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  1. It's been a while since I posted here, but I wanted to share one of my current projects. I started on this 70mm orc from Yedharo back in October. I took a break from it for a while and just recently got back to work on her. When I first saw the sculpt, for some reason I immediately pictured a blue orc. I know a little untraditional, but I like to switch it up from the standard green. One of the things I wanted to work with on this piece was the use of ambient color/light. I pictured her standing over some beast she'd killed and wanted to show the light reflecting off of that and onto the orc. Since she's blue, I decided on red for the beast. It's not the easiest thing to see in the photos (the effect is more obvious in person) but you can see it most clearly from behind. When I start on the armor I'll be doing the same thing and it should be even more pronounced there since metallic objects can pick up a lot of light/color from the other objects in the scene. I'll be painting her with TMM, so there's going to be some experimentation as I work matte colors into my metallics for the reflected light. My latest progress has been to build the base. I'm not much of a sculptor, but I've been getting some practice in over the past year and feel a bit more comfortable tackling something like this. Overall I'm pretty happy with how the base sculpt turned out. Now I'm curious to see what I'll think of it when I finally start to paint it! Having the base is also nice as, when I start on the metallics, I'll have a more precise reference to work from for the reflections (instead of just the vague idea I had when I worked on the skin).
  2. This past weekend I started painting Brom, the 54mm scale dwarf from Enigma. The sculpt has got a mix of equipment and, to be honest, I'm not even sure what all of it is. It gives him a lot of character, but presents some challenges with the painting. I've been putting a lot of thought into how I want to approach the piece and finally decided to pick a color scheme and let that tie the figure together. I started with the face. Considering most of it is hidden by the hair, the beard feels almost as important as the rest of the face. I used a mix of Reaper's Ruddy Leather, Secret Weapon's Orange Rust, and Reaper's Burnt Orange and Fair Skin Highlight. I find the light skin tones are nice for highlighting hair, I'd do the same with brown hair. For the blood stained cloth on his head, I used a mix of Carnage Red and Walnut Brown. I wanted it to be darker near the center, so more brown, and the moving to pure red near the boundaries. I applied the red as a glaze over the white cloth to give it the right look. Instead of using the well palette that I'd normally turn to for glazes, I ended up mixing them directly on my wet palette. Normally that produces a mess, but I used a bit of paint and then added a bunch of matte medium (plus a little water). The matte medium is thick, so it creates the right transparency without causing the glaze to flow all over the palette. Then I then it down slightly with water for a consistency that's easier to paint with. The effect is the same as a regular glaze, but since it's on the wet palette it's easier for me to mix paints and create different colored glazes. It's also easy to vary the consistency/transparency by changing up the ratio of matte medium and paint. So I can quickly make a section more opaque and another more transparent. Not something I do for all glazes, for in situations like this it's a nice option to have in my tool kit. And here's the full figure. Still a lot left to paint!
  3. If you've seen my other posts here, you know I normally work on larger scale figures. But recently I took on a commission to paint the 28mm version of Kingdom Death's White Speaker. I actually painted the 54mm version a few years back, so I thought it'd be an interesting exercise to see how I could do on the 28mm one. So far my focus has been on the skin. The other sections just have some dark undercoats. I played around with my mixes a bit on this one. I started by base coating her with a 2:1 mix of Rosy Shadow and Bronzed Shadow. I then used a 4:1 mix of Chestnut Brown and Rosy Shadow to create the darkest shadows. From there I worked up to a 3:1 mix of Rosy Skin and Bronzed Skin and finally added in Fair Highlight for the brightest parts. Although she's a female figure, I still went for a more dramatic contrast range and brought out some of the muscles more than I might on a different female subject. This one is a badass warrior, so she should be pretty fit.
  4. I realized I had yet to post any pictures of my latest project here. A few months ago I started working on this 54mm scale knight from Romeo Models. The figure is from the era of the 3rd Crusade, but I decided to paint him up as a generic knight rather than one of the crusading orders (like the Templars). This gave me a lot more freedom in color choice and for the design work on his clothing/shield. In my mind, he's an English knight traveling with Richard the Lionheart on crusade. That steered my color choice a bit, as red and yellow were colors used by the English king. But I opted to replace the lion with a griffin on this piece (just to do something a little different). He's come a pretty long way. I wanted to push for a higher contrast on this piece. It's similar to how I've done fantasy figures, but I wanted to see how I could make it look on a historical figure (since we naturally expect to see a more realistic overall look). I made a few very minor changes to the figure. I shaved down the noseguard a bit so it hid less of his face. And I inserted two arrow shafts into his shield. Painting has all be done with acrylics, primarily Reaper though I did use Scale75 for the metallics. I have a couple small details to do on the knight, along with the chainmail on his legs. Then all that's left are the base and weathering the figure. I don't expect a ton of time to paint over the holidays, so hopefully I can finish him up in January. And here's a look at the base (keeping it pretty simple just to focus on the figure) and a sense of scale for the piece.
