A while back I watched a lot of YouTube videos from AG Productions's channel (link).  I really like Christopher Davidson's frank videos, and his home-produced-but-polished style appeals to me.  After watching his thoughts on a painting DVD I'd seen advertised over on Maelstrom, I thought I'd purchase one of his (significantly cheaper) DVDs and take a look.

Let's Paint: White Scars
I've never painted white on a model.  Well, that's technically a lie - I had a High Elf army when I was twelve that was partly white but that was just the spray coat.  I was considering painting my Nomads with a white scheme and wanted some ideas on how to go about this, especially a blue-white rather than a grey-white colour.



The Video
In the video (which clocks in at a weighty four and a half hours, give or take a little for title shots) Christopher takes you through the construction and painting of a single White Scars Tactical Marine with a Meltagun.  He has split the video into chapters for each major section of the model, so you can happily skip past the assembly and onto the painting or skip to a particular part of the model easily for reference.  Christopher's narration and painting take everything slow and steady, which is perfect for painting along to the video.  I personally didn't paint along (my marines are blue), but I found him taking the time to explain most of his brush strokes very helpful.  While I enjoyed watching the "Core Techniques" DVD from Privateer Press, I found Christopher's slower style more suited to my abilities, and would most likely recommend one of his DVDs over the former to a new painter.  A better painter might want him to hurry up, but this video is very clearly for those of us down the lower end of the skill slider (and the product is advertised as such).  There are a few production issues, such as the camera losing focus that can be annoying at times but mostly the quality is good throughout the running length of the DVD.  It would be nice to get a second camera angle occasionally, but given the limits of the one-camera setup Christopher (and his editor) do a good job.

The Narration
One of the things that Christopher's YouTube review pointed out for me was that he believed a painting DVD should instruct rather than simply show.  While the Privateer Press DVD did this to some degree, Christopher's instruction goes way beyond what was present in that product.  He will explain techniques and choices he has made while painting and often offers little tips as he goes along.  When he makes mistakes (which we all do) he will quickly explain how to deal with them.  Rather than simply saying "Be careful on this section" he instead provides a much more helpful "Take care on this, but if you do it wrong, this is how you clean it up".  It helps that Christopher's recording voice is easy to listen to and lets your attention stay firmly on the techniques he's practising.

The Price
AG Productions (link) sell most of their "Let's Paint" series of DVDs for $15 each, with a flat rate of shipping at $10 per order.  All in all this worked out to about £17 for me for my one DVD.  For someone of my painting level this DVD is a steal.  The only thing I would say is that if AG Productions made their DVD series available to download for $15 per video I would purchase quite a few more, as I wouldn't feel like I have to order two or more in a go to minimise the shipping costs.  Given their YouTube channel they are obviously quite happy with digital distribution, so hopefully they will consider this route in the future.

The Bottom Line
I'm very happy with my purchase.  This particular DVD isn't going to teach you masters anything, but for those of us who hadn't even painted white properly before it was invaluable.  It's one thing reading a tutorial but it's another seeing (and hearing) a model painted to demonstrate the techniques, especially by someone who instructs the way Christopher does.  Check out the YouTube channel linked at the start of the article to see even more of his work.

"Let's Paint! White Scars" DVD is available for purchase here


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