Sunday 7 March 2010

General von Sauken

Not much of an update I'm afraid. The "General von Sauken" command team, painted with the Vallejo “Panzer Aces” splinter colours for a change. While a little bright close up, it actually looks rather good on the table.

You can tell I've been busy...




  1. Lovely work as usual regardless of the paints used.They look great!:-)


  2. Thats amazing.
    They look great.


  3. Great work! I have asked before about your colour palette and how you achieve the soft pastel look. You stated that you use mostly Vallejo paints, as do I. If you look back at some of your previous work (Romans with cart and compare it to say, the British Universal Carriers blogged before, you will see what I mean. My work has the feel of your Romans? I currently prime with black, paint a two-three colour style and use a lot of "heavily thinned shadow/base colours in creases and recesses to help soften edges of shadow-to-mid-top colour. I would like to change my style to a much brighter and softer feel like the Good von Sauken here. Any advice or tutorial you are willing to impart on your techniques would be greatly appreciated. Keep the great and inspirational work coming!


  4. Hi Dave,

    I know what you are saying, and there certainly is a difference between my painting style now and older work. The thing is...I'm not really sure what has changed. I'm still painting with a black undercoat, shadow, base highlight layered approach as before.

    The only thing which might have improved the finished effect is better use of thinned paint, better control of consistency and not loading the brush too much.

    Beyond that it might just be practice? I know my painting has improved somewhat, but I was never consciously aware of any fundamental change in technique, just a gradual improvement through painting more.

    Just rambling...sorry if that was of no use at all :)


  5. I appreciate the communication! :-)

    I picked up some white to prime with as a start. I currently thin with water alone. Have you/do you ever use the Vallejo brand thinner?

    I think part of my routine that I must change to achieve a brighter look is to use a brighter shadow colour, I often use a quite dark shade.

    I tend to go only three layers of colour as well: base (shadow), mid (main colour), and lastly a top (highlight at selected points and edges). My top highlights tend to be a singular Vallejo colour although once in a while, I will mix the mid with another. How many shades are you using? Do you mix the highlights with any routine colour such as: white?


  6. No problem Dave, happy to try and help.

    I have used white undercoat in the past, basic enamel & other types. I prefer black, but there is not that much difference between undercoat colours when using the layered approach in my opinion: the undercoat does not "show through" 2-4 layers of either colour. IMHO anyway :)

    My basic painting routine stays at 3 colour (for 15mm). The actual von Sauken figure above had a fourth highlight, noticeable on the front of the tunic, a few edges on the pockets, sleeves, etc. I deliberately left it subtle. Usually I don't go this far, sticking to just three layers.

    Another point which might be helpful to mention is that, although I undercoat in black, on none of these figures is there a thin black line for detail. i.e. on the Field-grey the darkest colour visible in folds is a mixture of Field-grey and black, not pure black. This I think helps with a "smooter" finish, but it also makes the painting more subtle.

    For example, on the field-grey the first layer is a mix (roughly 50/50) of Vallejo 830 German Fieldgrey and Vallejo Game Colour Black (I don't like VMC Black, can do odd things when layering in my experience). This is painted over all the areas which will be field-grey.

    Straight FG is then block painted, leaving thedarker colour in the folds and recesses. I don't emphasis all folds however: the "main" (i.e. deepest) folds are left the darkened FG. On the figure on the bottom left (for instance) the lines nearest the belt are left darkened FG. I would call these folds "primary" since they are the deepest, but more subtle folds are simply painted over and left for the highlight to pick-out.

    The third layer is a mixture of FG and 886 Green Grey. This does not produce as strong highlights as adding white, but you would have to add more of it to lighten the colour. The mixture here was probably 50/50 (or maybe 60% Field-Grey, 40 % Green Grey...can't remember exactly). If this is too light/dark for your tastes, adjust accordingly.

    The third layer is painted over much of the second, leaving some of the FG showing in appropriate places. More subtle ("secondary") folds and detail can be picked out with this as well: instead of the darkened FG being the fold shadow, straight field-grey is followed by the HL.

    If you look at von Sauken's right arm (by his side), there is a dark shadow between his hand and the sleeve, and another dark shadow a little further up. Between them is a more subtle fold, using the FG for the shadow and the highlight painted over. You can also see this on the back of his tunic (what I might call the "tails") where the shadow is not as pronounced.

    That's basically what I'm getting at. Apologies for being long-winded :)

    I'll do my best next week to do some sort of tutorial: pictures always explain this far better than words. I'll try to get some better close-ups as well to properly illustrate the process.


  7. Thanks for the lengthy answers. Your explanations are quite clear, now I just need to pick up a brush! :-) I look forward to the instructional blog post as well.


  8. Excellent and quick field grey.
    It's always been a tough colour to paint. I'm gonna try darkening with vgc black as opposed to extra dark green.


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