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"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing" ~ Edmund Burke

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Selafyn Of The Annuli Mountains

One of my minor projects, Selafyn is one of the first collectors range models I bought from Games Workshop. Having been stripped clean twice and primered in various colours he has been one of my most difficult projects so far mostly because I keep overcomplicating the model due to sentimental value. You guy's should remember well that you will always be your own worst critic and it helps to have an impartial eye to keep watch over your work and tell you what need's improving as well as when to stop and be proud of your work.

The best thing I can suggest to any model painter that is just starting out is to do what I did and use the resources avaliable to you. The Internet, your friend's, model store owners and even books all provide fantastic advice and inspiration that give you a starting point for your own models. Although it's never a good idea to try and duplicate someone elses design (aside from it being plagiarism it will only lead to disappointment as it'll never look exactly right) it's a good idea to observe how they've established certain concepts on the surface of the model e.g. where light falls and reflects, how and where metal rusts or corrodes the most and how flesh is never just one or two colour(s).

With that in mind I gathered a few choice pictures of Selafyn as painted by other artists in order to create a plan for my own model.

A fantastic model by dark art studios, this particular model was painted by Beau Townshend in a striking none-metallic metal (commonly known as NMM) style that I myself have tried to paint but have never gotten it quite right. NMM is an attempt to carefully map out where reflections on the surface of metal would be using varying shades of a matte base colour which in this case is Lemon Yellow. You can mix something similar using Snakebite Leather and Sunburst Yellow but the ability to produce varying shades is limited.

NMM is a useful technique as it provides the artist with the opportunity to display light sourcing on a model. To explain what that is better I'll explain what happens when you use mettalic paints, a Space Marine model for example; when painted using reguler metallic paints would reflect the 'actual' light present in the room that it is placed in. This is frustrating, especially if for example an artist has taken the time to create a scenic base and the model does not appear to be affected by the characteristics of it's environment. Imagine that same Space Marine model is running along a corridor that is lit with strip lighting on the floor but no lighting above. This would mean that his armour would appear very vibrant and bright near the base but darker as it went upwards. Such an effect is easy to achieve in colour but for metalic equipment like guns and swords it is difficult because as soon as you paint them in reguler metallic paint the effect is ruined as the blades would end up dark near the handle and shiny at the tip which is contradictory to the light source in the models environment. NMM allows you to bypass the problem and paint blades that are reflective in line with where light is coming from.

So with a fantastic piece of reference material chosen and an idea of the techniques I'm going to attempt I can begin writing a plan. A plan needn't be complex as for the most part you'll know how to apply paint to produce the effect you want providing you did enough research. A plan is merely a procedure list to prevent you from having to constantly go back and retouch up certain areas as well as a way of deciding upon a strict colour palette so the model does not become too 'busy' with colour. 

I'm quite fond of the gold armour displayed in the first picture so that's definately going to be attempted, as is the blue clothing, however the cloth around his neck will likely be Hawk Turqouise as I'm not fond of red as a colour and it introduces an excessive (in my opinion) amount of contrast to the model, his blade NMM White and his cloak a distinct Oiled Leather with Bleached Bone Highlights.

I'll keep you guy's updated with how this mini project is going as well as provide some links to sites where you can learn more about NMM as a technique as well as some more pictures from other artists of it being used.


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