Scent of a Gamer

From the computer to the tabletop, this is all about games. Updated each week-end.

The zenithal difference

In preparing models for Tray 8, I had the chance to compare my new practise of using zenithal undercoats with my old way of simply choosing black, white, or grey. Here’s two models from the current tray side by side:

Here we have a model undercoated only in white compared to one where I sprayed black from underneath, gray straight ahead, and white from on top. The model on the left is no less detailed than the other, but those details don’t stand out in the same way.

The difference is more noticeable when it’s two of the same model:

Along with the elf from above, the black knight on the right was undercoated with onl a white spray. While the detail is not obscured, it doesn not stand out so clearly as when a zenithal approach is taken. There’s about 10 years and a lot of YouTube videos in between these two undercoats.

One of the pleasant aspects of pulling out old models for my trays is being able to easily compare my old approaches with my current practise and see the improvements.

5 comments on “The zenithal difference

  1. John@justneedsvarnish
    September 19, 2021

    Nice demonstration of zenithal priming, Dave! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. ericritter65
    September 19, 2021

    Since coming back to the hobby after a 10 year hiatus, I used a two tone priming technique of black all over with a grey from a 45-degree angel and above or a grey prime with white angel prime. This was done to bring out the details as you demonstrated above. Now it’s gotten all fancy with terminology, and claims of creating instant highlights and shadows. Maybe if you’re only using contrast paints and you want the miniature to only look “right” from a single vantage point. I use my priming routine as a guide for details or if I want a starting point for a film noir look.

    Liked by 2 people

    • davekay
      September 20, 2021

      Yes, I don’t think it matters if you end up going over it with opaque paints, the zenithal look brings out the details to help you regardless of the next step.


  3. backtothehammer
    September 25, 2021

    How does your paint technique change (if at all) when you do this? I can see the detail more as you said but not sure what comes next (if that makes sense?). If your pallet will be brighter colours, do you use more white? I’m still in single primer mode, hence the questions?

    Liked by 1 person

    • davekay
      September 25, 2021

      I find I have two options from here. The first is to paint as I normally would, with the benefit of having a better view of the details before I start.
      The second is to go the full underpainting route and then use very thin coats of paint so the shading and highlighting are done before the colours go down.

      Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on September 19, 2021 by in Miniatures, Painting & Modelling and tagged , , .
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