Edwin: A Crappy Painters Progression to Table Top Quality Painting

My favorite newly painted model, “The clown king”

Today, I want to talk about something near and dear to my heart. I am not a painter. In the four years that I have been doing this as my serious hobby, I have only ever gotten a single army painted. This army was simple. The deciever, a Necron lord, 12 destroyers, 40 warriors,  and two big monoliths. Even than, they weren’t a great painted army, but they turned a few heads through their simplicity and their story. Today, I want to talk about how I evolved from what started as a cute idea and way to expand into the hobby and turned into a greater idea. There are several simple means to do a basic table top quality paint job. Quick, simple, and clean. So lets begin.

Shameless plug of my art project

This is how everything starts. Nothing of note and ready for an idea. First , you need an idea. A wise man once told me that every hour of planning any project saves about six hours of actual work in the end. You need an idea to both motivate and think about. My motivation for this was twofold. I wanted an army I could be proud of and to develop my skills as a painter. It was enough for me to devote and entire summer to painting this one army and getting it done. After you find motivation, you need a color scheme. Something simple and eye catching. There is a reason ultramarines look really good painted. They are simple, yet awesome. For me, I ran with a bright blue, bright red and white. Pops when added together or separately. I also decided that since I was going with such a bright and very non necrony colors, I decided that I was going to do something very non necrony… Don’t think to much about that. I decided to paint my necrons in clown style. Each and every model got a custom identity.  This adds more depth to the factor of motivation. You really gotta get behind this idea.  With the simple Scheme picked out and all the other aspects discussed, you get to my favorite part of painting.  I spray paint… Thats right. My necron army got a solid coat of crylon gold. This bright uniform coat resulted in a shiny metallic feel of necrons. It resulted in complements for some strange reason. Now add in random elements of the red, blue, and white and you can see that the results are simple. Now to see the effect.


names from left to right and front to back. Cutie, Joker thug, spot, kano (mortal kombat ftw), kratos
From left to right, front to back. Nick fury, Neo (third movie where he got his eyes burned out), krillin (who makes every RP roll), avatar (before the god awful movie), and moe…

As you can see, the simple results pop decently well. On top of that, with doing 40 models, I got alot of practice. Sure, some of them look silly, but lets face it, necrons putting clown make up on is pretty silly. From here, we keep to the idea by adding color rings around the bases to distinguish squads. After all, since 40 guys all look differently, they need to be able to been separated somehow. The simply bad face paints are not so bad when you zoom out and look at them from a table top perspective. the three colors people want are easily there with gold, red, white, black and blue. From here, you can try to advance the techniques. Here was the next step to improving my craptastic technique

pirate lord. First endeavor into green stuff (his tricord hat)

This model was painted at the end of the 40 warriors. On top of what was done with everyone else, I decided to try a little bit of rubbing (notice the gold coming through on the chest) as well as the purple (royalty after) on his cloak and hat. Along with the gold , the model looks surprisingly good.  Tons of color and to top all of it off, He has been mud washed for further effect and care. He still is one of my favorites.  He is painted to have six colors. The little details help this model. Any spot where my skill is lacking looks like a worn spot on a warrior eons old. His joints are red and blue which make for little detail on the table top, but when gotten up close, looks awesome. This is what makes an army that can be craptastic look good. You need 4-5 good models to hand people and let them aww at it. From here, we start get into models with a little more size.

My old night bringer. I took off an arm and he is now the banshee.

This model is an example of models that get to pop. A simple application of the deep purple as a base coat from my necron lord sees this model do something suprising. When I apply the blue that is on the rest of the models seen, any spots that don’t get a complete paint have the purplish black feel that really makes the model come together. Combine that with the scarabs on bottom and the blackening shadow on solid white scarabs (that draws the eye to bottom and then draws it up). The model has 5 colors. Blue, purple, white, red, and black. You see the idea. All these models have 4-5 different colors. Every model has the same 4-5 different colors. Now lets have a bigger model come out. Something with hull points.

on the idea of silly. My catacomb command barge is just that

So this is my catacomb command barge. It goes with my favorite storm lord turn every model but the actual storm lord. Notice the colors on it. The gold shines and pops, but the red is symbolic… after all , red goes faster. The idea is that this model is something to go awww at. The little details matter. Blue and red for the little spots on it really give it a good look, but when you see how the red makes it pop and see that the red actually  has a strange in game affect. Because its more red, people tend to throw tons of fire at it for no reason. It looks nice and it serves a purpose. Honestly never thought it would happen. So lets check out the opposite end of that spectrum of the red makes people kill you.


Because blue doesn’t make things go faster?

This vehicle is a tough broad that needs to be subtle yet blend in. This effect has us use more blue than red. once you take off the gauss flux arrays, you can really get to the fun parts. The detail of this model is in the pilot and where paint stops. When the blue stops, it is always at a section. To make this even better as an effect, notice reflects off the gold to bring an even more subtle blending effect. The best part is that none of this has ever been intentional. I just thought it would be a good idea. It is almost a paint by numbers almost. Now lets take all of this and bring it down into one model.

A good ole Glasgow smile.

This model has the bright pop that all the others do. The theme of clowns is present and simple. The war scythe has a little bit of rub, as does the lower torso and overall, the red over blue aspect to draw fire. He was a simple paint up. Still like my old metal lord more than this guy, but I like his detail. For example, His eyes are red yet he has that slight lead off from them. On the white face, it really works well.

dj necron in the house….sorry, I couldnt help it.

This is what makes my army look nice. Its not a lot of work. It is easy. Try to stick with something simple, yet eye catching and you can’t go wrong. Add in a little being crap along with a little luck, and you can get some nice looking models. Add in 4-5 models to look good and you will see people like you painting alot. Go for it and try to have some fun. Its a hobby after all.


About Reecius

The fearless leader of the intrepid group of gamers gone retailers at Frontline Gaming!

2 Responses to “Edwin: A Crappy Painters Progression to Table Top Quality Painting”

  1. Skari September 28, 2012 6:24 am #

    Awesome. I really admire what you have done. I am a big proponent of getting get crap all painted up. Its all about having fun, friggin plastic and primer are an anathema to the hobby. 😀

    • edwin September 28, 2012 11:58 am #

      Thanks. Just note that the warriors were painted first and everything else was painted second.

Leave a Reply