Friday, 17 April 2009

Tyranid Carnifex

Here are some pictures of a carnifex I've just finished. It didn't take too long to do and I'm pleased with the way it turned out. I still can't figure out how to achieve a smooth finish - I keep ending up with a rather grainy/powerdery effect (much like the Howling Banshees - see previous post). Any suggestions would be much appreciated!

It's been a good week for painting (holidays do help) but I'm stuck for what to tackle next. I've got the Orks from AoBR (as well as two mega-armoured nobz I bought last week) to do which are reasonably easy to paint, there are just a lot of minis (20+). Or there are some Eldar Guardians (which I've already started) but I'm struggling to create a deep enough yellow for the Iyanden colour scheme I want. In a recent White Dwarf, there was a yellow effect for a Bad Moon Ork (using Iyanden Darksun etc.) which I could try. Does anyone have a solid method for a good yellow colour?

I'm sure I'll make it past what is clearly a difficult decision...thoroughly enjoying the painting side of the hobby at the moment.


  1. Grainy paint. It's a common effect that comes from drybrushing. There are a few ways to get a smoother finish...

    1.) You could dry layering instead of drybrushing. It is a harder technique, though. You start with the darkest colors, then apply a layer of a slightly brighter color (always water down each color). Each brighter layer should be over a small area, until the final layer is only edges and very raised areas.

    2.) Wet-blending. This is even harder than layering and takes a lot of practice, though the outcome is way satisfying. Timing is key here. Here's a link to how Ron Saikowski wet-blends.

    3.) Washes. Applying a wash over your model will bring the colors together and give a smoother effect overall, as well as add some dynamic shading. It's a very simple technique, but keep in mind that it will darken the model. You can account for this by either painting the base+highlights brighter than normal knowing they'll get darker, or you can apply a highlight after the wash step (suggest layering that highlight, if after... or you'll have the grain effect again.)

  2. haha, #1 should say you could TRY layering, not DRY layering. I confuse myself sometimes. ;)

  3. So with the colour scheme above, what wash would you recommend for the bone section? That's the grainiest part (similar to the howling banshees in my previous post). With the carnifex i used a base of bleached bone followed by a wash of leviathan purple, then highlight of bleached bone followed by bleached bone/skull white highlight. Thank you the advice so far.

  4. I would suggest taking a few of the extra pieces in the Carnifex kit that you're not using to try a few tests.

    With how you're currently setting things up, I would suggest either another (watered down) wash of Leviathan, or if you wanted to keep the "bone" color, try Gryphonne Sepia. Don't wash heavily, just a light thin layer; enough to glaze and blend the highlights into the medium tone, and not enough to screw up your dark purple shading in the recesses.

  5. On one of your tests, try basecoating with white. Follow with a heavy Leviathan Purple wash, then re-highlight in white.

    If it's not "bone" colored enough, follow above with a thin Gryphonne Sepia wash.

    ...just to see if there's a possible faster way (i.e. fewer steps) to get an effect that you are happy with.


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