Friday, September 16, 2011

Along Came a Spider Part 1 - GW Arachnarok Spider

If you are feeling intimidated by this spider, you should be.  Not because you have a fear of them, but simply because it is daunting to assemble and paint.  Never fear!  I'm here to give a few suggestions that might help squash your spider troubles. 

Bob assembled the spider and found that it took him over two hours because the schematics are rather poorly put together.  He suggests reading the full schematics first, then dry-fit assemble prior to actually trying to glue.
Another suggestion is this, perhaps painting it on the sprue is a better idea than fully assembling prior to painting.  That way all you would have to do is touch-up where you cut off the sprue and where the glue left a residue.  Right now I'm having difficulty in doing the detail work between the many legs and the scaffolding rig.  The pieces that jut out from the main body not only get into the way of the paintbrush but also mess with my depth perception and I have found my brush going astray on many occasions.

*Note: These directions seem out of order, they are grouped by the body part of the spider but follow the STEPS if you really choose to paint in the order that I did.  This order was done for ease of painting.

Main Body Colors for Carapace:
First let's start with the paints that I used...

Base-coat: of Model Color Red.  Let dry thoroughly, may take two coats.  Do not dilute with water unless your paint appears to be too thick.
Washes: Citadel Badab Black and Leviathan Purple.  Used over the base-coat to go into the crevices and darken chosen areas.
Highlights: Cel-Vinyl Red and then Orange Yellow.

Step1 - After the initial base-coat I darkened the very top of the body, the face, and the portions of the collar above the head with the Badab black.  Before the black dried too much, I used the Leviathan Purple around the edges of the black and bled it into what was left of the red at the edges of the carapace.  You'll see that it nicely darkens the crevices as well as all the little bumps, horns, and spines on the carapace.  Let this dry thoroughly.
Step 3 - The tricky part.  See Step 3 image(s).  This takes a very steady hand and don't let the legs get in the way or you'll find you're making squiggly lines.  I suggest taking deep breaths and holding it as you make lines.  I'm considering becoming a pearl diver in the orient when I'm done painting. I typically brace my painting hand at the wrist with my opposite hand as I do the edging lines.
Use the Cel-Vinyl Red to make the first highlight.  Go over all edges, all bumps, and around the horns/spines.  Again, take note on the box art.  You'll notice that there are also triangular accent marks that come down off the edges of the carapace, see note under picture.  I used a 10/0 brush to do all these details.  You may need to thin your CV Red just a little to keep it flowing, the red tends to be/get sticky and you won't have smooth lines. 
Then, after the Red highlights have dried, use the Cel-Vinyl Orange Yellow to add extra dimension.  Lightly go over the red highlights.  Attempt to do so thinly.  If your lines appear intermittent, that's okay, it'll look a little more natural than a perfect accent highlight.
STEP 3.  Also, notice how the black and purple wash help to detail the carapace.  However, the wash isn't the ultimate fix.  Unfortunately, the model's details are too smooth to take a wash very effectively.  So, if you were hoping to base-coat this monster and simply wash it; you're in for a let-down.
STEP 3.  Highlight all the bumps and around the horns/spines in Red and then with Orange Yellow.
Triangular accent highlights.  TIP: Basically, when I could, I held the figure with the ass-end up and drug my paintbrush from the edge toward the center giving the greatest amount of pressure when I started and letting off when I finished the stroke in order to create the triangle effect.  Sometimes I works perfectly, sometimes it doesn't, don't be discouraged.
 TIP: I suggest doing doodles using the 10/0 brush with paint on sheets of paper.  Hold the brush up further on the handle and wave it like a wand using only the dexterity of your fingers to do the moving.  Or, think of it as a pen or pencil instead of a brush, write with it, do cursive and feel the flow of the brush.  Play around with creating wider/heavier strokes by putting weight on the brush and then letting off to create a thin tail.  Create a simple images of animals or shapes.  I liken this to Japanese Calligraphy using the subtle movements of the fingers and even wrist to glide the brush.  You may gain dexterity and brush control by doing this, even practice with a calligraphy kit seems to help.

Abdominal Colors:
Here are the only two colors...

Base-coat: Citadel Hormagaunt Purple
Highlight: Citadel Hormagaunt Purple + Reaper Creamy Ivory = a pale, creamy purple.
2nd Highlight: Reaper Creamy Ivory

Step 2 - Paint the abdomen underneath.  I suggest looking at the box art to see where the abdomen ends and the carapace begins (If you care).  Use the Hormagaunt Purple from Citadel straight out of the jar and base-coat.  The foundation paints are rather thick, so if you find yours not speading well, dilute lightly with water or add a retarder like Liquitex Slow-Dri.
Step 4 - Highlight the abdomen.  Mix the Hormagaunt Purple with the Creamy Ivory until you get a pale, creamy purple color.  Apply this pseudo-Dallimore style over all the high bumpy parts and high ridges of the fleshy part of the spider's abdomen.  See image Step 4 below.
Step 5 - I have yet to do step 5 on this model; however, it will involve a final highlight with the Creamy Ivory over the raised bumps and high ridges of flesh. 

Colors used...

Base-coat: Black (any kind)
Highlight: Citadel Necron Abyss
2nd Highlight: GW Ultramarines Blue
3rd Highlight: Model Color Deep Sky Blue
4th Highlight: White (any kind)
*Note: after a spray varnish coat when the model is complete, a gloss varnish will be applied to the eyes.

The eyes can be done at any point in the process, however I was feeling bogged down by the highlighting of the carapace and wanted to see progress so I painted the eyes. See Eye Image.
  • First, paint the eyes black.
  • On lower half of eye apply Necron Abyss.  It will be rounded on the top; follow the contour of the eye.
  • Next, apply a comma-like swish to the bottom of the eye using Ultramarines Blue.
  • Then, apply a tinier comma-like swish using the Deep Sky Blue on top of the Ultramarines Blue.
  • Finally, apply a dot and curved dash of White at the top of the eye in the Black portion.
Eye: Notice the shapes that create the eye.

"Along Came a Spider Part 2" will be coming shortly.  If I don't explode my lungs first.

Be 100% careful about accidentally bending the back legs attached to the fallen log and with the scaffolding on the body.  Again, this is why I'm thinking it would have been advantageous to paint then assemble or perhaps do some assembly, paint, and fully assemble.  Hey, live and learn.
Love - Allison Chicka

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