Painting Yellow

As you might have guessed from a brief examination of the contents of this Blog my favourite time in miniature gaming was between 1995 and 2001, during this time all miniatures painted by the Eavy Metal team were bright enough to bring tears to the eyes of anyone standing within several meters. Bright blue went with bright yellow next to bright red on top of a base that was of course bright green. I have always tried to keep models bright enough to stand out in the darkened rooms that most gaming takes place in especially if you can keep to a really dark base to get them to pop.
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So as my latest project I decided to test myself in a way only fellow miniature painters will feel my pain. I am of course talking about painting models yellow. This colour has long been reviled as one of the hardest colours to paint. I was always told that the two yellow paints that Games Workshop produced covered so badly due to the toxicity of the pigment used in them, this meant they needed to restrict the amount of it used in one go. I’m not sure if this was correct or not and considering most people would just add more paint and therefore pigment to the model it would undo the standards they put in place to keep us all safe. However in retrospect I have never heard of anyone in the western world being hospitalised due to yellow citadel paint related toxicity so I have come to the conclusion that Games Workshop must have been gaining some kind of sadistic pleasure from anyone trying to get a good coat of sunburst yellow on a model.
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Back in 2012 Games Workshop revamped their ancient paint range with new colours and lines that were supposed to offer an easier and faster way to paint miniatures, much was made out of the increased pigment ratio in some of the previously tricky to paint colours. I assume this was an attempt to a) make everyone buy new paint sets b) invalidate the paint ranges of the 3rd parties who had been selling colour matched paints at a cheaper price and c) kill off any fans with weaker constitutions by exposing them to more paint pigment. However as all superhero movies have told me, toxicity is a thing to be embraced rather than feared so I went out and brought a mega paint set and immediately sold all of my old paints on eBay.
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Flashing forward 4 years and skipping a lot of painting I decided to finally bite the bullet and paint a lot of models yellow. A quick Google search for exactly how to do this brought back a limited number of steps ranging from the extremely quick “white spray basecoat, two washes with casandora yellow, done” to tutorials with an airbrush. I don’t have an airbrush and only fancied painting up about 10 models so I needed another way.
I got through about 8 or so test models before settling on a method that was repeatable, easy, and looked nice under various types of light, I tried a white basecoat but then realised that going from white to yellow was much harder than going from one shade of yellow to another. Therefore as you may have guessed I settled on using a basecoat of Daemonic Yellow. To shade it down I tried the GW washes of Reikland Fleshshade and Seraphim Sepia but found then too light so instead used Agrax Earthshade. I also experimented with a spray gloss coat before the wash as I had heard that it helps the wash cover better. I have no idea of that works but the can was £1.99 on eBay so I went with it.
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After this was down it was time to start the grind of multiple coats of Yriel Yellow. I found that Flash Gitz Yellow was too light and should be left for highlights if you need them. I also found it was much easier than expected, a couple of coats was good enough with some tidying up for certain areas where the wash paint had pooled.
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It’s worth noting at this point that care is key when doing this, it’s often the difference between a decent paint job and a nice one. Always make sure you prevent the wash from obscuring details and always make sure you clean up mistakes.



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