Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Hey Gang...

 

I've been reading up on some of the painting techniques here and there, just hip-pocket training. And, I keep running across articles on how to do NMM and techniques on how to do it better, ect.

 

So, I'm wondering, why is NMM any better than just straight metalics on a model?

 

I mean, unless I'm doing some hardcore metalics (like chrome), I don't really see a difference between a sword painted boltgun and silver versus a sword painted NMM style.

 

So, my question is: What are the benefits to this technique versus regular metalics? Is this technique important enough to devote the time for a novice or intermediate (me) to learn and practice?

 

Thanks for the time...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 23
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

I'm not sure there's any real benefit, other than the "wow" factor if it's done right. NMM is just another technique for an artist to add to his repertoire, like effective drybrushing, blending, and that light-source thing (diagenic? :unsure: ). It does, however, seem to require a good deal of skill to get it to look right, and that may be why the top artists use it so much. That said, I think painting metallics really well is just as hard and looks just as good, if not better, than well-excecuted NMM. From what I've seen and heard, NMM is either a "you like it or you don't" kinda thing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The biggest benefit I see is control of the highlights. You highlight non metallic features as if they were illuminated by a lightsource, right? But if you aren't holding the mini the correct way, the highlights on the metallic paints are all wrong.

 

That's where NMM painting comes into play.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

NMM provides the painter with the ability to control exactly how a piece of work is appreciated by the viewers. The downside, is that by it's very nature, it is also very static in terms of how light is portrayed.

 

Whenever somebody picks up a NMM painted mini, you will notice that they tend to hold it up for inspection in the exact same way as the artist intended to be the best angle. Afterwards, the viewer may turn it on a side to check the rest from different angles, but invariably, they will always look to a mini painted like this the same way.

 

The use of this technique depends heavily on the characteristics of the subject. IMO, realistic, correctly proportioned sculpts rarely look their best when done in NMM, while more exagerated, stylized sculpts,(like GW'S, Rackham, and Reaper), benefit greatly from this over-the-top way to portray light reflections.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wouldn't do NMM on say a 54mm or bigger sculpt, or say 1/35th WWII figures or larger scaled resin sculpts, etc. 25 - 30 mm fantasy stuff is about all I consider doing it on.

 

On the small stuff, it looks just fine. But on some stuff it just blows smoke, and it's not necessary.

 

The challenge of trying to do it I think is what draws painters. Otherwise I'd be just doing metallics and tossing about 1/4 of my Vallejo paints.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

<snip>

So, my question is: What are the benefits to this technique versus regular metalics? Is this technique important enough to devote the time for a novice or intermediate (me) to learn and practice?

 

Thanks for the time...

NMM:

Usually easier to photograph. Not really any more difficult than using metallics.

 

NMM is really two things to me:

Smooth blending and being aware of how to represent light-sourcing. I've seen folks do it with wet-blending, with only paint & water, or with some level of extender and paint. Sure, it's worth playing with this technique, because it really is a new name for two core techniques/skills.

 

The reason I said "represent light-sourcing" is because the it's not always about making the miniature 100 percent realistic, it's about making the miniature feel realistic.

 

While what Errex said about some miniatures being balanced for a particular viewing angle is frequently valid, NMM can be done so that all viewing angles are equal.

 

Personally, I have no preference either way.... and it wasn't any more of a challenge than any other technique/skill that I hadn't done before. Just another tool for the toolbox, eh?

 

MG/IX

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I only like it when it's used for really exaggerated pieces. If you're looking for a dazzlingly-polished finish in a big-bravado setting, NMM looks awesome (thinking of a Tau battlesuit I saw once). On the more understated basic models, don't like it. It just doesn't work unless it's very obvious.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I only like it when it's used for really exaggerated pieces. If you're looking for a dazzlingly-polished finish in a big-bravado setting, NMM looks awesome (thinking of a Tau battlesuit I saw once). On the more understated basic models, don't like it. It just doesn't work unless it's very obvious.

Actually I think the opposite. I quite like NMM on little details where it's often hard to get enough contrast with metallics, but I think it gets a bit to much with full plate mail painted chrome style. ::):

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Everything else aside...

I started using it as a method to practice blending/layering and such. It takes a tremendous amount of "technique control" to pull it off convincingly. Not to say that it is difficult...it's a patience/discipline game more than anything. You must keep your light sourcing in mind for every bit of the painting. The blends must be smooth, and the contrasts must be right from a color perspective as well as a placement perspective. It's a challenge....and that's really the only reason I attempt it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It is a challenge, particularly to pull off convincingly. This is where so many folks fail. Too many layer up sculptural highlights with a bit of grey and white and call it "steel", failing in the process to consider how metal surfaces capture and reflect light. This, I think, is why NMM gets such a bad name among some painters. You can't use sculptural highlighting. You have to pay more attention than that.

