Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Stupidly Easy Tabletop Gold

I'm painting some gold power armor, and I am pretty happy with the gold tones I'm getting currently. Here is the stupidly easy recipe. It works great with you have multiple models to paint gold. Remember to let each step dry adequately before going on to the next.
1. Paint the area (or entire model in this case) Vallejo Model Air silver. The brand is important here. Model Air silver goes on incredibly smooth and even. What you are seeing in the pic is one coat, and not a thick one. It comes fairly thin out of the bottle. Once you try this you will abandon all others.

2. Wash with yellow ink. In this case I used Privateer Press's version. Keep the ink moving to avoid it pooling any one place too thick. It's hard to screw this step up unless you didn't wait long enough for the silver to dry or to proceed to the next step before the ink is dry. I tried mixing the yellow into into the silver to try for the same effect but it came out looking like antique gold, not nearly as vibrant as I wanted.

3. Heavy wash sepia. Use this to get contrast where things connect and basic deep shadow washing. Try not to let it pool on a surface too bad, but even if it does that's not terrible.

4. Heavy drybrush bright gold. In this case I used VGC Polished Gold. Make sure to hit any areas where the wash made tide marks. After gold, drybrush very selectively with silver to get top highlights.

That's it! You could probably go more lightly on step 4 if you wanted the gold more yellow, or maybe just apply the sepia wash more precisely so less correction is needed.


14 comments:

  1. Pretty cool, I really like the model in step three above the best, but the end result seems like a simple, no-frills way to achieve a great effect.

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  2. Very nice. The yellow ink and wash over the metallic silver sort of makes it halfway between regular and NMM.

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  3. That's fantastic! I can't imagine it could get any easier to get such a great effect. Thanks for sharing.

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  4. Agreed I like step 3 the best. No need for step 4 unless it is a character. (Although, if you are painting the whole figure gold, I am guessing it is a character more or less.) My tabletop gold recipe is even easier, paint a mid-tone brown over gold areas, then basecoat with Shining Gold, then wash with Ogryn Flesh. (Of course now that the colors have changed, I don't know the new equivalents.

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  5. Wow... yeah, step 3 looks great, but just a different effect from step 4. Depends on the look you want I guess. Anyway this is a nice and "simple"* technique that should scale well to a lot of models if needed.

    * scare quotes only because in my case I'd have to go get the inks and that lovely silver paint first

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  6. Funny enough, I 1st got hooked to your blog by a tutorial on painting gold and now this!!1!

    One of the best golds (time-effort/results-wise) I've ever seen. Still not sure about the heavy drybrush stage (how heavy?) since after sepia wash (3rd marine) it looks like comicbook nmm gold, wich I like.

    Lota questions here: did you came up with the formula ? 1st stage looked like chrome spraypaint till I noticed Vallejo Air Color. Did you use brush or airbrush ? how much did you thin it ?

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    1. @Javi, thanks! The air color silver is brushed on, and not thinned at all. It is thin right out of the bottle. The problem with leaving it at step 3 is that the wash left tide marks everywhere. I used step 4 to clean those up. "Heavy" in this case is enough to tint the surface and minimize the tide marks.

      I have been experimenting with gold for a while. I have never liked the red/brown gold that seems so common with metallics on miniatures. I wanted to find a technique that looked more like the yellow gold of nmm but using metallic paint. The silver/yellow ink combo is the closest I've found so far. If I could control the wash better in step 3 I might be able to stop there.

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    2. Ok, got model air SILVER but have to try it yet. Also need a yellow ink, as only have few remaining from my hex shaped GW bottle (think those still were coat d'arms).

      May try vallejo inks. BTW... there were lots of model air metallics @ the store; chrome, steel... the all looked extra shiny but near no difference between them. Did you try any ? I think aluminum was even shinier than silver...

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  7. I've been thinking of mixing inks and washes with a little clear floor polish or other flow improver to avoid pooling and tide marks. Haven't tried it yet though.

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    1. That's a really good idea!

      You know.... a few months ago I bought all the fixins for doing an oil based wash. Oil washes dry super slow and can be cleaned up with thinner on a q-tip really easily to fix tide marks. I hadn't considered using that technique for this gold but your comment made me put the two together for some reason.

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    2. ....and another "you know"... I saw a Vallejo tank painting video tutorial by Mig Jiminez, and he used windshield washer fluid (the blue stuff) on a q-tip to clean up tide marks caused by water based washes. Maybe I'll give that a go before I break out the stinky stuff.

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    3. Oils are allways a messy thing IMO. Did you ever try liquid watercolors (sold blottled by Vallejo @ art stores i.e.) ? Once those are dry, you can just take a wet -you only need clean water here- brush to reactivate pigments and fade out or completely clean the watercolor. I allways found that method really fun as you can allways fix stuff with a wet brush. Once you're done, don't forget to use a sealant coat (spray instead of brush recommended)

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  8. I've also seen people hit things with a sealer (IIRC gloss) prior to doing washes, seems to help them go on smoother and hit the crevices better.

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    1. I'll take note of that, thanks... could prove useful with liquid watercolor washes.

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