Settle down, class. Today we are going to learn how to paint some Clan Temper Tantrum minis, that's Clan Ice Hellion to you uninitiated. For this lesson, we have chosen Zeta Prime Galaxy because it's colors are quite appropriate for the Clan, and are rather easy to apply. We will be skipping the cleaning and assembly phases, as many tutorials on those steps are readily available, and Ray wants me to keep it simple.
We have selected an Ice Storm mini for this lesson. This 'Mech embodies Ice Hellion warfare, which consists mainly of running around loudly and alloying your opponent while doing relatively little damage, and is therefore a highly appropriate choice. Your minis should be prepped and primed already. As the Ice Storm is a fairly open mini, I have also completed assembly at this time. For multi-piece minis with tighter confines between limbs and torso, I would have kept certain pieces reassembled to allow easier access. The colors we will be using are a simple mix of bright white, medium, white, light gray and dark gray. Brand does not matter, and if you are adept at mixing colors then you may only need your white and dark gray.
When painting white, it is imperative that you use a light-colored primer. White is best, but light gray is also acceptable. No matter what that other mini painting company tells you, do not use black primer unless you like caking on layer upon layer of paint to cover it up!
Primed and ready
For our first painting step, use a large brush and lay on a coat of light gray. This does not have to be a perfect job, but be sure to catch all the recess and cracks. If you have used a light gray primer and coated the minis thoroughly, you may skip this step.
Now we get into the actual work. Using a fine-tipped brush and your medium white, paint the panels of the mini, leaving the gray visible in the cracks. If you make a mistake, don't worry. Simply go back over that area with your gray and redo it, or repaint the line with gray. At this point, select what panels you want to use for your highlight colors of purple and blue, and leave them blank.
Panels painted white
Allow the paint to dry completely before proceeding. The next step is to take your darkest gray and create a wash. The best formula I have found it to mix three drops of water with two drops of an extender such as Future floor wax, then add in paint until you have a nice, milky consistency. This allows the paint to flow into the cracks instead of sitting on the surface, and the Future helps seal the mini.
Washed and ready
Wait for your mini to dry completely before proceeding. For the next step, you can apply you highlight colors. Paint the panels you chose for highlight colors with your purple and blue. For extra detail, paint joints, vents and weapon barrels with a silver, and give your cockpit a nice black. You now have a passable tabletop-quality mini. You can finish your base now and play, or, if you want to take your mini up another level, you can continue to the next steps.
Ready for the tabletop
To give your mini that extra added detail, follow these steps. Using a small brush, go back over the tops parts of your white panels with your medium white. Avoid repainting the entire panel, but apply the paint on the upper edges so that it will simulate light striking the panel. Using your brightest white, apply thin edging to the highest parts of the white panels for extra contrast. Follow the same steps for your purple and blue panels, using either lighter shades of the base color, or by mixing a bit of white with the base. It helps to keep you paint very wet when blending. Dry paint will not blend properly, if at all.
For the joints, use the above formula to create a wash, only instead of gray use a mixture of black and brown to get a muddy color. Apply this mixture carefully, and siphon off any spillover quickly before it can dry.
To give your cockpit a bit of life, use a dark green to coat it, then blend in a smidgen of lighter green while it is still wet. Repeat this process, moving gradually toward a corner, until you have a nice gradient. A small line of white with an accompanying dot in the opposite corner complete the effect.
To finish, go back and carefully correct any spillovers, and add extra details where you deem necessary. When you are completely happy, which is a rare thing, finish your base as you see fit, apply decals and antenna if desired, and seal your mini. You now have a good show-quality piece as well as an above average playing piece. Wow your friends!