Army Painter Quickshade is a great way of getting details on miniatures to stand out and get them to a half-decent standard very quickly. As well as adding shade to the creases and crevices, it also “tones down” the whole model quite a bit. So as a result, you need to be quite careful about your choice of colours for the base coats.
Here’s a Tyranid base-coated white and shaded using Quickshade. Note how the bright white has become a skeleton-bone colour – perfect for these models, but not necessarily an effect you’d want every time.
Other colours are similarly muted after being Quickshaded – so our Tyranids look rather colourful to begin with
After applying the Quickshade the results are quite different:
Of them all, the red one is our least favourite, but best-shaded model. Colours with a blue element (blues, purples, slate-grey etc.) don’t look brilliant with Quickshade, because of the slightly brown tinge. Maybe the blue Tyranid will be ok once the anti-shine matt varnish has been applied and the blue colours “picked up” again with a few edge highlights.
The purple miniature doesn’t look quite as good as the earlier one for some reason. A few people have suggested it’s something to do with the colour wheel – the earlier model had a more yellow-y tint to the bone colour, which – apparently – is a more complimentary colour to purple than the paler white-based model. I can’t pretend to understand: to me it’s like hearing a bum note in music – I don’t know what the right one is, but I can definitely tell when something’s wrong!
I think I need a few more lessons on understanding the colour wheel. Here are a couple more miniatures painted up over the weekend. The painting isn’t too bad (it’s in all the right places) the Quickshade really brings out the details, but there’s something just not quite there with them – they look ok. But only ok, not amazing…
We tried to keep to just two or three colours per model. It’s tempting to go crazy and stick a bit of colour everywhere – there’s no doubt that Quickshade tones down a model a lot, and the immediately obvious way to counter this is to use lots of bright colours. But multi-coloured models look a nightmare on the tabletop, so it’s just a matter of finding out which combinations of colours look good after they’ve been shaded.
Hopefully we can make these minis look good again when they’ve been matt coated and the tiny details have been picked out to give them a bit more visual interest.
We’re not going to make the same mistake as last time – these miniatures will have to wait until Wednesday night before they get a coat of anti-shine. In the meantime, we’re going to experiment a bit more with colour combinations, to find out what works (and hopefully learn to stay away from what doesn’t).