Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Fifty shades of Green

(or why can't I leave well enough alone?)

So, if you've followed my blog for more than a month or two, you may have noticed the subtle (or not subtle) differences in the green color of my Space Marines' armor.
Assault Terminator with the "Latest" version of green armor
If not, well let's take a journey down memory lane...
Now you can share a few laughs at my expense while I air my "dirty laundry" here.  Yes, my favorite army, my Space Marines don't even have a consistent color among their ranks.

Once I got back into 40k after nearly 20 years out of the game, and miniature painting in general, I spent a little time trying to replicate my previous paint schemes that were painted on Citadel paints long gone.  One of the custom colors I used was a mix of several craft paint colors.  I was working on vehicles and it was a failed attempt to get something close to the original paint shade that my old 1990's Rogue Trader Tactical Marines were painted. (nevermind the fact that they had a terrible paint job and even worse basing!)  

    A terrible photo of them is below, but it is enough to give you an idea of how different their paint color is than the shades on my Rhino / Pred / Vindicator kit.
One of the Tactical Squads from my old Rogue Trader era Space Marine kit

   You can even see some of the craft paints I used in the background of the image where I am re-painting the Dread that I bought off of eBay.  And yes, the contagion of that color spread to several of the old Rogue Trader Terminators that I was converting and re-basing. Thankfully I halted work on fixing these guys after a game where I realized that the green on the miniatures was just too dark for what I wanted on the individual Terminators and Marines.

 If you want to see what the Rogue Trader Terminators looked like previously, here is another shot of one of them.  Hey, I hear you snickering out there... it was 1994... I was young... I needed the money!  (okay so none of those reasons excuse my poor painting skills)  Regardless of the terrible painting skills, the color is pretty close to what I desired. (minimal fading after all those years) 

   So how would I describe the desired color?  Well, not as olive as the Mantis Warriors, certainly not as dark as the Dark Angels. Nowhere near as bright or fluorescent as the Salamanders.  Which brings up a funny story.  So one of the first games I played after pulling my minis out of storage, my opponent asked sarcastically "So, what were you trying to paint, a Salamanders army?".  I not so nicely reminded him that when I last played 40k and these minis were painted, the Salamanders weren't one of the 11 Chapters mentioned in the fluff, and he wasn't old enough to play with toys smaller than his mouth...
(I have a way with diplomacy, don't I?)

   So that brings me to the latest incarnation of the paint scheme.  I am using Minitaire Boring Green as a basecoat, followed by a very thin wash of Vallejo Jade Green to tint it a little.  That is then washed with Army Painter Soft Tone with some edge detail being hit with Vallejo Foul Green.  That last color gives me a bit of a verdigris effect without using lots of a technical paint, and also brings back in some of the blue-green feel I want to the color.  The Assault Terminator below has that paint job. (more or less)  Yes, of course I could use some touch-ups on my edge work!

I had considered trying to use a different base-coat, maybe one that already incorporated a bit of the jade color.  Unfortunately none of the Army Painter spray Greens were the right shade, being either too olive or too bright.  Maybe I can find a lighter one that works and just use Strong tone instead of Soft Tone?  Here is a great visual guide to how the Army Painter and GW shades stack up.

So that brings me back full circle.  I'll have to see how the a lighter green + Dark Tone wash works out on the Storm Talon, as I've just finished priming the cockpit and the body is ready for priming and a basecoat.  (what could possibly go wrong?)