  5. Having finished up my historical Dragoon, I decided to switch gears work on a fantasy project. A while back I'd agreed to help out with the Ouroborus Tales Kickstarter and provide a 'painting journal' describing how I went about painting one of the orcs from that project. The figures arrived a few weeks ago, so I wanted to make sure that was up next on my to-paint list. The official painting journal is only for the project backers, but I can still share work in progress and info online. But the painting journal will have more detailed step by step photos and a more in-depth discussion (sorry, gotta save some secrets for that! =P). Because I like to get the most out of this project, I'm also planning to enter the piece into the 'Eavier Metal painting competition over on their facebook group. For anyone not familiar with the sculpt, here's what the orc brave looks like: It's a nice sculpt, roughly 54mm scale (though smaller than the Black Sailors figures which look closer to 75mm). The title makes me think native american, but there aren't any overtly native american features (features, headdress, etc). The weapons and clothing are primitive so I'm leaning more towards the savage orcs from the warhammer fluff. There's a lot of skin on this guy (no armor covering it up), so I wanted to do something with the green to keep it interesting. I decided to go with a two-tone skin. So green on the back/sides and an off white on the belly. Helps convey a more primitive animalistic look to him. I'm also going to work in more color variation in select spots. Still at a very early stage. I've base coated a lot of the piece and sketched in the shadows on the body. My main focus has been the face, where I've done the green portions and details like the eyes, nose, and lips. I still need to do the teeth, inside of the ears, white on the bottom of the jaw, and add some glazes. But, this gives you an idea where it's going. I'm taking the skin one section at a time, so after this I'll probably try to tackle that left arm and then move on to other parts of the body. I'm enjoying the piece so far, but still have lots to do!
  6. I just started a new project, this 70mm Celt from Art Girona. It's a neat sculpt, an intense pose and holding the severed head of a Roman. I'm trying out a new skin mix on this guy. My normal skin mix is Reaper's Chestnut Brown + ~10% Rosy Shadow, Rosy Shadow, Fair Skin, Fair Highlight, and either Linen White or Pure White. It's a pretty light looking skin which is fine for northern Europe. I'll often supplement the Chestnut Brown with Mahogany Brown for the darkest shadows. For this figure, instead of Rosy Shadow for the base, I used a 50/50 mix of Rosy Shadow and Bronzed Shadow. For the shadows, I used 60/40 Chestnut Brown and Basic Dirt along with ~10% of the base color. Some Walnut Brown was added for the deepest shadows. Highlights were a 50/50 mix of Fair Skin and Bronzed Highlight, then some Pure White for the final shine. Using just the Bronzed Skin colors is a bit too extreme for my tastes, but tempering them with the Rosy and Fair Skin colors produced a result I'm happy with. I'll definitely keep it in mind for future projects. So far I've just done a rough base coat on the body and the pants. But I have spent time shading and highlighting the face. Got a lot more planned for this piece, so stay tuned! :) And here's a close up of the face
  7. I just started working on this figure from Scale75. It's officially called Jessica Thunderhawk, but the sculpt (and box art) are based on a piece of art from the Comicon Challenge 2014 that is meant to be Lady Mechanika. I wasn't immediately familiar with the character, but some quick googling and I found out she's the mean character in a series of steampunk comics. I like the original art, but since the box art version already matches it, I thought I should do something a little different. I took a look at some of the other art surrounding Lady Mechanika and used that for inspiration. To see how the colors looked I began with a quick base coat After that I spent some time cleaning up the stripes on her pants, although that will get a lot more work when I start to shade and highlight. Then I went to work on her face and skin. For a female figure I tried to take a softer approach to the shading on her face. Major features can still get lots of contrast, but smaller lines and features really should be downplayed. Emphasizing the lines under the eyes or from the nose to the mouth will make the figure look more masculine. The same goes for painting children. Still a long way to go, but I'm happy with her so far.
