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Thursday, March 15, 2012 - Imperial Fists: How to Paint Yellow and Live to Tell the Tale

For years I would dread Imperial Fists orders. Regular clients would go through one, two, three armies -- and the dreaded Imperial Fists order would come. They would get them back -- and they wouldn't order from us again.
Painting yellow has always been challenging for miniature painters. The more intense the yellow the more likely it will come out looking darker, bland, or even green-hued once you apply it to a figure. If you look around on the Internet you'll find all manner of solutions people have come up with for yellow, ranging from spray painting; to layering up from browns; to staining with inks.

After about three and half years, we finally found a solution that gave us very consistent color, coverage, and ease of use. It made for thin coats that preserved detail, and avoided any sort of unsightly caking.

Ready? This took me years to figure out. I'm giving it away free here.

1 - Prime in White or Bleached Bone.

2 - Paint (spray if you can) Bleached Bone for your basecoat. For a very bright yellow, just use White instead, but it will make highlighting a lot harder later so try to avoid this.

3 - Shade with browns. Use lighter shades like Bestial Brown, if you're dealing with sharp recesses in vehicles you can usually use Chestnut Ink (or rather some such variant) instead.

4 - Highlight with blends of White, finally in White itself. If you used White as your basecoat, you want to mix White with Mithril Silver -- it'll give you that little extra oomph but there's not much more you can do beyond that.

5 - Get some Vallejo Game Colors Yellow Ink, and add a couple of drops of washing up detergent (the nice green stuff) to a cup of clean water. Use this water with the ink, and apply it to your figure. The detergent breaks the surface tension which will help prevent pooling and unsightly drying marks, and helps the ink to settle smoothly across your surfaces.

This is a must for painting tanks, and frankly I advise using detergent in your water in pretty much all instances.

The result is as you see here: the only scheme for yellow that we've found doesn't lose us customers.

It can be a bit shiny though, but a couple of coats of matte varnish takes care of that nicely. Leave it on if you want to go for a ceramic armor look instead. This also works when painting Iyanden Eldar.

Have fun.

Navin Weeraratne, Paintedfigs.Com

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