Translucent Skin, Hard Shell (painting nids' advanced lvl)
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Thread: Translucent Skin, Hard Shell (painting nids' advanced lvl)

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    Newbie, please be gentle Llewski's Avatar
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    Default Translucent Skin, Hard Shell (painting nids' advanced lvl)

    1st post, nice to meet you all and so on... I'm very impressed by some of what I have seen, and happy to help out with advice for newcomers to the hobby. I guess I'm 'above-average level' ... around the same as oldskool eavy' metal painting from the 90's. But my word have things moved on.... some of you guys put that to shame!

    I need some advice from those of you who have moved beyond that level. I'm re-painting a tyranid army, and have a lovely colour scheme in mind, only problem is the contrast between the 'shell/chitin' and the 'skin/flesh'. The 'chitin' I can do, and am happy to say looks fantastic for my level, but I'm having trouble with the 'skin'.

    What I want to achieve is a translucent effect on the skin, which will be an 'off-white/eggshell-ish' colour, with veins underneath. I need some advice on this. What is the best way to achieve this effect? I want it to look 'see-through', but not so much that it clashes with the 'hard shell' effect I want with the chitin.

    With the chitin I want to do multiple layers of washes so that many layers of colour shine through, but coat it in a matt finish. I also want a gloss finish to the skin, but am worried that if the clash is too great it might look a little silly.

    Some advice please. Thanks, Llew.

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    How about a picture of a test model? I would try the skin with a ligh base color than freehand in some veins keeping them pretty light and wash with a similar color. Which should make your skin shadows look the same color as your veins. Once you get that it's really easy to experiment with gloss or medium varnish. If you don't like it you can just cover it with matte varnish and it looks good again.

    Also there is this totally epic thread: http://www.coolminiornot.com/forums/...diorama/page26

    he starts with some INCREDIBLE veiney wings.

  3. #3

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    For a translucent effect you can try and add your base pale flesh coat to the blue and pink of your veins/arteries (my Dad worked at in a hospital for years- he was a stickler for this naming stuff). I also keep mentioning to people to try out watercolors- you may be surprised how easy they are to use. You can thin them down and even take a bit off to blend, but you must remember to seal them good. If you wanted to go really extreme, there is a wax- based paint for flesh in taxidermy, but I assume you're not going to go out and buy an expensive set just for 'nids.

    As for the hard part, you can do gloss coat or just have stark highlight. The more contrast in the highlight vs basecoat, the more something will look smooth and shiny. Hope this helps!

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    Chrispy, What water color are you using? I am not very familiar with them I seemed to always water color with inks when I took art classes at the JC back ine day.

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    Sproket did this with the wings on his Scourges. You may want to play with the skin color opaqueness (opaqueness, is that right?) to get the right level of transparency, but his "Step by Step" on his blog at: http://sproketsmallworld.blogspot.co...ings-step.html would be a great starting point IMO.

    Check out more of my wife's photography at: http://thereasagwinn.com


    Why choose Space Wolves over other chapters?
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    Excerpt from Battle of the Fang



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    Also would like to point you in sprocket's direction. I reckon gloss would work well against matt chitin. Also for the skin, look here, this is lovely and the guy is really helpful
    http://www.frothersunite.com/phpBB3/...p?f=27&t=45180
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v433/freak-in-a-cage/freakinacage-1.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by Demihuman View Post
    Chrispy, What water color are you using? I am not very familiar with them I seemed to always water color with inks when I took art classes at the JC back ine day.
    I'm using cheap Reeves Watercolor set Reeves has cheap paint sets, but the WC is the only one they haven't messed up on. I also use French school gouache because it's cheap and does it's job- but it is annoying to mix up a color and have it a couple shades darker, plus you have to add a gallon of water back to it when it dries. I also invested in some Daler Rowney Gouache for my professional art stuff- but the purple and cyan are giving me trouble.

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    Newbie, please be gentle Llewski's Avatar
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    Cool. Thanks guys. I guess I'll try out a few of the different methods you have all mentioned. I'll have a read through the Dark Eldar diorama thread as well, those wings look nice, and the colour is similar to what I was thinking. May be a while before I can post some pics, have still got quite a bit of epoxy work to do on conversions first. Was just having a quick test on the old 'screamer-killer' model before I get stuck in to the more detailed models, and ran into the problem I mentioned above. Think I'll order a few more paints, then try out what you have suggested. Cheers guys.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chrispy View Post
    I'm using cheap Reeves Watercolor set Reeves has cheap paint sets, but the WC is the only one they haven't messed up on. I also use French school gouache because it's cheap and does it's job- but it is annoying to mix up a color and have it a couple shades darker, plus you have to add a gallon of water back to it when it dries. I also invested in some Daler Rowney Gouache for my professional art stuff- but the purple and cyan are giving me trouble.
    Cool! Thanks!

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    Newbie, please be gentle Llewski's Avatar
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    Sorry guys, but I have a follow-up question... As I said in the 1st post, the chitin was going really well.. well... when it came to dry-brushing nightmares insued. GW yellow basically ruined my dream paint-job. Had to wash over the entire thing with crimson ink to undo the damage. I put in an order for vallejo orange as a result (orange being the main colour)... now...am I being melodramatic, or is GW yellow really,really shitty? Is it just GW, or is every yellow a bit crap? I like to mix my own colours, so ordering an orange is a bit strange for me. Am I doing the right thing, or should I stick with a yellow of some kind? If so, what brand?

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    Newbie, please be gentle Llewski's Avatar
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    Also, I'll try to get a couple of pics of my 'swarmlord' conversion up soon. No paint yet, as I'm still experimenting.

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    All yellows are crap. My understanding is that it is just a hard pigment to manufacture. You can paint white first then go over that with yellow or build up layers of orange to yellow/orange and then highlight with layers of yellow. Either way the key is lots of controlled layers to get the color you want. It might be hard to dry brush and not have it look like you spilled mustard on your project.

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    Coming from the direction of "traditional model building" yellow is always a PITA, regardless of brand or type. Just a very hard color to work with, and I would say always requires a white basecoat and multiple thin layers to get right.

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    Quote Originally Posted by whiteraven2008 View Post
    Coming from the direction of "traditional model building" yellow is always a PITA, regardless of brand or type. Just a very hard color to work with, and I would say always requires a white basecoat and multiple thin layers to get right.
    Not always requires a white base coat. Using a brown close to yellow such as Snakebite Leather (old GW range) or Tau Sept Ochre can provide a very good base for yellows.

    Check out more of my wife's photography at: http://thereasagwinn.com


    Why choose Space Wolves over other chapters?
    ‘They are desperate, and as savage as beasts.’
    Magnus lost his smile.
    ‘I no longer think of them as animals, Ahmuz, though I once did. I now think of them as the purest of us all. Incorruptible. Single-minded. The perfection of my father’s vision.’
    Excerpt from Battle of the Fang



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