After laying down the Opaque Red basecoat, I proceeded with painting in the details and fiddly bits. The picture on the left shows what the model looks like after one thin layer of Delta Ceramcoat Old Parchment on the helmet, the shoulder pad, and the purity seals; Americana Antique Gold on the chest design, the belt skull, and the purity seal medallions; Delta Ceramcoat Bridge Gray on the belt, the joint connection bits, and the pneumatic chords on the power fist; and Delta Ceramcoat's Christmas Green on the tiny electrical wires scattered throughout the power armor and eye lenses of the helmet. As usual, all of the paints were thinned with Flow Aid until the consistency of skim milk. This first layer of detail work took about 10 minutes, after which I placed the model aside for about 5-10 minutes in order for the paint to dry.
The detail work is actually my favorite part of painting models. Oftentimes, the basecoat is already prescribed for you - an Ultramarine will have a blue basecoat, a Blood Raven a red basecoat, a Cadian Guardsman a green and khaki basecoat, etc. It's the fiddly bits, however, where one's creativity is challenged. You get to decide, for instance, what color you want to make the wires or the purity seals or the lasgun casing or whatever. Now, you can't just willy-nilly apply a rainbow's worth of colors to the details because that'll just result in a cluttered, motley appearance to the model (which doesn't usually work unless you're painting up Eldar Harlequins, I guess). Rather, your color scheme has to not only reflect your own personal creativity, but also honor reality to a reasonable extent.
The picture on the right is of the model after 3 layers of thinned paint on the detail bits. Practically done - total painting time about 1 hour if you count the intervals waiting for the paint to dry. The basecoating of the detail bits usually takes less coats and time because of how little surface space is involved. You want to be sure, though, that your paint is thinned down even more when you basecoat because of how easy it is for the paint to creep into the really fine detailed and textured areas and clog up the works, leaving you with a shapeless mess.
As an aside - I use a Size 1 Round paint brush for both the basecoating of the large areas of the model and the detailed areas. The only times I switch to a larger or smaller brush are if I'm priming (whereby I will use a Size 4 Flat brush) or if I'm painting tiny, tiny areas like eyes and jewelry (whereby I'll use a Size 00 Round). I've yet to invest in a truly great brush (like a Kolinsky Sable) because a) I just don't think my skills are at that level yet (which is also why I'm still working with craft paints) and b) I'm terrible when it comes to keeping my brushes clean. I mean, I'll swirl my brush in the water glass after every 2 or 3 dips of the brush head into paint, but after I'm done for the night, I very rarely thoroughly clean my brushes. So until I become more conscientious about that, it's $4.99 cheap brushes for me.
At this point, the model is practically ready for shading via Citadel washes. I still have a couple of decisions to make though. For instance, what color do I want the knee pads to be? (I'm leaning towards just painting them Opaque Red, but a part of me wants to do them in Old Parchment like the helmet and shoulder pads.) Also, the Antique Gold studs on the Heresy-Era shoulder pad seem to blend too much into the Old Parchment - I think I'll actually paint the studs Black. Finally, what else do I want to add to this figure? I've got 2 tabard pieces ready to be primed and glued on, the right arm with the Sternguard bolter, the backpack, a banner possibly, and maybe the Dark Angels helmet wings. I'll leave those decisions for Part V.
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