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Painting the Tyrant - A flagship in the making

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Hi guys


I'm looking at painting up a Tyrant class ship and making it my definite flagship, at least for my Terrans. I've got a few questions for you guys so I'm hoping you can help me out, I'm really wanting to make her, the Eternal Beacon aka Astrid stand out. 

First question, I saw that some people have put battleship decals on ships to give them numbers. Would any of you have any links to where I might be able to get some? 

Second question, any of you guys tried to get a two tone effect on a ship? Like part of it is in the light of s sun/suns and the rest isn't? Say like it's coming around a planet and has crossed the terminator to the day side? 

If so, how did you achieve it? Was it an easy process? Any tips to pass on? 

Third question, has any one tried to paint thermal stripes on ships? If you know your Mass Effect lore, pretty much the same theory, just here. I've also thought about showing some tiger stripes, in effect, from the radiator banks. I was going to have some banks over the main engine..... sections. Likely both sides, because when I go all in, I go all in. 

Again, if you have, how did you achieve them? Was it an easy or hard process? Do you think masking could help? Model too small? 

Thanks ahead and here's hoping I can get started on her soon. I want to run a game using the Elite Dangerous RPG, set in the Firestorm Armada universe. 

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Here is what I did on my Tyrant:



I did a base coat of the gray, and then hand-painted the orange and black markings.  The gold highlights went on last.  There is a light application of Citadel Nuln Oil wash to help bring out the rest of the details.  My 'inspiration' was the paint scheme found on Narn (Babylon 5) Heavy Cruisers.  I like the overall effect, but man was it a pain.  I've tried applying a mask, but it's hard to get a good seal around the edges.  If I had to do it again, I might try an airbrush, and holding a pre-cut mask over the areas.

Your idea of a two-tone paint job is intriguing.  My fear is that it wouldn't look right by itself.  If it were on a diorama, it would probably be okay.  For a tabletop game model, I think it would look odd.  Might work for your application though.

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17 hours ago, cas said:

Looking forward to a firestorm rpg let me know when its a coming thing.

This is very much something I've written, put down a lot of notes on and recycled a few other ideas into. It's a case of it being very, extremely, much fan based. Including the overarching story arc, for at least three, five years of game time. Not sure how long it would take in the real world though, that's something the group will tell me when it's done. 



I'll be airbrushing over a base coat, ideally. So I think it could work. I'd point to Sorastro's Painting Guide for the Imperial Assault game. Look for the models with lightsabres and how he works out where the light is and isn't. I'm hoping something like that works for these ships. It's not just about some texture like that very particular Narn look, I'm looking at trying to add the depth to the colours. All of the work is in the base and undercoat. 

Nuln Oil was definitely planned as well. That it would help pick out the depth in the plating etc etc. As well as something to add some blue to the shield panels, whatever they are. You hopefully know what I mean. 

As a final note, I think you've got a point. However, I think it would make for a more interesting and obvious model. It's less for the war game and more to help me scratch a very particular pen and paper RPG itch. I want to run something that makes me think in microgravity, those kinds of terms. 

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Okay, checked out his work on the minis...now that is cool!  And, way past my current ability.  :)  Those shading effects are really nice.

It doesn't really show well in the photo, but I did add Drakenhof Nightshade blue to the solar/shield panels.  Against the grey it has just the right effect, so yeah, you're right on target there.

Oh, and for decals,  check out what is available for model railroad stuff.  The safety markings on some US engines makes for good detail in some applications:


Sorry for the fuzzy focus...I'll get a better photo later, but you can see the guide stripes on the flight deck.  These would normally be mounted on the front of a model railroad train engine.  Check out http://www.microscale.com/ for a huge selection.

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Thanks for the link mate, very helpful. I will and from a quick look, they might have some stuff just scaled nicely for DropZone Commander too. 

I still think it's doable and his thinking, Sorastro's that is, is to think where the light is and work with that. Well, if the light is coming off from a sun and you're coming around a planet, moon, surely there's going to be an area of 'brighter' colours and an area of 'dimmer' colours, even though it's the same basic greyscale tone. 

Seems worth a shot at least. 

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