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Ok, so kind of in between things and this dude’s been sitting on the desk for a while asking to be painted. So here goes my second Bones project. I call him the Bethalian because ‘Bathalian’ was mis-printed on the initial run of packaging.




First I primed him with Army Painter black. I went a bit heavier than usual because even my base coats are thinned and, well, Bones don’t play that. Kind of wanted to try a black primed mini, I had done some orcs like that back in the day and also I’m starting to run low on white primer.




I’m loosely basing him on a veined octopus, but after thinking about it I’m not sure I want to tackle that level of detail. Because they’re super detailed! We’ll see how it goes, I like the basic coloration anyway. So I based him in Bloodstain Red.


Because that’s a nice muted red, I wanted to go for a nice muted green cloak. This will also accentuate the gold trim that’ll go on it. So the back of the cloak was based with Swamp Green and the inner cloak was based in Khaki Shadow. I wanted another green to work off the khaki lining, so I went with Olive Shadow. Then I based the gold with the darkest shadow instead of the usual Oiled base; there’s so much recess in the trimwork that I just wanted to lay the darkest shadow in there right away.


As usual, my WIP pics aren’t real great for showing accurate colors even after tweaking the white balance in GIMP. They’re mostly to give a basic idea of what’s going on. Going to try to keep this one simple and relatively quick, about two hours just to do that very basic base-coating thanks to the black primer and a truculent Swamp Green.

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I started tonight's session by messing around with mixing some of the greens, reds, brown and khakis to see what happened. I got lucky with the first few mixes and dove into the robe.




I started by mixing the base Olive Shadow with a little dab of Bloodstain Red. This gave me a real nice color and went in pretty good. Then I took the highlights up with the top two triad colors over Olive Shadow. Not real happy with placement or blending, it feels like a real step backward to my old way of painting back in the 90s. I probably should've taken things much slower and thinned out the layers a good double the translucence.


The interior of the cloak I struggled a lot more with the mix. While I liked the color I got from my initial Khaki Shadow + Carnage Red, it was still too light to be a shadow. So I put in a bit of the Olive Shadow/Bloodstain Red mix into that mix and it made a decent shadow, with a dab of Olive Shadow into that for the darkest shadow. I started to bring up the highlights in the khaki triad, but I just wasn't feeling the lighting (pretty obviously off), so I called it quits for the night.

Edited by CashWiley
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Ok, maybe I was a wee bit hard on my blending, but I'll post a pic of a robed wizard at some point to illustrate why I felt that way. The upside to being frustrated during a project is that it keeps me humble about my painting skills. I start thinking I'm getting pretty good so I try something completely new and struggle with it rather than go directly back to the stuff I did in the last project that worked so well. Same thing happened with Orson, he was a massive struggle to paint up but turned out ok (if way short of where I aimed).


Looking at it this morning, the only thing that's /really/ bugging me is the poor shading on the right side of the robe. I was even holding it under the light! But it should be an easy fix, I'm trying to get better about going back to fix problems rather than just moving on to the next thing and saying the heck with it.



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Spent a little time tonight going back over the cloak interior to fix those shadows.




Worked some base coat back over it until it looked better, also took the opportunity to clean up some of the shadow blending. Then up the khaki triad for highlighting. Thought about mixing some of the khaki highlight with linen white, but decided to wait until I've finished the rest of the mini to see how it fits together.


I hit the deepest shadows of the robe with a glaze of Midnight Blue, they were just looking way too monotonous, even with the red in there. I like the way it cooled it off. Then I hit the highs with Olive Highlight one more time to bring them up a bit. As with the cloak interior, I'll leave that until I'm near then end to see how it all works together. Still in my baby steps with overall tonality and model cohesion.

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You've adjusted well! I like the robe very much. See how things progress with the rest of the model, but I think you could go up a notch or two on the highlighting, particularly on the top of the (model's) left thigh and the right knee. The inside of the outer robe looks much better as well. Nitpicking, I think you could smooth the blending a bit right at knee level. Again, see how the rest progresses, but I think a bit more highlighting to contrast the inner and outer robes would help it pop a bit more. Not sure if I am explaining it well, but the darker shading of the inner robe is fairly close just below the knee to the shading of the outer robe of the deep fold just adjacent to the knee looks pretty similar (at least on my monitor). Does that make sense? It may be a trick of the photo or just my screen, though. And I am definitely being picky here--I hope you don't mind!

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No, Jab, that is perfectly clear and all of those points are things I've been looking at, especially the crap blending on the left thigh and the spot adjacent to the right knee. But this is why I can't seem to do a quick paint job, I'll be going in for my third session on those two regions :p

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Did a quick and mostly ineffective pass on a couple crap blended spots on the robe and inner cloak. Then hit the outer cloak. For some reason these WIP pictures have been particularly bad, apologies.




For the outer cloak, I had based it in Swamp Green. I hit the shadows with some Black + Midnight Blue and then Midnight Blue. Then up the triad Military Green to Camo Green, finishing with a 2:1 Camo to Linen.


For some reason the paint was really acting weird today, a few of the highlight layers were leaving a weird film and breaking up oddly.

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I have no idea how anyone can put up with painting the detail on this model. I couldn't find my metal version to compare, but the Undead Bathalian in similar robes doesn't look significantly better. That trim is obnoxious. I wasn't looking forward to it and I pretty much destroyed all the base coat I wanted to leave in shadow because the detail is so soft. Using thin paint and just painting the detail would take me about a month, using thick paint looks crap and would still take way more time than I want to invest in a Bones mini.


I'm open to hints on painting this because right now my frustration level is pretty high and I'm close to throwing it in the wood stove.

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Learn you nothing from Kit 1? That trim is an excellent place for a wash. Particularly an ink wash.


Told you all them skillz would come in handy. ::P: If you don't have any ink, you can thin down brown liner for the job.


Then to clean it up, thin your paint to just this side of how you thin it for highlights. You want it a bit thicker than that, not as thick is a basecoat. Nicely in-between. Then load the brush, wick most of it off, and move fast to clean around the lined area. Don't think, just do it. The paint should not be runny at all, but should come of smoothly and not look chunky - and should cover well. You might need to experiment to get it just right. When you do, you'll know.


That'll be fast and not eat your brain. Scrollwork and trim feature on lots of crap I have.

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Oh hell, I'm a wash master. That and drybrushing is all I did in the 90s. I had actually developed it to a pretty interesting style, where I'd layer the washes almost like a glaze (which is probably why I'm drawn to glazing as a technique). Anyway, the detail is so bad it won't look great. From the soft detail of Bones to what might just be bad sculpt or casting (where the triangle overlap the lines, where the lines just stop, where all detail just stops and it's a block, etc). So I don't think a wash will magically solve this one.


So I'm just going to soldier ahead and use Bones as I had originally intended, as a test subject for techniques. Another nmm gold approach, I think.


My fiancee told me to stop painting Bones. The last time I was this frustrated was the Ogre.

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You have to adapt to Bones, play to their strengths. Instead of approaching it as a "serious mini" just go nuts with it. Play with it. Don't worry about it. Treat Bones as your funtime minis, where you don't have to mess around with all these techniques and go for top quality. Let go. Embrace the freedom.


Once you do that, then you will begin to learn The Zen of Bones. Frustration will melt away like a snowball in flame. Once you've achieved that comfort zone, then working from there to higher quality jobs will come easy.


Addiction will set in. Bones wrap themselves around the cerebral cortex. This has the effect of rendering the victim extremely susceptible to suggestion. Later, as they grow . . . follows madness. And hoarding.

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