As part of my purpose here is to work on improving my skills, I thought it might be a good idea to take a look back at how far I have come (though I still have so, so far to go). To that end, here are some examples of older models I still have lying around.
Red Dragons 2.0
My second version of my space marine army was also called the Red Dragons (you'll notice a theme... I like dragons, okay?). I updated the color scheme. It was more complex, but I was terrible at painting. I did not thin my paints, I did not have the correct brushes, I did not even understand the concept of highlights or shadowing recesses (note the titanium white skulls), and my hands have always been a little shakey (byproduct of being really tall). Still, they were fun to paint and the scheme isn't terrible, though I can't remember if I came up with it before or after the introduction of the Legion of the Damned...
You may already know something about the Bone Dragons. The images below show the models roughly in the order I completed them. The tactical marines and terminator were a trial when I decided to redo my army again. You will notice that I went all in on jump packs and special weapons (which is unfortunate because they cost A LOT of points; oh, well). You will also notice that I started making extensive use of Green Stuff to customize my models. I started adding cloaks and bone protrusions. My version of Death Company marines show extreme bone growth, to the point that I even replaced shoulder pads entirely! While the painting is nowhere near professional quality, it is still considerably better than either of the previous iterations.
The necrons were my third army (after Dark Eldar which I will save for another day). I got them when they were brand new (and still slaves to the C'tan). My original thought was to make them metallic. I found some shiny gold spray paint at the local hardware store and used it as my base coat. It was extremely unforgiving of mistakes, as I had no good way to cover them. These were probably painted around the same time as my Red Dragons 2.0. Luckily, I never did too many of them (a lord, 20 warriors, and three destroyers), before I decided to change the scheme.
Necron Army 2.0 (sorry, nothing creative here)
I am much happier with my second color scheme, though it can be pretty tedious to paint. I only have two that are close enough to completion to be worth showing. The rest are either unpainted or only partially painted so not worth showing here. Notice that these are much more finely detailed than my original Necrons.
Hopefully this post shows that I have made substantial progress in both my development of color schemes and my ability to apply them to the models. Let me know what you think or if you have any suggestions. Oh, and feel free to use any of my schemes if they strike your fancy! I won't be jealous (unless you paint them better than I did!).
I am working on a longer post about how I paint my Tyranids. In the meantime, here is a nice trick I have picked up over the years. When you need to do a base coat for a large portion of a model, you can get a solid, even finish with one coat by using ink to thin your paint instead of water. The ink ensure that it gets into all the crevices, but ink tends to pool there and leave the open surfaces only thinly covered. Paint can be harder to get into the crevices (especially if your brush can't reach), but does an excellent job of coating flat surfaces. Mixing equal parts ink and paint gives you the best of both. You get a nice, even coat that is easy to apply quickly. Below is one of my hormagaunts with one coat of black done this way. It took less than a minute, it isn't chalky or patchy, and I don't need another coat. I can move on to the next color layer. Easy!
My painting table had fallen into a sad state of disuse. I think the dust layer was a quarter inch thick! It's all fixed up and clean now.
It's a drafting table with drawers for my brushes, exacto knives, modelling tools, glue etc. The glass surface is relatively easy to keep clean (you can scrape paint off without scratching it). It is right next to a bookcase i can keep additional supplies on. Add a movable desk lamp and a wall mounted TV/Roku setup, and there is no excuse not to finish that squad!