Ask yourself a question: Do you like saving tons of time while painting? Do you think it’s impossible to do highlights and sick nasty shadows on your horde army because “it takes too long”? Do you want an easy way to get good effects with little effort? Are you looking at a quick way to improve your painting? Do you hate layering? Well my friends, Zenithal Priming is your answer for fast, easy, great highlights and shadows. Best of all everybody can do it. I can’t think of an easier way to get a good looking army tabletop ready than the 100% POWERFISTED approved Zenthial Priming method.
What the hell is Zenital Priming?
Zenithal Priming is priming your model with 3 colors instead of just 1. I mean, if you’re cash strapped or lazy you can get away with using 2 colors, but 3 gets best results. You’ll apply black, grey, and white primers in a way that creates a gradient effect from the shadows to the upper most areas. Then you’ll go over it all with a translucent paint that acts like a filter. After that you can paint the rest like normal.
What do I need?
• Black, grey, and white primer. You can even use paint instead of primer as long as you prime first. The method is still the same.
• The primer/paint MUST be applied through an airbrush or rattle-can
• A filter paint to apply over the primer. This is the color you want your model to be. It can be a wash, glaze, or regular old paint applied from a rattelcan/airbrush
Can you break it down for me?
Here’s what I’m going to do in this tutorial:
• Prime the entire model black
• From the very top, spray in a 90 degree cone using grey. Thin layers. Don’t go crazy.
• From the very top, spray in a 45 degree cone using white. Again, use thin layers.
I primed some spare mans I had lying around with vallejo black primer. This is an airbrush primer that’s great right out of the pot, but I still thin about 5:1 (primer:water) to make sure I get very thin layers.
Then I hit the upper 90 degrees of the models with grey primer, thinned as above.
The Zenithal Effect is starting to become apparent- things look different depending on the angle with obvious highlights and shadows taking shape:
The last step is hitting the upper 45 degrees (basically just the very top with a little bit of wobble side to side) with white primer:
I still bet it looks like shit
If you’re using an airbrush or spray-on basecoat, then you can just spray over the top with a thin layer:
But I don’t have an airbrush or spray-on basecoat!
No problem, just use a wash instead. I actually like these results better, since washes will shade the recesses even more (for xxx pro MLG painting you could use BOTH a spray-on paint and wash. Just make sure all the layers are really thin):
But BROFIST! My special snowflake color doesn’t have a wash! Zenithal Priming is useless for me!!!!
Then its time to MAN THE FUCK UP and use your paint as a glaze. Seriously, just thin your paint more than usual with water and add some flow improver/gloss varnish (about 4:1) and you’ll get fantastic results:
Ok, I am convinced, but what else can I use Zenithal Priming for?