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Kang

overly glossy mind flayer

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Edit - this guy is done now. Photos of the finished product can be seen in the Show Off section.

 

Here is my first and latest WIP. Note: it's only my first WIP here; been doing this for years, though it's hard to find much time to paint these days. I maybe complete 3 minis a year in a good year, to give you an idea. Another note: if you like spending lots of time on this hobby, don't have kids or get an HDTV or move someplace where you have to drive for an hour to get to your job from...

 

It's my first mini painted with Reaper paints though. Mostly RMS, anyhow - the blue in the robes is from some old GW pots I dug out of their graves. The gold is FolkArt Inca Gold with some Vallejo silver mixed into the highlights; I forget what else but a few small details used craft brands and GW.

 

Anyhow, this is the mini I've been having such trouble applying Testor's Dullcote to - note the persistent glossy shine. I have a thread going about that over in Painting Tips and Advice, and I think I've finally found a solution there (another thin layer of gloss spray, then a dusting of Dullcote) to this problem which began when I put WAY too much Dullcote on in the first go 'round.

 

The PC's are going to be facing this guy in my D&D campaign sometime in the next couple of weeks, so I guess I'd have to say this is for tabletop use, though given the small number of minis I actually paint, I try to give each one of them my absolute best effort. I'd call this guy finished if it weren't for that Dullcote issue, as I'm quite happy with the way he's turned out. Feel free to critique though, of course...

 

Things that didn't work out so well, or at all, in some cases:

- My 1st attempt at NMM - the things on his wrists. They were supposed to look like steel. They do not, and I got the reflections all wrong anyhow. Tips are welcome, but for this mini I think I can live with it as-is.

- My 2nd attempt at NMM - the trim on his robe, now painted in metallics. Gave up real fast. Some of my highlights when I switched to metallics ended up obscuring the wash I gave it to pick out the trim's details, while in other spots the wash darkened the gold more than I wanted; so you may find this part seems a tad sloppy. Not sure if this is too evident in the pics though.

- Dullcote. 'Nuff said.

- OSL - the gem in his staff and the luminescent slime-mold on the base were going to be light sources in my early ambitions. I had some hopes of the green stuff on his staff being painted like gems (ie transparent and reflective, with the gem's light coming through the bottom surfaces and reflecting off the tops). I didn't bother with any of that other than the green parts of the staff. That looks better right now because of the glossiness I'm still trying to get rid of than they actually are. How do you paint reflections of red light on green glass anyhow? What I tried with those reflections isn't easily seen here but didn't work like I hoped. Same goes for the gem-light shining through the green areas, though it came out better than the reflections.

- The bearded skull - it looks like it is floating an inch off the ground or something if you look closely. I could try to back-fill the gap there, but I haven't bothered.

-Freehand - Meh, maybe a bit too pink or something. I wanted to get more ambitious and elaborate with the tentacle design too, but I chickened out. First time I attempted any freehand at all though, so it's not a complete failure.

 

Things I'm pleased with:

- The skulls - I'm happy with the way I got the skulls to look like their former wearers had their brains devoured by this guy. I don't have a great photo of that, but you can see it in one of 2 of these. I also gave the beardless skull a gold tooth, just for fun.

- Layering - the blue inside his robe has the smoothest transitions I've ever been able to accomplish so far without expending an incredible amount more effort. This part looked a little brighter before the whole Dullcote fiasco began, but I'm still happy with the look. In the past, I've spent hours trying to smooth out transitions between shadow/mid/highlight, often only to end up with just one color for all 3 in the end. I'm hopeful that even once I knock off that annoying shine, the guy's flesh will still look fairly shiny and wet because of my highlights. I don't often get the highlight as bright as I did on his flesh without having jarringly abrupt transitions. I'm sure I could probably push these even farther.

- Base - I think the HirstArts tile (cast in dental plaster) with the skulls and luminescent cave-slime turned out quite nicely. I used Laszlo Jakusovszky's granite technique for the stone floor, or tried to, and I'm fairly pleased with the result. The slime is white glue built up in layers, with a little railroad sand for texture. I was hoping the sand would give the impression of young mushrooms just about ready to pop up out of the slime, but if people mistake the stuff for radioactive waste, that's not entirely inappropriate for a mind flayer's lair anyhow.

 

Anyhow, here are some photos I took last night. These were done really quick after 1AM and I didn;t want to wake up the whole house looking for my tripod, so excuse the quality. I'm surprised how well they turned out, given I was holding both mini and camera in my hands when I shot most of these (not to mention I was trying to cover the flash with one finger while shooting, as I'm stuck with my old camera 'til I get the better one - the one whose flash I know how to turn off - fixed).

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Kang

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Just spray it with a matte varnish then get a pot of gloss coat and paint on the gloss coat on the areas that you want to have that wet look.

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The head is great - if you can keep that glossy and get the rest matte it will look awesome!

 

Cool base too!

Thanks, primeval!

 

Ideally, someday I'll be able to paint something like this so the head still looks just as glossy, but all the reflections would be painted on. Once the shine is gone from this piece, his head's highlights obviously won't be quite as bright as these reflections are now, but it'll still be the closest I've come to creating that sort of effect so far.

