If I understand your process it’s something like this: prime wraithbone, all over wash of 2 of armypainters wash, airbrush first layer then second layer of different shades of white?
I base black, then mechanics standard grey primer, then airbrush ulthuan grey zenital and last airbrush dead white -> gloss varnish -> pinwash 1:1 darktone:lahman medium -> decals -> weathering -> Matt varnish
Thank you very much. Sorry I missed responding to this earlier...
You pretty much hit the nail on the head. My process is really that simple:
- Wraithbone (because it seems to have a better consistency for taking washes. Some base colours force you to hit them with a shiny varnish after to make for better dispersion of washes, but this Wraithbone discovery I've had has helped a lot.)
- I wash all over with a slightly diluted mix of Army Painter's black wash (65%) and Brown wash (35%). I dilute with their dilution 'mixer', and mostly even the airbrush Flow Improver works great.
- After making sure 'pooling' of the washes is minimized, I think it's a feeling out process. I use a bone/white airbrush mix for zenithal highlights and also brightening panels that have a lot of wash. Then the final application with the airbrush is a lot more white in it. A lot of my White Scars look white, until you hold an actual white model beside them. Then you see the gradient a bit more.
- Detail painting, and then the decals, then finally the weathering.
- Weathering is very... flexible. If I want to spend hours with tweezers and sponging damage, I do a dreadnought. If I'm in a time crunch I'll just hit some scouts with it. Then if time allows there's more scratching with pure white/black paint on a fine brush, then the oils and sometimes the powders are great (The last two are mostly for vehicles).
- Sponging is the catch here. I thought it would be faster, but if the paint is too thin, the sponging streaks. If it's too heavy it blobs on corners, and you have to go back with white and fix it. So it can't be rushed. But I love the effect.
That's about as transparent as I can be. It's really that simple. Practice with different mediums to speed it up, get comfortable with different mediums, and that improves the look and speed at the same time.
Your method may be faster and I’m all about painting effective since my hobby time usually is limited cause of children, work etc.
About the process. Yup, you're 100% right.
Just for complete disclosure; I've painted, and sold dozens of armies. Chaos, Daemons, Deathguard, Ultra (3 times, one of those times was to the MiniWargaming.com studio), Custodes (2 armies), Ulthwe, Alaitoc, Deathwatch, Thousand Sons, are the last ones I can remember.
Some of those had immense work put into them. Some of them did not. I have won painting contests and awards at tournaments (most recently won 2 from GW for Abaddon and Black Legion, and my Black Legion won best painted at an ITC GT).
You know what I learned about all of that? Some people love some of the stuff I hardly consider 'a ton of effort' and some people love stuff I consider myself to have completed with a very strong pace of painting.
Over the past decade plus, I went from winning "Best Painted" with my first Crimson Fists and realized it's not worth it. I guarantee you the final, agonizing 10% of time it takes you to make an award winning army, can't be seen from the table top.
I learned to rid myself of the burden of slaving over certain aspects of painting and the result is I get armies done. Fun, playable armies that pop from the table top and still get great feedback.
You're right it's all about efficiency and having something YOU like. I don't have kids but my career is pretty demanding, a wife (slightly less demanding!) and you have to figure out how to do this and have fun.
White Scars are a really fun army. I kind of babbled here way too long but I think you have the right idea.
(I'm glad you enjoyed the blog too: Fun fact, the most hits I get are on how to pain Custodes, and faces in a reasonable time frame. I think it's because no one has time anymore.)