Air range. Gorthor is not, sadly, but I had to replace it with Vallejo Model Air Camo Pale Brown, which is fairly similar in hue.
In fact, initially I wasn't 100% sure about brown - I also had an alternative idea of making cloaks light grey to make them closer to "urban camo" style. So I started with experimenting on a few old Wood Elf Glade Guard cloaks that I dug out of my bits box.
Test paint job is naturally hasty and sloppy, but it was still 100% clear that brown looked far more interesting and natural. And so the decision was made, and I started working on the actual Illic's cloak.
Using airbrush, I applied Dryad Bark as base colour, then highlighted it progressively first with Camo Pale Brown then with Baneblade brown. After applying the final highlight I went back and accentuated deepest shades with a mix of Dryad Bark and Black. After that there were a few inevitable iterations of going back and forth between shading and highlighting, when I had first to re-apply some highlights because they got darkened by overspray of shade colour, and then re-apply some shades because they got oversprayed with highlight colour, and so on. In 2 or 3 iterations however I managed to get all colours where I wanted them
Here's what it looked like:
As you can see, airbrush helped me create smooth highlights and shades on the biggest folds. I also created a general smooth gradient from the darkest area at the recessed waist towards the lightest areas at the outer-most edges of the sleeves.
Then it was the time for manual brushwork. As it is usually recommended, in order to reduce the risk of accidentally smearing already completed details I first of all applied all base colours to the rest of the model.
Then came the cloak. I used Nuln Oil and Agrax Earthshade to shade recesses between small folds and highlighted edges and sharpest creases with Baneblade brown, further accentuating them with a mix of Baneblade and VMA Ivory. After finishing just the folds and creases however the cloak looked too smooth and plain, so I decided to add some random signs of wear like scratches, tear-marks, etc. using the same colours that I used to shade and highlight. I actually like all things smooth and clean, so adding any kind of damage or wear to my models always requires a conscious effort from me
But here it worked out pretty well. Here's the result:
I have to say, this feels like the best example of an effective combination of airbrushing and manual brushwork that I achieved so far
After that, the rest was fairly technical. I painted gauntlets and boots (leggings?) dark brown and highlighted them adding VMA Sand Yellow, to imitate hard dark leather worn out on creases. The blue armour was done the same way as on Shining Spears, and bone on the rifle is also standard. I also paited the face in my usual way, starting with Bigman's Glow and highlighting it all the way up to light bone.
Finally I painted the base and assembled the model. Aaaaand... There he is!
I think this is literally one of the best GW models so far. Fantastic sculpt, great pose, lots of depth and character. Proud to have him reinforcing my battalion!
Adding him was the first (but definitely not the last) step towards converting the Battalion in my main list to Alaitoc.
Post Merge: May 31, 2018, 03:52:19 PM
In the future, please use the modify button. Double posting is against the forum rules, and for that reason, the system merged your posts.
This is not all though!
After completing the master ranger, I really wanted to retain the momentum and jumped straight to the squad of 5 Rangers. True to the initial plan, I painted them following all the same steps as with Illic. However, at some point a couple of my buddies convinced me to try my hand at creating some mean-looking decorations and showered me with reference examples. Inspired so, I actually managed to paint a simple skull-like design on a faceplate of one of the ranger's helmets - which officially became my first true free-hand in this life! lol
Totally simplistic as it is, it still turned out to be pretty cool, which inspired me even further - and I managed a similar but even more badass-looking design on one of the bandanas:
This guy is definitely the meanest-looking model I ever painted
And here's the completed squad.
To be continued...