Over the past week or so I have been really pushing through getting my Dark-Age CORE complete. As far as the figures I currently own – I did complete them in the last 5-7 days. The airbrush really helps finish things up like these CORE. The metal and rusted look really is easy to pull off with layers of metallic paint along with a few assorted washes.
Starting out with the darkest metallic “black” I had in this set… I made sure to get a coat onto all of the figure from every angle. Then with each lighter step of metallic I stuck with only the “top” angles … from above … avoiding the undersides. With the final and lightest silver tint I only sprayed the figure from the top. This zenithal highlight was kept very light and trying only to pick up the very topside of the minis.
At this point, while letting the minis dry – I turned my attention to cleaning out my airbrush. A quick breakdown while being very careful with the needle. I got into all the chambers and passages with the small brushes. I find that this process takes me around 15 minutes if I don’t let things get dry. Although, I picked up a tip while watching a YouTube blog (about airbrush tips and tricks) Next Level Painting (Lots of great stuff on that channel – please do check it all out). To have a small container of airbrush cleaner on my desk to drop my airbrush into to soak until I am ready to clean it. This has been great — allowing me to “forget” to wrap up for a night… to unplug the airline from airbrush and simply drop the airbrush into this container for the night. Allowing me to clean it before I get started the next time I get time to paint.
I followed up the metallic paints with 3 washes (as I remember). Starting with a blackish wash I give the entire figure a liberal washing. These CORE minis are great with all the details they have… this black wash really helps make those details “pop”. After cycling through the group of figures… I started another round of washes (in my process the first wash isn’t completely dry… just so you know – this is messy). I started now with a darker brownish (earth shade I think)… I give the entire figure another wash … trying to stay lighter on the upper extremities of the figure.
Throughout this wash process I am trying not to dull down the brightest silver highlights. But if I did happen to get over zealous with my washes I can go back for a quick highlight airbrushing as needed without any trouble. (Messy is ok). After the darker brown wash … I hit things with a lighter sienna. This wash helps tie things together with a nice grimy / lightly rusty-dusty effect.
The last effect is kinda a wash… take the GW rust (dry paint) and mix of bit of this with some water… creating a wet lumpy paste… like a spoiled milk lumpy…. be sure to mix it up so the lumps are mixed in and not to large. I took this rust “wash” and hit all the areas where I wanted a more concentrated rust effect on the minis. Where water would run or collect and oxidize. Taking a walk and looking for old decrepit cars or metal bits around your area will help you see where this naturally occurs. Whenever I am out and about … on a walk, disc golfing or some trip… I always snap photos for future painting reference. The real trick is remembering that you had done that later lol.
After all the wash coated CORE minis were dry I went through a round of airbrushing all the light sources on the figures with a light aqua/teal blue. I did this to every mini at every point of “glowing light” that I wanted. I followed that up with a lighter teal mixed with an off white… staying in a smaller area within the earlier blueish glow. I wrapped up these glowing spots by hitting the source of the glow /lighting with a very controlled dark blue wash … to pick up the contrast and details at the source. The last bit on the glow effect is adding some white highlight dots to the source of the light. This creates the purest / brightest light coming from the source and helps sell the overall effect.
I am expecting a few more CORE models that I picked off from a guy on the Dark-Age facebook group. These will help me fill in the gaps in my CORE collection. So I will have a few more minis to put through this process. As always, this review of the process is probably more for me to remember than anyone else.
It took a couple hours each night to finish up each figure after all of the pre-process stuff was done. Each figure I touched up some of the airbrush over paint. Pulled out some details and added a few other wash colors to individualize each mini slightly. After I felt each was complete I gave them all a semi-matte coat of varnish to help protect them.
I feel like these aren’t grade “A” paint jobs overall. But they are higher than tabletop quality … and as a group they look pretty good to me. The airbrush lends itself to this army pretty well. I am hoping to push through the remaining CORE when I get them… and make sure they fit within this scheme.
Next up … I will try to knock out the rest of the Shadow Caste faction minis that I picked up over the fall. With the CORE and Shadow Caste complete I will have 4 painted factions to choose from when paying Dark-Age in the future. These collections aren’t fully complete – but there are plenty to choose from in each faction t make an assortment of groups to play with. I will keep my eyes out in the future to try to fill gaps in the collection. But as the game seems to be dead to CMON … it has become harder and harder to find the missing pieces in my collection.