Thursday, February 25, 2010

IG: Sentinels and Snow Recipe

I purchased these Sentinels because I liked the models and, while I still find them both dynamic and compelling, I would keenly like to get my mitts on a few of the new (closed top) variety currently on the shelves. I intend to find an excuse to do exactly that.

Here goes: I would like to take another stab at modeling some new Sentinels because I assembled these three before I had the slightest notion of what can be accomplished with rare earth magnets. And so, these guys are stuck with the armament I so eagerly glued to their side about eight years ago –perhaps that’s a thin rationalization to justify buying more, but it’s a start.

In the mean time, these seasoned three have been repainted to fit my Valhallans after an initial start in another army entirely. The snow on their bases, in fact, covers the static grass that was more appropriate for their original deployment. My current snow recipe, which is still very much a recipe in progress, grew entirely from the need to cover that static grass both thoroughly and completely. Generally, I’d say it does the trick as well as one could hope.

Snow Recipe: equal portions of PVA glue and Gloss Coat followed with a few small dabs of watered down Skull White. Once this has been thoroughly stirred, I fold in any basic snow flock (they’re much a muchness as far as I’m concerned, and I’ve heard that even baking soda works a treat) until the mixture thickens to the consistency of oatmeal or porridge. I like it to be a bit fluffy, like snow (?), and it’s important to remember that the mixture reduces as it dries. If the mixture gets too thick, it will become clumpy and unmanageable –too thin, and it runs all over the show (you may have noticed an example or two from yesterday in which the snow runs off the base. I can’t promise you that this was intentional. Still, in moderation, I feel the effect works). The glue covers and holds the snow, while the Gloss Coat lends the whole mess the luminous and shiny quality of real snow. The Skull White keeps the snow vibrant and clean. A final word on the process: even if I were to do my snow recipe differently, I expect that I would still go back and layer the final snow product with Gloss Coat to be sure. For me, this is the single most important ingredient.

Fittingly, I’ve mashed up the color schemes a bit to make it appear that they’ve had a few layers of paint come and go over the years (I should note that none of the colors pictured are from the original paint scheme). This was an experiment in masking fluid… but we'll hear more on that tomorrow.

additional note: Ron at FTW has posted a great article on basing this morning. In it, there is a link to an older post of his on techniques for snow. I highly recommend both articles for some further ideas about snow and/or basing in general.


Max said...

Look really good- definitely seem as though they've seen more than their fair share of action.

Warhammer39999 said...

I use a similar recipe for snow myself--though I use baking soda instead of flock, and omit the gloss coat. I'll have to give that a shot and see how it looks.

Thanks for the tip!

Col. Corbane said...

Nice weathered sentinels mate, I'm liking the camo scheme, it's very realistic.

Kudos mate.

Marshal Argos said...

Good job! The snow basing looks really good but maybe add a little more dirt/mud outside of the snow. I mean the snow part looks great, but the other parts of the base look a bit empty, and the Sentinels have a ton of mud on their feet. Of course all of this could be just because of the photos.

Brian said...
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Brian said...

Thank you.

Unfortunately, it's not just the photos. The clumps of mud on the feet were left over from how I originally modeled these guys for the other army. I'd patched it together a bit too securely, otherwise I would have tried a bit more aggressively to remove those clumps. In the end, I just tried my best to work around them, but I agree with you completely. Something isn't quite right there.

Thanks for the observations. One thing I've learned from this blog with certainty is that if you'd like to see the problems with your painting, take photos of the models. All the flaws jump right out.