Adrian Smith’s HATE – 3D Plastic Trees (June ’19 Terrain Challenge) + Contrast Paint Experiment #2

Adrian Smith's HATE - 3D Plastic Trees

Broadly similar to yesterday’s post, we have my second terrain-based experiment with the new Citadel Contrast Paints. This time on the Kickstarter-exclusive (but the whole campaign was KS-exclusive?) 3D Trees from HATE. Based on how old and gnarled they looked, my initial plan was to paint them with a grey contrast paint to give them the “white-grey” look that very old, dead trees tend to end up with. Unfortunately, the grey contrast paint I tried (I forgot which) did not look good, so a very fast trip to the kitchen sink was required to wash the stuff off and salvage it quickly.

Seeing how nicely they turned out, I do regret not having gotten a second (or third!) set of these, as CMoN really knocked it out of the park with these models. I mean, I’ll live, but it goes to show (yet again) how pointless things like Kickstarter exclusives like trees and wolves and the like are. Hm.. I’ve just noticed that the trees came in a set of 8 in the end, rather than the 10 advertised….

Adrian Smith's HATE - 3D Plastic Trees

So after the clean up of the grey, I tried my plan-B of Wyldwood Contrast Paint. Despite initially not wanting to go with brown trees, this stuff worked really nicely. Following the one-coat of Wyldwood, I was careful not to handle them because the Contrast paint is pretty prone to rubbing off. So out they went for a spray. I followed that with careful touch-ups of the little bits I missed with the Wyldwood, an overall drybrush of bone, grey and a drybrush for the stony ground around the edges of their bases, painting in the skulls on the bases and the exposed wood with bone, another wash over the exposed wood, and then another spray.

Adrian Smith's HATE - 3D Plastic Trees

To finish off, I found they were still a bit shiny (not the contrast’s fault), so I gave them a brush-on coat of AK Interactive’s brush-on matte varnish, and then mixed some of that stuff in with two shades of weathering powders (mostly since I didn’t have the shade I wanted to use) and slapped that on the bottom parts of the roots and the rocks, wiping it off quickly.

Adrian Smith's HATE - 3D Plastic Trees

In the end, I’m very happy with how these turned out. Sure, I only used the Contrast paint as a base, and then followed up with my usual techniques – but that’s how I see them. I’m hardly going to entirely change my ways of painting after all of these years, but I’ll happily adapt some aspects to these paints when I choose to use them. I can credit them for motivation, though – it’s unlikely I’d have gotten around to starting these trees by now without the Contrast paint, and they did make it so that I got them finished in just a couple of days. That alone made them worthwhile for me!

36 thoughts on “Adrian Smith’s HATE – 3D Plastic Trees (June ’19 Terrain Challenge) + Contrast Paint Experiment #2

  1. Lol. (I was going to ask what happened to the other two trees!) The contrast paints seem a bit hit and miss (not just based on your uses). Nice to note some that work well. Plus, I really like those trees.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I like the contrast paints as a quick way to get a base and an indication of where some shading can go. I hope that the KS did well enough for them to do ANOTHER one as I missed this one as I wasn’t a fan of the whole ‘Khorne’ look that was Hate. I didn’t even think about the terrain when it came out.

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    • I basically went in on the HATE KS because it looked like a great deal for a ton of Chaos Marauders for Warhammer. The campaign itself (and the comments) were some of the most cringeworthy edgelord things I’ve ever read in my life.
      The Contrast Paints are going to be an increasingly useful tool as I learn to use them in different ways. They certainly have a greater use than a quick base and look at shading, as they will provide both quite well in the right circumstances. I’ve got my first organic model, mostly painted with the Contrast Paints coming up in the next few days of posting…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Those have come out really well! Agree with you on trying grey first, but these do look good and are probably better for being brown (if that makes sense)! I don’t think I’ll try contrast paints, mainly because I use as few base colours as possible to speed things up and I can maybe get away with that with 20mm figures, but it’s interesting following your progress (and various projects) with them!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I think the light grey would have looked better, but my visualisation is basically of a really pale white-grey for the bark along with a very dark, stark lining in the “creases”. Not something that the contrast greys work well with, and maybe something most closely achieved (in a quick simple way) with an off-white basecoat followed by Nuln Oil Gloss wash, or more likely, spraying dark black-grey and layers and layers of drybrushing.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Those look great! And yeah, supplement, not replace, is my take on Contrast as well. Use the appropriate tool for the job at hand.

