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Descent: Journeys in the Dark (Second Edition)» Forums » General

Subject: Descent 2: Painting Guide rss

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Hi everybody,

since I saw many people struggling to paint their first miniatures I decided to do a small painting introduction on the example of Descent 2.
Please keep in mind, that I am not a professional painter and there are many people who paint better than me. I started painting only two years ago , but I believe that much nice stuff can be done with the following tutorial.

Things needed:
•At least 2 brushes, one with a flat head (~3-5mm wide), one with the finest point you can get for details, additionally a medium one might be useful
•a spray for the foundation, e.g. Chaos Black from Games Workshop or Matt Black Undercoat from Army Painter
•several shades of colors, for each color tone you want to use at least 3 tones which differ clearly in brightness from each other
•cutter knife

For base decoration:
•wood glue
•sand/rock/stone you want to use for decoration
•additionally, a color which resembles the material you want to use (e.g. light brown for light brown sand)

Choosing the colors:
In the following example I used some colors from Games Workshop (Citadel) and some colors from Vallejo. If you only can get one of those brands, do not worry. The exact colors mentioned here should not matter that much anyhow. The most important thing is, that you choose a shade and then 3 different levels of this shade. For example for red you can first pick a very dark red for a foundation, then a lighter red for the first drybrush layer and after that a bright orange for the last layer, as I did for the red spider below.

Step 1: cleaning the figure and spray it
First, you want to clean the figure from obvious errors in the modelling. Many figures are produced in molds, and they have characteristic "molding lines". These are lines on the figure which clearly stand out.
Sadly, I forgot to make a photo of the figures before cleaning. But basically what you do is the following:
Gently use the cutter knife to remove the molding lines, because the material is quite bad of the Descent figures this is quite hard here (the plastic is too flexible). Try to scratch with the side of the blade over the molding lines to make them disappear. Additionally, you can try to cut them away gently.
Remember: Don't use force, you will not get the figure cleaned a hundred percent. Try not to cut of parts from the figure you want to keep ;-)
Additionally to the typical molding lines, many of the Descent figures have excessive plastic between fingers etc.. Also try to remove this.

After cleaning the figures, apply the base coat. This is actually not that hard. There is a video explaining the whole process here:
Key things to keep in mind: try to be not to close and not to far away from the miniatures, e.g. 15 - 25 cm is a good measurement. Do this outside or in a room with constant fresh air supply.
You should use something to put the figures on, I personally use old lids of cardboard. Turn the figures around / lie them differently on the ground to really cach all places.
Afterwards: Let them dry for an hour.
Here is a picture in quite bad quality of the base coated spiders with the legs already painted brown:

Step 2: first color layer
Now comes the first layer of color, here I will paint from dark to light because it is easier. You want to drybrush the lighter colors on the raised regions, with the darker colors beneath.
Take the medium sized brush and apply the darkest colors you chose. Do not put to much color on the figure, but only enough to cover the black base color and not overpaint any details of the figure at the same time.

Here is an example of my spiders after the first step:

Here I used the following colors:
Red Spider Butt - Mechrite Red (Citadel)
Green Spider Butt - Dark Angels Green (Citadel)
Legs - Chocolate Brown (Vallejo Model Color)

Step 3: first drybrush layer
So here comes the first drybrush layer. How to drybrush?
Drybrushing is a technique commonly used to give the models depth. You drybrush with a certain color by applying the color to your brush, for this occasion you want to use the wide top. Then take a tissue and gently stroke the brush on the tissue on different places. Do this until you only leave a little bit color behind. In this way only the color particels remain on the brush, without the "wet" paint.
When you prepared the brush in this way, paint the figure with fast strokes over the places you want to drybrush, here the spider butt and leg with their according colors.
In the resulting figure the raised parts of your figure (e.g. here the hairs on the spider butt) should be highlighted, whereas the deeper parts of the figure should be left with mostly the old (darker) color layer.

Here is an example of my first drybrush step:

Colors used:
Red Spider Butt - Vermillion (Vallejo Model Color)
Green Spider Butt - Warpstone Glow (Citadel)
Legs - Flat Earth (Vallejo Model Color)

Step 4: second drybrush layer
Now comes the finish, for the last drybrush layer, try to use even less color to brush than before to make the highlights pointed. Here I use a nearly orange color for the red spider butt, and a nearly neon green color for the green butts, additionally the legs got a quite light brown.

Red Spider Butt - Bright Orange(Vallejo Model Color)
Green Spider Butt - Scorpion Green (Citadel)
Legs - Desert Yellow (Vallejo Model Color)

Step 5: adding details
After that, I added eyes, horns and feeler of the spider. The horns were again painted with a little bit wetter drybrush technique. The painter were only overdrawn with Chocolate Brown of Vallejo. The eyes are the most difficult part, here you need the very fine brush mentioned at the beginning. Make sure to not apply too much paint on the point of the brush and paint the eyes with a steady hand.

Horns - Bleached Bown (Citadel)
Eyes - Vermillion (Vallejo Model Color)
Feeler - Chocolate Brown (Vallejo Model Color)

Step 6: painting the base
To assure that the black base does not shine through after the sand is applied, it is now painted. Also, this step can be applied when you do not want to add further detail to the base to imitate a muddy ground.

Base - Flat Earth (Vallejo Model Color)

Step 7: glue the base
Now, apply a small point of wood glue on a free space of the base and spread it over the base with the brush. Take care to not accidentally apply glue to your figure. If you do so anyhow, remove it with a dry tissue.

Step 8: apply sand to the base
Put your sand, small rocks or whatever you want to apply to your base in container and "pull" the figure through it untilall glue is covered. If you want to apply bigger parts to the base (like small rock parts or mini bushes like the ones offerd by Army Painter) you should apply those by hand beforehand.

Final model
When the glue is dried, your model is finished. If you want to protect the color from wearing off you can additionally put a clear coat on it.

There is much more cool stuff you can do, like adding grass and bushes to your base and even more detail (for example with the things from Army Painter).
Here is one inspiration how the finished models could look like:
Patrik G
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also stated some good resources in his article there.
Check it out!

Update 31.03.2015: Master Merriod Step by Step

So, I finally update this post for a Step by Step of the Master Merriod from the base game

I.: Simple base coat of Kantor Blue (Citadel)

II.: First drybrush layer, very rough drybrush technique with a broad brush Enchanted Blue (Citadel)

III.: Next drybrush layer with Hawk Turquoise, adding first well visible highlights

IV.: First I drybrushed Space Wolves Grey (Citadel) over the complete body, focusing on the arms, the chest and the tentacles to get the greyish/blue look wanted.

Additionally I applied some to the fins and the big fin at the back.
After that I applied some basic red in the mouth and the tentacle mouths with Merchite Red (Citadel) to make him look hungry.

V.: Here are actually several step at once, sorry. So I made the "claws" (the horny ends of the tentacles, feet and hands) with Silvergrey (Vallejo).
And the teeth (in the mouth and in the tentacles) also with Silvergrey (Vallejo).
After this dried I applied a good amount of Agrax Earthshade (Citadel) wash to all these body parts. I used more for the claws to get them looking like real horn.
At the end, with all this finished I applied the blood.
Actually, it might be a good idea to apply it after the base design because then it looks like the Merriod also spilled some blood on the base.
That would look awesome, but I did not think about it early enough.
I did this with a broad brush and a mixture of Scab Red (Citadel) and Vermillion (Citadel) to get a good blood look. To thin the paint a little bit and create a realistic blood pattern I also added Thinner Medium (Vallejo). I rolled the brush gently over my thumb and released it to make the splash.

VI.: The base was a quite fun part to do. I used the same technique described above (applying wood glue first). For decoration I used some skulls my boyfriend had left over from Warhammer and painted them with Bleached Bone (Citadel), applying afterwards some Agrax Earthshade (Citadel) to make them look older.
I draw a little pont on the base by mixing brown, green and blue colors. Then I glued everything on the base, emitting the pont (s.t. a small recess is created for the pont). Then I filled the pont up with Model Water Aqua (Busch) and let it dry.


I hope, this step-by-step tutorial actually helped some of you. If there is enough demand I might add the step-by-step pictures of the other miniatures from the base game as well. If you have any questions or suggestions, do not hesitate to ask!
Feedback is also always welcome.

P.S.: Please forgive my typos etc., I am not a native English speaker.
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Moved to new account: fertorresmx
Mexico City
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Great tutorial!

Thanks for sharing,I'll try some of these advices!
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Freelance Police
United States
Palo Alto
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Good work!

fwiw, I posted some guides to painting D2 monsters:

I'm looking forward to your Hero painting guide! I still haven't painted them yet! cry
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Sam and Max wrote:
I'm looking forward to your Hero painting guide! I still haven't painted them yet! cry

I updated the thread and included a step-by-step of the Master Merriod. I took similar pictures for the heroes But it takes so long to merge the pictures like that, that it will take some time until I upload them.
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Marcus M
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Nice tutorials. You should make a few more to help us beginners out with the painting.
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