Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Tablescapes Urban Streets part 1: Tester Tile

After a grim period of neglect and en tropic decay, I'm getting this blog going again. What better way to do so that show a step-by-step of painting the Secret Weapons Miniatures Urban Streets Tablescapes? Part 1 will go over the overal paint scheme and the test tile I produced, Part 2 will go over the painting of the street tiles, and Part 3 will show the painting of the foundation tiles and the completed game board.

After some research, I settled on  a simplified version of the paint scheme posted on the Secret Weapon blog by James Wappel, which is:

Step 1: apply Minitaire Rock to the street after you've primed black.
Step 2: apply Minitaire Concrete Slab to the sidewalk
Step 3: apply street markings and paint metal details (Lead Belcher, wash Nuln Oil, drbrush Runefang Steel)
Step 4: apply gloss varnish followed by oil washes of Burnt Umber and Davvy's Grey
Step 5: seal with matte finish
Step 6: apply rust effects to metal areas using pigments

Steps 1-2 and application of street markings used Tamiya painting tape for masking. 

Step 1:  Painting the Street 

When applying the layer of Minitaire Rock, the trick is the get uneven coverage leaving a natural patchy look, concentrating on cracks (here, there aren't many). 

Step 2:  Painting the Sidewalk

Apply a masking along the edge of the sidewalk and then apply Minitaire Concrete Slab. To maximize contrast and reflect the fact that sidewalk generally is more consistent than a street, I went for a much more opaque layer, thickest along the lines separating each slab of concrete but still with some unevenness. 

Steps 3-4:  Painting Metallics and Oil Wash

I've painted the metallic areas Lead Belcher, follwed by a wash of Nuln Oil and Runefang Steel drybrush. I then used the masking tape to create a stencil for the dashed lines in the center of the street, about a centimeter wide right down the middle.

Then came a layer of of gloss varnish accross the whole tile. This is important to give the oil paint a slick surface for its properties to work on.

The first oil wash was using Burnt Umber concentrated on the sidewalks and gutters. 
I was intentionally sloppy here and matted the excess with a clump of paper towels, leaving a thick spotty-like-pattern of oil wash on the tile which diffused out as it dried. On the sidewalk, the goal was to soak up almost all of the excess on the flat surfaces while making sure the recesses were full of wash. To accomplish that, I found myself going back and applying a second layer of wash directly into the recesses. Because of the gloss varnish, I only had to touch the tip of the brush to an intersection of recesses and the capillary action sucked the oil wash in all directions. 

Next, I washed the street with Davvy's  Grey oil paint using the same technique as before but with a heavier application of oil wash. 
 Here's a picture while the street was still wet:  

Steps 5-6:  Sealing and Rusting 

I sealed the tile using an artist's matte sealer. I ended up finding it was a bit too delicate and I now plan to go over the tiles with GW's more heavy-duty Purity Seal. But for aesthetic purposes, it took the shine off the tiles just fine. Then, I used MiG pigments and pigment fixer to apply a rust-colored pigment wash to the metal areas. Later, I decided I had applied too heavy of a pigment mix and removed much of it using q-tips and paint thinner. 

Celebration Shot  

It took a few hours to produce this tile (helped along with the use of a hair dryer to hasten the drying time of the oil washes), but the experimentation was a lot of fun and turned out well. Here is some little yellow men having a little yellow celebration at the conclusion of Part 1 and the renewed blog: 

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