  8. I've been skipping between projects lately. For a while now I've had the urge to work on another fantasy piece (I usually paint historicals) and finally decided to take on one of the orc pirates from the Black Sailors kickstarter. A few months back I painted a dwarf pirate from M Proyec (http://forum.reapermini.com/index.php?/topic/65914-dwarf-pirate/) so I may end up combining these two into a scene together. That may be getting a bit ahead of myself, first let's get this one painted and then I'll decide what to do with it! I've seen a couple painted versions of this figure online and I wanted to do something a little different. I opted to paint him up as a black orc with dark green skin. To accomplish this, I used a mix of Dark Green and Burgundy Wine (roughly 2 parts green to 1 part burgundy) for the base. More Burgundy Wine was added for the shadows. To highlight, I used a 50/50 mix of Dark Elf Highlight and Vampiric Skin and mixed that into my base. So far I've just been working on a portion of the face. As you can see, other areas on the head haven't been touched beyond the base coat. Even the parts that look done are a work in progress. I want to do a bit more work to blend the purple of the nose into the surrounding areas of the face. There are some shadows/highlights I want to tweak. And I still plan to go over everything with various glazes to add more color variation. I don't usually paint orcs, so I'm kind of figuring this all out as I go along. But, I'm enjoying the work and can't wait to do more! And for anyone not familiar with the sculpt, here's what the whole thing looks like. The figure is 1/35 scale (54mm for normal humans) but, as an orc, he's closer to 70 or 75mm tall.
  9. I recently started on a new historical piece (sorry to anyone checking out this thread in the hopes that I misspelled 'dragons'). It's a 54mm Napoleonic figure from Pegaso. He's an officer of the Empress' Dragoons. Since he's in his dress uniform, I wanted to come up with a scene that would be appropriate. A little while back I found this great photo etch gates from ScaleLink. It looked like the kind of gate you'd find in front of some old French chateau, so it was perfect for this piece. I built a column using juweela bricks and then used another piece of photo etch for a plaque on the column. Here's a look at the scene prior to painting... I started painting the face. A few of the minor features are done purely through painting (rather than sculpted on). These would be the cleft in the chin (it's a large chin, so a bit more detail is nice) and the scrunched up skin where the helmet strap goes under his chin. Just a bit of highlighting and shading is all it needed to create the effect. Speaking of highlighting and shading, I thought this image does a nice job of showing what has been painted on and what's just room lights. On the left, I'd painted the face and collar, but the rest of the coat, shirt, and pants are just a uniform base shade. On the right, I've gone in and shaded all of those elements. And here are some more images of the figure as it currently stands. Still need to do the braided details on his shoulders and around his right arm, then the gloves, helmet, boots, and sword/scabbard (yet to be attached). One challenge with this piece was trying to get the dark green coat to look right. If you've ever tried to do a dark green or a dark blue, you may find that as you start to highlight all of a sudden that dark color turns into a medium or even a light shade of the color. To help stop this, I used medium or even a light grey mixed in with the dark green to create my highlights. This desaturates the highlights and helps the piece retain the dark color look even with high contrast. Of course it also helps to limit the area in which the highlights are applied.
  10. I started this figure to show a friend how I approached painting skin. The figure is produced by Milosh's Miniatures (basically a guy's side project to make miniatures he likes... you can find him on facebook) and comes in 54mm and 75mm versions. This is the 54mm version. Instead of painting her as the traditional 'good' angel, I thought I'd do a fallen angel version. My normal skin mix was changed to create what you see here. The shadows are a mix of ~50% Chestnut Brown, 25% Rosy Shadow, and 25% Burgundy Wine. For the darkest shadows (under the legs, chin, etc), I just added more Burgundy Wine to that mix. The mid tone is 50/50 Rosy Shadow and Vampiric Shadow. To create the highlights I used 75% Vampiric Skin and 25% Fair Skin. Then just a bit of Vampiric Highlight for the top highlights. I still plan to go over the skin with some blue and purple glazes (in a few spots), but that will wait until after I finish the rest of the figure
  11. This is a project I started back in 2013 but I've taken several long breaks while working on it. This past weekend I decided to pick it back up and see if I could finally finish it. The figure is a 54mm mounted knight from Pegaso. It's a great sculpt, one of my favorites, so I really want to finish it. I'm sticking with a mostly historical paint scheme, so the knight is dressed in white. To contrast with that I wanted to do a black horse. A nice idea, but a difficult color to work with. The horse has been the biggest hurdle as black is not a color I feel overly confident working with. I've gotten a bit more experience on some recent projects so I decided to give it another go. The black is still a work in progress. I've got a few more sections to do, then I'll fix some minor issues. After that it'll be some glazes to help the blends and tie everything together before redoing some of the highlights. Painting black is a whole process. The knight is mostly finished, just a few details and the shield which I'll attach to his left shoulder. The cape is a lot of white space, so I'm doing a border around it. I've done the bottom and will continue the pattern up the side too. He'll be holding a banner. I've completed one side and will do the other the same way. Again, it's a lot of white space so to liven it up I did a subtle background pattern. Now that I've got the approach to the horse figured out, I think the rest of the project should be relatively smooth. So hopefully I'll be able to wrap up this project in a couple weeks. Fingers crossed!
