|Dark Riders, still wip except shoulders.|
I have reached a level that I feel is ok for tabletop quality with steel and iron with my orc BB team, so now I start working on gold/copper with my dark riders. Gold is in my opinion somewhat more difficult as it has a defining property in yellow color whereas steel can be done without saturation at all (but gets better with some saturation).
To make things easier, I bought Scale27 NMM sets, which are shortly put fantastic. They have steel/silver and gold/copper sets available. Each set has 8 vallejo sized paint droppers and short instructions. The paints fit together perfectly, and blending is not really an issue, which makes painting lot faster and allows me to do more repetitions in shorter time.
I have not yet tried their steel set, as I did the orcs with my own mixtures, but it seems solid. Both sets have colours that I would not have used otherwise, so its interesting to see how they work out.
I have come into point with NMM where I have identified few key points that I try to follow as closely as I can with each time.
1. Strive for contrast. I try to achieve maximum contrast in both light/dark changes and saturation/desaturation. The closer two extreme ends are (ie. white/black sat/desat), the better.
2. Plan lighting beforehand, and stick to the plan. Light directions and reflections are not important, use common sense, but even with wrong lighting, if all else clicks into place, the surface looks ok.
3. Don't panic. NMM looks like shit until the very end where you apply the brightest and darkest colors. Especially pure white makes the biggest difference, all else has been preparation until that.
4. Be prepared to change techniques/paints and repaint.
5. Get to know the paints and how they interact with each other.
The nice thing about learning NMM is, that you reach a point pretty fast where the results look better from tabletop view than normal metal paints due to the clarity of the surface, so the practice dummies are not wasted. At this point each pair of shoulderpads takes me about 20 minutes, I expect this to halve when I get more familiar with Scale27 paints.
One unrelated thing, the horses are an experiment of how to speedpaint black, they are shiny as I used Liberton Bistrot dark (furniture varnish) on them. I haven't yet applied antishine to the mini as I need it to affect the rider as well.