 

On the other hand, I wouldn't go so far as to say NMM isn't difficult. Honestly, it's not as easy as one would think and some would purport (though Kev and that sorcerer of his make it look easy... ::D: ). I can put hours and hours into a piece of metal and still not be convinced, and, though not considering myself to be masterful in any sense of the world, I think I do put a decent brush to metal. To say NMM is easy is doing a grave injustice to those endeavoring to master this art. I don't dismiss their efforts so lightly.

 

But again, I agree.... it's a challenge, and that's why I'm trying to gain a command of it as well. ::D:

 

If you brave this road, Human-Machine, be prepared, as Kev has said, to be patient. Very patient. It'll take some time. Just keep your eyes open. You'll catch on.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think I do put a decent brush to metal

Yea, and I always thought Satriani was a "decent" guitar picker... ::):

 

In light of Whiz's statements, I wanted to qualify my statements...just so I'm not misrepresenting myself or giving anyone false impressions.

 

I've yet to master NMM...I've been "lucky" in the fact that I've pulled off a couple of somewhat convincing illusions.

 

When I say "not difficult".....

I equate it to say....getting an undergrad degree. Anyone with average intelligence and average skill can accomplish it. It's not rocket science by any means. But it does take someone that can focus on a long term goal and not lose sight of it, even under a very high degree of frustration.

 

The difficulty level is in the form of invested time and personal character. As Whiz pointed out, there are several folks in the arena that will throw a few colors minus metal flake on the pewter and say, "Hey, look...it's NMM." I'm afraid it doesn't happen that way. The sorcerer was the first time I came close, and it still has a TREMENDOUS amount of interpretive mistakes on it; it just so happens that the major portion of my NMM was decent and somewhat convincing. I've had one model since then that I can somewhat safely say was close to convincing. Not alot of success considering the time I've invested.

 

In my own quest to learn NMM, as Darin can testify, I've spent alot of time in my attempt to learn the basics. But my own personal character won't allow me any other avenue to reach my goal, so I continue beating myself in the skull with the hammer that is non-metallic metal.

 

So far, I would estimate the time invested in the 200-300 hour range. With roughly 100 hours of that being spent on one 25mm model....with NO OTHER focus than learning basic NMM with TWO color formulas...gold and silver. All things considered, it was/is worth it to me, because of the goals I've set for myself. A person would have to make his or her own decisions in this matter.

Learning the basics is one thing, mastery is another matter...but even still, mastery is just a matter of time and experience......

 

I'm definately with Darin on this:

Using nonmetallic paint to paint a sword...well...that doesn't qualify as non-metallic metal.

To make this claim undermines the painters that have invested the necessary time in learning the technique proper. It also produces alot of NMM that is way substandard, and there is a bunch of it out there.

 

I will tell you, when produced by the hands of a master, the end result of the technique is a beautiful sight to behold. When the full illusion of steel or gold so fools the viewer that they have no other option than to believe....well...you cannot get that effect with metallics....no matter the technique. A good example is the Rackham painters. Some folks may not like the "style", but their ability to pull of an effective illusion cannot be denied.

 

To learn the technique properly you cannot be "faint of heart". The time I used to complete a miniature when I started was about an hour....it now takes me about 4-6 hours to complete a convincing sword. The most basic model takes me roughly 10-15 hours to complete (I have about 90-100 hours in the sorcerer), and the time keeps going up with every new master level technique I learn. I'm sure at some point, it will decrease, but I haven't seen that point.

 

Summed up....

If you decide to travel down this path, you must have a insatiable desire to learn, a high level of tenacity, and be satisfied with small successes. If these things drive you, you can learn and probably master the technique.

I mean, after all, I'm livin' proof that you don't have to be intelligent or talented... ::D:

 

Kev

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you decide to travel down this path, you must have a insatiable desire to learn, a high level of tenacity, and be satisfied with small successes. If these things drive you, you can learn and probably master the technique.

I mean, after all, I'm livin' proof that you don't have to be intelligent or talented... 

 

Well, I'm neither, but then again, I'm just a speedy hack. It's certainly enough at times to give you fits and make you want to break out the old metallics. However every once in a while you actually learn something, and that's what makes it all worthwhile.

 

Enjoy, Human-Machine! Besides the effort and the artistry of just doing minis is what it is all about.

 

And as for this comment:

 

and it wasn't any more of a challenge than any other technique/skill that I hadn't done before. Just another tool for the toolbox, eh?

 

Well, the proof is in the painting, isn't it?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...