“Join us today for a great painting guide written by Mark Hawkins. This guide covers the use of non metallic metal (NMM) painting to achieve a chrome effect on your miniatures without the use of any metallic paints. This kind of technique can often seem daunting to beginners, but Mark has broken the whole procedure down into simple steps for us. Let us know how you get on in the comments below.” – Graven Games
NMM Chrome: There are lots of different types of NMM and lots of different ways of getting some really cool effects with your miniatures and models. The sky really is the limit and I will cover lots of different effects another time. With this example I am going to show you a technique for achieving a fairly graphical and slightly comic-book NMM Chrome effect.
The Paints: For this example I am using paints from Vallejo’s excellent Game-Colour Range. I have chosen a range of colours that represent a grey-blue sky and dry-dirt covered ground. Pretty much a classic looking chrome effect drawn from my years as an illustrator and adapted for use on miniatures.
The Mediums: I am using Vallejo Drying-Retarder and Thinning-Medium for this tutorial. More about that in a bit.
The Palette: For the purpose of this little project I will be using a wet-blending technique. This involves working with two or more colours on the actual surface of the model.
Wet blending is exactly what it sounds like. Apply your first colour to the model and, while it is wet, gently work the dark colour in to create a smooth blend. In this photo you can see Sombre-Grey and Blue-Grey on the palette ready for use. You will also notice a small spot of Drying-Retarder and Thinning-Medium ready to mic into the colours. This will help keep them liquid and useable while you blend on the model’s surface.
I should point out that a lot of the stages here can also be substituted with an airbrush. But that’s a story for another day.
Painting Stage 1: A nice fine solid coat of grey surface primer applied to the Rhino Hatch.
Painting Stage 2: Here you can see the first wet blend. Sombre-Grey at the top and blending into Blue-Grey to just below the middle of the door.
Painting Stage 3: While the previous blend is still slightly wet, Glacier-Blue is blended from the middle of the door slightly into the Blue-Grey. The paint is left to dry for a few minutes at this. Use the drying time to make up mixes of the browns mentioned earlier. Again, use the Drying-Retarder and Thinning-Medium.
Painting Stage 4: Charred-Brown is used to start marking a horizon line. This can be a straight line, curved or jagged. Whatever you want really. But it does need to be mostly horizontal. Horizon lines are affected by the curve and shape of the object you are painting but I will cover that another day.
Painting Stage 5: a wet blend is applied. Charred brown up to the horizon line and Beast-Brown at the bottom of the door.
Painting Stage 6: While the previous blend is still slightly wet, add Earth at the bottom of the door and blend this gently into the Beasty-Brown. Leave the paint to dry for a few minutes. You can then start to add a reflection/shade to the downward facing edges of the door itself and also the protruding lugs at the top of the door, the small access panels, vents and even the rivets. You are effectively looking the highlight these areas using the browns on your palette. First Charred-Brown, then Beasty-Brown and finally Earth.
Painting Stage 7: At this stage we are looking to define the reflected sky close to the horizon line. A little Glacier-Blue is added and blended in above the horizon. Try to keep this highlight stronger towards the outer edges of the door. You can also begin to highlight the edge of the details using Sombre-Grey, then Blue-Grey and finally Glacier-Blue.
Painting Stage 8: Final Highlights. Dead-White is added to the to the very edges of upper-facing areas and also a fairly sharp line with only a little blending is added to the lightest areas of reflected sky above the horizon line.
Painting Stage 9: This is purely optional but can add a bit more definition to your paint job. A little Black is carefully added to the outer edges of the horizon line and also the deepest parts of any recesses and details.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mark Hawkins is a UK based hobbyist and miniature painter. Old as the hills and just as craggy. He started painting models at a very early age and painted his first Citadel Miniature in 1982, An Orc Villager. His working life stretches from a stint at the GW studio, working as a graphic designer for several video games companies and finally settling down to family life and miniature painting in a small village on the Isle of Wight.