You might recall that, at the start of this month, I'd written this post about my first experiences with miniature painting. After some research, it turned out that it wouldn't be so prohibitively expensive of a hobby as I'd first thought. Well, let me step back and clarify: it wouldn't be so prohibitively expensive of a hobby as I'd first thought, so long as I was willing to expend the effort to avoid using Games Workshop/Citadel products as my go-to source. Now, I'm not trying to shit on their products. They have quality models, and everything that I've heard about their paints has been positive (not so much about the container pots, which are seemingly reviled as the worst among the major model painting brands), with their ink washes in particular getting high praise. However, they are very pricey, and I wasn't ready to drop something like $250 for a single hive tyrant model and 20 different paints.
Fortunately, my research bore fruit, along with some advice from a friend who's an incredible artist. I did break down and get some Citadel ink washes because the effects that I saw people achieving with them were incredible, so I wanted to try using the real deal first before trying my hand at making my own with acrylic medium and flow aid, and just to put into perspective how expensive Citadel stuff is, the 5 colors of ink washes that I got cost me about as much as a set of 16 Vallejo colors, supplies to make a wet palette, some brushes (a generic valuepack for larger ones and a couple of high quality detail brushes), and some general tools (Xacto knife, poster tack, some plastic shot glasses) all combined. That's not even all of their colors for ink washes, let alone the 100 or so shades of paint that you're encouraged to buy if you want to paint all of their models "properly". Maybe that'd be fine if I actually played any Games Workshop tabletop games, but I don't, so I'm fine with just getting Reaper models and coming up with my own color schemes for them.
Before I started working on those, though, I wanted to finish off that first space marine. There's a lot that a skilled painter could've done better, but I'm fairly happy with the overall results, considering that this is probably the first thing I've painted artistically in about 20 years.
Honestly, the overall shininess in the pictures is worse than in reality, probably due to a combination of the varnish not being completely dried when I took those and my "studio" being to stand the model on my knee in front of an open window. Aside from that, I know the highlighting jumped too much between shades, but given my awful eye for color, that was bound to happen when I was mixing the shades myself instead of using premade colors. The edge highlights on the pauldrons and gun are a bit too wide, but the size of the highlighted areas of the red armor and the helmet looks nice, I think, at least considering my lack of experience and general lack of artistic skill.
Next in line is Reaper miniature 01608: Diva, the Blessed: