Well, to day I thought that I would talk about evolution, both my own and the plastic space marine. Once upon a time in the mid 90´s I got involved in the 40K hobby. A friend of mine introduced my to the hobby and I soon got caught up with buying and painting models. Already from the start I fell for the space marines, I thought the models looked cool and the plastic marines offered a multitude of possibilities. So the first marines I got was the almost legendary plastic mk6 plastic marines, 30 to a box, multi part marines. This box was ideal as a starter kit since you got enough marines to start you of with a decent army in the Rough Trader days. This was before there where any codexes and you had to get your inspiration from the rule book or from white dwarf. For some reason that I don´t remember I choose Space Wolfs. Now this turned out to be a lucky choice as the Space wolfs where the first marines to get their own codex and a new range of models. The first painting technique that I learned was dry-brushing, I had built quite a few model airplanes and cars before using flat colors, but this was my first attempt at painting models with such levels of detail in this scale (I actually had made some tries with epic scale marines first) that should be shaded. The models where primed with a white spray paint, then they where base pained and heavily inked blue. They looked more like ultra marines at this point then space wolves. Then it was just a question of drybruching as hard as you could using two or three shades. Then slab on the final details and you had a marine.
As you can see I started early to converted my own characters using this kit. Well once the metals where out I bought and pained one of each, blood claws, grey hunters, long fangs and wolf guard as well as the characters. With this I had quite a substantial army for the time, over the years I added some vehicles and other support units. But that might be for another post. Now onwards. After slobbering away with a not to sophisticated drybrusching I realized that I could do better. At some time during the final stages of painting on the space wolf army I started to paint some Dark Angel auxiliaries, and they turned out better than the primary army. So I started a Dark Angel army, and once again, this was just before Codex Angel of Death was released so I got some new models to paint. Now most of this army is metal, and here we are talking about plastics. At this pint, GW made a strange move, they released new rules, which where in a box with marines and orks.
The marines where two piece static pose marines that look slightly strange. I did paint some of them using the same method as I used on the metal marines. Now I had developed my painting technique to be a hybrid between painting shades and dry brushing. The models are base painted green and then inked black. Then I use different green paints to shade it and highligt edges etc, then I use a small dry brush to smooth the edges of the painted shades. I never really liked these models and the few that got painted got sidelined as much as possible. Then I remembered that I still had one of these old multipart plastics left and decided to make some Dark angels of them. Now I tried a new method again, this time the dry brushing is skipped altogether.
The models are still based green and inked black, but before the ink has dried a paint on the shades and highlights, mixing the colors with the ink on the model and in this way get rather smooth transitions between shades. I also decided to give these dark angels a camouflage scheem as portrayed in the rough trader book. I like the appearance of these models. They have a spacial forces feel, no parade uniforms, more usable battlefield equipment and dynamic poses.
Once again GW released new rules and this time it was spacemarines and dark eldar in the box. But this time is was multipart models. They where much better then the static mk7 marines released in the old rulebox and they reminded me of the old mk6 multipart kit. I decided to paint some of them and at this point I was quite tiered of painting green and the way of shading was to time consuming. So I retreated back to dry brushing. This time I did not ink the models as hard ( watering down the ink and using a lighter ink) as on the original space wolves, also had made some battle damaged to the models to give them some more texture. To enhance this I use a dark brown ink to black line all the features on the model before starting to dry-brush. I also did the dry brushing in two layers, going back to the darkest color once I reached the lightest one and starting over. After this final details and metallic damage is added. This technique is the same as I use on the titans, but in this case I also ink the model in-between the two layers of dry-brushing.
So as the plastic space marines evolved so did my painting methods. I find that I can not paint the same army for a long time, I need to change the palette once in a while and also the painting technique. Depending on what I am painting I choose different techniques some times on the same model, but that might be a topic for another post.