NMM experts and novices alike - I did some NMM but I\'m not sure if it\'s any good!
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Thread: NMM experts and novices alike - I did some NMM but I\'m not sure if it\'s any good!

  1. #1

    Default NMM experts and novices alike - I did some NMM but I\'m not sure if it\'s any good!

    OK, I did these NMM (non metallics metals) spears and I really need feedback on whether they look like metal at all. When I\'m stuck in painting this detail I really can\'t think clearly enough to judge it myself.

    It\'s two spears from 3 angles each so you can tell me which part is working and which is not.
    I feel I need some feedback before I can continue (with the other 18 :D) so all comments are hugely appreciated!

    If you know good NMM technique please tell me how I can improve.
    If you don\'t please just tell me if it looks and feels like metal to your eyes.

    Thank you very much in advance,

  2. #2


    not tried NMM yet myself but I think this looks more like rock or flint than metal

  3. #3


    Not sure if it\'s cause I am color blind, or maybe the pics aren\'t that good for my eyes. I see what looks like purple spear tips. If they aren\'t purple, then the shading and such appears to be right for NMM.

    The articles section here has some good tutorials on NMM, but I also haven\'t tried it. I like the looks of the NMM technique in general, but would never put that much into a mini for gaming, so have little need to try the technique myself. :D

    For these eyes it looks good even if it isn\'t the exact thing you were going for. If my eyes are telling me the right thing, then you may want to go over the darker areas with a light wash of a gray color to remove the purple tint, and the the lighter purple areas with several washes of the same gray to have them look more out of the shadows and stains and show them as reflective as the technique tries to achieve.

  4. #4


    Thanks guys!

    @exilesjjb: Yeah, I\'m getting that alot. That\'s not so bad though,as long as it looks like somehing. Now I just have to decide whether I keep that look in the whole regiment or go to some lengths to make it more metal.

    @Shadzar: Yup, it\'s purple. I may have gone too purple but I\'m trying to use more colors in shades and highlights rather than black and white, so I\'m going for blue/white shine but a red tint in the shades here (to represent the sky/earth it\'s reflecting). I based it with a purple color so your eyes aren\'t deceiving you.
    I guess I didn\'t master the reflection well enough so now it just looks like a purple spearhead :D
    Thanks for the tips. They might help to make it more like a grey metal.

  5. #5


    Bigger pictures will certainly help, but from what I can see it\'s too dark (a common mistake which I also made in my first attempt). The basecoat has to be A LOT lighter.

    Also your highlights are too close to the edges. You want a nice gradient on every face of the weapon, and then a final highlight with near-white and pure white along the edges.

    Hope this helps,


  6. #6


    Working by example usualy helps me :

    NMM goblins (and yes I read your explanation about the purple, but I think it\'s best in the beginning to keep it simple and go by the blueish ton) :


    Somebody who likes purple tints ;) :


    Examples of how light works on their spears :



  7. #7


    @Corvus: Thanks for the advice. I\'m not sure the base coat is too dark but i might have gone too dark in the shading in too many places.

    here\'s a larger photo of the spears and a photo of the base color but here you are seeing details and nuances that aren\'t visible to the naked eye.

    @green stuff: Thanks! Those examples really help.

  8. #8


    NMM hardly needs any shading... just some blacklining along the edges where it meets other surfaces.

  9. #9


    Originally posted by Corvus
    NMM hardly needs any shading... just some blacklining along the edges where it meets other surfaces.
    It certainly needs shading. The contrast between the dark and the light is what makes it work. Otherwise it will look flat and more like plastic or stone or something.

  10. #10


    @Corvus: I\'ll bear that in mind. I believe you\'re right that the dark spots are often very thin lines rather than gradients, but it needs some smooth shading for good transitions none the less.

    @Ritual: Thanks! It\'s certainly the contrast that makes it work, however the magic lies in getting that contrast in just the right places and I\'m not quite there yet.

    I\'ve been working on other stuff on the Goblins but now I\'m ready to tackle the spearheads again, so here\'s my list of advice that I\'ve gathered from Warseer, Coolminiornot and the Reaper Miniature messaging board.
    • Pick a light source and don\'t highlight edges equally.
    • Pay attention to whole surfaces.
    • Smaller hot spots for the brightest color.
    • Sometimes a surface may be bright but it\'s edge dark and vice versa.
    • Pay attention to parts where a bright highlight falls right next to a dark shadow.

    Look at metal objects and spin them around in different light sources while painting.

    Also, if it still looks like blueish purple stone or crystal, then that\'s cool too!

    I\'ll have an update on my progress tonight!

  11. #11


    I did a quick and somewhat exaggerated mock-up in Photoshop of how I\'d treat this particular item if I was to paint it in NMM.

  12. #12


    @Ritual: Thanks! It really helps to visualize it first, maybe I should have drawn or photoshopped it from the start.

    Anyway, I\'ve got one more test done. Am I going in the right direction?

  13. #13


    Message original : Solun Decius
    Anyway, I\'ve got one more test done. Am I going in the right direction?
    To be honest, you should study more how light falls on the blade of the spear of Anders\' (Ritual\'s) pic.

    You\'ve hightlighted the blade\'s edges, but not it\'s surfaces.

  14. #14


    I think you have too much of the dark in there and the highlights are mostly limited to stripes along the blade. Try to break it up in surfaces and treat each surface as a unity.

  15. #15


    Like so?

    I may have been too determined on painting the effects I see on my kitchen knives, where you get these alternating dark and bright stripes. Keeping it simple and just thinking in terms of one gradient per surface is a much better approach, at least until my blending improves.

  16. #16


    Yeah, it\'s a lot better! Now you can add more white on the edges to get it to pop more ;).

  17. #17


    Much better! You can go lighter on the two left surfaces, but you\'re definitely on the right path here.

  18. #18


    christ, i wish i improved that quickly!

  19. #19


    That\'s an amazing improvement! I call sandbagging! You had the good picture already and just wanted to impress with the amazing turnaround and huge step up in skill! ;)

    Nice job.

  20. #20


    Thanks guys, you\'ve been awesome help! I\'ve added a little shine to make the highlights pop. Let\'s see if my efforts to quickly apply the method to 10 spearheads has been fruitful.

    @freakinacage: Yeah! That graphic assistance from Ritual really got me on track!

    @Scherdy: Haha! I wish I could claim credit for just having it lying around but it\'s all the help on the forums that has made it work out for me.

    OK, so I\'ve now done 10 spears. I know the last one I posted was fairly good, at least in the right direction. Now I\'m wondering if I\'ve gotten the other 9 to a similar standard.

    Thanks for all the help. I hope I\'m not tiring you all, but while nice helpful people are replying, I\'ll keep updating my progress!

    EDIT - PS. Lighter still?

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