I’ve finally finished my Land Speeder Storm. (And boy are my arms tired…)
I had covered finishing the vehicle in a previous post, so if you’d like to know more about that process, please check that out.
Now, I will state from the start that I have discovered I need LOADS of practice at figure painting, especially the faces.
The method is simple enough, and there are plenty of tutorial videos on the Tubes of You. Paint a darker base, add some shadowing, some highlights, and make sure its reasonably blended. The colors and methods and steps may have some variation, but the basics are essentially the same. So it should be easy, right?
Sure… like dunking a basketball is easy. You just jump up, and slam the ball in the hoop. What could be simpler? It’s a ball and a metal circle with a net thing. Just jump up there.
So the concept is easy. It’s the 10′ distance between ground and hoop that presents the problem.
And that is why basketball, and painting faces, both take practice.
(For the record, when I was in high school, I could pull off a wicked slam dunk now and again…)
I didn’t do myself any favors by assembling the figures ahead of time. I’m not sure why I did it, quite frankly. I was so excited to get started. I glued them up and primed them without a thought. And then I sat down to paint, and realized I’d steps the order out of gotten. (I wrote that in one take… impressive, eh? 😉 )
So I did what any good modeler would do. I got mad at the kit and put it away for a few weeks. Though, obviously, I got it back out again. And I just began painting a color at a time, across all the figures. First the Citadel Zandri Dust, then Macragge Blue, then the corrections to the Zandri dust. And corrections to the Macragge Blue. And so forth and so on. Then I added Leadbelcher, and a non-Citadel black paint (painted chaotically though…), and some Rhinox Hide, and probably some other colors. I just kept adding base colors, and corrections, until I finally got to the point where I said “that’ll do pig.”
I then applied shades of Nuln Oil and Agrax Earthshade, and went back to add highlights. And more corrections. And highlights, and corrections, and highlights, and corrections…
Eventually, I’d learned many, many lessons of what NOT to do. I don’t know that I can say I’ve discovered what I SHOULD do, but I certainly have a list of things to avoid repeating.
Anyway, with the figures covered in many and various thin and thick coats of acrylic paint, I decided to just call it a kit, and glued them on. Fortunately, when you look at it from 4-5 feet away, without your glasses, it doesn’t look half bad. (Which, by implication, means it doesn’t look half good, either.)
Now, I’m of course realistic about this whole project. I know that despite watching Duncan paint figures for hours on end, I can’t expect to have ‘eavy Metal results in my first six attempts. So I won’t quit painting figures. Despite the challenges, I enjoyed it. It reminded me of playing with my toy soldiers as a kid.
But I do have an appreciation, far more than I did before, of how much work goes into a really well painted figure- especially the face. I will keep it up. I may have a two inch vertical leap now, but I want to truly dunk that ball.
Overall, this is a great kit to build. Loads of fun, even if you’re not into playing the Warhammer 40K game. (I’m not a player, for what it’s worth.) Try one out!