Painting Turorial - Romulan - ENT & TNG

 Hello everyone, I present to you today a painting guide on how to paint small scale Romulan ships from the ENT and TNG eras; TOS Romulans use a different color pallet. For this tutorial I will be walking you through the steps of painting a Romulan Bird of Prey from the 22nd Century. Most of the steps involved are common to all Romulan ships from these eras. The model that I chose came from Shapeways and can be found here.

This model is in 1/3788 scale and measures 3.43cm/1.35in long. I will be using this model to represent a cruiser in my 1/7000 scale Earth-Romulan War fleet. The details on this model are very fine, especially the hull panel lines which will require attentiveness and a light touch.

Step 1 - Model Prep

As with any miniature straight out of its packaging our first step is to clean the model. Using a clean toothbrush, warm water, and dish soap, first scrub the model to get any agents left over from the manufacturing process. Be careful not to scrub too hard in the case of resin models as you may break delicate components. This is also the time to prep your model for whatever basing method you use, in my case a hole drilled into the model to accommodate a peg. Since you have to wait a couple of hours for the model to dry, why not watch Star Trek: Nemesis in its entirety (I like that movie, OK?).

Step 2 - Reference Material

The next step is to gather reference material from which to base your model. In this case, through extensive use of Google, I grabbed a decent screen shot from Enterprise and an artists mockup. I am using the first image for the hull color reference and the impulse engine glow. From the second image I am using the warp nacelle glow and the window light placement.

Step 3 - Gather Supplies

With the reference material on hand you must now decide what colors, brush sizes, washes, after effects, and what libation to drink while painting this miniature. The supplies I used are the following:

Small Dry Brush/Area Base Brush
Detail Block Brush (0 brush with its point cut off)
Detail Brush (00 brush)
Medium Grey Spray Base Coat (Rustoleum)
Dark Green Acrylic (Citadel)
Medium Green Acrylic (Citadel)
Bright Yellow Acrylic (Citadel)
Turquoise Acrylic (Craft Paint)
Pure White Acrylic (Citadel)
Green Wash (Army Painter)
Gloss Brush Coat (Citadel)
Matte Spray Sealer

1 or more Beers of choice

Step 4 - Base Coat

With the supplies gathered, the model prepped, and a drink of choice handy you can begin your painting journey. Using an even application, base coat your model in the medium grey spray coat. It is always better to apply multiple thinner coats than one heavier coat. Let this coat dry for a short while; while waiting go and watch 'The Balance of Terror', the first appearance of Romulans in Star Trek.

Step 5 - Base Hull Coat

Using your Dark Green Acrylic, brush on a complete coat covering the entire model with your Small Dry Brush. The faint details of this model demand a light touch. Use both a high quality paint with small pigment size as well as multiple thinner coats to ensure the details do not fill completely. It is ok if a few brush strokes are visible at this stage.

Step 6 - Hull Wash

Using your Green Wash, in my case Green Tone from Army Painter, wash the entire model with the Detail Block Brush. The figure will look dirty, uneven, and frankly ugly at this point. The intention here is to get all the recessed details and surface changes to become darker. The ugliness will disappear in further steps. This wash will take a few minutes to dry so  now go and watch the Tal Shiar and Obsidian Order fleets attack the Dominion Homeworld: Youtube.

Step 7 - 1st Hull Highlight

Using your Dark Green Acrylic that you initially painted the hull with, perform a medium drybrush with the Small Dry Brush. This step will require moderate patience, take your time. The intention is to catch all the surfaces but leave the darkened recesses, essentially erasing the ugly splotches of wash left over from the previous step. Also realize that you have forgotten to pose the model on a temporary display base for previous steps and begin doing it now hoping no-one will notice.

Step 8 - 2nd Hull Highlight

If you are happy with the color and contrast of the hull, feel free to skip this step. Should you desire more contrast, perform a light drybrush with the Medium Green Acrylic and your Small Dry Brush. This step demands even finer control than previous steps. Rather than catching all the smooth areas of the model you are now just hitting the edges and ridges.

Step 9 - Field Coils

Using the Turquoise Acrylic, block paint the field coils of the nacelles using the Detail Block Brush. The choice to use Turquoise is personal, I found them to be more interesting than the other shades of green available. Should you prefer something less radical, simply use a different color. If you use a high quality model paint with small pigment, this step can likely be done in one coat. If using a lower quality paint like I did, thin the paint 50:50 with water and do multiple coats as you want to avoid grainy pigmentation.

Step 10 - Field Coil Highlight

Using your Pure White Acrylic, water it down heavily with water at least 75%. Apply thin coats on the Turquoise with the Detail Block Brush until satisfied with the effect.

Step 12 - Matte Seal

Using your Matte Spray Sealer, thoroughly coat the model. This step is performed here to bring down the shine of the model, protect the underlying colors from the inevitable mistakes of painting lights, and to unify the layers. Matte Sealer has a peculiar effect of blending layers which we can use to our advantage. Since you must allow time for the sealer to dry, restock your drink and watch Enterprise's first encounter with the Romulans: Youtube.

Step 13 - Impulse Engines

Realize that you forgot to paint the Impulse Engines before using the Matte Sealer. With the Detail Brush paint the Impulse Engines with the Bright Yellow Acrylic.

Step 14 - 3rd Hull Highlight

Using your Medium Green Acrylic perform a light drybrush with your Detail Block Brush. This step is performed after the Matte Seal such that you can easily wipe away mistakes. The intention is to catch specific raised areas such as the edge of the hull and nacelles.

Step 15 - Lights

Using your Pure White Acrylic and your Detail Brush, add any lights you deem necessary. I recommend at least running lights and a light on the bridge. If you are feeling adventurous, carefully add window lights in the appropriate areas; I feel this adds life to the model. Since this step is being performed after the Matte Seal, any mistakes can be easily wiped away with another brush dipped in water.

Step 16 - Gloss Coat

Finally, using your brush on Gloss Coat, cover the Nacelle Coils and Impulse Engines. The effect of this step will be more noticeable under the lights of your gaming table, reflecting said light and giving a glowing effect. Now you are ready to base your model in your chosen style and take pretty pictures.

Step 17 - Picture Time

With your model painted and based you can now take pretty pictures and post them on the internet to receive the accolades of complete strangers.


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