Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Zoanthrope Blues

So as I'm sure you are aware that I'm painting my Nids in a brown/red/black scheme. Sandwyrm explained that this is what is called an analogous harmony, because all of my colors are very close to each other on the color wheel. They are also all very aggressive colors and so I hope that they convey an emotion, that emotion being anger and aggression.

By the way, if you haven't read SandWyrm's excellent series on color theory, you are really missing out. It will change the way you plan and paint your armies, guaranteed. Read it. 

But because my colors are all in one portion of the color wheel, I feel like I have some opportunities to draw huge amounts of attention to certain features of my army. In this instance I want my Zoanthropes to really "pop." To that end I am painting their brains a glowing, cyan blue which is at the opposite end of the color wheel from my reds. This should really draw attention to my brain bugs, which will not only help them to look great as a center-piece for the army (and I really dig the Zoey models even if they can't stand up straight on a hill to save their lives), but strategically that unit is meant to be a huge fire magnet, and this paint job will help them do that job nicely as well.

On a side note, my wife was critiquing my work, and she thinks Zoanthropes are ridiculous. She doesn't like the exposed brains. She was like "someone could kill that thing with a rock. I mean it's brain is RIGHT THERE. And what happens if a bird poops on it's brain, huh? Or it trips and impales itself on a stick?"

Ah hilarity. It's like Admiral Adama encounters the Zoanthrope menace: "We're going to need more sticks. Poke them in the brain!"

Now, this is going to be a double challenge for me. One because I need to make the brains appear to be glowing from the inside, and two because I plan on doing some Object Source Lighting for the glow.

Most people shade from darkest colors on the inside to lightest colors on the outside. This represents the shading effects obtained from external light sources. So logically I would think that a basic way to make a textured object like a brain appear to be glowing would be to have the brightest colors in the deepest cracks and the darkest colors on the raised ridges. I am currently working on this and I think that the first model has turned out alright so far using this technique. It will really only come together when I get the OSL done on the model though.

These techniques are both pretty tough for me. I have had one OSL project turn out really nicely and one that turned out rather lackluster. I am hoping that I can make these models work. The internal glow seems to be working properly so far but sometimes it's hard for me to detach myself from the model and see it as others will see it. I have been snapping some photos and will show you the finished product and the WIP when I'm done.

In the meantime, if anyone has any links to good internal glow miniatures, either finished photos or tutorials, I would be grateful. Also, if anyone knows of any other OSL tutorials besides this one found over at Brush Thralls, I would appreciate a link.