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Black & White

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Well, my first contest is done, and I'm thinking I'll keep a blog to keep track of my progress, and things that I've learned during the course of a contest.

For this contest, the Monthly Wamp XII "Black & White," I went into it already knowing what I would paint. A long time ago, there was a contest in the No Quarter magazine by Privateer Press with the same theme that I was planning to enter. So I bought a Wroughthammer Rockram (WR) model, reposed it, and came up with a base for it. Unfortunately, that's where I stopped. I never did get the model painted, muchless actually enter it into the contest. So this figure has been sitting on a shelf on my desk staring at me... daring me to paint him.

So, after haunting the net for awhile, I stumble across the WaMP forum, and like what I see, so I decide to join. Then I notice that there are several contests I can enter. Why not? I need the practice, and to learn better time management skills when it comes to painting minis (as I've seemed to have slowed quite dramatically since the last time I was painting), and since I'm hoping to enter some painting contests at GenCon in 2011, I'd like to have some experience 'competing' under my belt. And look: one of the contests has a Black & White theme... perfect!

Now, lately I've been having problems with Armory rattle-cans frosting and dusting on me. Looking carefully at the WR model, even it's primer coat was very bumpy. A little research on WaMP to see what others are using, and I run out to get me a fresh new can of auto-primer. After dipping WR in simple green for a day to remove all the old primer, I give it a fresh coat, and am very pleased with the difference. I'm a convert now, at least until I can get myself an airbrush and go that route.

Now for the paints. I decide on Vallejo Black and Dead White as the only two paints I will use for painting this warmachine. After coming up with a series of greys by mixing the two, I start by painting all the "dark metal" parts of the mini. I decide to try for a SENMM effect, which I messed up at first. I learned, mostly by looking at other models painted in SENMM, to go from medium -> light (horizon line) dark -> medium/dark. I'll have to adjust this for the "light metal" and "black semi-gloss/gloss paint" I also plan on using on this mini. On surfaces that won't show the horizon line, I just follow the "sky" or "earth" palette, as appropriate. Seems to work well now.

To differentiate between the "dark" and "light" metals, I decided to squish to available range for the "dark", going from a medium-dark grey to black for the colors used, with medium used on sharp bends in the surface. "Light" will use the entire range, white to black, with the pure colours only right at the horizon line. After some tips on the WIP thread I had set up, I went with a med-light grey for the top of the "sky" palette, which helped tone down the "light metal" to some extent.

I mostly used wet-blending to control the transitions between all of these grey colours. This worked very well with the darker paints, but for the very light to white colours, it didn't work so well at all. There's still some blends I'm not very happy with, but having run up against the deadline I didn't want to go past, I had to settle for them. So, something to learn here... give yourself plenty of time to blend lighter colours.

The basing was painted with the same techniques, and upon getting some advice that my shadows could be stronger on the rock on the base, I decided to go ahead and add a third paint bottle into the mix: Vallejo's Black Wash. This worked well to deepen the shadows without disturbing the highlights I had already painted, and smoothed out some transitions that I wasn't able to do by brush & normal paint alone. I also used this on the hammer's "wrapping" to help give some definition there so I wouldn't have to hand brush between each little part on there.

All in all, I finished just before the potential deadline (I'm in the US, so was a bit confused about what time it would be locally), and got the pics uploaded, and headed down to the local gamestore to show off my latest work. Unfortunately, on my return trip that night, WR took a nose dive off of the console in the truck, straight into the shifter before shattering on the floor. I need to get a carry box just for minis like these if I'm going to do that in the future. Fortunately, pics were already taken, and after some work, I was able to get him very close to fixed. He lost some of the terrain twigs, but with some careful gluing, and matte varnish to cover the glossiness of any showing glue, and a bit of chip repair, he once again is back to his painted self.

In the end, I did win the contest, which I'm pretty stoked about. It wasn't easy, and the other entries had me a bit nervous during the voting process, but it does help my confidence winning the very first contest I've entered. Looking at the next contest I'll be entering (the RBG sponsored contest), and it's gorgeous WIPs, I won't be repeating this win, but I will give it my best. ^^

Okay, so it's a long first entry for a blog, and overuses quotation marks, but if you made it this far, thanks for reading. ^^ I'll post my next entry sometime after the RBG contest, or ladder contest vs. Scott, whichever comes first.


Updated 15-09-2010 at 09:45 AM by Darklord



  1. Darklord's Avatar
    Congrats on the win - well deserved in my opinion. Always nice to get your first contest done and dusted - Redbox will be tough but gives you a chance to step up to the plate and will hold you in good stead for Gencon. Looking forward to seeing more contest entries from you in the future
  2. Hinton's Avatar

    Too bad the mini took a header, but at least it was after the photos.