 

Once I do get my Dullcote working though, I am considering going over the slime on the floor with a little brush-on gloss. I'm not yet ready to attempt painting an artificial glossy shine on stuff that was intended to be a light source. Not even sure if that would make sense...

 

The way I did the skull-holes on his victims' remains on the base was to use 2 different sized pin vise bits to drill them out, then highlight the upper edge of the outer (larger) hole and the narrow lip between the bottom of that hole and the top of the smaller (inner, deeper) hole. The small hole was painted black IIRC, or maybe it was very dark brown. I'm quite happy with the illusion of a hollow space beneath a layer of bone that was created. You can see this a bit on the dwarf skull in the smallest photo. The narrow shaded space between the 2 highlights I mentioned could almost be the marrow.

 

Anyhow, glad you liked it; can't wait to kill that shine and move him over to Show Off. I just hope he doesn't pull a TPK in my D&D game over the next couple of weeks...

 

If I get a chance to take some better pictures from other angles where you can see more details (these pix came out surprisingly well considering the way I set up, but I had to delete more than a dozen that were total crap), I'll come back and post them over the weekend or maybe on Monday.

 

Kang

 

edit:

Just spray it with a matte varnish then get a pot of gloss coat and paint on the gloss coat on the areas that you want to have that wet look.
Heh, you posted while I was typing. "Just spray it with a matte varnish," eh? Sure sounds simple. You are obviously trying to drive me insane. Not really complaining; I can appreciate that. Been doing the same to the wife for years now, in fact - well played! Have you checked out my other thread about this mini? (linked in my OP). I've been having some major frustration over Dullcote issues. Anyhow, yeah, I'm considering doing as you suggest with the pools of glowing fungooze on the base. Maybe I will do up his skin too while I'm at it. I'll have to think about that.

 

Thanks!

 

Kang

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For someone who paints 3 minis a year, this is a very nice job! You have a very clean style. Crazy dull coat! I feel for ya! I find that any type of dull or glossy coat will kill a lot of the highlights and or shadows that you put into a model. Thats why the European painters, namely the French and Spaniards, will not seal their competition models. That being said, you probably lost a bit of highlight as well as shadow and will probably lose a bit more when you actually get it dull coated properly. If your gaming with it, that is probably okay as you don't want to damage the paintjob! I really like your color choices for the face and tenticals as well as the staff. The robe is a bit flat color wise probably partly due to the gloss coat as well as even the photo washing the color out a bit. I think that some deeper shadows would help in this area. Other than that it is really a niceley painted model!

 

 

a

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Wow, thanks for the compliments and suggestions. I had a bit more luck over the weekend, and I'm now working from a theory that my Dullcote wnt glossy because I had sprayed it on top of a layer of DecoArt acrylic gloss (as opposed to some other brand). I gave it a layer of Krylon Matte which helped a lot, then I gave it a bit more Dullcote on top of that and it is looking much better now. More details on this theory and the limited experiments I did can be found on my Tips & Advice thread, linked in my OP.

 

Here are a few more pictures I took after finally managing to kill most of that shine. There's still a bit of shine on the cape, but it's at a point where I can live with it now.

 

Front view:

post-4296-1196091180_thumb.jpg

 

Rear view (you can really see how many layers of sealer I used when you look at the filled-in details on his gold collar!):

post-4296-1196091196_thumb.jpg

 

Close-up of his head:

post-4296-1196091205_thumb.jpg

 

Close-up of skulls on base:

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When I get the pools of ooze & the green parts of his staff glossed back up, I may post a few pix on the Show Off page.

 

Thanks again,

 

 

Kang

 

Edit - I'm seeing the glossy photos repeated here at the bottom. Is it just me? I did not want them there but when I go back into Edit mode there's no sign of them. Aarrgh!

 

Edit2 - after doing the first edit, those extra pix disappeared. No doubt this will make them reappear.

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he looks a TON better! Now if you wanted the head or tenticles to have a glossy look you can go back with paintable gloss coat and touch up areas. That may give a nice creepy look to him. ::):

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Still having the inner debate about whether to gloss his skin or not; I'll probably use some on the fungous pools and the green crystal on his staff (ie. minor details) since a shiny look would work there, but I'm thinking about maybe trying to paint in some brighter reflections on his head/tentacles (the mini's main feature, where gloss might feel a bit like "cheating"), to simulate sliminess there rather than use the gloss. But I fear ruining the whole mini in the attempt... Still on the fence at this point, but I would kind of like to have this guy be 'officially' done sooner rather than later - the PC's will be encountering him soon...

 

I've used gloss before quite often, on things like tongues, teeth, horns, claws, etc., but I'm trying to push myself beyond that, to a point where I can use paint to get the same effect.

 

Thanks for the suggestions!

 

Kang

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I will still use gloss coat on things though just to really accentuate that slimy look.

Yeah? Hmm, well, if you do it then maybe it's not cheating after all... I'll have to think about this some more.

 

Love your work, BTW. Wow. Got any pix of your gloss-slime-bearing ones posted around here that I can check out?

 

Kang

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