  12. This bust arrived on my doorstep the other week, so I decided to take a break from the orc I've been doing to paint a bit on this new piece instead. The figure is Count Melenth from Polaris Minor. The bust is roughly 150-200mm scale. I didn't have a lot of direction with this guy other than the fact that he looks evil. To make things a bit more interesting, I decided to paint some OSL on him. I shifted the primary light source from directly above him to above him and to his left. This casts the right side of his face in shadow, so I added a secondary light source (with a blue tint) below him and to the right. I still find OSL quite challenging, so to help with that I started by simply sketching on the lights and shadows. This was pretty rough work, but it allowed me to see how I thought it should look and quickly make adjustments to the lighting. Much easier to make changes at this stage rather than near the end when all the blending and find detail work are there. Once I was happy with the basic setup, I started refining my work on his skin. So far I've just focused on his left. I still haven't really touched the OSL area. In this first image, you can see a side by side of my initial sketch with the current state. And here are a few more views I've still got a lot that I want to do. Even on the blended skin, I need to add some fine details and then go back with glazes to add more subtle color shifts. But there's enough here for you to see where I'm going with it.
  13. I'm in the early stages of what promises to be a very long project. This is a rather large 90mm scale samurai archer from Pegaso Models. I've been wanting to do a samurai for a while, the colors and patterns make for some really neat figures. I'm planning for this to be a competition piece, so I'm intending to go all out on the design work. There are a lot of layered pieces for this figure, so he's going to be painted and assembled in a number of stages. I began with the face. As a larger scale figure, there's a lot more room to do detail and it's well worth spending the extra time. I probably put in 10-12 hours in to just the face so far. I had to switch up my skin mix a bit, I began with Reaper's Volcano Brown with a touch of Olive Skin Shadow and Burgundy Wine for the shadows, then into Olive Skin Shadow, Olive Skin, Olive Skin Highlight, and finally a bit of Linen White. On top of that I did some glazes with red, purple, and blue to add more color variation and life to the face. Then I did a bit of the cloth. The orange is Burgundy Wine, Bronzed Skin Shadow, Burnt Orange, and Linen White. I haven't done much orange in the past, but I'm happy with that mix. I will be going back over that part of the figure to add some pattern/design... but I haven't decided what I want to do yet. All I know is that the orange will be the background color. And, if you're curious, here's a close up of the other side of the face. As i said, this should be a long project. I'm hopeful I can get it done by the end of the year... but we'll see. I really want to bring it to Adepticon next year. There should be enough time for that if I don't get too side tracked along the way.
  14. My latest project is another 54mm historical figure. This one is a Northumbrian warrior from Latorre. It's a really nicely done sculpt, although perhaps a bit on the simple side in terms of gear. I decided to add a bit to him, so I swapped the shield out of his left hand and slung it onto his back (adding a photo etch belt so it looked like something was holding it in place). I wanted to put something else in his left hand, so I went through my bits box and settled on a war horn I had left over from the Sorondil project. I'm attempting to create an overall cold feel to this figure, so I'm planning to use a lot of cool colors (blues, greens, purples) and give him a winter base. It's causing me to make some minor adjustments to my normal mixes and rethink a few things. Here's a quick look at how he's come together so far. Last night I finished the main color for the tunic. I'm now starting on a pattern for the border. Just put in the lower edge and then marked off dots for the top edge so I could keep the spacing consistent. I'll be filling the space in between with a geometric pattern, so using these sorts of guide marks will be key to getting everything to look uniform in the end. For the metals on this guy I used the Scale75 metallic paints and their inks. I always paint the metals over a dark base. Normally for iron I'd do something like a black or dark brown, but since I'm going for a cold feel I used a dark blue. On top of that I start by laying down a dark metallic base coat (left image). Here I used Scale75's black metal mixed with Reaper's Pure Black and Ritterlich Blue. I used equal parts metallic and pure black, then maybe a third that amount of the blue. The matte colors tone down the shininess of the metal and help to keep those darker areas dark. Into that I start to mix in a lighter metallic tone, in this case Heavy Metal, to create the highlights. I gradually work up to pure Heavy Metal, applying in smaller and smaller areas (top surfaces and edges). I repeat the same process for the yellow metals. In this case I used Scale75's Necro Gold with Reaper's Burgundy Wine and some Ritterlich Blue. Into that I mixed Elven Gold and, at about 2 parts Elven Gold to 1 part Necro/Burgundy/Blue I started to mix in Thrash Metal. That's a paler highlight and keeps it from getting too yellow. This is the middle image. Note that while the shadows where a mix of matte and metallic paint, the highlights are pure metallic so they are much more reactive with the light. At this point the metals look pretty decent but there is one more step. I take a number of the Scale75 inks and apply a series of glazes to add hints of color and further develop the shadows. You can use a lot of different colors, however for the feel I want I stuck with blue, purple, and black inks. The effect is subtle, but compare the right image (with glazes) to the middle image (without) and you can see the shadows are a bit stronger and the color is a little more interesting.
