Thursday, November 12, 2015

Skitarii Skirmish 5/5

 My Skitarii Rangers are all done! They came out great, and I got some good photos too. This will probably be the last Work In Progress entry for these guys for a while. I do have a plan to make a little diorama tray for them, but I am not sure when I will be able to work on that. Before I put them on the shelf I want to talk a little about the blue Object Source Lighting I have worked into the unit.

Got glow? A trick to get Object Source Lighting like this is using transparent paint, either with a 'glaze' or through the airbrush.

I think the unit looks really good all together and that is what I was I was shooting for. When you paint a unit, as opposed to a single mini, you can focus more on the theme of the unit than on the way each individual looks. Something that might be too subtle for a single model could look great repeated across an entire unit.
In this unit the blue areas don't look that exciting on the single units, but when you put them all together I think it really starts to work.

 My plan from the beginning was to copy the Games Workshop box art, but I wanted to make it a little more exciting and I thought that doing some basic, but subtle, OSL would make the unit look really good.

If you want to do a  similar look the first thing to do is figure out what is going to be glowing, a lens, a gem, or a crack between armor plates are all great places to do OSL. Of course, if the figure is caring a lantern or another object that would emit light in 'real life' that is an obvious place to start. The Skitarii have a lot of good candidates for light sources. The models have lots of lenses and bulbs and even little spot lights mounted on their back packs. Anything that is going to be a source for our glow gets painted white.

Here I have painted everything that will be the 'Source' for my Object Source Lighting, white. It's important to get this paint even and opaque so do a few coats and get good coverage.   

After you have base coated all of your lenses, lamps and light emitters white the next step is to go over that with the color you will be using for your OSL. I went with a blue/turquoise color but you can do what ever you want. Bright strong colors are going to stand out a lot better then more muted colors though.

I used inks to paint over the white I painted in the last step. It's a good time to start building up a gradient from dark at the edge to very light in the center.

The next step is to apply your glaze of color around the light source. This is going to imitate colored light being emitted from the light source and reflecting off its surroundings. I use transparent inks sprayed through my airbrush. I use a steady hand and keep a big pot of water with an old paint brush on hand to quickly douse any mistakes I might make while working on my nearly finished paint job. Spray a test on your thumb or over newsprint first to make sure your ink will be transparent enough.

They might not have awesome names like "Laser Blaster Blue" or whatever, but quality artist inks, and paints, are every bit as good  as miniature paint.  
For the Skitarii I used fluorescent blue high flow acrylic ink from Golden with a drop of fluorescent green in it. Fluorescent paints really make stuff look like it is glowing. They aren't a fit for every paint job but for this one they really added some pop to the overall look of the unit. While you spray the glaze try to place your airbrush as if it were the light so that the paint falls like a the beam from a flashlight onto parts of the figure that would reflect light.

As you can see the glaze is very light. It doesn't take much. If you wanted a more dramatic effect you could spray  more or even spray white first.

In the picture above I have gone back with a darker turquoise color to deepen some of the shadows and lines immediately around the light source as if the strong light source is bouncing off of the atmosphere and even tinting the shadows. I also added very light dots of pure white in the center of some of the light sources. These last steps are very important to build contrast and give the light some depth so it looks less like a splotch of paint and more like arcane fire burning from the very depths of these Martian warriors cybernetic soul!

Here it is again all together:



  1. Great tutorial. I've returned to the hobby after a 25 year break. Things like air brushes, OSL & NMM are all new to me. Tutorials like this one make it look easy. Thanks.

  2. It is easy! Glad you liked the tut! I have more coming.


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