Monday, August 15, 2011

Painting the Pod, Part 1

"Painting the Pod" sounds like it could be some clever euphemism for something else... too bad it's not.

Hey everybody, Chaosheade here with a hobby update on the spore pods I created last week.  I wanted to have a finished pod ready to show off today but couldn't figure out just how I wanted to paint them so I'll just have to start with the part that was successful.  Those following Maximum Heresy on Twitter got a sneak preview of the pod with the base colors done.  Details on this and my failed experiments after the jump.

I used my airbrush to do some zenithal highlighting going from VGC Bonewhite on the underside to VMC Ivory with VGC Dead White as the final highlight, the same technique I am using for the skin on the rest of my Tyranid army.  That part worked well and you can see the darker shadows beneath with the brighter color on the top of the pod.

After I got the base colors down, painting the slime/tentacles got a bit more tricky.  I  tried several different methods but couldn't find one that I was satisfied with.  Since the fleshy bits on the rest of my army will be purple I decided to make the slime purple as well.   I experimented with a purple wash and a couple different shades of purple paint but couldn't really nail down something that looked right.  It's so bad that I almost don't want to even share it but it won't do me any good to hide my failures so here she is.  Try not to look too closely, I don't want to hurt anybody's eyes.  Also, if you have any mirrors facing your computer screen you might want to move them. 

Click the pic for larger view
Before I started painting the pod I knew I used too much glue and that the second pod looked much better, but when I started painting the slime it really hit me just how much of a clusterf- difference all that extra glue makes.  There is so little exposed "flesh" beneath the slime that the whole thing will probably look like one big ball of purple goo when I'm done.  I considered adding some of the metallic blue that I use for the armor plates of my other gribblies but I don't even know where to put it with there already being so little real estate underneath the glue.  Well, let's get down to the different experiments.

On the left half of the picture, far right I first tried just a straight purple wash that worked about as well as it did when I tried it on the skin of one of my little gribblies... not very well.  After that failed I tried some VMC Royal purple with VMC Purple highlights and the wash (left of the straight wash) that ended up too dark.  After that I tried some VMC Purple with the wash (left of the Royal Purple) and out of all the things I tried I think this method worked the best.  Unfortunately when I tried to duplicate it on the opposite side of the pod (right half of the picture) I laid down too many layers of paint and made it much darker than I intended.  In an act of "why not, I'll try it even though it's probably a stupid idea" I tried dropping the wash onto the model straight from the bottle which was the worst result of them all (left half, far left.)  I knew it probably wouldn't work well because the parts that I wanted to paint purple were raised and the wash, doing what it is supposed to do, ran down the cracks and onto the skin of the pod that was supposed to be white/off-white.  You can even see where I flirted with drybrushing the purple paint onto the pod and had no success at all (left half between dropped wash and VMC Purple, at the bottom.)

So there it is in all it's... uh... glory?  Another chapter in the Hive Fleet Balor saga.  While writing this I did come up with the idea of mixing up some of the watered down metallic purple that I drybrushed onto the blue armored plates of my test models.  If only I could figure out a way to incorporate some of the metallic blue into the skin somewhere to simulate some armored plating I might really have something good.  In any case, I'll keep working on finding something good and will stay open to suggestions should anybody have any ideas on different things I could try.  Until next time this is Chaosheade signing off.  Catch you on the flip side.

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