Monday, June 27, 2011

Painting by Numbers NMM

At the beginning of my task I made a couple of irreversible decisions - firstly how I was going to base the entire set (more about that another time) and second that I would use non metallic metals - even though I have limited experience with this method. Several of the pieces I have painted so far are complete with the exception of base details and finishing the metal parts.

I had a nice block of undisturbed time to paint recently and decided to put some real effort into NMM

In the pictures below my vintage minotaur (FF47) is holding a plastic dwarf axe – his own axe probably was lost in late 80’s. I've seen many axeless copies of this figure around so I know mine is not the only one in this condition. I'm not a purist so the plastic axe is pinned and staying.

I painted the axe plain medium metallic silver, shone a light on it and photographed it:

Then, in Photoshop, I pulled the colors out:

And used a 7 stage cutout filter to simplify:

So now I have a NMM PBN – paint by numbers – Which I did:

With a flat light, a flash, and some contrast adjustment you can see my brush strokes:  

On the reverse, for comparison, I used the MNNM method – using dark to light metallic paint in the same pattern.

In this case, of the two, I like the NMM best

But PBN NMM cannot be used on every subject - proof below

At the same time I tried a far more complex subject – an fully armoured paladin in a dynamic pose (FF10).
To make matters worse this 25mm fig is a rough sculpt by today’s standard.

Taking it through a similar photoshop process:

This is what I’m aiming for with warm grays for steel:

And this is a very quick paint job (Because I very quickly didn’t like where it was going):

The problem being that from any other angle he looks like the victim of a incontinent flock of birds

So In this case I’ll have to use artistic licence and fake it – I’ll let you know how that goes




  1. Very interesting post. I have often wondered about trying NMM. I apprectiate the effort you have gone to with this. But I have to say, of the two sides of the axe, I much prefer the look of the axe painted with metallic paints, rather than the 'grey shade' version.
    Just my opinion though.


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