D&D Monster Manual 16: Pathfinder Deep Cuts: Medium Water and Air Elementals (Contrast Paint Experiments #16 & 17)

Pathfinder Deep Cuts: Medium Water Elementals, Citadel Contrast Paint

….k-k-k-k-kombo post here this time on the Contrast paints front. Also, not neglected models like it’s ‘sposed to be for this month, but these were cheap and so I tacked them onto an Amazon order I placed for other stuff recently. I’ve seen a few of these models made from transparent plastic and have been prety impressed. They (and the entire line of PVC models from Wizkids/Neca) really do leave Reaper’s Bones stuff in the dust in so many ways, and I’d always wondered what could be done with the transparent ones using washes or now, Contrast Paints. So now I know a little more than I did. Since there’s not much out there that I could find, written on this topic (that I could find, anyway) I’m posting it here today. I’d have taken step-by step photos, but I didn’t plan to write this post in this form at the time and my focus was on just wanting to paint my minis and figure it out, rather then “create content”.

I first painted the Water Elemental on the left, the darker one. I hadn’t glued it to a base, instead blu-tacing it down to a plastic base. (*I’ve used 30mm plastic bases on all of these rather then the 25mm rounds that they come with). Wanting a nice dark, sea green, I painted the whole thing using Contrast Akhellan Green except for the outer halves of both arms. I then dropped a drop (funny, that) of Contrast Medium onto both, and worked my way up and down for a slightly lighter and thinner depth of colour on the “forearms” and “hands”. It went on decently, but there was a bit of beading happening that I had to solve by going over and over them. Still, I finished it and then I left it to dry.

When I came back to it, I was honestly not especially happy with it. I’d always intended to differentiate the two, so on the second one I first painted the base “legs” area with Contrast Telessar Blue, then the chest and above and below with Aethermatic Blue. Again I dropped some Contrast Medium onto the forearms and worked it with the paint applied to the rest of the model to blend it more thinly into the extremeties. Again, I left it to dry.

Once both were properly dry, I really thought the lighter one looked a lot better, and then glued both down and based them. I wasn’t super happy with either, though, so I decided to try lightly and carefully drybrushing some white onto the “hands” and the bottom of the models, as well as on “swirly” bits that gave the impession of where the water might foam – as well as a touch on the “face” to distinguish it slightly.

Finally, I decided to spray them both with gloss varnish. This effect gave a HUGE improvement to both models, and I’m now satisfied with both of them as well as what I learned from mucking about with Contrast Paint on the pair of them.

Pathfinder Deep Cuts: Medium Air Elementals, Citadel Contrast Paint

I also had this pair of Air Elementals. To be honest, these looked pretty good and fit for purpose as they were, so I decided to leave one as stock and just base it (the one on your left). For the other one, I thought a grey might look okay – not quite smoke, but not especially clean-looking air. I wondered how paint might adhere if I sprayed the figure with a clear satin coat – kind of like an invisible primer. Would it prevent the beading that occured in the Water Elementals? yes. yes it did. Though in retrospect, I should also have tried washing the oils off in a surfactant like some dishwashing liquid. Something for next time when I get some more, similar models perhaps? Anyway, this time I chose Apothecary White from the Contrast Range, which is a pale grey, meant to shade white models. The “priming” did work and worked pretty well, though the model itself is a little boring.

Something else I noticed after basing these two was that the fact that their bases have the bottoms painted/primed white gave them an effect where they “pop” from the dark bases underneath much more than the Water Elementals. I do wonder how it would have affected those models if I’d done something similar rather than just supergluing them down to the black plastic bases. Something else to consider with my next trial of similar models perhaps?