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  • True Metallics with Citadel Washes

    Hello again everyone. I have been playing around with the new Citadel Washes and I must say that I love them! I recently tried painting true metallics with the washes and was quite pleased with the results. The washes are very smooth and low in pigment, so they are perfect for the job!Paints:-Chaos Black-50/50 Chaos Black and Boltgun Metal (mix this up in a spare paint pot).-Boltgun Metal-Mithril Silver-Devlan Mud-Badab BlackWhen painting true metallics there are a few key points to remember. We cannot highlight all the way up to white, like we can with NMM. Mithril Silver is our brightest color, so to compensate for that we must shade much darker.Also, keep in mind that these paints reflect light. This quality can be your best friend and your worst enemy. The reflectiveness can create excellent, bright, glowing highlights in a way that white cannot. But we can't simply layer lighter metallic colors over darker ones, as light will reflect from the shaded areas and ruin all that hard work! The secret is to make the shadows dull in addition to being dark; that way only our intended highlight areas will reflect light. Matte varnish spray (such as Testor's Dullcote) will change this reflective quality of the paint. Mithril Silver tends to turn super bright and less reflective, so areas that may have appeared blended will turn out looking poor after varnishing. If you are going to varnish a piece, paint the metallics last after varnishing, or don't varnish at all. It is very difficult to take photos of metallic paints before the technique is finished, but I tried my best to get the same exact camera and light angle for each of the shots. It's a quick job after all, but it should give you a good idea of my way of painting metals.OK, here we go!!!1. The first step is to undercoat the piece with Chaos Black. 2. Get an idea in your head of where you want to have the highlights. I am using a generic overhead source light. I went in Photoshop and drew on bright yellow where I want the highlights to be, and bits of white where I want it to be the brightest. Notice the plain changes on the surface of the axe. There is an angled surface a few millimeters away from the edge of the blade. This will reflect light differently than the flat surface, so make sure to keep that in mind. Also, it is important to really accentuate this shift, so I will make sure to have a crisp highlight along it.3. Now comes a thin basecoat of our dark metal mix. I'll call this "Chaos Metal" (I'm so creative, aren't I?) Notice how this is very reflective and the highlights change depending on how you turn the piece. 4. Now I painted a thin layer of Devlan Mud. I use the washes straight out of the pot, there's no need to dilute them with water. Don't worry too much about shading now, this is just intended to dull down the basecoat and make things a little dirty.5. Next we have the first bit of shading with Badab Black. Reference where you wanted your shaded areas to be and paint this only there. Try to be precise with this. This is about 4 thin layers. An important thing is to keep the right amount of wash on your brush. You don't want too much, that way you can control where the paint goes. The wash should be drying right after you drag your brush across the surface. If it takes any longer to dry then you are using too much.6. I did some more shading with Badab Black. Notice that the shadows are getting quite dark. 7. Next I highlighted the areas I selected earlier with the "Chaos Metal" mix. There's a dramatic difference in reflectiveness from the basecoat. That brown wash we painted on earlier did the trick perfectly! Notice the amount of contrast. By starting with a dark basecoat and shading even darker, we can really push those dark areas further. If the contrast is good enough here, then it's time to move on! If your shadows aren't dark enough, go back and shade some more. 8. Thin down some Boltgun Metal and carefully paint on highlights. Do this in very selective areas. Concentrate on edges and those few spotty highlights we planned. It can be easy to overdo this step, so don't overdo it! 9. Finally, take some Mithril Silver and thin it down with some water. Paint this only on some of the top edges, notches, and corners. There's also a very small amount along portions of that angle running next to the sharpened edge of the blade.Finished!!Here's another example of some true metallics, on a Dark Angel Space Marine I recently painted:That's it for now! Thanks for looking!Happy painting,-Matt
    Comments 1 Comment
    1. Bishop Odo's Avatar
      Bishop Odo -
      Very helpful, the best of both worlds as far as I can see, and I look forward to trying it out
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