Warhammer 40,000 – On the table today are more models for the Tyrant's Legion force commission I'm working on. This is essentially a three color minimum job with a wash and custom decals. The models were supplied to me "assembled and ready to paint" which is a state that can vary significantly from client to client. I guess everybody has their own idea of what that means...
Anyway pretty simple color scheme consisting of gunmetal armor with white, black and red detail work. I've found using a dark gray primer works best for this job it puts down a solid base that is easy to cover quickly with a single coat of paint. To start I overcoat the model with the gunmetal color and then go in and block out the details with foundation paint. Once that's all blocked in I do a black wash and let that dry. The next step is to go back in and do a simple highlight picking out any details that got lost in the wash.
Once everything is dry I begin applying the decals. I use a laser printer water slide paper to print these. It works much better than the ink jet version as you don't have to seal it and the toner won't bleed like ink does. The only issue I have with the paper is it is very thick so it takes a bit of work to make the decal lie flat. Mircosol and Mircoset do wonders to help but it's still more work than a commercially printed decal. The other issue with the decal paper is you have to meticulously cut close to the edge other wise it won't lie flat on the shoulder pad. Once the decal is in place and smooth I apply a coat of gloss varnish. I've found that if I do this while the decal is still moist the liquid in the varnish helps it soften up while it sets. If there are any issues with the edge showing I'll go back in and paint the edges to blend them in.
With this custom color scheme I've been able to crank out these models fairly quickly and my client is thrilled with how they've turned out. The trick with any large project is figuring out a system and sticking to it. For tabletop quality focus on how it looks at arm's length, if it looks good you're done and move on to the next model.