Tuesday, June 5, 2012
White Dwarf Painting Article Critique
Enter the newly received White Dwarf article on how to paint an Ultramarines Storm Talon, and why I think it's a perfect example on how NOT to write a painting tutorial, starting with the picture above. I do promise that this will be a informed critique of the article, and not just a troll bashing.
The first picture is the beginning of the article, and it speaks of how the entire model was base coated using the Citadel spray gun. The image above shows the model fully assembled. We all know that there is no way to get good, even coverage on a model like that with a spray gun no less, after its been fully assemble as they show it, and yet they speak nothing of the assembly. The only notable step they explain is covering the cockpit canopy with masking tape so as not to get the base coat on it. Of course, they don't mention whether or not the pilot and cockpit was painted before or after the rest of the bird was sprayed.
Speaking of the pilot and cockpit, please see the below image, and let's break it down.
2. Ahhhhh, see? Told you it wasn't finished. In this view of the finished piece, you can see the skull on the helmet painted.
3. In this view, you can see the eyes and the rebreather on the helmet painted as well, if not a few other details they left off.
Now where where the details in numbers 2 and 3 in the 4-step process in number 1? The obvious answer is that they aren't there. Why do I consider this a problem? Because they should not assume people will catch this and fill in the blanks they left. If this is meant to teach people how to paint the pilot, then many will stop at step 4, and that obviously is not finished.
My last major critique of this article is the weathering... The best they can do is "Chad weathered the leading edges with the Detail Brush, using the same colours as for painting the metal"? (yes, I spelled "color" in the British spelling since this is a quote...no matter how many times spellcheck tried to correct it) Did they paint all the leading edges? Only some of them? How did they choose what to whether and where? Why did they highlight the edges of the weathering in a light blue? And dear Lord, the sloppiness astounds, once again.
"Well, if you think you can do better..."
Look, I'm not saying I can or can't do better, (even if I think I can...sorry, I couldn't help it), I'm saying that this is no that way to write and depict a painting tutorial. This is vague instruction at best, and it requires the reader to look elsewhere for further instruction on how to accomplish what is shown in the incomplete tutorial.
For me, I look at this as a lesson on how not to write tutorials for the folks who read this blog, and I hope to never replicate what they've done. In fact, I'll go as far as to say that if anyone has any questions on how to accomplish the points that they did not cover, let me know in the comments, and I'll be happy to explain how.