Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Trying not to be a perfectionist...

Yet again, far too long between updates...

So, I've had Huron Blackheart sat on my painting station for a while now, taunting me for my inability to paint him.  I was hating the miniature, I couldn't get the flamer/powerfist to look right and it was really starting to annoy me.

Then I bought this months White Dwarf and read "Blanchitsu", where John Blanche explained how he paints miniatures.

Suddenly something clicked, and I set about Huron with a new found enthusiasm.  I used the methods I had just read about to paint Huron, and while they're not the way I would usually do things, and they won't win me any competitions, Huron looks good.  He looks dark and evil, he looks dirty.

He looks Chaotic.

From this I realised two things:

1).  This style of painting is what drew me to the Warhammer world and WH40K universe in the first place, 20 years ago - it wasn't bright and shiny, it was dark and twisted, old and Chaotic.  Not D&D, but something European, something out of the myths and history of my continent, not sanitised and aimed at kids, but grown up and "eldritch".

2).  I've been trying too hard.  I've been layering things that would have looked just as good drybrushed.  I've made things difficult for myself by trying to paint things as well as I can, when perhaps I ought to be painting for fun.  This is my creative outlet, and I ought to be enjoying it.

I've been trying for perfection, when my "good" is still good enough to display and play with.  I will still paint some miniatures to the best of my ability, but a lot will be painted for fun, in all their dark, twisted and crazy glory.

...and for some reason that feels good to know.  There will be pictures soon, I promise, and more posts on this blog.


  1. Can you post up some details on Blanchitsu painting styles? I know that sometimes when I've done some dirty and layered models they look really cool, though obviously nowhere as good as John himself.

  2. I'll get the full details from the White Dwarf in the next day or so - the 2 important things I've used are:

    1. Don't make the metalwork too bright, only highlight up to pure Boltgun Metal for the main parts, and then use Chainmail for "extreme" highlights.

    2. Once the model is done, bar the detailing, wash it with a 50:50 mix of Gryphonne Sepia and Devlan Mud - I watered it down to 25:25:50 mix (with the water being 50%). This tones down all the bright colours. Once this is dry - very, very lightly drybrush with skull white - ensure there is hardly any paint on the brush and try to just catch the edges, particularly on the metalwork.

    It's not the best technique by any means, but it's effective, quick and produces nice results, particularly for armies like Chaos and Skaven.

    I'll get some pictures of Huron up soon, when my wife teaches me how to use our fancy camera again...

    I'll get some pictures of