Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Your Move, Flynn! - TRON-inspired YuJing

The request to do a set of minis based on TRON's art style was a challenge I looked forward to.

Starting off with subtle shading and a strong focus on the glowing lines was, while faithful to the style, and likely to look good in all gloss, not the best translation to miniatures. The crisp edges, and a little more liberal shading quickly improved this.

The lovely blue-haired lady in the center of this set is my favorite, as I felt the shocking blue offset the orange really nicely. Too bad none of the others from this first batch had hair...

The form fitting armor and well-placed creases and seams made painting the orange a ton of fun. In comparison with my previous attempts to do orange glowing details (on Protectorate filigree), this stuff went on like a charm. This was partially the minis, and partially do to a mighty-generous donation of paints that allowed me to explore eyedropper/airbrush-style miniature paints.

These four scary fellows show off one of the things I most appreciate from Infinity's line: strong proportions and poses (though firing a weapon of that size one-handed does seem a little silly).

The most surprisingly difficult part of these minis was getting their bases smooth (which was pretty key to the reference: having a bunch of clean sci-fi paint jobs on gravel would have looked out of place). If anyone has any tips on this, I'd love to hear them.

These last four stand out to me as something special. Though they're not my favorite YuJing models, I really appreciated how well they incorporated heavy armor in to a set with primarily form-fitting armor.

Having painted these, I'm looking forward to the second half (Japanese Sectorial Army) of this commission, along with eventually(!) getting to my own ALEPH set...


  1. Hay there, I love the looks of this paintjob, I'm new to painting miniatures and was wondering if you could show a step by step on how you painted them that way. It would be awesome to have a sense of direction! Great job though, I hope I can paint like that soon.

    1. Thanks! Sorry, I can't give a photo blog (even if I were working on them, I'm too impatient to go back and forth between the painting desk and the photo setup)... So, step-by-step:

      1- Black undercoat. If you want to give things a little more volume and make them a little lighter, I'd go grey with a near-opaque black wash (I use thinned paint, not ink, most of the time). That's probably what I'd do if I did them again, but this was actually a drybrush with a mix of grey and black that got very close to black. This subtle highlight probably isn't necessary when starting out painting, since you'll usually end up needing to touch up stuff more.

      2- middle grey highlight. In most lines, this is the darkest grey they have, which will still look pretty light in the bottle, but dry darker. These will mostly be tracing just the widest edges: around the base, on gun barrels or on the tops of helmets. You aren't picking out sharp edges , here, just blending for wider shines

      3- the same thing with a light grey. In most paint lines, this is one step above the last one, though it might be two. This should be with a thinner brush, and more liberally applied: any large edge that you want to stand out should get this treatment. If there's a ton of detail in an area, you might want to drybrush it very lightly with this grey. Also go over the center of the dark grey lines you painted.

      4 (skip the sharp highlights for now)

      Glow/bright colors:
      5 start with a midtone ligher than you feel comfortable with. It's over black, so will dull down a little, and should add some pop either way. Trace everything that needs it. (The bases are the same process, just took some guesswork and repainting when shapes didn't look right.)

      6- mix it up with white if a cold color or yellow if a warm color, repeat, more thinly. Alternatively, you might be able to find a color that's already mixed like this. I haven't tried GW's new edge paints, but they seem likely.

      7- clean up the separation between grey highlights and glow with a very thin brush and some thinned black. Be careful not to thin the black too much here, as it could run into the seams and ruin your effect- have water and a clean brush ready to whisk out the thinned black if this happens. This'll probably take a few tries.

      8- highlight the sharpest edges and strongest glow concentrations with white. For the glow, this can be small dabs- at a distance, it won't look like poor blending, but will instead look like a strong point of light. Again, if using a warm color, this'll need to be 50/50 white and yellow, for the warm glow.

      Especially for the glow colors, I'd recommend Reaper- they have very strong pigment and relatively thin paint, and seem to have more saturated bright colors.

      Good luck!

    2. since I can't edit... for step 8, that's sharpest edges of the armor. This will be an opportunity to clean up any spill over from step 7 so you probably won't need to repeat earlier steps

    3. Fantastic! Thanks for the instructions, I'm definitely going to try something similar for my ALEPH army. I hope one day to have paint skills like this.