Road To Capital Palette: Pt.2 Prep and Planning

Now that I have my mini, I’m ready to clean her up and slap some paint on….if only it was that simple. I’m well aware of my shortcomings as a minipainter; I would put myself at an intermediate level of painting skill, and that’s being a bit generous. So before I go messing up this mini, I need to settle on a look and figure out how to go about achieving that look.

I’m not the most creative person out there and coupling that with the my current level of skill I’ve decided to aim for the color scheme depicted on the box art for Jeanne D’arc as done by Angel Giraldez.

Jeanne D’arc by Angel Giraldez

Following the box art color scheme has several advantages. First, since its the default scheme it is also the most common scheme out there, which means that there is a wealth of reference photos at my disposal. A plethora of people have painted Jeanne D’arc and the rest of their Panoceania army in this color, so I am able to find a metric ton of information on how to achieve this look.

Second, since there a wealth of information available I’m going to have an easier time properly placing the highlights on the mini. Also, I will be able to figure out what sections are going to be more important/visible and be able to plan accordingly to spend more time on them.

The only downside is in the fact that it is the default scheme and thus has been seen before. So the quality of my paint job will have to compensate for the lack of wow factor present. So let’s take a hard look at Jeanne D’arc and break down the color scheme into its constituents

The color scheme is actually fairly simple, with the majority of it consisting of blue, red, and black. One piece of advice I learned and try to stick to when painting a mini like this is to start from the inside and move out. So starting with her under armor, it has a black basecoat with a white highlight. Depending on how difficult it is I’ll aim for a gray highlight followed by an off-white highlight, if not feasible I’ll stick to just an off-white highlight.

The majority of her armor is blue with red accents. The blue is painted in a NMM style with highlights placed near the top of the armor segments. Some sections though, specifically her shins and biceps, are painted in a pale blue gray color but still in that NMM style it seems. Her left shoulder pad is black with a freehand drawn symbol in red. Getting a clean separation of blue and black will be a bit difficult because the detail isn’t well delineated on the mini. I might try to just paint it very carefully or enhance that delineation by slightly scoring the adjoining area with the tip of a file. Her right shoulder pad and tabard is red with a freehand symbol, which is doable but I’ll need to practice how to properly highlight and shade reds in general.

Her sword is done with NMM gold for the hilt and guard and a bluish NMM steel for the blade. I will attempt the NMM gold for the handle but for the blade I’ll stick to a more classic grey-scale NMM because I think it will be easier for me and will help break up the amount of blue on the mini. The gun is black with some NMM highlights and a decent amount of edge highlighting with a blue gray color. There is also a copper canister on it as well. On her hip is a leather holster, but it’s not a typical chocolate brown leather but instead a more khaki like color which is going to be a challenge to figure out . However, the biggest challenge is going to be her head.

Jeanne has a fair skin complexion with a lot of shadows due to her flowing hair. Also, the scale of the mini means she has very small eyes, so those facts coupled with my ineradicable lack of experience painting skin means I’m going to spend long hours on her face alone. Her hair is blonde, which shouldn’t be hard….except I’m as inexperienced with hair as I am with skin.

Aside from Jeanne there is also a dismembered alien soldier at her feet. Luckily he seems to consist of only two colors, black and dark red. The black is highlighted with an off-white and the red is highlighted with a pale, less saturated red.

So now that we’ve laid down the color scheme as well as what challenges we might face, the next step to actually assemble the mini. The mini is actually pretty simple, consisting of only six pieces ( left leg, alien soldier, two arms, head, and main body). I didn’t want to assemble the whole mini for fear I would have a hard time reaching some areas so I went with my usual sub-assembly route. In this case I attached both arms to the main body and glued the solider to her left leg (after washing her and removing mold lines of course). This would still allow me decent access to all areas while only dealing with three pieces total which would be her head, her body, and her left leg with alien decoration.

Once everything was attached and the glue had cured I airbrush primed her all over with Stynylrez black primer followed with a zenithal prime of Stynylrez grey primer. This let me see where the deep shadows would be as well as be easier to paint since grey is a lighter color and require less coats to cover.

So now here we are with a plan and a primed mini. The next step is to practice some of the techniques I intend to use with on Jeanne with some spare minis I have laying around. I will essentially put myself through a mini bootcamp before I actually start on Jeanne D’arc.

That was a very long post but it hit every major point in my planning process and with the Nova Open and the Capital Palette looming closer I don’t have a lot of time to spare. So till next time my wayward compadres.

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