I’m sure I’m not alone in having picked up a model to paint, primed it, then sat there looking at it thinking “Where do I even start? What is that detail there? I can’t quite see what it is…”
If your eyesight and brain are anything like mine, you’ll sometimes be intimidated by odd shapes and bits on a model your eyes can’t quite “read” which makes it hard to get started. Or perhaps due to the lighting in your room or the colour/finish of the primer it’s all just a bit hard for your eyes to make out without straining them.
So here’s my little tip! Now, this obviously will work best on a lighter undercoat (in this case I’ve used Grey Seer but anything lighter than a mid-grey will also work for this) but what I like to do is pick a wash or contrast shade and apply it all over the model as a first step, as you can see here:
This is a model from Vae Victis Miniatures, and after priming it Grey Seer (the end of a can, hence it being a slightly rough prime) I washed over the whole model with Citadel Contrast Gryph-Charger Grey. Other good colours to use for this are washes such as Seraphim Sepia or Reikland Fleshshade.
This highlights all the raised areas and definies all the details nicely without creating a super thick layer of paint that fills in any detail. Plus if you use a shade that you intend to use on the model anyway, it can help speed up the process overall. I used this grey/blue tone because I’ll be using Black Templar on some areas, and the blue will slightly tint the areas that don’t end up pure black and add some colour to an otherwise greyscale area.
Now I can see what all the details on the model are, and avoid hurting my eyes trying to see what I’m looking at.
Give it a go and see if it helps you if you’re not feeling confident when starting a new miniature!