Mixing vs Buying the Shades
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Thread: Mixing vs Buying the Shades

  1. #1

    Default Mixing vs Buying the Shades

    The thing I'm working on is achieving a smooth blend for a NMM effect. At the moment I'm using a pure black, a pure white, and a grey (Reaper Master Series Stormy Grey), I'm attempting to make some guys blade look good, I keep getting mediocre results. So I'm trying to pinpoint the problem, and it's one of a few things: I need to let it dry more, I'm still using too much paint, I don't have the colors I need. I think I've gotten the paint/water ratio right (I DID use too much water in it at first, but that was exceptionally obvious). I'm going to go give it another go fixing problems one and two, but I figured while I wait for him to dry I'd ask: How many shades do you buy vs how many do you mix?

    Well, I'm gonna go back over it again and see if I can't get the effect I want.

  2. #2


    good question, but normally 3 or 4 colors for a given transition is more than enough. With 2-3 mixes inbetween.
    as a general guideline something like:
    C1 - 2:1 C1:C2 - 1:1 C1:C2 - 1:2 C1:C2 - C2 - 2:1 C2:C3 - 1:1 C2:C3 - 1:2 C2:C3 - C3
    Where C1 is the shade color, C2 is the base/midtone, C3 is the highlight, BUT normally I start from the base/midtone and go up/down.

    as for color: I think black-white-1gray is not enough for a good looking NMM. I'd add about 2 more colors.
    - one to add some interest to the metal (like blue, but for these purposes a light bluish-grey is also perfect. Like SpaceWolfGrey)
    - one to add some grime / earth reflection (basically any brown, but here I love the VMC-WoodgrainTransparent)

    Similarly about 5-6 shades for an NMM gold. The 'recipe' I more or less use is: VGC cobra leather base, shaded with CharredBrown, highlighted with GoldenYellow, then Ivory. Add back some glazes of purple and reddish brown (VGC-darkflesh). Works more or less.
    Not the best, but for me it looks good enough.

  3. #3


    Silver NMM - I make do with black, dark grey, medium grey, and white.
    Gold NMM - a few more colors here. Dark brown, 3 intermediate browns, and white.

    You COULD do silver with just black and white, if you were really into mixing custom shades.
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  4. #4
    Superfreak!!! Dragonsreach's Avatar
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    One of the problems with mini painting is trying to make the distinction between metal types in such small scale.
    If you google search the Rackham images for thier take on NMM you'll see that the majority of bladed weapons have a blue-ish starting point using Vallejo Intermediate Blue and White mix. Just remember to add equal amount of water to each drop of white.

    I tend to follow the patterns used by Theiry Husser for his NMM you'll have to look up his website TMminiatures and search the forums for the pdf he did giving Vallejo paints for NMM and what he uses for glazes and tarnishes. (Can't add the link from the touchpad)
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  5. #5


    well you can play with the value of the metal (dark (iron), light (aluminium), etc), but I also find it good to use some extra colors in the metals (blue, brown) to make them more realistic.

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