Wargaming Tradecraft: October 2015

Painting Mixed-Metallic Metals (MMM)

Sometimes, a single style doesn't create the best looking effect. If you combine a few of the other Metallic methods to paint Mixed-Metallic Metals, it can make some nice aesthetic creations.

For example, on my Elemental King I painted his collar and metal plates a cool blue-grey NMM steel but then used iron RMM to create layers and sheets of rust. On my Harlequin Wraithlord, I used a little bit of NMM to highlight some of the TMM gold in order to force a visible highlight not dependent on the strength or angle of actual light reflecting off the paint.

I'll show you some examples and offer some tips on ways you could use this.

Recently, on the mounted leader from Age of Sigmar, I used metallics to create a shiny undertone that blended into natural set highlights. This was actually done in only 4 steps - Metallic gold primer, a thick brown wash, then an off-white highlight followed by quick white highlight of tips and corners.

Painting Real-Metallic Metals (RMM)

"Real" is a term I've dubbed in regards to painting Metallic Metals using paint that actually contains metal.

This means you can paint something with iron and have it rust or use copper that patinas green. Even if you don't want to age it, there's value in having a finish that actually looks like Pewter, Brass or Gold.

Want to see how this crazy stuff works? Click on through.

Painting Non-Metallic Metals (NMM)

This is a simulated look using colour to fake a metal appearance. As an example, using greys for silver, blues for steel and yellows for gold. You might also hear it referred to as a "European" method of painting due to its wider contrast and softer blending.

Honestly, NMM isn't much more difficult than painting any other part of your model - Shade, highlight.. you're already familiar with it. But is IS harder and does require more patience with a little more skill. The difference is to make it look good, you need to use more shades of colours to blend from dark to light and choose where you want the reflection coming from. For now, we'll focus on an NMM overview and look at simulating real reflections later.

Really well done NMM stands out and Internet likes to place people who can create the effect with a solid technique on a pedestal. With all things Internet though, don't look at it as a necessity, just a neat skill to pick up at sometime.

The problem with NMM is that you're using the same paints to simulate metal as you're using to paint the rest of your model. This means that without strong control of your colours and contrasts, metals can disappear. Instead of standing out, they'll blend in with cloth and skin.

Painting True-Metallic Metals (TMM)

Over the next while, I'm going to look at different ways to paint metallics. Most people are familiar with "True" and "Non" Metallic Metals, but I use more methods than these two and you're going to get to read about them all! Sound good?

"True" is the term given to using shiny metallic paints that actually shimmer like metal does. It also means that as you move the model around or look at it from different angles, the highlights change. This is by far the easiest way to paint metal and is the most "realistic" way to paint shiny metal. (I say "shiny" because some metal is naturally dull and you're better off using Non-Metallic Metals.) It has both colour and reflection.