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aku-chan

Aku-chan versus the Horde of Bones

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And he's painted!

 

6mzj.jpg

 

I forgot to take a piccy before I varnished him, so its already worked its magic and fixed my layering.

 

His head was bascoated with Vallejo Jade Green, then I washed it with Saphire Blue, reapplied the Jade Green and added some 1:1 Jade Green/Pure White highlights.

The staff was basecoated in Blackened Brown, then drybrushed with Oiled Leather. Unfortunately my drybrushing skills seem to be getting worse, so I went over it with a brown wash to tidy it up.

The gem was basecoated with Blood Red, then highlighted with Vallejo Orange Red, Sun Yellow and Pure White, only the dot of white at the top really shows up, but it looks okay.

 

Just need to do his base, he'll be the first mini I test my new basing stuff on:-

 

5byr.jpg

 

If only I knew what I'm actually supposed to do with this stuff!

 

Don't know when I'll get some more Bones done, now I'm finally back to regular painting sessions I thought I deserved a treat, so I moved this to the head of my painting queue:-

 

ar42.jpg

 

It might take me a while.

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I haz Bones!

 

w7m5.jpg

 

I know I should be working on my existing Bones, or at least finish the ones I started, but I can't resist their newness!

 

My first random batch will be these guys:-

 

q6of.jpg

gpg4.jpg

 

I tried undercoating them with Vallejo WarmGrey instead of Brown. I think it brings out the details just as good, but, hopefully, will be a bit easier to paint over.

 

Now I just need to work out which one to start on.

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If you're base coating or priming, a thin wash can also help pop the details. I've tried a few methods (like zenithal priming) and I like the light base/prime with a wash for details the best.

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If you're base coating or priming, a thin wash can also help pop the details. I've tried a few methods (like zenithal priming) and I like the light base/prime with a wash for details the best.

 

Yeah, I've recently started doing that when I prime my mini's in white, but with Bones I'm finding just a coloured undercoat is enough to stop them looking like fuzzy white blobs.

 

My big bases have arrived already:-

tgwy.jpg

 

Wanted plastic ones, but they're hard to get at these sizes, so I went with MDF. They even did one large enough for Kaladrax (that rectangular one at the top), plus I like how they smell.

 

Made a start on the Mummy King:-

7b77.jpg

ozk4.jpg

 

Haven't quite finished the basecoat yet, still needs some Ruddy Leather on all the eventually gold bits.

 

I have a question though, I want to paint his beetle backpack as a gem. Do I paint it as one large gem and pick out the lines on it with black? Or do I paint each section as a separate gem?

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It might help to understand why gems are painted the way they are.

 

The gem look comes from three things:

 

1) A specular (front surface direct reflection) highlight, usually near the top. This should be either white or very close to white and quite sharp, because the area that will give you a direct reflection is usually quite small and because speculars pick up very little of the color of the underlying object.

 

2) A refracted highlight from light that enters the gem and comes out toward the bottom. This is the part that gives a gem its color. It will have a much softer blend profile than the specular and should be bright and saturated, but nowhere near as bright as the specular.

 

3) The rest of the gem, which should be dark. What color there is comes mostly from internal reflections, so there's not much light to see.

 

For this backpack, I'd make sure that all my specular highlights reflect the same light source. The position of that reflection will depend on the angle of the surface, but you would likely have a specular on each horizontal ridge at least.

 

The refracted highlights should certainly go at the bottom of the backpack and possibly at the bottom of the head and other details. The bottom of the backpack would probably have the brightest refracted highlight.

 

A tip for painting gems on metal figures: If you take a photo with a single light source in the position of the light source you want to represent on the figure before you prime the figure, you can usually get a good feel for where the speculars would show up. I suppose you could prepaint with metallics and do the same with plastic figures, but it would certainly be more work and might reduce the adhesion of the gem paint layers.

 

HTH

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Where'd you order the MDF bases from? I've got a few of the more decorative craft store wood bases, but would like to pick up some additional basic ones for other minis.

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It might help to understand why gems are painted the way they are.

 

The gem look comes from three things:

 

1) A specular (front surface direct reflection) highlight, usually near the top. This should be either white or very close to white and quite sharp, because the area that will give you a direct reflection is usually quite small and because speculars pick up very little of the color of the underlying object.

 

2) A refracted highlight from light that enters the gem and comes out toward the bottom. This is the part that gives a gem its color. It will have a much softer blend profile than the specular and should be bright and saturated, but nowhere near as bright as the specular.

 

3) The rest of the gem, which should be dark. What color there is comes mostly from internal reflections, so there's not much light to see.

 

For this backpack, I'd make sure that all my specular highlights reflect the same light source. The position of that reflection will depend on the angle of the surface, but you would likely have a specular on each horizontal ridge at least.

