Tuesday, October 8, 2013

WIP - Squig Riders

The prospect of playing the new skirmish variant of Warhammer Fantasy, Regiments of Renown, is motivating me to finally paint a unit of Squig Riders.  Here, I've sketched my basic color theme.

I love these models, because of their character, and because they lend themselves to so much creativity in terms of color choices and cloak designs.  Unfortunately, to make the colors work as a coherent unit, I think you have to sacrifice some of the inventiveness you could explore for individual models.  Otherwise, the unit will suffer from the "spilled Easter basket" effect, a lesson I learned from painting goblins a few years ago.  The solution to this problem is simple, though.  Paint these models as a unit, and then acquire some more models to paint individually!  Alas.  I take the miniatures addiction to another level.

I originally planned to paint the goblins' skin tone a desaturated yellowish-green.  The theory was that the goblins would show well against the multi-colored squigs, due to three elements of contrast:  complementary colors, desaturation, and monochrome vs multi-chromatic.  When I test-painted the first one, I immediately didn't like it.  I think it was because the complementary color violated a rule of proportion for the color wheel.  I think if complementary colors are too equal in proportion, then they clash.  I've always approached complementary colors as accents, to avoid clashing.  Here, the proportion of the goblin to the squig is too close together.  Either that, or I just needed to desaturate the goblin tone some more. 

Regardless, after rescinding the original plan, and scratching my head to figure out what to do, I decided I kinda liked the look of the khaki skin tone that I laid down for a base (the squigs started out the same color, actually).  The question is then, what is a good color to use to shade the goblin skin-tone?  I think this is where the Rackham style might work well -- shade with a variety of colors, which visually cancel each other out, while adding a lot of depth and interest.  I'm going to try purples and dark olives and see how that works.  Maybe the olives will give the impression of a "greenskin", without having to make it blatant.  If not, that's OK, since I've always liked "Froudian" goblins with human skin-tones, too.

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