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Nov 1, 2017
Cliffs of Decadence

  1. Painting base colours: Abaddon Black to correct any bits the spray paint didn't get on properly. Warplock Bronze to be the backing colour for our brass, Caliban green for the robes, Mournfang Brown (a mid brown) for both the bone and the chain metal. Since this is the foundation layer the paints are basically being used straight from the pot to get a solid coverage of colour. If the paint looks so thick that they might obscure detail then I would add water to thin them a little.
  2. I picked out Sybarite Green which looks a lot like the Virdigris wash we'll use later but is a layer colour to add some hints of green to the armour. A lot of this will be covered up by the next few layers but some of it will show through and it might also be more visible during flash photography. Some parts of the green are painted directly, others are done as whispy translucent lines where there is less paint on the brush from wiping some off onto a tissue or cloth to reduce paint.
    The chainmail is painted with some Leadblecher (gunmetal) that has been mixed with black about 50:50, this layer is painted to allow some of the brown paint to still be visible in the recesses of the chains. The bones are painted with Steel Legion Drab (a lighter mid brown) avoiding the deepest recesses. Another layer of Caliban Green is applied to the cloth, this time thinned by some medium to strengthen the colour's vibrancy without brightening it.
  3. Added a layer of Fulgrite Copper, controlling the amount on the brush by wiping some off onto a tissue rather than thinning. Added a highlight of Rakarth Flesh (beige) to the bone, allowing previous browns to be visible in the deeper parts of the leg. Added some dabs of a rust mix* to the chain mail. It is a bit like a partial drybrush, we want to make sure some parts of the mail are untouched so the application isn't uniform but the parts that show the most brown from the foundation layer want this rust colour the most.
    Photograph with flash
    *This is a custom mix of: mid brown, red, and orange you can mix it up each time or make yourself a pot so it looks similar across your army.
  4. This is where we get to add some washes. Everything can be washed brown to give the shading more unity, or you can pick out different colours with different washes. The copper can have brown or sepia (you could go for purple or green for something more exotic), the rusty metal can have brown or black, the bones can have brown or black (if you are doing your bones differently then you may have better options) the green fabric can be brown, black or green (a green wash should give a richer colour). You can also get fancy and mix your washes. Washes are somewhat hard on your brushes, especially if you can't rinse them well enough so it is best not to use your favourite or fanciest. I'm going to use green for the fabric and brown for all the rest. This is a fairly quick and easy stage that will have a dramatic effect on how your model looks, the washes will naturally pool in the deeper details of the model, shading it for you, you should watch out for overpooling that can lead to finished area having a shiny look to it, if you think too much wash has run into the same place gently even it out with your brush, or bleed it off a little with the edge of a tissue.
    With flash
  5. Now that the washes have shaded the model we want to re-layer our colours leaving the deepest parts of the model untouched increasing the contrast. Since the paint we've put on already has been darkened we can start with the colours we used in steps 3 or 2. First we'll lightly drybrush some of the 50:50 Leadbelcher/Black onto the chainmail, this is likely to be the messiest part where we might get some paint on the surrounding areas so doing it first means we'll have less to correct. We only want to cover part of the chain with the (gunmetal) Leadbelcher but we want to cover bits that both are and aren't rusty, some of the interiors of the chain links might have ended up quite dark from the wash and that is probably ok but if any look like they have suffered from overpooling you can very lightly dab them with a little leadbelcher to try and correct this (it will be a bit of a judgement call on whether to 'fix' it or leave it). Next we'll apply some Caliban Green to the cloth, you can add some medium again to thin the paint but you must make sure it isn't so watery that it will run down into our shaded recesses, it must stay on the high ground where you put it. Next we'll apply some Rakarth to the bone. Finally we'll drybrush some copper over the horse armour, the amount of copper you add at this point will probably have a big effect on how the model looks, a sparing highlight will keep it muted, a heavier highlight will brighten it but you can then mute it down with some additional washes to get a far deeper feel to the model.
  6. Now we get to add some highlights that go beyond the base colours (alternatively you could keep layering the base colours with some medium mixed in, unless they are metallics). Our bone will be highlighted with Ushabti Bone (finally getting us to a colour that is actually bone coloured!) We'll also add a tiny flick of white. For our cloth we'll mix some Warpstone Green into Caliban and add a little medium. You can then add a little more Warpstone into your mix and add a second smaller highlight, we'll be lightening the highest details on the cloth with the brightened colour (A lot of people like to use zenithal highlighting so as well as height of a detail they will brighten the parts closer to the imaginary sun that would be shining down on the model). Our chain mail will get a couple of flicks of Leadbelcher (gunmetal) that doesn't have any black mixed in, but if this isn't dramatic enough for you then look at a lighter metal colour. The horse armour will get another layer of copper, but applied more heavily, and only to the raised details and upper part of the armour.
    With flash:
  7. Finally we'll want to dirty the model a little with weathering. For the copper we have a weathering paint called Nihlakh Oxide, Vallejo's range has Verdigris Glaze.
    This basically works like a wash but we'll be applying it either to recesses if the oxidation has only built up in places, or more generally if we want to represent a mottled copper plate.
    This is a good time to experiment, do you want to leave it at that, or add another layer of copper over it, or a sepia wash, or both?


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