Shadows of Brimstone: Trun Hunters + Contrast Paint (failed!) Experiment #21

Shadows of Brimstone: Trun Hunters

So here’s something a little more novel. My Contrast Paint experiment series has so far been emphasising how things have gone well, or taking something that was okay and tweaking it to be a little better, and so on. Today we have an example of when Contrast Paints combined with bad models to create …something not good.

These models are another trip from the Shadows of Brimstone boardgame kickstarter’s extras. The first thing I did was customise them slightly, so they’d be slightly more individual and slightly less a trio of clones. As they’re only designed to be monopose, and don’t otherwise fit well my options for easy modding were limited -and especially so because they’re shit models that I was not willing to put too much work into modding. I I adjusted the arm poses and head tilts. I also gave one of them an old 1st/2nd Edition Space Marine Combat Knife and another one of them a forearm underclaw from a bit of 40k hedgecutter I had in a bits box. Then it was time to paint.

As it happens, my paint scheme aligns with theirs purely by accident, as I’ve only seen the box art for the first time just now after googling it and grabbing the pic from BGG. At one point I considered ochre skin, or green skin with red armour for the “V” look, but decided in the end that I wanted to try out the Ork Flesh and Apothecary White Contrast Paints. You can just how well that worked in the pic above.

Well… that looks shit. I’m just not a fan of that overly saturated  and, well, contrasty green. Especially for flesh, and even including giant space lizardmen. The Apothecary White also didn’t perform well, given how soft and badly defined the details were on these sub-par models and just left.. sort of cloudy stains all over. So with that, this trio sat on the desk for at least 6 months. (These were started before I finished the last Brimstone models, which I posted back in September). Because Tray, they ended up in the queue of shit to get finished. Mostly because I wanted to see the end of them. Which ended up giving me an interesting challenge.

Shadows of Brimstone: Trun Hunters

How to fix them? Possibly impossible. Silk Purses and Sow’s Ears and all that. How to make them look passable for a tabletop? Well, first of all, that horrible green had to go. I just went over the lot of it with normal paint, and gave it a careful drybrish up a few lightter shades to smooth it out and have it look okay. The armour? I thought of Sandtroopers and the 501st guys who weather their armour. So out came a bit of foam and the brown paint, then the silver paint. I didn’t do a real great job here in the end, but I gave the armour enough dirtying and dinging up that it now at least looks bearable and (somewhat) hides the soft details. Blood Angels Red Contrast in their mouths, then picking out their teeth and being a little careful with the eyes help a lot to give their faces some detail, which in turn draws the eye. The green skin of the faces is also decent enough, so these factors combine with the dinged paint and weathering to make the shitty armour more of a background aspect to the models than a visual focus. Three different gemstone paints on the armour lights was a final choice to firther give a way to distinguish the three on the tabletop.

Shadows of Brimstone: Trun Hunters

As with a fair few other models from this month, they might count towards Ann’s Miniatures of Magnitude Challenge for May & June. While they’re not exactly gargantuan, they’re certainly Ogre+ sized!

Shadows of Brimstone: Feral Vampires + Contrast Paint Experiment #9 (Squaddie September ’19)

Shadows of Brimstone: Feral Vampires

A several day break and then more Shadows of Brimstone models! Am I trying to tank my blog’s views? Half-jokes aside, once again these aren’t good models. The good old “easy wins” motivation based on them being quite simple looking on sprue, plus the chance to try out the Contrast Paints in a much more involved way got these going. I went with the three different coloured coats for the dual purposes of variaton, as well as (3) grunts, (2) elites, (1) leader should that kind of breakdown ever be needed. I left dark red available in case I have the resin “hero” figure somewhere in the mess of a Kickstarter delivery that this game had.

The official package (which I didn’t get – because Kickstarter) artwork quality is straight from RPG sourcebooks circa 1992.

Painting was pretty simple. They were all sprayed Grey Seer and I basecoated the coats in Contrast Dark Angels Green, Ultramarines Blue and.. um.. one of the browns. Gore-Grunta Fur maybe? Unfortunately, it looked …a bit shit. So I gave all three types some drybrushing to add some nice nuance to the colour and then a wash to finish. Yes, Contrast by itself wasn’t good enough for these shitty models. To be fair, I blame the sculpts as much as the paint. Thinned (with Medium) purple for their heads, snakebite leather over a yellow-white for the nails and teeth, and some Blood Angels Red for their mouths and the blood effects there – which was originally a bit of slop on the first couple that I intended to overpaint, before I decided to keep it and go with it on the rest. That’s pretty much it.

Shadows of Brimstone: Feral Vampires

So what did the Contrast paint add to the process of painting these models? Well, I guess motivation was a big part. They’re pretty mediocre models, so the idea of spending normal amounts of time painting them in the normal manner did not appeal at all, while simpletown Contrast painting did. Could I have gotten pretty much the same effect if I’d used traditional paints on these, as well as thinning my Army Painter Purple wash for the skin? Yeah, pretty much, although a bunch of their native shading is still quite evident on these models. On these, though – the Contrast Paints special powers are pretty negligible because I wasn’t satisfied with how they came out.

Shadows of Brimstone: Feral Vampires

But that’s really what I’m working out here. I’ve painted for over thirty years using basically the same methods, or more accurately, building on the same methods I learned as a kid/teen. Now these new paints have come along – and despite what too many people with more mouth than experience will tell you (especially on places like Dakka) – are not exactly the same as painting with washes or Les Bursley’s custom washes. They have similarities for sure, but they are different, and because I don’t have my head up my arsehole – I see a new set of tools and am figuring out how to use them and where and how they fit in my workflow.

Aside from “dedicated” models like these, I do find them really useful for small spot-points of shading, as they’re denser than traditional washes but more translucent than paint washes, and I’m finding that a lot of them are getting regular use in that manner.

As for these models? In the end, I have six more not-good-but-not-terrible completed models for the boardgame and any other use that might come up on the tabletop. Now to prep another little batch of nonsensical Brimstone models for the next lot…