  15. I needed a break from my samurai project, so I decided to work on this dwarf pirate from M Proyec. It's a little bit bigger than the standard gaming figure, roughly 46mm to the eyes. I wanted a slightly less natural skin tone, so I mixed in some Burgundy Wine with the Rosy Shadow, then some Vampiric Shadow with Fair Skin and Vampiric Skin with Fair Highlight. It created a paler, colder skin. I still want to go in with glazes to add more color variation and reinforce the shadows, but that will wait until after I do the hair. The coat is a dull red I created using a 3 to 2 mix of Violet Red with Dark Elf Highlight for the base. It's shaded with Burgundy Wine and highlighted with a 50/25/25 mix of Fire Red, Dark Elf Highlight, and Vampiric Shadow. The final highlights are made by adding in a bit more Vampiric Shadow to that mix. The pants are still a work in progress. I began by sketching in the stripes, then I did most of the shading and highlighting on the white (cleaning up the stripes as I went). The blue stripes still need shading and highlighting though. For the comparison, the first image is the coat with shading and midtone, but no highlight. The bandanna also is just a dark base. The rest of the images shows it with those sections completed. Makes it much easier to see the difference the increased contrast of the highlights makes.
  16. Happy birthday to an amazing 54mm painter!
  17. I recently posted a couple new projects and here is yet one more! As you can probably tell, I jump around a lot. When I get stuck on a figure instead of banging my head into the wall, I prefer to take a break and work on something else. I will get back to those other ones, don't worry! But, for now, here's what I'm spending my time on. This is a 54mm figure from Andrea's Warlord Saga line. It's an interesting figure, although I haven't seen many other people paint it. The figure is called Sorondil, Dragon Hunter. However, over the past day or so I've decided to change his setting to a pseudo-prehistoric one, like Marvel's Savage Lands. So I guess that makes my version, Sorondil, Dinosaur Hunter. =) I began on the face and skin. I switched up the shadows a little bit. Normally I use RMS Mahogany Brown and Chestnut Brown, both mixed with 10-20% Rosy Shadow for my skin shadows. This time around, I added an extra 25-33% Imperial Purple to those mixes. It's fantasy, so I can play around a bit more, and I plan to use a lot of red and purple throughout the figure. From there I went into my usual Rosy Shadow, then Fair Skin, and finally Fair Highlight. After all that I used some red and purple glazes to add a bit more color here and there. The scales were Burgundy Wine, Violet Red, Fire Red, and a touch of Fair Skin mixed in for the top highlights. The darker scales were black, Dark Elf Shadow, Dark Elf Skin, Dark Elf Highlight, and again a touch of Fair Skin for the top highlights. He's obviously missing some parts. I left off the quiver and his left arm (holding the bow), so I would have easier access to the details on his clothing. His right arm isn't really in the way, but he's holding a long spear with a thin shaft and a huge stone head. It looks very breakable and I'm sure clumsy ol me would snap it in half very quickly while trying to paint the figure. So that will be one of the last pieces I attach just for the sake of safety. Over the weekend a friend at one of the local painting groups in LA was showing me a kit of 1/35 scale dinosaurs from Tamiya. The detailing on them was nice and the size was right for the figure, so I ordered a box and will hopefully be able to use them on the base. I'm excited to try them out.
