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"Painting stormtroopers without losing your sanity!" Topic

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Baranovich12 Jun 2018 8:22 a.m. PST

If you've painted stormtroopers you know what I'm talking about, and if you're about to paint stormtroopers you'll appreciate my experience!

Stormtroopers present a unique problem for painters/modelers because ultimately you have to confront the reality of hand-painting and hand-outlining the armor details. You're also dealing with the dreaded prospect of having black and white as the two primary colors which of course means ANY neatness mistake stands out like a sore thumb.

Airbrushes don't help you except for when you're doing the initial base coat. You still at some point have to take a very sharp, pointed brush and muster your personal hand steadiness and ability to follow thin detail lines with the brush by hand.

The problem I ran into with Sorastro's tutorial on Youtube is that I simply could not effectively fill in recessed areas of detail with black paint as neatly as he was doing it. Yes, you can go back of course and clean up and neaten the white areas around the black afterwards. But then I realized this is a tradeoff.

You either are going to have to cleanup the black or white, SOMETHING has to be done by hand, just depends on which one you choose.

I felt that I would have more control over the neatening if I did a black wash over the whole mini. first and then painted back in all the white armor surfaces. It just felt like I had more control to be hand-painting white areas that were HIGHER than the black areas if that makes sense.

I also helped the process of the neatening by doing a white drybrush over the entire mini. after the black wash was dry. This way I had all the various shapes and ridges essentially "haloed" and "picked out" which made it much easier for my brush to follow along when neatening up all the white.

So once I had the stormtrooper washed in black and then drybrushed in white it was just a matter of going in and strengthening all the white again.

One thing that Sorastro's tutorial did teach me though was with regard to the stormtroopers actual armor plating itself. In order to provide some contrast to the raised ridges of the armor, you want to use GRAY, NOT black.

This was by far the most challenging part of painting stormtroopers. You simply have no choice, you have to go around the whole mini. with thinned light gray paint and as neatly as possible with a sharp brush point, and go up and down all those ridges where the armor plating has ridges and angles where you want a contrast. Requires ridiculous steadiness and neatness!

It's also important to use gray and not black for the armor ridges so that it offsets the difference in tone between it and the true black of the body suit underneath as well as the black of the helmet eyes, visor, etc. If you do ALL of the outlining in black the stormtroopers tend to look like fantasy skeletons, it just doesn't look right.

SO to sum up my long-winded stormtrooper rant, here's the technique I made work for me:

1. White spray for base coat
2. Slightly thinned wash of Nuln Oil black over the whole mini.
3. White drybrush over the entire mini.
4. Hand-painting/restrengthening the white armor areas with slightly thinned white paint.
5. Hand-outlining with thinned GRAY paint all the ridges and joins of the armor plates themselves.



LostPict Supporting Member of TMP12 Jun 2018 8:37 a.m. PST

I hear you brother! I thought I was a decent painter and thought that I could use Sorastro's method. In the video, about half-way through he says you could stop here. Right before the outlining with the watered-down gray. I should have listened. I jumped off the bridge with a bungee that was too long and bounced off the rocks underneath. I finally finished painting the first 14 after about 40 days in the painting desert. They are only adequate. I am getting ready to buy a second starter set, but dread the next 14 stormtroopers.

Personal logo Legion 4 Supporting Member of TMP12 Jun 2018 9:40 a.m. PST

My Epic Scale IG Stormtroops …


TNE230012 Jun 2018 10:56 a.m. PST

The Painting Clinic

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Borathan12 Jun 2018 3:59 p.m. PST

I kind of went a more simple way that led to some weathered looking stormtroopers.

I primed in a lighter grey, then base coated in white. Followed that with a layer of a thinned black acrylic wash over the entire mini.

Then I hit the visor, weapons, and anything else that would me metallic or black and didn't quite have it such as the bottoms of the boots and a few places on the undersuit.

Then I went back to white to bring the armor back up. Finished with some detail work such as a light drybrush of gunmetal over the weapons and packs and used the brighter colors for things such as the commanders shoulder pad.

I also worked some even more watered down acrylic inks into some areas for some additional weathering such as around the boots and lower legs…

Lion in the Stars13 Jun 2018 12:25 p.m. PST

Having an adult beverage may help in reducing the hand shakiness.

No, seriously.

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