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Painting Yellow Space Marines: Blacklining or...?


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I'm working on my OFCC Angry marines and figured I should go ahead and run a couple full test models before I get into full-on factory mode and start batching each step across the army.  I'd previously done some yellow test models and arrived at a process that I was happy with, ending with a smooth yellow color with highlighting and shading.  Well, with everything else detailed and painted, the yellow armor plates don't have the distinct edges separating the big articulation points nearly as clearly as they did when the model was completely yellow; the darker details colors (black/red/metallic) really overpower the shading/definition of the visually-subtle-by-comparison yellow armor.


For reference, these are primered with Army Painter Demonic Yellow, shaded with argax earthshade, then brought back up to base with thinned layers of the GW matching yellow (Flash Gitz?) and highlighted from there.  I know army painter primers aren't popular with some, but I didn't have any issues getting a smooth base coat down and for 57 marines and a few vehicles, it is a much needed time-saving measure, especially in bright yellow.


I'm considering trying blacklining the armor using thinned black ink around the joints between armor segments, but was curious if there was any other advice/options to add better plate definition.  The other option is a second fine coat of shade into the armor gaps/plates but I have concerns about browning the yellow too much since I really want the Ow-my-eyes yellow result to match the 'fluff' pictures.  Many of the Imperial Fists examples I've looked at online with more shading end up looking a bit muddy/dirty and are a bit more of a canary yellow vs the more lemon yellow I'm going for (if that helps).



thanks for any advice!

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I black lined my Tau by coating with a gloss coat, then using a thinned oil wash.  Capillary Action is so cool!


In this image you can still see a few places that still need a light wipe with mineral spirits to finish cleaning the oil wash off of the high plates in the armor.  


An acrylic wash would have stained the armor plates.  With the gloss coat and oil wash, you can come back a week later, and it will still wipe off.  When you have it just right you seal the whole thing with a matte finish to bring the shine back down.




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So I think I might have worked out my process to an acceptable point last night.  


Initial test model, a bit muddy, but it was not for a final color but instead just determining my process to get a solid base with shading in place.

Initial base colors model, intended to compare the yellow shade/base process to the other colors.  As you can see, it makes the yellow come out too flat or underfined, not enough definition with other colors present.

Blacklining test model with a wash of nuln oil over the cracks/recesses and base layering for proof-of-concept and some reds in place for comparison.  The yellow looks a touch green over the black, but I can likely take care of that with a mix of iyanden darksun foundation and ceramite white before layering up to highlighting.  The blacklining looks a bit cartoonish, but I am happy with it.



I black lined my Tau by coating with a gloss coat, then using a thinned oil wash.  Capillary Action is so cool!...

...With the gloss coat and oil wash, you can come back a week later, and it will still wipe off.  When you have it just right you seal the whole thing with a matte finish to bring the shine back down.

I considered doing this, but these models were already on their second layer of army painter primer (I bought them assembled and primered red), so I had concerns of losing too much detail on the rest of the model with two more coats (gloss and matt) over the existing paint.  The results are awesome though, those look great!  If I'd felt there was no concern of significant detail loss to more layers this is what I would have done, no question.



If you do decide to go with black line you could also try small micron pens. Sold at most art stores, in varying sizes, they can make the process a little faster. :)

I would have been willing to try this, but as the models came assembled (plastic cement) and have a lot of dynamic poses, there are a lot of spaces that would be impossible to access but still be very visible.  I have heard of this technique being successful in the past though.



I'll take a lot of pictures as I go through my painting process and try and post an in-progress thread for general reference.  I appreciate the help/advice guys!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Some quick updates on my final yellow process.



This is Army Painter Demonic Yellow, all-over wash of Agrax Earthshade, then blacklining with Nuln Oil in the cracks



Smoothing the transitions and cleaning up with old GW foundation Iyanden Darksun.  I think they have it under a different name now from their base line.  I had to thin the crap out of it to allow any transition/blending, and it was still a bit overpowering.  Ultimately I was happy with it since it avoided the greenish tint I was seeing in the final product that I had in the test mini.



Since the yellow (layering) paints tend to be relatively translucent compared to other colors, I went ahead and applied highlighting in white before putting on the Flash Gitz as though I were painting with an airbrush.  A combination of straight layering (watered down Ceramite White) and smudge-blending with a finger/brush provided minimal blending.  I avoided drybrushing at this stage since I was going for a more blended effect and the area involved wasn't terribly drybrush friendly.  I also based the wings since they're gonna be white too and had the paint open.



Layers of watered Flash Gitz Yellow, then drybrushed with whatever GW calls their 'dry' yellow color and then a very minor drybrush of their 'dry' white.  I can't remember their names...


So that is what the plates/yellow armor will look like, now I just need to to the rest and sort out the details colors after getting the red/black features painted.

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  • 1 month later...
Guest Mr. Bigglesworth

I agree with pax but I think the lighting difference between pics may also have changed my opinion.


I do like how the white gives the dread a wraith like feel

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