Thursday, December 8, 2016

Stepping through the door into color

Sometimes movies use color very specifically.  One of my favorites movies that does this is Pleasantville, where color was slowly introduced to indicate awakening of the people.  I love when the tree bursts into flames (I won't spoil why, but I felt it was a great moment in the movie).


Ok, it wasn't a big hit and most people have not seen it.  But nearly everyone remembers the iconic scene in Wizard of Oz where Dorothy exists the house after it has been set down by the twister, and everything becomes color.


So very often, color represents life.  Ok, to me it does.  In my last post I talked about basically using the absence of color when painting my walkers for the Walking Dead game.  Using a white primer and layers of black wash (ok, I did use a little sepia, and then some red for blood (and walker Ronnie's shirt was blue) to give them a look meant to look like the black and white comic.  I like how they turned out, but I also noted how simple and easy it was.

After finishing all the walkers, I then had 27 survivors to paint (from my demo and kickstarter sets). As an experiment, I decided to try the same technique but with colored washes.  I have six basic colors of transparent airbrush paint, plus seppia (brown) and black, so I felt good to go.
Vallejo paints / washes
Createx transparent airbrush paints
I start out saying that I really enjoyed this technique - so much so that I'm wondering which new army project I can use it on (I'm thinking this might be perfect for Neriticans when they are released next year)
all the survivors, primed white
It is also amazingly fast - I started on these Saturday afternoon and am writing this (waiting for the last to dry so I can spray them with matt sealer and then take pictures (which will be inserted starting above) at 1:45 pm on Sunday (and I already took the time to catch up on last night episode of Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency on BBC America (as well as making a very late breakfast and changing laundry twice).  So it isn't like I spent a long time on these today or last night.
The survivors from the retail game
One thing that helps when speed painting with this technique is between the white undercoat and the transparent wash, the paint auto highlights and shades itself.  Flat surfaces take on the base color, the wash pools in the crevices for shading making them darker, and edges etc don't take as well to the color, making them lighter.
Carl, Derek, Rick and Patrick
The models come out a little 'cleaner' than I like most of the time (so yes, all the survivors have recently had a bath and put on clean clothes - get over it), but even so I like how they turned out.

Liam, Sandra, Allen and Dale 
One drawback to this technique is you have to be very careful - since everything is transparent if you paint something the wrong color you just can't paint over it, nor can you cover up if you slop the wash from one area to another.  If you have to correct something - you pretty much have to repaint it with standard flat white paint, let it dry and then wash it appropriately again.  (yes, I had to do this a few times).  And you can't just to the spot usually - you need to paint then entire area that is that color (so for example I had some black run up Abraham's forearm (from the gun) - I had to repaint the entire arm white to get the flesh wash to match (otherwise it was still a paler patch).

Donna, Jim, Michonne, and Abraham
It is also extremely critical that you let the wash dry between coats.  Because this is so thin, I found that it can often have a wicking effect - so when you are putting on one color next to another that is still wet - it pulls the other color into your new area - which was not what I wanted (i.e. I got to paint it white and try again).
Negan, Craig, Lori,and Shane
The one color I was not able to wash however was metal - there isn't much needed (knife blades, the head of Rick's ax, Rick and Shanes badges, Michonne's sword and the barb wire on Lucille (but then that got covered up with blood anyway).  The other was the basing.  When we have played some games, I have found it difficult to tell survivors from walkers - so rather than elaborate basing I did them as straight grey for the walkers and straight black for the survivors.  This way it is much easier to tell them apart when playing.

Reggie, Amy, Andrea, Carol and Sophia
I thought I'd take a few pictures of the retail version - first all the figures
All the models from the retail version
Then the box insert.  The tokens are also in the space for them (in a small baggie)
Retail version tray
Finally the box with the window - showing painted models.
Retail version w/ painted figures in the window


 Then the kickstarter top tray - I still need to do the badge and the bag of guns

The bottom tray - walkers done, but the cars, loot markers and barriers still need painted
bottom tray of kickstarter version (without the character cards)
Finally, I thought it might be interesting to see the survivors next to their walker versions (the two that have them).  The interesting thing is I painted the walkers, then put them to the side when I was painting the survivors.  I did not think to go back to make sure they were close - but actually ended up painting them similar anyway (shane with khaki pants, grey shirt and black jacket, reggie with black paints and tan shirt.
Shane, Walker Shane, Reggie and Walker Reggie
So all I have left are the four cars, six barricades, 10 loot markers and the plastic badge (initiative marker) - can I find a way to do this same technique on them?  I'm not sure it will work on the cars - however those might be perfect for the spray brush.  I have a demo in 11 days (and four of those (including next weekend) I'm out of town for my daughter's wedding so the clock is ticking.  Though if they go as fast as the walkers and survivors did I'll have them done tomorrow :-)

Because it is all fun and games . . .

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