Hive City Gangs: The Nomads – Part 3 – Concept

After having built my Ash Waste Nomads, it’s time to reflect on a paint concept and thus the way they should look like in the end. This 3rd part of the tutorial deals with mood, colors and texture or the overall atmosphere.

First I tend to envision the fictive (or historical if applicable) world in my head first. In the case of my Nomads Hive City Gangs for One Page Rules Grimdark Future Firefight I had this initial image of the Tusken Raiders from Star Wars in my mind. Furthermore in the Necromunda universe, they’re called Ashwaste Nomads. At this stage my imagination gets kick started with some key features to develop the concept upon: “ragged, dirty and dusty wasteland warriors”.

After that, I quickly (maximum 5 minutes) brainstorm some keywords to justify the paint scheme for myself.

Now here’s a list of terms I came up with:

  • dusty
  • harsh zenithal sunlight
  • ash
  • rust
  • corrosion
  • oily
  • “grim dark”
  • splattered
  • dirty
  • earth tones
  • bleached

Next up, I search for some reference pictures on the internet and/or in books. In most design professions, a mood board is used to test and combine different colors, textures and materials. For that purpose I use a digital mood board called PureRef which is a free software running on all popular operating systems.

Concept for the Ash Waste Nomads

Then after a 10 minutes search on the internet I made the following collage for my mood board:

I use Pure Ref as a mood board for developing a concept for my Ash Waste Nomads.
My mood board in PureRef

In the end this concept helps me in choosing a paint scheme and techniques for my Ash Waste Nomads. So now I know, that I should prime the miniature in earthy tones, limit my paint palette to these hues, use oil washes, rust effects, pigments and splatter effects. I also want to replicate harsh sunlight by exaggerating my zenithal highlights and to somehow blend the miniature into its dusty base. I even might use real ash in the process.

So in the end, this process took me 15 minutes. Thus I strongly suggest to keep that brainstorming time short. Above all it’s about first impressions and intuition.

Later I’ll describe the actual painting step. Finally!

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