Scythe - Steampunk-style robots

Board Games - Scythe is a new board game that features steampunk robots and cool characters with animal companions. It's set in the 1920's in an alternate reality just after World War I.  One of my regular board game clients just dropped these off to me to have painted. Her primary request was to make the robots look beat up and mostly metal with chipping paint and grime.

Given the size of the pieces I didn't think the hairspray salt technique would work or look realistic. On 28mm tanks or buildings it seems to be great but with something this small I needed to find another angle. To start I put down a coat of foundation paint for each of the colors (yellow, red, blue, white, and black). A quick dry-brush of gunmetal and wash of earthshade got these to a good starting point. The dry-brush of the metallic picked out the areas where you would typically see paint chipping, right on the edges and getting a little sloppy on some of the flat panels where impacts might happen.

The foundation of chipped grimy looking paint looks great at this point but when I go back to paint the bases in a solid color to match the faction colors I see a problem. The solid base causes the model to blend in with the base to much and detracts from the feel of the models. At this scale a typical sand base might be to much so I needed to look at options. The board for the game has several different terrain types featured so doing a basic wasteland in a neutral color seemed like the best solution.

I've never worked with the GW texture paints for basing before but this project seemed like the perfect opportunity to try them out. Essentially it's a paint wit small beads that mimic gravel with a cracking effect that can also be achieved depending on how you apply it. For these bases I applied it rather thick in most areas with the areas close to the model getting a naturally thinner coat. As it dried the paint started to crack around the areas where the coat was thinner giving the effect of the mech/robot cracking the dried earth as it stomps forward. A quick wash of earthshade brought out the texture and added some tonal variation to flat color.

Once that dried I went around the lip of the base to apply the faction color and did some fine detail paint to make the paint chipping pop. The end result is pretty cool and I'm sure they'll look great when my client puts them on the board.