Hello everyone, JT here with a somewhat ridiculously named article having just surfaced from my hobby cave after a formidable two week bender of commissions and painting the suitably gigantic Riptide for L2E, like the good friend I am. In a way, the Riptide was somewhat difficult to paint due to the sheer size of it and the fact that there isn't a kit quite like it in GW's range.
The good news is that I did manage to swing L2E into letting me dictate the colour scheme and my methods of painting - since he inescapably makes it quite clear to me he shall never paint his army - so I elected to continue my urban camouflage scheme that I trialled on a mere fire warrior.
Despite the difficulties in painting the Riptide, such as the huge amount of space I had to cover - I did rather enjoy doing it. My first step was to paint the base, which is quite a good idea when dealing with centrepiece models - simply because you don't wan't to ruin your lovingly painted model whilst painting a base - and the base is usually easier to fix.
I spent a large amount of time simply constructing the base, which made subsequently positioning the Riptide itself a massive pain - I had to utilize a large amount of green stuff to get both the Dreadnought and the Riptide to stop tipping over. A positive side effect is that base is extremely heavy, which makes the Riptide extremely stable on the tabletop, and it is only with incredibly extreme angles that it will tip over.
After I had primed the model with black spray, I spent a large amount of time trying to decide from what chapter the unfortunate Dread' hailed from - I dug through Lexicanum trying to find a suitable Chapter that would have come into contact with the upstart Tau. My requirements were that the colour scheme not be too dark or too bright, and be mostly metallic to help contrast with the matte finish of the Riptide - a kind of snipe at the foolish Space Marine habit of being brightly coloured in a combat zone. After a fair amount of time trying to find a Chapter that suited my requirements, I gave up and settled on the Minotaurs Chapter. My reason's were two - fold, the colour scheme fit my requirements perfectly; and the Minotaurs represent the brash nature of the Imperial war machine to a fault.
There was the bonus side - effect that one of my regular opponents (when I can be bothered playing a game) has quite an impressive Minotaurs force that is equally formidable on the tabletop. The opportunity to troll him was just too much to pass up. To paint the brass of the fallen Minotaur, I started with Warlock Bronze to help give the second stage a distinctly dirty feel. The metallic layer paints are quite translucent and do tend to show through a fair amount of the base colour, which can create some interesting combinations - try experimenting to achieve some unique effects. I didn't want to spend too much time on the base, so I did a heavy drybrush of Sycorax Bronze followed up with a wash of Agrax Earthshade and Nuln Oil, which turned out far better then I thought it would; I then highlighted with Sycorax again just to help define it a bit better, yet not create too strong an edge. I felt that overly highlighting the base would detract too much from the Riptide itself - which bore itself out when I finished the model.
The dirty parts of the base were done with a base coat of Mournfang Brown, which was the only brown base colour I had a decent amount of at the time. The brown was far too bright, so I dulled it down by applying a glaze of Administratum Gray, something I've never really done before. I then drybrushed the entire base with Screaming Skull and washed everything with some more Agrax Earthshade - the result was a rather realistic looking effect of rubble and dirt that was a step away from the more commonly slightly over - done bases popular with Warhammer.
I began with a base of Mechanicus Standard Gray all over the camouflaged areas of the model, which was followed up by painted 'squares' of Administratum Gray; I was careful to have these 'squares' bleed over the edges so the pattern wasn't too obvious. I then did some little 'dags' of Ulthuan Gray, which basically means I painted small triangles of the lightest colour to help break up the pattern even further and brighten it up some more.
In my strive to attain a 'realistic' feel with the model, I realized I had overlooked attaining a degree of visual flair I like to have with my miniatures - so I chose to adopt a secondary armour colour as the orange sept markings simply were not enough to break up the camouflage scheme. The red sections are simply two coats of thinned down Mephiston Red highlighted with Evil Sunz Scarlet. This really helped make the model stand out, and really helped me solidify the attractive and unique design of the model with some clever colour placement - I was quite happy with how the whole thing turned out.
I am extremely excited to continue to work on the Tau force, with no commissions on my horizon hopefully I can knuckle down and really go to town with the fish men - between me and MegaValhalla, we should have a nice wave of Tau goodness flowing your way courtesy of Imperator Guides.
I will hope you noticed I did make a little bit more of an effort with the photo's this time around, and in the near future we are looking to getting a decent camera and a display board for photo's up and running - we are also looking to get our own gaming board so we can provide video analysis to compliment L2E's Tactica guides, as well as our very exciting and unique spin on battle reports - more details will be forthcoming over the next month.
Until next time, feel free to drop us some comments or feedback and as always - watch the site for more of L2E's helpful Tactica Guides.