I am not happy with my Yu Jing Celestial Guard. I'm not happy to the extent that after a weekend of painting them, having first stripped them of paint, that they're going back in the stripper. I've been looking at them the last few days, and I've just not been happy.
White armour with the panels picked out with black lining needs to be done spot on or look bad. I have endless respect for anyone who black lines a White Scar force (although not for GW using brown wash). While GW's Ceramite White has made the job easier than it used to be with skull white and many many coats, what's been given with one hand has been taken with the other, and washes aren't up to the task of doing the lining in a strong enough colour for my tastes.
I was using thinned down Chaos Black, but it was deeply unforgiving, and while my brush control is improving (although I think this owes a lot to being willing to water paint down rather a lot (or at least getting closer to the elusive "consistency of milk") as well), it's not god enough. Going back and forth with the two colours has left the white looking chalky (Although I think this may well be in part to do with the Ceramite White needing replacement).
The detailing on the armour plates is there, but very
shallow (unlike the comparatively deep grooves in Power Armour), and
multiple coats, however thin is filling them, making the situation worse.
So back in the stripper they go, and while the Dettol is doing the business I need to work out how I'm going to avoid the same mistakes again.
So, what's the solution?
Once they're cleaned of paint I'll be going over the panel lines I want to emphasise with the very pointy end of a sculpting tool, to define them a bit further, and make sure I know where everything is before the paint goes on. I may also add a few lines of my own, but that depends how easily the metal takes a mark.
This done, they're getting a blast of white primer, so I start with a consistent base coat (rather than the hand coat they got last time). Then all the other details are getting blocked in, before I get some Vallejo black ink and paint all the lines. Using ink, rather than a wash should make the lining easier, thanks to the stronger pigmentation. It will leave a shiny finish but that will be knocked back by a coat of purity seal on the finished model. An alternative would be to use gloss varnish to give the armour plates a bit of a sheen, which is another option. I like the idea of adding a carbon fibre/hexagon texture with transfers (there is no way my freehand is up to it) but I think I'll save that for another project.The armour sorted I'll be painting the rest of the model, which will be picking up some different greys, as I need a range within the same tone, rather than the shifting blue/green/brown greys I have from the GW range.
If anyone has any alternative suggestions for really nailing the black lining of white I'd be happy to hear them.