Saturday, December 1, 2012
The Optio in beginning paint stage, I used P3's Menoth White Highlight for his crest. For all my Roman minis, I am using P3's Skorne Red for their tunics and red parts. P3's Bootstrap Leather is used for all leather footwear, straps and breeches. Wooden parts are painted with P3's Beast Hide. For flesh I use several different colors by P3; Ryn Flesh, Khardic Flesh and Midlund Flesh. The Optio is painted with Ryn - the lightest of the flesh colors. I like the Khardic shade for legionaries from the Spanish region of the empire (Caesar's preferred racial stock of soldiers). Sword scabbard highlights are done with P3's Molten Bronze. Gladius (sword) handles are painted with Menoth White Highlight. Scutum (shield) rims are painted with P3's Brass Balls and the boss is painted like the armor - Pig Iron and Cold Steel/Quick Silver highlights.
The Optio is about to be dipped into Army Painter's Strong Tone Dip. The gloss polyurethane varnish has dried and acts to seal and protect the model. This is important as the dip will get under the shield decal transfer if not applied. At first I was actually dipping the mini into the dip and shaking off the excess, but now I use a large old brush and "paint" the dip onto the figure. (Note: I found this today on a nice website named 1000 Foot General, "...Army Painter Strong Tone worked very well. Be careful not to let it pool too much. I prefer the result from a brush as the results from a dip is rather dark. Dipping is also very messy.") That is exactly my what my experience taught me! And to be fair, it is also on the instructions on the back of the AP Dip can.
The Optio closeup prior to dipping. Once dipped I use a brush and apply Better Way's Brush Cleaning Fluid and Oil Paint Solvent (a petroleum-based product) and lessen the overall amount of the dip that is on the model (especially skin areas). This is like a wash process -- the dip is maintained in the creases and low lying areas, but raised areas return to the painted color. I like this process a lot. It adds a depth to the model that would otherwise take much longer to achieve using paints alone.
Once this dries, I will then base it and spray the model and base with a matte varnish to remove the glossy areas and further product the mini and its base for handling.