 

The refracted highlights should certainly go at the bottom of the backpack and possibly at the bottom of the head and other details. The bottom of the backpack would probably have the brightest refracted highlight.

 

A tip for painting gems on metal figures: If you take a photo with a single light source in the position of the light source you want to represent on the figure before you prime the figure, you can usually get a good feel for where the speculars would show up. I suppose you could prepaint with metallics and do the same with plastic figures, but it would certainly be more work and might reduce the adhesion of the gem paint layers.

 

HTH

 

Thanks for the detailed explanation.

 

I should have known it wasn't going to be easy, but at least I know what I'll be doing for my next painting session or two.

 

Where'd you order the MDF bases from? I've got a few of the more decorative craft store wood bases, but would like to pick up some additional basic ones for other minis.

 

I ordered them from these guys:-

 

http://shop.eastridingminiatures.co.uk/mdf-bases-16-c.asp

 

They are UK based though, so postage might be a bit pricey.

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Got a bit more Mummy King painted:-

 

zqqz.jpg

1fka.jpg

 

Finished basecoating him, although what I thought was a bit of decoration on his torso turned out to be a scar, so I need to redo that bit.

Also did his gems. The front ones went okay, but I'm not sure of the back one, think I over-did the white dots (plus it refuses to photograph decently).

 

Made a start on my Fire Giantess as well:-

 

xbim.jpg

 

Just her hair, skin and a bit of her clothing basecoated so far. Might need to redo her boob-tube, the Ultramarine Shadow has made it look like PVC.

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When you're painting gems, you mostly want them to have reflections and refractions from the same source. Looking at the front view, the gem in the headpiece is being "illuminated" by two light sources, both high front. The gem in the staff is being "illuminated" by a two lights from low on the left side of the figure. If you look carefully in the photo, you'll see a specular highlight on the staff gem that should give you an idea of both how large to make the painted highlight and where to place it (though the real lighting is actually farther to the right than the notional lighting).

 

I'd also bring down the dark portion of the gems a fair bit farther, but try to get a really smooth blend from that dark bit to the refracted highlight at the bottom.

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Didn't even think about that, to paint the staff gem I just took what I did with his crown gem and rotated it 90 degrees, I'll have to have another crack at them.

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Nethyrmaul rises!

 

5b3b.jpg

 

Yeah, I've moved on to something else again.

 

I got into a bit of a slump with the Giantess and Mummy, just didn't seem to be getting anywhere with them, so I've been working on some stuff from my metal pile.

This got me over my slump but another problem has appeared, my brush control has deteriorated quite a bit and I was never a particularly neat painter to start with (I've made such a mess of my puppet people). So I thought painting something big and chunky might help.

 

Nethy has just been assembled so far, went together pretty well but there are a few gaps around the wings to fill. The base really did not want to sit flat, so I glued what contact points I could and stuffed Vallejo Plastic Putty (one of mans greatest inventions) into all the holes.

Now I just have to decide if Nethy will be easier to paint attached to her rocky outcrop or not.

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hq7c.jpg

 

It almost seems a shame to paint them, I doubt they'll look that good once I've finished with them.

 

I know the feeling. I have had a box of RalPartha Renaissance style fighters with cannons for ~30 years that i have not been able to paint as they are so cool with jut a black wash.

 

Your steam punk Dorothy is way cool. Keep up the good work

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hq7c.jpg

 

It almost seems a shame to paint them, I doubt they'll look that good once I've finished with them.

 

I know the feeling. I have had a box of RalPartha Renaissance style fighters with cannons for ~30 years that i have not been able to paint as they are so cool with jut a black wash.

 

Your steam punk Dorothy is way cool. Keep up the good work

 

 

Thanks.

 

Sadly Dorothy ended up back in her box, I lost confidence in my ability to do a decent job painting her. One day I'll be good enough to give it another go.

 

 

Made a start painting Nethy:-

 

qhin.jpg

 

I'm going to be at this for a long time!

Didn't get as far as I wanted today (was hoping to at least get all the scales on one side of her basecoated), but she gets surprisingly heavy to hold after a while.

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The Treeman cometh!

 

zxfi.jpg

 

Nethy hasn't been abandoned (see, she's in the background), but I did make the mistake of basecoating her scales in Ultramarine Shadow (it hates virgin Bones), so I'm about halfway through the forth coat so far. When she's fully basecoated she'll get some update piccys.

 

Back to the Treeman, so far he's been basecoated in Ruddy Leather (wood bits), Grass Green (vegetation) and Aged Bone (Mushrooms).

Now I need to dig through my paint collection, find enough greens to separate all the plants and stuff.

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