Community Spotlight: Quickly Painting an Asterian Force

As part of his Tamiya Clear Addicts Anonymous scheme, Rob explains how he painted an Asterian force in record time.

In between painting units for my Kings of War Dwarf army, I decided that I needed to tackle a force for Warpath/Firefight. Typically I’ve been more of a fantasy player in the past and my rudimentary painting skills have involved lots of Army Painter washes to make things actually look half decent. It’s basically ‘bottled talent’.

However, when it came to sci-fi, it quickly became apparent that the hard lines and hi-tech armour didn’t always suit the wash technique. Initially I picked an Enforcer army (mainly due to the awesome Striders… seriously, look at the Ajax Strider and tell me you don’t want to do that army… shout it at the screen, if needs be) and got cracking.

After a lot of (frankly quite needless) colour experimentation with red, blue and orange, I eventually opted for the colour scheme above. I was fairly happy with the finished result but the problem was it took me quite a while to get the edging on the armour and I’m a very impatient painter/gamer. You see I wanted to get an army on the table in a matter of weeks… particularly as I’ll be taking part in the Deadzone Overkill tournament at Mantic HQ this weekend.

So, what to do? Well, the inspiration came (as it so often does) from our studio painter Dave. He had recently painted the new robot team for DreadBall 2.0 in a shiny, metallic paint scheme and they looked awesome. I’ve heard a lot about non-metallic metal painting techniques (which sound complicated and confusing to my simple painting mind), so he assumed he must have used that. Instead, he whispered two words that would become my obsession: ‘Tamiya Clear’.

For those not familiar with the ABSOLUTE MAGIC of Tamiya Clear, it’s like a glaze that can be brushed over miniatures to give them a metallic-look. However, the beauty is that rather like a wash, it fills in the recesses of the miniature to give them depth. Basically: liquid genius.

After an initial experiment with Enforcers and Tamiya Clear, I changed my focus to the Marionettes of the Asterians. After all, they’re robots and are likely to have a metallic finish… at least in my mind. Following a quick test, it became clear the technique worked and I set about quickly painting the rest of my force.

I started by spraying the Asterians with Army Painter Plate Mail spray. The Tamiya Clear is semi-transparent, so it’s best to start with a shiny undercoat. Silver works best for ‘cold’ colours like green and blue, while gold is better for warmer colours, like red and orange.

Once sprayed it’s then just a case of liberally applying the Tamiya Clear like a wash. If the Tamiya Clear starts to pool, you can get a dry brush and absorb the excess, just like you would a wash. The shiny finish of the Tamiya Clear also adds highlighting to the miniature as it naturally catches the light.

I left the miniatures to dry – while I splashed the others in Tamiya Clear – and then set about painting the details like eyes or orbs.

The next stage was to pop some dots of white in the eyes or orbs. I also painted the gun black and dry brushed with white to pick out the details.

Finally, it was a case of finishing the base and… BOOM job done. Total painting time? Well, probably about five minutes per miniature.

This speedy technique meant I could paint a decent-sized started force for Warpath/Firefight in next to no time. In fact, this little lot probably took a couple of evenings max. They may not win the Brush with Death but the metallic effect across the army works pretty well.

So, there you have it – a nice little shortcut that’s effective for painting armies in next to no time. The same technique would no doubt work well for a DreadBall team and I recently used it on some shields for my Dwarf Bulwarkers. Now, with a starter army under my belt, I might go back and finish the Enforcers but at least I can start playing with the Asterians!

If you’ve got any tips and techniques for getting an army painted in record time, leave them in the comments below.

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