Chainmail

I was hoping to have more to show on Jeremiah’s base, but it’s taking a wee while because my airbrush is ancient and not terribly great – I should really get a new one, but I only use it for undercoating a few other messy tasks like basing (in this instance, painting some grass brown).

That means I have, however, put a bit of work in on the French knight. Primarily, as you might guess from the title, his chainmail.

As you can guess, this isn’t the most exciting job in the world, but I thought I’d take a slightly different approach from my usual method.

Normally, I begin with a dark grey to provide a good base for the metallic (and to make sure any annoying spots that I miss later are naturally shaded), then use the metallic as the base colour, shading and highlighting accordingly. This time, I decided to instead use the dark grey as the base and reserved the metallic for the highlights. It was an enjoyable experiment, and I’m pretty happy with the result.

One of the key benefits was that I had a bit more control over the light than I feel I normally do, because I often end up with irritating spots of metal in the shadows that I’ve missed, or where the glazes have been slightly uneven. I generally like my metals to have quite matte shading to make the most of the contrast between light (which, for metal, is shiny and reflective) and dark. With this method, however, I was able to use inks in the shading to go from satin in the darkest shadows to matte in the midtones to reflective on the highlights. This gives the forms a bit more ‘volume’, as it were. I also finished up with a little matte spot highlighting, which is a trick I picked up many, many years ago to get sharper, more distinct highlights on metal.

Of course, when you’re taking a picture of basically greyscale over a greyscale undercoat in front of a greyscale backdrop, you lose something. There’s a bit of brown and green in the chainmail, too (for extra contrast and interest), but that’s all disappeared.

As you can see, I also painted his face, which I have to say is really excellently sculpted. It was a bit of pain to work on because of the noseguard (my own fault, but I know what would have happened if I tried to glue it on once the face was painted…) and trying to wrangle a chunk of wood and resin around, but I think it’s come out well. Not that it’s easy to tell from the photos, of course…

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