Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Alladin's "Step-by-Step" #1: Grey Knight Strike Squad (pt.4)

AKA, I hate painting white.

Well, after struggling through 4 painting sessions, I finally have finished with the white layers on the Purifier helmets and shoulder pads. What a bloody pain.

I am not sure if VGC Bone White is just crap, or if my bottle specifically is crap, or if I am crap, but the amount of layers I put down to get a decent white coverage is obscene. The sad thing is, if I really wanted to, I could keep going, since there are still some imperfections. I just can't be bothered..

Check out the shoddy progress pic below:

I guess I am pretty happy with how they look, and I definitely learned some lessons:
  1. If you are painting helmets a different colour than the body, do not glue them in prior to painting
  2. If you are painting anything white, do not undercoat black, dummy
  3. Don't pick armies that have white in them AT ALL
That said, I am happy that they are starting to stand out from the regular Strike Squad GK, so at least my hard work wasn't for nothing.

To achieve this Golden Daemon quality white basecoat (sarcasm), I used the ratios outlined below.

Primary White Basecoat:
1  :  1  :  2   -   Skull White : Glacier Blue : Magic Wash

This was a bitch to apply, and required at least 5 coats to get anywhere, sometimes much more. I guess I could have done a progressive mix of 1 : 1 Sombre Grey to Glacier Blue, followed by 1 : 2 Sombre Grey to Glacier Blue, followed by Glacier Blue, followed by the recipe above, but I was lazy and this was my punishment for said laziness.

The next step for the whites is to do a very light series of washes using blue & black to darken the recesses and add some shadows, followed by a touch up and then a highlight of straight Bone White. This however, will have to wait, as I plan on doing the beiges and browns next, which, aside from the Force Weapons, should be the last remaining basecoating I need to do. After that, we go to washes and then highlights! Now on to my totals and final thoughts:

This step took 4 hours, 25 minutes over 4 painting sessions. Sonofabitch.

As suspected, rediculous. I REALLY hope that I don't mess up when I wash these areas, as I would hate to have to repeat any of the above work.

Total Painting Time for Part 4: 4 hours, 25 minutes over 4 painting sessions. 

Total Painting Time to date: 25 hours, 40 minutes over 20 painting sessions


Well, I've now surpassed 5 hours per miniature and I still have a ways to go. I really hope the total does not clock in above 10 hours per miniature...


  1. White is an extremely difficult color to paint. I usually start by doing a 50% grey on top of black, then go to an off white, then finally white. (kinda of blending with the off white). Everyone has their own style and trick. I honestly eventually got fed up having to do so much work, and used red instead of my templars :).

    1. Yeah, I know a lot of people have problems with white, I just don't remember it being this bad the last time I painted GK shoulder pad heraldry. Again, I think I did build it up a bit better the last time, so will definitely note that for my next batch. That's partly why I am documenting this process - so I don't forget all my formulas the next time!

      But yes, I won't be starting a White Scars army any time soon.

    2. Something else to consider...you may have had a bad batch of paint somewhere in your construction line! That's happened to me before!

    3. Yeah, I think my white might be compromised from the last time... I know my Imperial Blue definitely is, but I work around it. I invested in Vallejo because I thought the dropper bottle were essentially airtight (and easier to control paint quantities than pot-style options) but clearly the former is not the case. I added some agitators to each pot which helped but still.

      Problem is that it's hard to know how fresh the paint is at the store. Some of their paint line settles quickly when not used, and a month old bottle looks the same as a 2 year ld bottle on the rack until you take it home and start using it. Maybe if I didn't take year-long painting breaks I would have less to complain about!

      P.S. I added your page to my blog roll, gotta support my only poster!

    4. Haha thanks! I need to actually setup a blog roll. Right now I make images for everyone, but it's getting ridiculously long. Weebly is an odd beast.

      I think a lot of people don't comment because they can't get past the capatcha. They don't realize that after awhile, they just give you a bunch of simple numbers to enter. Easy peasy!

      Some awesome advice I got from misterjustin. Paraphrased here. This was in response to "you just throw away the airbrush?"

      "Yeah. If it is going to take me multiple hours to clean up a severely gummed up airbrush, I just toss it. I value my time at a minimum of 20 dollars an hour, so if something costs less then my time, I will just replace it. So those cheap ebay 15 dollar airbrushes aren't worth the time to clean if you gum them up with glue and experiments. Bad pot of paint? Don't mess with it, just get a new pot at 3-4 dollars. Your time is more valuable. "

    5. That is a good point. If I am willing to drop nearly $100 on one model (damn CDN exchange rate), I should support it with fresh paint.

      I know of two bottles that are likely compromised, with the white as a possible third. I need to start marking suspected bad paints and replace them as I go.

    6. Ya, he also pointed out, that if the paint dries up too much, and starts flaking into the pot/bottle, it's pretty much trash too. The flecks won't reconstitute with the paint, so will clog airbrushes, or come out as a clump on your model when you are painting!