I finished painting a small commission with a squad of Star Army figures from the 5150 series of Two Hour Wargames. In typical fashion, I saved the hardest to paint for last. “Wait, what?” I hear you; they are white with black accents. Even though where I live, white is the predominant color of nearly everything, white can be tricky to paint. I mean, it’s sometimes hard to make the color white look right on a miniature. Don’t get me started on black, which is also another tricky color to paint.
Why? Suppose you are painting the gunslinger Chris from the Magnificant Seven – black clothes, black hat, black leather boots and gun belt, black pistol and riding a black horse with a black saddle – how do you tell the black objects apart from one another?
I chose to paint these figures using “zenithal highlighting” or “slap chop” in today’s popular terms, but the technique is from the Middle Ages and is technically called “grisaille”. I built basically a value sketch of grays starting from darkest to lightest and when the sketch was finished, I added the colors – blacks (Paynes Grey, Coal Black) and whites (Ivory, Titanium White).
All that is left to do is to pack and ship the miniatures to the client. I should have finished these a week ago but found myself binge watching the NetFlix series “Wednesday” and “Extraordinary Attorney Woo.”