It has been a while since I last picked up an Infinity model to paint, definitely even longer since I played the game. However, an urge took hold of me and I ordered the Vallejo Shasvastii Paint Set. It helps that I’m a sucker for an exclusive miniature, but it was mostly because I wanted to try the paint scheme. That’s because I have backed the Defiance KS and I know fine well there is going to be some Shasvastii to paint. This post is about how I got on using the paint set and following the painting guide to paint the included Nox Trooper.
If you haven’t seen this paint set before here is what you get:
- 8 Vallejo paints
- VMC Black 70.950
- VMC Black Red 70.859
- VGC Gory Red 72.011
- VMC Royal Purple 70.810
- VMC Sunny Skin Tone 70.845
- VMC Basic Skin Tone 70.815
- VGC Dead Fleash 72.035
- VMC Ivory 70.918
- Plastic tray – OK its not a paint but the tray handily doubles up as a palette.
- Shasvastii Nox Trooper, Forward Observer with Combi-rifle. Exclusive to the paint set.
- Painting Guide by Angel Giraldez
Infinity models are some of the best out there, in my opinion, and their moulding techniques are getting more and more advanced too. They have been 3D sculpting their models for a while, but this has enabled them to think outside the box when it comes to breaking down the models into components for moulding. This Nox is a good example in that the separate arms are cut in such away that they interlock with the model, and the dry fitted model could stand up and hold itself together without glue.
With the model glued together it was primed black and then its off to follow the painting guide. I also temporarily glued the model to a normal plastic base for painting.
Painting The Nox
This is not going to be a step by step, blow by blow account of the painting guide. More a personal perspective of how I felt I was achieving each stage. The images below show my own painting and then the image for that stage from the painting guide. You can obviously tell the difference, but just in case I added some text to help out here too 😉
The first steps were to get the volume of the miniature highlighted. I did this with an airbrush, I wish I had had more courage to push the highlighting brighter here. I just wasn’t feeling confident enough with the airbrush. Using an airbrush is a skill, and like many skills you have to keep practising – ‘use it, or lose it’ as they say.
Next up was to go round and highlight and shade those armour panels. I felt a lot happier with the model after these stages, as it really started to take shape and not just an amorphous grey blob.
The next few steps were all about the skin tones of the head. I actually really enjoyed this stage seeing how the two contrasting paints, Dead Flesh and Royal Purple, interacted as a base and then progressing up to the Shasvastii flesh tone was interesting.
The skin colour over the black on the arm went on surprisingly well considering its over black (as can be seen above). A lot easier than trying to get the red to cover black, and it makes the red more vibrant. That’s a trick I need to remember for the future. With the red under-suit highlighted I felt like I could stop here and be happy with the paint job.
After a few more steps, adding some colour to the gun, and some detailing/freehand to the armour, I reached the end of the painting guide. There are 18 steps in total, and I really enjoyed the process, more so than I have enjoyed painting a mini for a while actually. I think this is because there is no indecisiveness on my part over what colour to paint this tiny little detail here, or that armour plate over there. There are no massive dilemmas of should I use ‘this’ red tone or ‘that’ red tone on this location.
I just feel I didn’t quite achieve my equivalent of the painting guide’s image (I am not saying I was aiming to achieve the same standard as Angel’s painting, just what I believe I’m capable of for that particular technique). I honestly think this is because the highlights don’t get bright enough. Is this because I didn’t push highlighting of the volumes brighter with the airbrush in the first couple of steps, or is it because the set lacks a pure white? Being bolder earlier with the airbrush would have been a better foundation to work from but I can’t help but feel the guide goes up to pure white.
After having a good look at the finished model above and thinking about it I decided to just tweak my paint work. I felt I had to go back and neaten up the freehand, with some more skin/ivory and black paints. I did my best to get the swirls looking neater and also the flashes on the shoulders. As I mentioned previously I really felt I needed to push the highlights up to pure white. In doing so I also increased the number of black shading layers too. Now having addressed my own two self criticisms of my painting I’m really happy with the finished* model, pictures below. So happy I can see painting up more Shasvastii and/or Combined Army using this scheme – never mind the Defiance miniatures.
*well finished except for a base, there is no base yet. I’m looking at these but have yet to click buy.
Is this set value for money?
Well single blister miniatures for standard line troops run at about £10 RRP, paints are £2.55 RRP. That’s a total of £30.40 for the physical hobby content. I suppose even if you already have a couple of the paint colours you are still getting value for money, as the set retails at about £25. However, what value do you put on the painting guide? Personally I think the guide is very good and worth a few £££ itself. I do like Angel’s other guides and own them myself, so perhaps it is no surprise that I like this one. The one thing I felt was missing from the set was a pure white paint, I felt that the armour required going right up to white on the highlights. I also feel that the photos in the guide use a pure white too. That said black and white paints are very common in a painters arsenal so its likely that you’d already own a pure white (same could be said of black of course but painting the model without providing black paint would be difficult).
Worth Buying Then?
If you want to paint models in the painting guide’s Shasvastii scheme then I’d recommend the set. Not as interested in the scheme but maybe in different elements of it? In essence, I guess the painting guide deals with three colour elements.
- Black armour panels.
- Red armour/undersuit.
- Pale flesh tone.
I think that the guide does a good job of describing the process step by step for each of these individual elements. So the set is worth considering here, especially if you don’t have the paints already but perhaps only if you’re interested in two of three elements does it become worthwhile.
But what if you already have Angel Giraldez’ Masterclass Vol.2 book?
I found this painting set’s guide to have simpler steps than the full book. I think the full book gives you more tonal variation for a given element. This guide, as part of an 8 colour paint set, has a natural limit to its palette size and hence more simple to follow. That said there are subtle differences between the Combined Army style in the book and this paint set, which put simply means they are not the same colour scheme.
Do you just want the exclusive model? Well in that case you’ll probably have to get the set.
The set can be found at either of these affiliate links:
The Goblin Gaming site is 20% off rrp compared to Element Games 10% off rrp though. So guess where I bought my set from! If you want to buy the set please consider using one of the above affiliate links to support the blog, thank you and good luck with your Nox Trooper 🙂