Thursday, March 25, 2010

A 'short' foray into a new technique...

As I've referenced in past posts, I run a twice-monthly Rogue Trader RPG for my local gaming group. We tend to use miniatures fairly frequently, which gives me an opportunity to do a little one-off model or small unit here and there. The upcoming adventure takes the group to Ritammeron, a feudal world that has missed their yearly tithe and the players are supposed to go restore the status quo. One of many things going on down on the planet involves a rogue Squat Engineer who has been hiding out on the planet but recently has begun building technologically advanced weapons for one of the various power blocs. The Adeptus Mechanicus wants him captured, so I figured I should make up a model for him:

I picked up this warmachine fig ages ago for use as a squat in one of my multitudinous half-started projects, but until now it's been sitting primered on the shelf. I wanted to try out some new technique and push my comfort zone a little bit, so I thought I'd take a crack at 'object source lighting' and try to have the glow from the thunder hammer shine onto the model a bit. I read a couple tutorials and got to work - I resolved that for the first try I should try the 'less is more' approach - thinking that if I screwed it up and it looked dumb, it would only look dumb on a smallish part of the model. Heh.

However, for a first try I was pleasantly surprised in how it turned out, and learned a lot about what I should do on the next attempt. I may have been a bit too conservative on the lit areas, but overall I was happy with the final results. I don't know that I'd do this for every model that may have something that could possibly glow, but for the occasional character model I may have to try this technique again in the future!


  1. I think your technique is awesome. I would question the color. In the pics it almost looks to me like frost or ice.

    Considering it's your first attempt I still say it's a smashing good job.


  2. Are you sure its your first time ... could have fooled me !!!

    Awesome Job !

  3. Thanks folks - I appreciate the encouragement!

    @Col. Hessler - Aye, I was worried that the blue came out a bit too light, but mostly I think it's a function of my paint scheme; all my power weapons are blue and force weapons are green. I think next go around I'll go with more of the darker blue 'glow' and try to get the light blue only on the most extreme edges.

    @jmezz382 - I spent quite a bit of time reading up on the technique about envisioning where the 'light' would fall on the model, which I think is probably the most challenging part. Other than that it was quite simple - paint the model as you would normally, and then feather the 'glow' on top of the painted sections and it works a treat!

    All in all it was much easier than I thought it would be - definitely worth trying on a test model if you haven't done so before!

  4. Wow, good job mate. This is something I really need to try out soon...

  5. Nice job. The blue glow contrasts nicely with the coppery armor. Be Careful with your falloff, though; it's looking a little chalky on that smokestack. Just remember that something that kicks off a ton of light is also going to cast on the ground, too..

  6. Thanks!

    @sovietspace - I definitely recommend giving it a go. It was pretty fun actually.

    @#2501 - Excellent advice. That's my main concern about the end result as well. Next time I need to do more deliberate highlighting rather than drybrushed feathering which made for the chalk/snow appearance I think. I didn't go all the way to the ground on this test model mostly because I erred on the side of caution. The next time I'll try a larger area of radiance. Thanks for the tips!