    Also, KS exclusives really bug me, too. There have been a few where those were the only things I wanted, and you could only get them with bigger pledges, and many more where I didn’t even find out about the product until after the KS was finished.

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    • Yup yup. As for KS exclusives, I can see it when it’s a cool variant model or something like that, but when it’s little ancillary things like Wolves or trees or what have you, it just feels odd. Especially for stuff like these models that could easily sell to Wargamers and Roleplayers wanting some nice looking, good quality and affordable terrain. I mean, these trees are much better than any of Mantic’ shitty bendy PVC.
      A moot point I guess with *these* particular trees, as the entire campaign was a “KS exclusive” with no intent to release it at retail…

      Liked by 1 person

  5. So they’re a Kickstarter exclusive, they promise you ten and then they only send eight. Good old CMON – some things never change! 🙄
    That aside they’re lovely models and you’ve done a really nice job of them. Like you I don’t think I’m going to pack in all my painting experience and go over to contrast entirely but a new tool in my arsenal is also very welcome, especially if it can help produce results like this.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, I only noticed that when I was literally assembling the post. I might take a gander later on and see if anyone kicked up about that. I’ve now got a whole little pile of stunted trees from the Conan KS to paint up, and I’ve held off on those for the contrast paints as well. Once again, I think they’ll look better as painted grey trees rather than painted brown ones – but the same kind of brown will still look a lot better than the likely alternative of “never painted” or taking too much time to do them – an amount of effort that could have been used on getting other models painted. 😉

      Liked by 2 people

    • Cheers, Alex. I just have to decide if I can be bothered editing and uploading the video that went with the large Brimstone model, or if I just skip it and go with normal photos. I’ll have to watch it back and see how cringeworthy it all is first…

      Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks mate – yeah, I got everything except for the “hills”. Two of the core pledge as well. Instant Chaos Army!
      Just not up to the figures, yet as I’m wanting to clear the decks a lot more and finish a ton more neglected models before i really get stuck into my newer stuff…

      Liked by 2 people

      • I’ll guess they’ll look much like my usual stuff for the most part – I imagine like a cross between my Vikings and the Chaos dudes up top in the photos. Your greyscale stuff has looked pretty effective as well. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  6. These look really great and it is nice that the contrast experiment led you to great results in the end. These are also really versatile pieces as well. You can use them for a lot of different things. I do with they made some full trees in this style and they would look good in the LOTR setting for the Old Forest or Mirkwood for example. Oh well!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Full trees like this with the canopy and foliage would be HUGE. – And unfortunately they become a bit hard to game with since our guys are down on ground level, under those huge canopies. New (much more expensive) Sylvaneth GW trees about to be released with a new basing style, so we’ll see how well they work out (or not) for places like The Old Forest…

      Liked by 2 people

      • That is a good point that I had not considered (still have a lot to learn, especially with terrain). I saw those new GW trees and will be curious to see how well they’re received. They look like a potential improvement on the current citadel trees which look nice but there isn’t enough foliage and I’ve heard the mold lines on those are fairly bad. It is also tough to mix and match your typical trees with plastic ones in my opinion and I know GW’s trees are never going to be as affordable as building your own 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

      • Really nicely home-built trees will look much better than store-bought ones, even ones that are quite nice like these or (probably) the new Citadel ones. When it comes down to for some is a lack of skill, and others it’s time vs money. Then for people like me – it’s both! 😉

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  7. These look great! 🙂 I love spooky old trees like these. Glad that even though it didn’t turn out how you wanted them to look the first go around that they came together so well in the end. Nice work!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Mark. If you’re used to painting with washes/glazing with undiluted inks they’re not too different, though they do have their own tricks. I’m using them in different ways across a lot of models right now, often thinned and as replacements for the typical washes rather than the “official” way. Though I’ve done a little of that as well..

      Liked by 1 person

  8. No, don’t change your way now mate ,small adjustments as you say but stick with the tried and true I say ,I just love the tree models them selves, I find if the models great I tend to put more effort into the painting funnily enough or maybe its just me !

    Liked by 2 people

    • Nah, not a chance of a fully-blown change, but I figure you’ve always got to have your mind open to new ways of doing things, so if something works, and works well *for me*, then I’m happy to incorporate it in. 🙂
      And yeah, generally the nicer the model the more work I like to put in. Though sometimes that can cause me to get stuck because I want to do something to a high standard and I can’;t figure out how to do it/summon the energy to knuckle down and push through..

      Liked by 2 people

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