  18. Here's another historical project that I'm working on. I haven't done a bust in over 3 years, so I thought it would be a nice change to do one again. This is a Prussian Hussar from Young Miniatures. They make mostly busts and their sculpts are all really well done. I was particularly drawn to this one because it's dramatic and has a lot of action/movement for a bust. The bust is only partially assembled. He's got a right arm swinging a sword, but it blocks access to his face and chest, so having that in place would make painting him a lot more difficult. I began on the face, of course. His expression is pretty dramatic and I decided to take a high contrast approach to go with it. It's a larger scale figure so conventional wisdom says I should use less contrast. But, as long as you use high contrast on major features and not overemphasize every shadow, I think you can get away with it even at this scale. For the darkest shadows I used a mix of Mahogany Brown, Rosy Shadow, and Burgundy Wine (roughly 70/20/10), then into Chestnut Brown, Rosy Shadow, and Burgundy Wine (similar ratios), then into Rosy Shadow, Fair Skin, Fair Highlight, and finally a touch of pure white. After that I went back with glazes of red, blue, and purple to add more color, deepen shadows, and create the look of stubble. Since the figure is a good deal larger than most of the stuff I work on, I tried to put a lot more detail into the figure. You'll notice that most clearly in the eyes. And, for a look at whole figure (though still missing the right arm) and a quarter for a sense of scale.
  19. Hey all, I've got a few friends on this forum and I've poked around here for a little while, but this is my first time posting any of my work here. I don't normally paint Reaper figures as I like to do 54mm scale historical figures, but I do use primarily Reaper Master Series paints so hopefully that is enough justification to share my work here! Quick background on myself, I've been painting for many years (started with Ral Partha figures and then GW back in Jr High) but about five or six years ago I returned to the hobby. That was also the point where I became aware of all the great painting info and inspiration online, so I began to learn and push myself from decent table top quality into display level. Okay, enough about me and onto the figure. This is a 54mm Saxon warrior from Latorre. The kit is unfortunately out of production, but I was able to snag a copy from another modeler. I'm hoping to use this as one of my entries for Crystal Brush next year so I'm putting some extra time into this one. Here's a quick look at the current state. The base is still very much a work in progress. My thought is he's on some raid and has broken into this building looking for loot. There will be more debris on the floor and I might add something more to the post and cross beam. Neat bases has never been my strength, so I'm still trying to figure out what I'm doing here. As for the figure, he is mostly finished. I still have a few details to finish and then I need to paint and attach the shield. After that I'll take some pigments to give him a more weathered look. I'm giving a presentation on this project to my local painting group in LA, so I've taken a lot of photos at various stages (I don't normally do this much detail with my other projects). Here's a look at how I did the face. Although this guy is 54mm, I use the same approach on larger and smaller figures. The only difference is the level of detail I can expect to achieve. I begin with a base coat of Rosy Shadow. I then block in the shadows with Chestnut Brown and Mahogany Brown (dark color under the brows, nose, and chin). From there I jump to the eyes. First they get a pink layer (Rosy Skin + Violet Red) followed by an off white (Weathered Stone + Leather White). The idea is a little of the pink remains at the corners of the eye. For the iris I start with a dark color and then try to add a little lighter shade to bring out the color. It's hard to see in the photos but it's there. With the eyes finished it's time to get back to the skin. First I use mixes of Chestnut Brown and Rosy Shadow to smooth out the shadows. I like to start dark and the gradually get lighter and lighter, but nothing wrong with going from the midtone and getting darker and darker. The second image in the bottom row shows the highlights. For these I mix Fair Skin into the Rosy Shadow. When I get to pure Fair Skin I work in Fair Highlight. The brightest highlights fall on the tops of the cheeks and nose. At this point I take a step back and see what needs to be tweaked. The third image in the bottom row shows the face after I take care of the lips (Rosy Shadow + Violet Red, blended into Fair Skin), Brown Liner for the eye brows, and then adjusted some of the shadows and highlights around the edge of the mouth and the line running from the nostrils down the cheek. The face looks pretty decent at this stage but I go one step further. I use glazes of red, blue, and purple to add a bit more life to the face. I'm working with the GW glazes (Bloodletter, Guilliman Blue, and a mix of the two for purple) and further thin them with water but you can make glazes out of Reaper paints instead. The red glaze is applied to the cheeks and tip of the nose. The blue glaze goes on the bottom of the face and changes the tone to create a 5 o'clock shadow look. Finally the purple is used to deepen the shadows in the cheeks and around the eyes. After the glazes I go back in a redo a few of the highlights on the cheeks and nose. I was trying something a little different with the armor. I wanted a very weathered look so I started the helmet with shades of Brown Liner, Oiled Leather, and a little Deep Red and Palomino Gold. I used an old frayed brush to stipple the colors on and create a bit of a pattern. Then, with a fine detail brush I started to paint on the metallic tones in tiny scratches and along the edges. I continued to develop the metal and layered on more of the brown tones. I also added a few touches of Imperial Purple for some more visual interest. For the metal plate on his chest and back I tried to bring out the dented texture. I started with a coat of brown liner and then a layer of Scale75's Necro Gold mixed with Imperial Purple. By mixing the dark metal with a matte paint you bring down the shine and help keep those dark tones dark no matter the lighting. I then started to mix in brighter metals with the Necro Gold + Purple Mix (Scale75's Elven Gold and then at roughtly 4 to 1 Elven to Necro/Purple I switched to Thrash Metal). I did an uneven application of highlights with short brush strokes to help break up the surface (3rd image). The final step was to layer on some glazes to develop the shadows a little more. I mostly used Pure Black and Brown Liner mixed with Vallejo Glaze Medium and water. And here's a closer look at the full figure from a couple different angles. I trying to use a somewhat limited palette with plenty of muted colors. Sorry for the long post but at this late stage I had a lot to cover! Still plenty to do with the base and hopefully this weekend I'll get some time to put some paint on his shield.
