Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Three Shades and the Truth - Kevin Dallimore's Painting and Modelling Masterclass

This week I'm doing some 'out of the box' reviews of hobby related things that I received for my birthday on the weekend. Next up is Kevin Dallimore's Painting and Modelling Master Class, which is published by Wargames Foundry. 

This really is a great book that explains all the basic techniques for painting (and a few for modelling too, but not as many as you would think from the title) and then proceeds to cover some of the more advanced techniques - i.e. those that anyone who doesn't just want to dunk their miniatures into a tub of quick-shade will need to master sooner or later.

On a first read, the part that really stands out is the stage-by-stage explanation of the 'three shades' technique, where a single model is shown with the base, main and highlight shades added. What's different about the pictures presented here to those found in other books is that stage-by-stage is taken literally - we see each colour being built up separately, so there are no 'jumps' in quality.

Consequently, the early part of the book really demonstrates how effective this simple approach is when done properly, showing how it can provide the ideal basis for more time consuming and -ultimately - more impressive finishes. The featured miniatures are photographed really - and I mean REALLY - close up, thereby illustrating a realistic and achievable finish for tabletop gaming. These aren't Golden Demon winning quality, but then who actually has 100+ hours to spend painting a single model? Not me: those dice won't roll themselves. 

I've actually been looking at some of the miniatures in the book and thinking, 'hmm, I think I could do a bit better than that actually', which is no bad thing. Certainly it's better than thinking 'how in the hell and I ever going to be that good?!' So in a way this is an inspirational book. It isn't preachy, it doesn't expect much in the way of previous knowledge, and it covers a range of historical, fantasy and science fiction genres. Of course, it's a pretty big advert for Foundry miniatures and paint (there's a colour guide in the back), but no less so than everything GW produce is an advert for their products - in fact, where this book is different from the GW approach is that it actually acknowledges other companies exist!

Overall, a lovely book that I'm certain to return to many times over the years. I'd recommend this to anyone starting out in the hobby, and it's worth a look if you're more experienced and what to use it as a reference guide for blending and shading on a wide range of different miniatures. All artists need good reference material and this fits the bill perfectly. 

1 comment:

  1. Hi,

    Apologies for the off-topic comment, but I couldn't find a contact email for you.

    I've recently put out an ebook of my writing, called 'The New Death and others'. It's mostly short stories, with some obvious gamer-interest material. For example I have a story inspired by OD&D elves, as well as poems which retell Robert E Howard's King Kull story 'The Mirrors of Tuzun Thune' and HP Lovecraft's 'Under the Pyramids'.

    I was wondering if you'd be interested in doing a review on your blog.

    If so, please let me know your email, and what file format is easiest for you, and I'll send you a free copy. You can email me (news@apolitical.info) or reply to this thread.

    You can download a sample from the ebook's page on Smashwords:


    I'll also link to your review from my blog.



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