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"Zenithal Painting???" Topic

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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian03 Dec 2020 12:12 p.m. PST

You were asked – TMP link

Has anyone embraced this method for their wargaming figures?

31% said "I've never tried zenithal painting"
25% said "I don't use zenithal painting"
20% said "I don't understand what zenithal painting is"

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP03 Dec 2020 1:52 p.m. PST

I never heard if it.

abelp0103 Dec 2020 1:56 p.m. PST

I've used the method with rattle cans and airbrush, it works better with the airbrush, more control, IMHO.

Glengarry503 Dec 2020 6:27 p.m. PST


Extrabio1947 Supporting Member of TMP03 Dec 2020 6:45 p.m. PST

It's the use of three primers – black, grey, and white – on the figure being painted. Simply put, use black on the bottom of the figure, grey in the middle, and white at the top. Then paint the figure with translucent paint. The primers will shadow the paint from bottom to top.

This will mimic the "zenith" (hence the name) of an overhead light, such as the sun, shining down on the figure.

There are better, more in-depth descriptions of this painting style, but this is the 500 foot view.

Syrinx003 Dec 2020 7:41 p.m. PST

It's not exactly new. Using my airbrush I prime black all over then hit it with a spray of white primer at 45 degree angle. Never bothered for an army but I find it worth my time for skirmish or rpg figures.

Even if you don't think your painting style will benefit from it, I think it makes the figure's detail easier to see.

45thdiv Supporting Member of TMP04 Dec 2020 3:04 a.m. PST

I like to use it. Single figure or army. I prime a lot of figures in one go when the weather is good, so adding a bit of gray at a 45 angle and then white from above doesn't take much more effort.

mildbill04 Dec 2020 4:52 a.m. PST

Have used off and on for 30 years and can get good results. Never knew what it was called though. 45th xx method is what I use. Usually skip the grey.

Garand04 Dec 2020 9:20 a.m. PST

For one of my SF armies I primed the figures black & then drybrush heavily white, to achieve a similar purpose. The figures are painted red, which is slightly transparent as it is.


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