  20. This is a little different from my usual projects. I've been wanted to do more large scale fantasy figures and recently picked up this Dark Elf from Scale75. He's got a sneaky assassin look which has inspired most of my color decisions. I went with super pale skin (Dusky Skin, Dusky Skin Highlight, and Vampiric Skin, then some subtle glazes of reddish purple and blueish purple). I wanted to go with some dark and dull colored clothing which turned into a whole monochromatic look for the figure. All the non metallic parts are variations of Pure Black, Dusky Skin Shadow, Dusky Skin, Dusky Skin Highlight, Weathered Stone, and Leather White. To make up for the lack of color I've added some freehand embellishments to his clothing. Here are a couple closer views
  21. I started the figure, Arthur, from Figone the other day. The scene I'm trying to create will be the young king Arthur right after he's pulled the sword from the stone. The figure is relatively simple, not a lot of details, so I decided to add a bit more using some photo etch from Etch Master. I attached the shield to his back along with the strap over his shoulder. This will allow me to add some more heraldry to the figure. I also swapped out the sword blade for one a bit longer. I wanted the exaggerated length so it really looked like a child holding an adult's sword. The face was a bit of a challenge. I needed to downplay the details as too many shadows or dark lines would ruin the youthful look. Still, I tried to build up some contrast around the cheeks and under the chin. I tried to keep the clothing simple so I stuck with primary colors: red, blue, and yellow. For a little more detail I did a checkerboard pattern on his pants. I've done this on a number of figures so it's something I feel pretty comfortable doing. I started with a base coat of yellow (palomino gold) and then took a medium blue (brilliant blue) and sketched in the squares. Try to keep the squares uniform and follow the lines of the pants. At this stage it's still pretty rough. Take a step back to evaluate the lines and square sizes. I then make a variety of tweaks to get it to look a bit better (adjust the squares to line are parallel, fix the sizes as needed, etc). Now I go back in with the yellow and do all of my shading and highlighting (chestnut gold, buckskin pale), followed by the blue (burgundy wine, ashen blue). It's at this stage that I try to clean up the lines and sharpen the corners. Finally I do a number of passes back and forth between yellow and blue cleaning up whatever needs to be fixed. If you're trying this for the first time, pick a surface that is relatively flat (not too many folds and bends). And you might find larger squares are easier to begin with than smaller ones. On a relatively simple figure like this one those extra details can really help. I also plan to add some heraldry to the shield, but haven't gotten that far yet. Here's how the original figure looks before the accessories.
