I have started working on my unit of Warp Spiders and I went into the endeavor with great ambitions and ideas. Since then these very same ambitions and ideas have made me very upset and feel rather foolish. For instance: I have started working with wet blending. Wet blending is a process whereby one mixes paint on the model while it's still wet; if you want a smooth, gradient transition between, say, yellow and red, you would apply the paint in two wet bands and mix the middle point where they join before the paint dries. I assumed this would be an easy project based solely on the belief that I am good at everything. I was mistake. It was very difficult.
I started with the Warp Spider Exarch and blended some colors on his back: Black to darkish-red and then to a lighter red. Either I didn't really blend them that well so, in the end, they still looked like just bands of color, or I blended them so well that all three merged into one muddy red color which was barely different no matter where you inspected it on the model. I also managed to smudge some gold paint on it at a point where I couldn't cover up, thus forcing myself to start again. I also managed to scrape off a fair amount of the base coat under the paint because I was mixing with a toothpick that was too sharp for the job. When I did get a good blend I couldn't help but notice how bumpy and uneven the paint was because it had dried unevenly thanks to me mucking around in it. I used some 600-grit no-load sandpaper to try and fix that, and almost instantly exposed bare metal, forcing me to (you guessed it) start again.
In the end, I picked out a few details, added a hand-painted rune and covered it with a thin gloss varnish and it ceased to be the affront to nature that it was turning into.
Not content with my horror-show failure on the back of the Exarch's carapace, I decided to try blending on the Death Spinners (those are his guns), going from white to light blue to dark blue. It's uncanny, but almost the exact same process of banding, over-blending, smudging and baring metal happened all over again.
In both cases I found that once a bit of detail was added around the blended area that the mistakes no longer stuck out like sore thumbs. You can see below the three steps from left to right: The carapace has blended black-red-lighter red, the rune is added and the guns are in progress:
My one saving grace is that I am respectably talented at freehand painting (notice I didn't use the word "gifted", just "respectably talented"). I was able to etch a nice rune on the back with little trouble and then lined it with gold to make it pop out a bit. You may think that my paint scheme rather resembles a Khorne Berzerker paint scheme (the gold, black and red)... to which I reply: Go shove your head in the toilet.