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89024: Holy Vindicator/ I need advice

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OK folks this is my most recent attempt at painting.  I decided to do this mini in the color scheme of the Protectorate of Menoth from Warmachine.  Basically I am doing a test paint to acclimate myself to the colors and techniques that I will use as I begin painting several minis for the Mk III release of Warmachine.    I need some help though, I have had several missteps in this paint thus far and am struggling to see this as a success.


1) How should I highlight the white? Should I do darker tones around the highlight areas?


2) Should I use some liner to try and add some more contrast? I feel like the sculpt wasn't the best and then my mediocre painting skills don't help and I feel like a lot of the details this mini did have have been obscured by my crappy painting abilities.


3) I REALLY don't know how to highlight the top cape and the crest on the shield as that color is a combo of Bloodstain Red,Violet Light and then glazed over with Clear Magenta.  I know that's a lot but there are very specific colors for the faction and I am trying to get as close to that as possible.


4) Can someone please explain Ink's to me? I used a red ink on the bottom cape as it was suggested somewhere else to help with contrast on similar colors and while I like the outcome, it shifted the color in a way that I didn't expect and am not certain how or why inks are used. 


5) Finally, if anyone does play Warmachine as Menoth I would like to know what your thoughts are on my colors; I am currently only using Reaper paints. 






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 The short version is that "white" isn't really white - you always start off with a slightly darker color (blue or grey for a cool white, light brown or tan for a warm one) and then highlight up from there using mostly off-white colors - only the highest highlights will actually be pure white... It's tough to get just the right combination of shades so that it's not too dark in the shadows or too bright elsewhere.


 Anything with large armor plates that overlap should really get lined. Particularly with the lighter color you're going for, lining it will make the details pop out a lot more since you don't have the option of making the shadows really dark (contrast being the way you give the impression of depth on a two-dimensional surface, which in many ways minis often act like, i.e., sometimes you need to "paint on" details that already exist on the mini in order to make them more visible since they're too small to show up well on their own).

Edited by Mad Jack
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To highlight the magenta you need to mix a lighter color, maybe the violet, in with your base color. Apply that a shade or two brighter than you'd like, then glaze again with the magenta.  You may want to experiment on a test figure. 


A tiny bit of dark green (like a pine tree color) mixed with your Bloodstain will create a nice shadow that you can use in the cloak crevices. 

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