Hi there all,
I had planned to write today on how I paint flesh but… I didn’t get time to finish the examples yet. I will have it for you by mid next week….so…today for your delectation is a mini article on how I painted up my Aquan Prime Fleet for Spartan Games’ rather excellent Firestorm Armada.
Firestorm is a fleet level space battle game, Version 2 has just been released with some of the minor problems from V1 ironed out and some superb new rules added on. A standard battle would involve 10-15 ships per side and takes a couple of hours to play. The starter boxes are excellent value and more than enough to get going; unlike some games these starter sets actually contains ships that will still be useful once you have learned the rules and how the ships work! There is some good background story which is being fleshed out and added to all the time. I chose the Aquans, who as their name might suggest, are a water breathing race who are part of the Terran Alliance. Think of a fleet of Admiral Akbars running around screaming “it’s a trap!”
The ships are very organic looking and I wanted them to be in a two tone Blue/flesh colour scheme.. shark-like. While searching for shark images however I found this!..
hmmm like a basking shark viewed from above water.. I had my colour scheme.
First step then was to clean up the resin models; just a little flashing and a trace of a mould lines. Good quality resin this, which really holds the detail well from the digital sculpting. Having given the models a light undercoat of Vallejo Grey Primer through the airbrush I started mixing up some blue/green tones in little plastic tubs in preparation for the Airbrush base-coats
I randomly sprayed on areas of slightly differing tones starting darker and getting lighter. For the first couple of layers this was completely random but as the pattern started to develop I tried to copy the positioning of the highlights and reflections from the photo. A few Washes of thinned out Black/blue oil washes added a little depth before the final layer which was just some very fine squiggly lines with a brush.
I then went in with a number 2 Windsor and Newton Series & and added finer lines and little ‘dot’ highlights
For the underside I had decided on a greyish flesh tone. I sprayed on a layer then using a lighter tone went back into the centre of each panel/section. while getting up to clean the airbrush out I got the wheel of the chair caught on the net curtain and rather than spend time trying to extricate the offending object I did what any reasonable person would do….I ripped at the material. A piece about a foot square (30cm for metrically challenged readers!) came off in my hand. As I was about to throw the scrap away I looked at it more closely and….Light Bulb! Using this as a mask I figured I would be able to create something at least approximating scales. I gave it a try and sure enough, It more or less worked.
Certainly good enough for a surface of the model that would never be seen. But as is always important with these useless levels of detail…I’ll know it’s there and that is worth a few free 6’s during the course of any game!
Next step was the glow from the engines and lights. I decided to go with Purple/pink as I had already used my favoured Plasma Blue on the bodies.
First layer was just to roughly spray a dark shade around the engine areas and what i figured ware Portholes? valves? This mix was gradually lightened and sprayed over ever diminishing areas till the last layer was an almost pure white dot.
That was it more or less for the ships themselves. But looking at them something was missing. The bases looked wrong. I decided to paint them to match my space mats and do Stars and
Nebulae/nebulas Space cloud things. First I gave them a spray of Black then various random areas of reds and blues till some pattens started to emerge. I then highlighted these lighter and lighter to represent the glow from stars, finishing up with several dots painted on with a fine brush.
Well That’s it for this time. I hope this was of some use or interest to you. If you have any questions or anything you would like future blogs to cover just leave a comment.
Next up should be flesh tones
See you soon and Thank you for reading