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I ordered the new wraiths that were just released that were part of the Bones 4 KS. I thought they were going to be opaque (that's how they were first posted), and was bummed when they arrived as translucent. Mostly because I have never painted a translucent before. So I ordered up a couple other green guys to try out some technique.
After botching up the Spirit figure with AP green quickshade, I moved on to this Grave Wraith. I used Muddy Brown on the ground, Mountain Stone on the gravestone and Bronze Dragon on the sword. I liberally used AP strong quickshade as a base on the wraith, and then highlighted with the Green Clear Bright. I think it looks pretty good. Any suggestions or comments welcome. I really want a creepy Nazgul look on my B4 wraiths, and this turned out better than I thought it might.
By Gary Pryor
In a post Bones IV world there are lot more translucent miniatures in circulation. You may have had the same reaction I had, where I thought they were neat, but had no idea what to do with these things. Well, today was the day I decided I was going to try a few different experiments with painting these things to see what would happen. I did try an experiment once before with some purple translucent modes from bones 3, where I put a black wash over them. I was not happy with those results. They turned out looking opaque black with purple highlights from a distance, and translucent against a light or if you looked real close. Not a strong enough effect for table play. So this time, I did a bunch of research (mostly on this forum) and was told about using a clear coat and ink to add definition and maintain translucency. Looked good in the pictures, so I thought I would try some variations on that.
First thing I wanted to experiment with was testing something I read here that said something to the effect of "the clear coat actually makes them more translucent, because it changes how they reflect light" so I thought I would try a matte clear coat and a gloss clear coat and see how they compared. The following are a very light black ink wash (from the Reaper Ink triad) and then Tamiya X-22 gloss clear (on the left) and Tamiya XF86 gloss matte (on the right).
These models were not very translucent to begin with, but both coats did really make them appear more clear. The gloss was very shiny, had a distinctive wet look, and makes the model look like a clear piece of hard candy. The matte coated model appears to let about the same amount of light through, but is less reflective than it was before I coated with anything. With less reflection the model looks a little less ethereal, but also less like a plastic toy.
I decided that I didn't want wet looking spirits, so I decided to go with a black ink wash and the matte coat. Here are those results:
Much better than my last attempt, which were only transparent when held against a light. They are still reflective, but less than out of the box. I also tried a red ink instead and it had a very striking effect of red against the blue (the colors didn't blend at all like I thought they would) but it wasn't what I was looking for, so I washed it off.
Here is a comparison of a painted and unpainted model:
So really, I would say not painting them at all is totally viable. I like having the details show, but if they are ghosts, maybe it is okay that it is hard to see without taking a very close look.
I also did a matte coat on some crystals (no ink) and it improved the translucency greatly, though it is hard to capture in a photograph.
I learned I prefer that matte coat to clear, (but both are cool). Inks work well, where standard acrylics did not last time. Clear coats do make them more clear. and they transparent models look ghostly and cool already, so painting them isn't giving you that much really, if they are only intended for table play. maybe this information will be useful to someone. I wish I could have found it all in one place when I was puzzling over what to do and what to purchase.
By Chris Palmer
I recently painted a pack of passed-away pea-green pirates that you can practically peer through, and posed the party for some pictures.
Pithy painting prose on the particulars posted for perusal: http://allbonesabout.blogspot.com/2019/05/ghost-pirates-bones-4-figures.html
I ordered an additional set of the pirates so i could have a unit of 10 for gaming purposes.
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