I recently decided I needed to redo the force weapons on a few of my Grey Knights and thought this was the perfect time to do a quick HOW TO on my method. I've seen many NMM tutorials online over the years and was planning to do the same on these weapons until I thought of another way- an easier way!
Most Force Weapons tutorials I see involve airbrushing or hand blending a bunch of different blues. They end up looking nice, but they're always missing something to me- that glitter that an electric weapon should have, ie thedamnthingshouldbemetallic!
I'm eager to try my hand at NMM. It's a fantastic technique and no self-respecting mini painter can consider themselves an expert until they have it mastered in their arsenal. But as any pro painter will tell you, it has a time and a place- I don't think this is the place. For an army that's going to have a ton of force weapons, I wanted an easy way to mass produce them. I wanted something that could get good results- maybe even better than NMM. I decided to try out my own technique. I'm probably not the first to think of it, but I've personally never seen it done like this.
Now, as the title says, this is a pretty easy 3-step process. You could do this with a brush, but if you've been a reader of this site for any length of time, you'll know that we at HOW are airbrush men. If you're all-brush, more power to you, but YMMV.
Normally, I'd do this while the model was still in parts so it wouldn't require as much masking, but these are redos. A quick hole in the bottom of a bag, a little wrap of tape to seal it tight, and we've hit "save" on the existing work.
STEP 1: Prime and Base
All weapons are primed black and then based in Vallejo Air: Steel (could use GW Runefang Steel if you prefer). Now, I could do some preshading as I did on earlier Grey Knights posts, but...quick and easy.
STEP 2: Mask and Blue
Now I tape the one side of the weapons to mask for the blues. It's important to tape the same side on all weapons, both for consistency's sake, and so you don't have to keep track of which end got your blue highlight later when it's covered in tape. Just realizing now, I did all my swords the same but reversed it on the Dreadnought. Oh well. I then spray Tamiya Clear Blue in a gradient, leaving the tip of the sword Steel, and concentrating down to a fairly deep blue on the hilt end.
Once that's dried, I remove the tape, mask the painted side, and repeat the process- this time leaving the base Steel, and the deep blue at the tip.
STEP 3: Get your lightning on!
|Forgot to take pics of the front side before I zapped em!|
If you're not confident in your freehand skills, you could stop here. They look pretty good, no? /soapbox rant: Or, you could sack up and start practicing on something fairly forgiving, imprecise, organic, like lightning. The first time I did these swords, I was only happy with the way 2 of them came out. I'm redoing the rest. It's not a big deal. One of the first and most important lessons they brutally beat in to you at art school: you can do it again. Don't get overly attached to your work. Try new things, and don't be afraid to try something experimental. If you mess it up, you can do it again. You need to establish that confidence to just go for it if you're going to improve. /end soapbox.
On my first go-around I just used GW white for the lightning. I wasn't completely happy with it so I wanted to try something a little more, even if that means these look slightly different than the 2 I didn't repaint. My rule has been to never allow myself the excuse of "consistency" to wuss out of trying to do something better- see Fire Warrior squads 1 and 2. This time around, I tried to hit them with a little Celestra Grey and then hit it again with the straight white. Not a huge noticeable difference from plain white. I think they came out pretty good, but in the future I might experiment with adding a touch of steel in to the white so it keeps the same shimmer as everything else. Now I just have to retouch the hilt and the little decorative inset text and we're good to go.
|So shiny. So tiny. So difficult to shoot!|
Here endeth the lesson. What do you think? Easier? Faster? How's it compare to other methods you've seen?