Jump to content

Paintless-painting of Cthulhu


Recommended Posts

Every since the first KS and the addition of Cthulhu I knew I had to have him.  And when he arrived along with the rest of my Bone-y goodness, I got it in my head that I HAD to paint him with dry pigments instead of paint.  Having followed the efforts of Katheryn Loch over on CMON and some Google hangouts she hosted to explain the process, I decided that this big guy was going to be colored this way.  I have been using pigments on bases for a while now and had been experimenting using them for weathering but...  this is something new.  The only part that really worries me is the face/tentacles as they are the softest part of the model but we'll see how it goes. 


So far he has been washed, heavily sanded, glued, puttied as I was worried the gaps would be too obvious with the pigment build-up in them, sanded and washed again and primed to hide the putty and to give some better tooth for the pigments to adhere to.  I also cut up his base and mounted it to a very large GW one with some cork on it (still not decided what will happen to the base exactly). 


To describe the process of the pigment application, it is applied with a brush or clay shaper with a reasonable amount of pressure until the area is saturated.  Compressed air is then used to blow off any excess and then a fine coat of matt coat is applied to provide a base for the next layer and protect the previous one.  Repeat until the desired finish is obtained.  You work from light to dark as you can't lighten up your previous layers though you can tint them. 

Pigments I have are from Earth Pigments. 


Colour selection to follow in next post once I make up my mind. 


Fair bit of putty work.  I hope the dragons have less obvious gaps in them... 






Drying after the final touch up of primer. 


Edited by Rahz
  • Like 13
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 21
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

As will I, I'm curious about the pigment use. Were these Hangouts captured and uploaded for posterity (and to teach others who missed them)?


http://www.youtube.com/user/warhorseminiatures has the first hangout (called workshop) and a whole series she has done on using dry pigments for skin, clothing, sheer clothing, etc..  Seriously good stuff. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Seeing my current selection of pigment colors, Mr. gives-too-much-tongue Cthulhu is going to be green.  (I have greens, reds and browns and a sky blue which I'm still not sure why I bought...). 


I had to tear his head off as it was in the way.  I also found another few mold lines that I had missed but as this guy may end up in The Dip depending on how things go, I'm leaving them. 


Anyway, the following is a single application of Pistachio Green pigment using a nylon brush.  I tried the clay shapers and they were too stiff.  I may have to try the softer versions at some point.  Canned air was used to blow off extra pigment. 

I did his shoulder plates and part of his tail in green as well and will blend in whatever brown I pick for the "chitin" in hopes of making the transition look more organic. 

This is without matt coat as I want to add the first coat on the chitin before I do so.  The matt coat will deepen the colors a little. 






And I need a photo booth or something because getting good pics of a green model on a green cutting mat on a green table in a room with green walls...


Question to airbrush users:  I have a spray booth that's vented to the outdoors, etc but am worried about using it to blow the extra pigments off as I don't want to blow it around later on when painting.  Thoughts?  Am I being overly cautious? 


More on Friday night. 

Edited by Rahz
  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Managed to squeeze 15 minutes of work in tonight before picking up the kids from daycare... 


First layer of Curry Yellow on the chitin on the arms and legs.  Shoulders and back/tail tomorrow and then first coat of matt spray will be applied. 






Thoughts for the nails: Black (I have grey and black pigments) or Red (I have a couple different tones of red)? 

  • Like 7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is already looking amazing.  15 minutes work using pigments (judging from the 2 photos) looks like 2 hours using traditional paints!  Do you find this method faster?  I am fascinated by this.


For the nails I would say black with gray highlights - red might look a little like Big C there just came from his manicurist!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not sure I'd call it faster. Applying 1 coat of paint on those areas would likely take about as long. The finish wouldn't be the same though. On the rest of the body, the green required some muscle in a few spots to get the pigment to adhere properly, whereas traditional paint would have just covered the area.


On an organic model like this, I find "painting" with pigments is akin to painting with just washes as the edges are less defined between colours so "painting within the lines" is less important. Like looking at a turtle or large lizards, the transition between different skin textures has a soft color shift as opposed to armor or man made material. Basically the fact that I have to rub the pigment into the model means I have some leeway when I get a bit carried away.


With a preassembled model like this though I'm having issues with pigment falling into other areas while applying it, which wouldnt be a problem with traditional paint. On the plus side though, once an area is fully saturated, additional pigment, including of a different color doesn't stick easily and it's easy to gently brush it off.


Going from light to dark is a strange transition though and I may have to prime some test pieces to try out some ideas before applying them to the model as it's much harder to cover up mistakes with the pigment.


Thinking of bruising the belly along the "split" with some dark red for example. Having a limited supply of different pigments at the moment is limiting things somewhat too.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Update time! 


The following shots are after 2 layers of yellow on the "armor" plates and a partial second coat of green where I went over those areas that should be more shaded (under arms, lower portions between ridges, etc) and 2 coats of matt coat.  I really need a better set-up for taking pictures though.


After tearing off his head, I later removed his wings as well as they were getting in the way and getting pigment on them when I didn't want them to. 


Findings so far: much harder to highlight/shade as desired with the powders.  I also need some firmer brushes as the ones I have require a fair bit of force to get the pigments to tint the surface and it's leading to a lot of dusting.  I'm either using too much pigment on my brush or I haven't quite figured out the appropriate combination of brush, pigment quantity and elbow grease.  My current plan is to add another layer or 2 of green to the darker areas and then do a final full layer as some of the "higher" surfaces need a bit better coverage, plus this should help smooth everything together.  Thinking I may need to add inks to my repertoire for this guy though as getting just a tiny bit of pigment into some of the deeper areas to shade without messing up the lighter surfaces is proving problematic.  But we'll see. 







  • Like 9
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...