5. Today I’ll be adding highlights to the Sky Fortress. Highlighting is the opposite of shading, but done for the same reason, create contrast. Highlights are painted in your minis brightest shades and on its highest details/edges. When done well it can help to really make the mini ‘pop’, that is to say, stand out.
The techniques used today will be repeated in later stages as more areas of colour are added. Highlighting, like previous techniques I've looked at can be done in a number of ways; one of the most popular being drybrushing. I will be using a similar technique; I will describe both in the method (below).
Paints used – Today I’m using a couple of Citadel paints. I prefer them in this situation for two reasons; they have thicker paint formulations, ideal for my technique and they are in pots, which means I can leave them open and easily use. I don’t thin the paint when using this technique, at least not with water (see method). On the blue-grey underside of the mini I used Fenrisian Grey, one of Citadel’s ‘Layer’ paints. For the top-side, another layer paint, Pallid Wych Flesh. I will be applying the paint with my trusty W&N Series 7 size 1.
Method used - Drybrushing involves loading your brush with paint, removing most of it on a paper towel then flicking the bristles back and forth across the raised areas of the mini. It’s fast, effective, but a little messy. I prefer to use a similar technique, using a slightly wetter brush and more control, I call this damp brushing. Essentially I will only remove a little paint on the paper towel; then using the edge rather than the tip of the bristles, I will run this along the details and hard edges of the mini. This produces more controlled/cleaner results than traditional drybrushing. Before dipping the brush in the paint, I run the bristles between my lips. This slightly moistens the bristles and reforms their point. For those of you who may be concerned about this, I can only say I and many others have been doing this for many years with no ill effects. A tip I use, which speeds up this process, is to paint all the same angles at once. For example, when you look down at the mini there are edges and details running in lots of different directions. Rather than working on a section at a time and turning the mini around in my hand to paint all the details in that section; I hold the mini still and run the brush across all the same angles. The only time I turn the mini (accept to work on a new angle) is if I’m tracing a rounded edge, such as the bases of the smoke stacks. Another simple tip I use is to twist your brush from time to time so that you are always using bristles covered in paint on the mini. Lastly, for those areas that need the most highlights, give them a second coat of paint. Below are some pics showing the various stages of this work.
This first pic demonstrates the comparison between the highlighted left side of the mini and un-highlighted right.
The next few pics show the completed highlighting on the underside from several different angles
The remaining pics show the completed highlighting on the topside of the mini.
Conclusion – Most the major work on the mini is now completed, the next stages will involve painting the various other colours and metalics. I have also decided that I will re-paint the rotors. Firstly, their paintwork has been slightly chipped by the croc clips. Also, I think the overall look of the mini will be enhanced if the rotors match the red areas of the mini and their blades are a copper tone, like the engines. I may do this tomorrow or leave it for next week, either way, thanks for reading and I’ll see you here again soon.
As always if you would like a closer look at any pictures above, click on them. If you have any comments or would like to ask me questions or provide feedback, please fill in the comments box below (this will be moderated before being published on this blog).