  22. Here's something a bit different, a 75mm Napoleonic figure from the campaigns in Egypt. I've been wanting to do some more large scale projects because I think they make really nice display pieces. And figures from the Napoleonic era are a great topic because they've got such detailed and colorful uniforms. I made a good deal of progress this past weekend. I'm pretty happy with the colors, so here are my mixes. I'm listing just the main colors but there were many intermediate mixes between each paint listed to get smooth blends. The skin was Mahogany Brown + Rosy Shadow (3 to 1), Chestnut Brown + Rosy Shadow (3 to 1), Rosy Shadow, Fair Skin, Fair Highlight. Following that I applied some red, blue, and purple glazes for a bit more color. Red to the cheeks, nose tip, and ears. Blue on the jaw to create the stubble. And purple in the deeper shadows of the cheeks and around the eyes. The green on the coat was a dark green mixed with Burgundy Wine to darken it even more and provide more depth to the shadows. Gradually reducing the Burgundy Wine, at about 2 parts dark green to 1 part Burgundy Wine I started to mix in Rainy Grey. This allowed me to create some desaturated highlights so I could retain that dark green look even with bright highlights. A medium or light green on the other hand would have turned the coat into a lighter shade of green. The red again started off with Burgundy Wine, then into Violet Red, Fire Red, and finally just a bit of Fair Skin mixed into the Fire Red for some extra highlights. The remaining details on the coat are a gold lace, though I'm still decided what my mixes will be for that.
  23. I'm taking part in a paint along over at CMON. The figure is from an independent sculptor, Olivier Bouchet. It's a 54mm fantasy figure titled Gokan, the Guardian, but as someone pointed out it has a striking resemblance to the comic character Slaine. So that's how I'm painting him. If anyone is interested, the paint along just started. Most people are just receiving the figures and only a few have started to paint. There's still plenty of time to join in. Here's the link to the thread http://www.coolminiornot.com/forums/showthread.php?58625-Gokan-group-painting-competition And here's the link to the sculptor's site where you can order the figure [link removed] Here's the current state of the figure I'm doing a full step by step tutorial as I paint this figure so people can follow for the paint along if they want (though I expect to see many different versions/takes on this figure). The tutorial is posted on my painting blog but I thought I'd share part of it here too. This is how I went about painting the tartan. The tartan pattern can seem really difficult and intimidating, but really if you can paint stripes then you can paint a tartan. The trick is to break down the pattern into different parts. I based my tartan on this one I started by base coating the tartan in the background color, orange (Reaper's Oiled Leather). Now I don't worry about all the different stripes, I just start with the most significant ones. Here that's the thick brown stripes (mix of Oiled Leather and Blackened Brown). I lay out the horizontal stripes first. Since the bottom is jagged I used the top at a guide. Try to keep the horizontal, but follow the contours of the cloth and adjust as necessary. Do your best to keep their spacing and thickness consistent. With those finished I add in the vertical stripes. Again, watch the thickness and spacing. Next I add in the dark squares (pure Blackened Brown) wherever the stripes cross Now I go in and do my shading and highlighting. This is also a good time to clean up the lines as needed. If you keep tweaking and cleaning up minor issues as you go the entire process is much more manageable. If you want until the end it can be overwhelming. That looks pretty decent, but we can do more. So now we move to the next most significant detail. In this case the two thin brown stripes on either side of the thick ones. Placement of these is easier as you can use the first set of stripes as a guide. Just watch the spacing. Again, wherever they cross another brown stripe I switch to pure blackened brown to make the cross over section darker. I just continue on down the levels of detail. Up next are the thin horizontal white stripes and the thin vertical yellow stripes. When they cross the orange sections, I mix them with Oiled Leather. When they cross the brown sections, I mix them with Blackened Brown. Not too much, just enough to be noticeable. The end result is complex, but if you just take it one set of stripes at a time and build up the pattern it's really not as difficult as you'd think.
  24. I started on a new project the other day, this 54mm ACW Confederate Lieutenant from Pegaso Models. It's not my normal area of interest, but my dad is a big civil war buff so I occasionally paint a figure for him. He was visiting this past week and brought me this kit. He'd picked it up at a toy soldier show for $5 and I offered to paint it. He's holding an old tattered flag in his left hand, so that should be a fun freehand project. I started out with the face and put down a base coat for most of his uniform. Then I painted a simple pattern on his shirt. This isn't as difficult as it looks. Just lightly sketch in a grid pattern doing your best to keep the spacing consistent between the lines and the lines perpendicular to each other. It can be trickier when there are a lot of folds but just do your best to make it look right. Then I alternate between the darker and lighter colors filling in the boxes. On the first pass I'll do all the dark ones, but just a rough fill. Then the light. Then I'll go back over and sharpen up the edges and corners. I'll make some small mistakes but I just go back with the other color and correct them. Keep going back and forth until you're happy with how it all looks. After that I took a first stab at shading the grey coat. It's a bit rough in places so I'll be going back over it to adjust some of the blends and shadows. Here's a closer look at his face. I used the same basic process as I did with the Saxon. You can look here if you want to see a SBS http://forum.reapermini.com/index.php?/topic/57330-54mm-saxon-raider/
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