Sunday, December 20, 2009

"Three Colours, with painting effort."


Lately there has been some issues regarding the three colour requirement that my gaming club emphasized on their tournaments. Hopefully, this article would help to clarify and give a better visual aid of what the phrase "minimum of three colours, with painting effort" actually means.

Take a look at the model pictured on the left. If we count it together, it has 5 colours; black, blue, green, metal and red. Plus, it's based. The big question would be, does this model actually fulfill the criteria of "minimum of three colours, with painting effort"?

I'd say 'NO'. Why? Let me explain. First of all, the black on this model is only a prime coating (as the rest of the army were either blue or green). The red eyes weren't taken into consideration as putting some red paint on eye sockets ain't exactly an 'effort', but if the helmet was the part got painted, that's another matter. That leaves us with blue, green, and metal. That's three colours, but even this still needs consent with the tournament organizers. For me personally, slapping some green and metal to a pistol ain't that much of an effort. So, if it were up to me, that model still doesn't fulfill the requirement.

So, what can you do? Take a look at the next picture. With some quick drybrushing and some simple freehand, you've fulfilled the 'effort' part. It's actually that easy, just put your mind into it. Though I wish that you guys won't stop the painting process at this stage; keep working on the model but take your time so that you'll gain satisfaction you craved.

Note: The base is counted separately from the model. No matter how marvellous you painted the base, it's the paintjob on the model that counts.

Now, that's easy if you have a squad that's currently was in the same stage of painting. Now, what if you've painted a model in your squad to a higher standard while the rest are only in their base colour. And let's say, it's in the middle of the night and your deadline (a tournament) is on the next morning. My tip: skip any highlighting and freehand work, just paint the glaring features seen on your model. Now, take a look at these next two models.

On a short glance, don't any of you agree that they belong together? Take a closer look. By now, you've probably noticed that the Power Fist Legionnaire ain't exactly finished; it was not highlighted at all. But since the silver rims and the horns were the most glaring features, by skipping the highlighting process, you're still maintaining the cohesiveness of your army. That's why batch painting one squad at a time is a good thing. However, promise to yourself to continue working on it after the tournament.

There are some other examples of the "three colours, with painting effort". Our next case, is this Rhino.

Blue + green + silver = three colours. What do you think, does this Rhino qualify? Surprisingly, yes. The 'effort' was shown at the racing stripes. As vehicles has lots of large flat surface, being creative at filling those blanks automatically counts as effort. Trust me, painting two large even straight stripes from the front to back ain't exactly an easy effort, this one took three days (mostly because of waiting for the paint to be totally dry before continuing to the next phase). Okay, let's move on to the next case: My Raven Guard stealth tank.

It's black with no highlight whatsoever (fluffwise, it's a stealth tank). The tracks are painted tin bitz and drybrushed with boltgun metal, and later washed with devlan mud. Solid yellow with some very subtle highlight or the lights, plus some metal here and there. 'Effort' is shown at the freehanded solid white insignia on the front and the Eldar rune mockery on the hatch. Even though it looks plain flat black, the extra work put into it made the difference (although I actually painted the interior too, forgot to take a picture of it).

These are some example of my models that fulfilled my gaming club's three colour requirement. My painting is just mediocre, but I'm proud of them since I painted them all by myself. Don't be intimidated by the blending and NMM methods that all other players/painters around you churned out on their models. Be awed and inspired, instead. Even simple flat colours and dipping will do, as if you genuinely love your hobby, your painting technique will also improve as the time goes by.

So, let's paint those models and happy hobbying.


  1. Good write up..

    Just wanna add something.. No matter how good you paint your models, they are not considered finished until you've done the base.

    Nice models you have there bro :)

  2. Point taken, that's why my Asrai army are never finished :p

  3. I saw that WE model in the picture. But never thought you actually collect the Asrai.. How many points do you have up till now? Enough for a game?

  4. my Asrai:
    total ~1700 pts
    assembled ~1000 pts
    painted ~100 pts
    hahaha :p

  5. The number gets smaller and smaller hahaha.. but hey, lets do fantasy sometimes. Just like 40k, the more you play, the more you paint :)


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