Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Saurus Painting Workshop

I've spent a good chunk of the day playing around with my Lizardmen some more and trying to figure out how to move forward with painting some of them. Mostly I've been basecoating several cold one cavalry and finetuning some minor details on my slann's palanquin.

The big things I've been playing around with though are these guys. My saurus warriors and my temple guard. Here is a sample of the work I had done on them previously that I'm not very happy with.

From Impact Hits

From Impact Hits

I actually really like the temple guard model but am disappointed with the way the skin/scales turned out. I want my temple guard to be purple in color to represent their elite almost royal role in Lizardmen society. To that end, I had painted them Liche Purple, washed them with Purple Ink, and then drybrushed them with Liche Purple again. The issue I have is there isn't enough of a difference between the skin and the scales for me to be happy. I want the scales to be the deep, vibrant purple with a lighter, similar shade for the skin. Trying to figure this out is where I'm failing though.

A test model I've been working with (unfortunately no picture due to dead camera) used Leviathan Purple as the basecoat. I then started picking out the scales in the Liche Purple. I'm not sure this is going to get me to the final effect that I want though. The Leviathan Purple contrasts with the Liche Purple extremely well but it's unfortunately a dull purple and not really what I'm looking for.

I've considered using the Warlock Purple instead of Leviathan Purple but I'm thinking I would rather have that as the drybrush highlight on the Liche Purple scales. I'm also thinking that would take it too far away from the royalty type colors I was hoping to achieve.

I am having the same problem with the normal Saurus warrior models. I wanted them to be red based (all of my Lizardmen species are a different color) and so my initial try (the ones seen above) were all basecoated in Scab Red and then washed with Badab Black. I love the way the scales looked afterwards but I'm not happy with the way the skin looks once again. I want a brighter red for the base of the lizardmen with the scales the darker color.

To this end I decided to start one of them from scratch and basecoated it with Mechrite Red. It's a very nice color but unfortunately is not bright enough to achieve what I wanted for the skin. I attempted to paint a basecoat of Blood Red onto the skin but began experiencing extreme difficulties getting an even coat on that looked uniform. It would appear that red is a very difficult color to work with. Would anyone have any ideas on a good way for me to get a basecoat of Blood Red on them or am I just going to have to layer it several times to get what I want? One solution I was thinking of was to just heavy drybrush the whole model with Blood Red and then darken up the scales from there to create the contrast. Any suggestions on what might work would be much appreciated.

One last thought that just occurred to me. To create a more uniform army look, maybe I could paint the temple guard with dark red skin and the purple scales and the saurus with bright red skin and the dark red scales. Show a transition of saurus to temple guard over time as the elder saurus warriors became more elite and their skin/scales darkened over time.

I will hopefully get an opportunity to take some pictures in the morning. When I get the chance, I'll toss up the pictures for everyone to see what I've been working with. If I can, I'll try to paint up a few rough test examples of what I'm thinking for everyone to take a look at and offer suggestions.


  1. For painting red- If you want to base the model in blood red, start with a coat of mechrite. that color, as a foundation paint, has the pigment to cover white primer. Personally, I find white just as problematic as black for building up solid color as instead of looking too dark, the white ends up showing through, thus necessitating another coat anyways.

    Using foundations and washes where ever possible is always a good thing. If you are doing any bright, primary color, always base with the foundation of that hue first.

    I like the idea you posed in the second to last paragraph. If you are going to do each breed of lizardman a different color, why would temple guard be different from saurus? They are both saurus, just one is more veteran. Of course the models would have you believe there's more than just a pt of WS and I different between the two, but I digress.

  2. Nuclear gives GREAT advice here- mechrite red makes painting red (a difficult color!) so much easier!

  3. I think the problem isn't quite just the shades but rather there is no contrast. The red skin and scales could work but the difference between the two would have to quite drastic - so one dark red and one bright. I think you might need to reconsider the colour choices a little bit. It is your choice, but I feel that red and red will just blend too much together.