Monday 20 August 2018

Painting some Reaper Bones Scenery

This weekend, with a lot of tidying going on for the housemove, I realised that I had cleared a space to my painting table, and there was actually some space to get some painting done. Revelling in the novelty of this, I settled down at the table in my tidying breaks to get a little painting done.

I decided the easiest "quick win" I had lying around were some larger pieces of scatter terrain from the Reaper Bones line. I'd already cleaned them up, done what little assembly they merited, and given them a basic undercoat.

Given that Bones is hydrophobic, I started off by giving them a brush basecoat in a dark brown. Even this was still pretty streaky, but it gave me enough to make do.

I played around with a couple of techniques on this "weapons locker". I tried drybrushing in circular motions, as recommended in the GW scenery videos, but I found my tiny drybrush really wasn't doing it. I managed some beautiful stippling, but it was hugely time consuming. I reverted to a sort of half drybrush, half paint still on the brush approach. I then gave it a thick wash of Typhus Corrosion, wiping off the worst with a piece of kitchen roll. This made it far too dark, so I went back in with a really light orange to drybrush a few corners to give it a lazy edge highlight.

The following day, I'd had an opportunity to pop into my local gaming store and grabbed a GW scenery drybrush. All of a sudden, everything made sense. It gave some lovely textured coverage with very little effort -this is a rough blue over the brown base. I then added another lighter drybrush with a lighter blue to give more contrast.

Again, I repeated the Typhus Corrosion wash and wipe off technique, followed by a final bright blue highlight on edges and the centre of the corrugation of bin lid to brighten it up.

This said, once I looked at the scenery pieces under natural light, rather than my painting light, they looked a bit dark. Let me demonstrate using my lightbox.

This is the weapons locker, on a white background with an LED light strip illumination, and my iPhone camera told to balance for the white. It's a little washed out, but you can see all the gorgeous texture and colours, with browns, reds and even oranges that fade towards yellows.

And then this is what it looks like when I balance the iPhone camera on the storage locker itself. Incredibly dark, and I lose a lot of the detail because the light doesn't pick it up. Let's try it again with the bin I painted...

Here we are focussing in on the white. This one barely even looks washed out - you can see the different levels of blue, the sponge chipping of metal, the built up grime...

And then we focus on the colour balance here. Again, it looks just a little too dark. It's not terrible - scenery shouldn't be too bright as you need to focus on the minatures they're next to instead. But I think I need to have a think about how I paint and perceive colour to stop painting too much too dark.

And I leave you with another teaser for next week's post, as I've done a bit of a photo shoot for some of my commissioned Infinity figures. Two weeks in a row with new paint jobs! Some of you may die of shock...


  1. I was going to say that a bigger brush makes that circular drybrushing work out much better, but you got there ahead of me. That's been one of my staple techniques since I saw it in a White Dwarf back in the 90s.

    They look good. Nothing fancy, but nice and solid and LoS-blocking. Just what they need to be.

    1. The big brush made such a massive difference! And yes, the idea is that they don't distract from the models around them.