Monday, June 23, 2008

Of Washes and Change

So I've been painting this whole time I haven't been posting. The first thing I want to touch upon is that a friend helped me convert the spear on the Cygnar Centurion Warjack for Warmachine, and the damned thing looks spectacular. It's easy 1.5 times taller than the 'jack, and thus, is way better than the wee one that came with it.

Secondly, the new Citadel Washes seem great, I just don't know how to use them yet. I've been told to slather them on and let physics sort 'em out. That is to say, use an abundant amount and wait for it to dry. So far, I've tried a small amount and got next to nothing. Then I tried a large amount and got way too much. I'm thinking this is just because I double-coated. I'm gonna try ONE big large coat instead of a small one and a big one. Then I guess I'll try a few small ones; then I guess I'll go through some combinations ad nauseum until I touch upon something that works. I just really wanted to get out there that doubling up isn't the greatest.

I'll tell you why. What I've found with a venture in flesh is that it doesn't have the velvety tones that I was told they should have. In fact it was a bit too dark for my tastes, and had some shiny elements in it (which I'd like to avoid for everything but metallic). I tried Tallarn Flesh, then Ogryn Flesh, then Elf Flesh. I was hoping to finally find a use for Tallarn Flesh, and Elf Flesh, but I now know that my quest continues.

The problem was that the Ogryn Flesh made the recesses too dark, and when I painted on the Tallarn Flesh/Elf Flesh mixture (I was never good with ratios, but it was something like 3:1) it clashed with the Ogryn Flesh so radically that it was like highlighting black with straight white. I tried my best to fix it, but now you can barely see any Ogryn Flesh at all. I'm thinking that Gryphonne Sepia will be a good alternative. I'll try it on the Journeyman Warcaster and get back to the blog on the results.

Another thing I should mention is that the Citadel Washes act as a matt varnish over whatever your painting. So if you like your golds rich, and your steels shiny, you might want to stick with inks. However, I detested this shininess with non-metallic colors and am glad for this matt look. I also happen to like the matt look. I've also learned that Orkhide Shade and Thraka Green is a useless combination; and the Orkhide Shade eats up the Thraka Green wash like it's going out of style.

On a side note: I'm finished Haley, and the Centurion Warjack for my Cygnar, Warmachine, army, leaving 12 Mechaniks and Gobbers; 6 Sword Knights; 8 Trenchers; 3 Long Gunners; 1 Journeyman Warcaster; 1 Eyriss; and 1 Ironclad Warjack. So close I can taste it!

To another topic: Change. My thoughts on this began with the new Citadel Washes, came to a conclusion with the new 5th edition of Warhammer 40,000, and had proto elements in the Foundation Paint range. I like change. Well, for the most part. It's sometimes hard in the gaming world. The loss of 2nd edition 40K, Chainmail, and the switch to pre-painted Confrontation figures were hard to swallow; but for the most part change is good.

As an example, before Games Workshop released Apocalypse for 40K the last time I played was the Medusa V worldwide campaign (Summer 2006). I really had no interest in 40K two years into the 4th edition. Then Apocalypse came out and it changed my gaming habits. Besides the removal of points-driven victory conditions and the addition of new models and formations, the expansion gave me multi player capabilities, and in-game options I've never been confronted with before. In fact, the last time I was given something close to this was with Cities of Death, which (not coincidentally) was the focus for Medusa V. I loved Apocalypse (and still do), and still haven't played 40K any other way.

Now I hear word of 5th edition and the changes seem monumental. It seems like it's bringing the game more into the tactical realm of Warhammer Fantasy (which up until 5th edition I thought was a much, much, better game), and closer to the detail and character of my beloved 2nd edition. More importantly than these changes to the 'feeling' of the game is the way it'll make me think about my game of 40K differently. The change from 3rd edition to 4th edition was so minuscule that it felt like I've been playing 3rd edition for ten years (1998 was when it came out); now I get to play something else, and I'm excited.

Now, a new edition has its drawbacks as the gaming community will let you know, vehemently. The cost to upgrade your rulebook is high alone, without having to await the opportunity to upgrade your codex. Fortunately the models and general structure of the various armies has stayed the same since 1st edition (anyone who disagrees has to actually look at the various army lists instead of just going by memory or rumor), but the paper cost is quite high.

That sorta sucks; but I'm willing to eat that cost if it means I can enjoy one of my favorite wargames again. I'll now construct my armies differently, respond to my enemies maneuvers differently, and strive towards victory differently. The same patterns, and trends, and responses I've been going through since '98, or '04 can take a breather, and I can think again, instead of feeling like I'm going through a playbook.

What my point to this whole thing is, that new editions and revisions of games are crucial. They keep interest in the hobby, and as painful as it is to upgrade I'm sure it's for the best. If a game doesn't evolve or change it gets boring, and people stop liking it. This is pretty bad for the games company, but this isn't about games companies or the politics within, it's about an incentive to play. Or paint; the Citadel washes are giving me something new to do at my paint table, and while I'm struggling with integrating them, I'm having fun. Hell, I haven't changed the way I've done hair, or flesh, or metals in years. In fact, with the exception of trying out Vallejo paints, or P3 paints, I've painted the same things the same ways since I learned how to do them.

Gamers have been lucky enough to have received a new D&D this year, one that changes a play-style that has basically been the same since AD&D 1st edition; and I can't wait to get a new 40K, one that will change the way I build, and play, for a long (but not too long) time.

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1 comment:

Phil said...

Hey interesting post, I had the same problem just with Ogryn Flesh on a Ranger of the North. He looked too dark and when I tried to highlight it it looks silly. I'm prob gonna stick with the old method of 2:1 Dwarf/Elf Flesh then 1:1 and 2:1 and then pure Elf. Just work the highlights up till I've sorted washing flesh on some "lesser" models.

I also sympathise with the Orkhide-Tharka green issue. It just swallows it up. What I've tended to do it do a couple of washes still using green but doing a devlan mud wash into the recesses and sometimes a Badab Black one. I don't know how good this would be for you as I'm using them on the folds in cloaks. Even so, may be worth a shot.

A very good post though, at least I'm not the only one looking at Flesh and thinking "Maybe I should have used sepia" at least for human flesh, the ruddy faces of Dwarves are suited to darker shades. That or faces grubby from war, perhaps Space Marine faces?