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  • Painting Checker Patterns

    Hello!Here it is, the underwhelming tutorial article of a lifetime!Okay, now I assume you know the basics:

    Cleaning the casting residue off the mini.
    Removing flash/mold lines and fitting the pieces together.
    Priming your mini.
    Thinning your paintsSo I'm not even going into that. If you don't know the basics, I suggest that you start somewhere else than this tutorial.Now on to the show!Things you'll need:* Miniature - Primed etc. Ready to begin.* Paints and brushes* A mechanical pencil (yeah, really)* Colors selected to put in a checkered pattern* A spot on the Mini picked out for said patternThere are many ways to use a checkered pattern.I use it mostly for my Eldar Harlequins.Now I'm not going to use one of my newer ones for this, so I'll be using the first incarnation.I have hordes of them, and they are dancing around naked crying out to be painted.My personal favorite are the Death Jesters.Guess why? Need a hint?Check the name!So you can use a 2 color pattern, or a three color pattern, or as many colors as you like!Try to make them contrasting though. This is what makes the pattern work!And it doesn't have to be Black & White.Here's a Red/Blue pattern test:Here's the one I'm going to use. All cleaned and primed, ready to go.Now we go, onto the proper use of tools:[pagebreak]Now, I'm sure you're wondering about the pencil.And why does it have to be a mechanical one?Well, that's easy!The whole point (pun) of the pencil is to draw the guide for the checkers you'll be painting.The reason for a mechanical pencil is that we need a sharp edge, and the generally softer graphite in a wooden pencil just won't hold the edge long enough.So take your pencil:And sharpen it!You can rub it on a piece of paper:Or do like I do, and use a spare file:Do whatever it takes to get a nice sharp point:Now, once you're satisfied that you can easily poke out a single facet of a fly's eye with it:Go to the next page![pagebreak]Now, take your miniature, in this case a Harlequin, and carefully draw your first row of lines.They can be straight up-and-down vertical, or if you want to follow the clothing, or the body, or even slightly askew to set up a pattern for diamond checkers. Just be sure to keep your lines as evenly spaced as you can, and try to follow the shape of the area you're painting on the miniature.Now you should have something remotely like this:Hopefully yours will be straighter and thinner, I was kind of rushed.But you get the idea, AND another great part about using pencil?If you don't like it, you can lightly erase it and try again!AND if you're using sufficient light to paint, you'll even be able to see the lines on a black primer coat!YAY!Now, on to the crossing lines.Again, straight side-to-side horizontal, or slightly skewed to form diamonds with the vertical lines, entirely your call.You should be here:Or close anyway.Now we have to paint it![pagebreak]Now you can use almost any sized brush for this, I use one that is my medium smallest.I believe it's a 3/0 or a 5/0.The key is that it has to hold a point like the pencil, and it is generally better if the bristles don't spread immediately on contact. You're going to be bringing paint right to the lines you've drawn, and it's better if you keep it from crossing, saves you the trouble of having to cover it with the other color.Again, for this I am using Black & White.Now start somewhere and fill in a square. It doesn't have to be the edges, I generally start in the middle of the biggest patch that will be seen first. This ensures that the pattern is crisp and even the most where it will be seen. Towards the edge aren't as important, unless they're truly f*'ed up. But if they decrease a bit in size it adds to the depth of the mini. LOL, or something.Anyway, you should get something like this:Now you continue to fill in the alternating squares with your first color selection until you've completely filled all of the alternating squares.Then you do the same thing in the empty squares with your second color choice.To do this with three or more colors, you must plan ahead and paint alternating squares either in series or opposing alternates.Meaning something like this:[*][-][ ][*][-][ ][*][-][ ]    In a series the single colors go in rows.[ ][*][-][ ][*][-][ ][*][-]    And you continue this all the way through the pattern[-][ ][*][-][ ][*][-][ ][*]   [*][-][ ][*][-][ ][*][-][ ][*][ ][-][ ][*][ ][-][ ]     By opposing alternates, I mean instead of alternating every other[ ][-][ ][*][ ][-][ ][*]     square you're alternate every other square within the alternating [-][ ][*][ ][-][ ][*][ ]     squares. Where * is one color, and - is a second color.[ ][*][ ][-][ ][*][ ][-]     You can do this with both sets of opposing squares in you pattern.[pagebreak]You should have something like this:Now remember to highlight each square individually, and if necessary, shade them as well.And you'll end up with a beautifully checkered mini. (not shown)Hope this was helpful!Please let me know if you'd like to see anything else.And I welcome any suggestions for improving this tutorial.Thanks for stopping by!
    Comments 1 Comment
    1. JesterzUSMC's Avatar
      JesterzUSMC -
      Yes, the shine of the graphite can be seen on Black/white/gray primed mini's.
      And I only showed the one model as I did the technique. If you'd like I can post some of the finished Harley's that are in my army as well.
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