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77163: Male Storm Giant

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Hey all!
Last week and a half I've been contemplating painting the Male Storm Giant from Bones I.
I honestly have not painted many mini's from Bones I, or many at all (I've painted like 7 in total maybe? And no other painting experience outside of Miniatures), and I just got Bones II, so I decided to get back into it.
On this one, I want to practice layering, and blending layers (dry blend by laying paint over).
Part of my inspiration for this is one of the sample images on the reaper store page. While I hope to emulate it in some respects, I doubt I can reach that level of amazing detail and control. Still, its a good learning experience!
Before I started painting I decided on my main colors, and I practiced layering. As mentioned before, I have no painting experience outside of miniatures. Nor have I painted many mini's, and am going primarily off of YouTube videos and tutorials by people in this community.
I decided on Reaper's Ashen Blue for my mid-tone, with Aircraft Grey as a highlight and Denim Blue as the shadow.
The first thing I did was prime a piece of cardboard to practice layering.
1: Painted the midtone, and then painting the highlights and the shadows directly on, not watered down, just directly on
2: Painted the midtone, then layered very watered down versions of the highlights and the shadows, with no color mixing
3: Painted the midtone, then mixed midtone and highlight and watered it down, painted on top, then did just watered down highlight. Same for shadows.
4: Same as 3 except a glaze of very watered down midtone went over the whole thing.
Now on to the model!

This was before I did any cleanup, when I was just visualizing what I wanted to do.
Just after this I cleaned up the mold lines, and realized an issue with odd depressions on his shoulder. A buddy of mine had some liquid GW Greenstuff, and he helped me patch it up. So thats the green you see in the other pictures.
Another new thing I tried on this model; Lining.
I haven't really had much of a need to do any lining, but I've run into trouble areas before where lining would be useful (like where feet touch ground, it always causes me problems!), and with this model, where his beard meets his arm.


So that is the first thing I did, I lined him (Reaper Blue Liner paint):



I was initially going to stop there for the night, but I just had to put a first basecoat of the midtone. I was initially just going to do his upper back to see how it looked, but it looked so good I couldn't stop!


So I painted all of the flesh parts!



Thats just the first coat of the midtone, directly on the bones material with no primer, paint not watered down (I've been finding that watering the first coat down directly on bones causes consistency issues). I'm definitely going to have to do a second coat, but I'm very happy with this progress so far, I think it looks great.


And the back:



So nothing crazy, and I'm not the most skilful painter, but I think its going well so far.


I'll keep this topic updated as I go, but dont expect overly frequent updates. I rarely get chances to paint, and I see this mini taking me quite a long while to paint, I do not wish to rush it.


As far as plans, I'd love to try Non-Metalic Metal techniques on the sword and bracers, but every practice I've tried has failed miserably. So I'm not sure. Also not sure what color to do the clothes. Most likely going to do a grey-light blue-white beard, instead of the green beard done in the reference picture.


Please, I very much welcome critique and suggestions!

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Ok, first update;


I've finished base coating around 80% of the model now.

I'm still not sure what colors I want to make the front of his shorts, the little parts that dangle down. I'm open for suggestions.

I have decided on a dark blue (with purple shadows) for the rest of his shorts.


I would still love to try out Non-Metalic Metal techniques on this guy, and (since I have it!) I think I'll complete the Reaper Lean To Paint Kit 3 first, as it does NNM.

Still, to build up to that, I've base coated anything that will be iron/steel with Rainy Grey, and anything that will be bronze/gold with oiled leather. This by its self I was very impressed with, both colors have good coverage and look good next to eachother (in my opinion).


Even if I do end up cheaping out and just using Metalic paints, these under coats should help.



The shorts are a little too deep blue for me at the moment, but I'll fix that up in the second coat.

Everything (except bits of the belt, and the blade of the sword) is only on its first coat still (undiluted Reaper Master Series Paints directly onto non-primed Bones surface) so its all a little patchy. I'll go over it all with another coat (that has a bit of flow improver in it) and that should fix it all up.


Next, just to practice, even though its a bit out of order, I jumped right into detailing his hair. While most of him will allow me to practice my layering skills, for the hair I'm going good old fashioned dry brushing and washing.



^Hair with Drybrush



^Hair with wash



So overall this is where we're standing:






Thoughts? Opinions?


Yes, I know that there are visible brush strokes, that will be fixed on the second coat.

Yes, I know I got a bit messy on some of the details... I learned a valuable lesson:

Having a house thats about a block away from train tracks;

-Trains can still make your living room shake from a block away

-Shaking makes it hard to paint

I've been in this house for almost 5 months now, and it hasn't really been an issue till tonight.


Also, I did all that work lining, and I'm not nearly taking advantage of it enough. Like on the back of the leg in the last picture, where the leather meets the leg, meets the armor, if I had just painted up to but not over the line, it could have been a much crisper line. I might even go in and paint in some of the lines with a fine brush...



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Not sure what the rules are for NecroPosting in your own WIP topics... but I'll have go at it.


Third (and fourth) update:

So real life happened a while back, which forced me to completely put painting aside for a while (To anyone that lives in Canada, lets just say I worked for Future Shop).

I did do some stuff here and there (and if requested I'll post my 2015 end of year lineup), but very little work was done on the Storm Giant. I had a chance to work on him in and around July, where I finished up the basecoat and put a second coat on the body and lower half, but apparently I did not take many pictures (or post an update).


Before I started today I did take a front and back picture of the two coats before I started.




The front toga thing or whatever it is, looks a lot messier in this picture than IRL, because of the angle its shot at, and the lighting I use for painting. I cant even see some of those marks IRL.




I really liked how the skin looked after the second coat, but the whole point of this endeavor was to get better at shading and depth.


Tonight I worked on the toga thing in the front, adding some detailed highlights, and then failing terribly at a wash (was just too smooth, started blotching up), desperately trying to get it all off, then attempting to selectively add it... worked OK I guess?

Then I moved on to shading the torso... which i feel worked pretty well! Then I ruined it a bit while doing highlights, so I had to go back in and go over some of it with the midtones, which caused me to go back in and do more of the shadows, then more of the highlights... well lets just say it was a vicious cycle, in which my sleep schedule was the ultimate looser.


However, I do feel all in all that it came out OK. I am no expert, this is one of my first attempts at shading. The intended effect is that he is looking into the sun, so his front shoulder is the highest point, and his under arms, and back arm are the darkest.







I feel the hands came out very well, while the feet came out kinda crappy. The arms are OK, while the legs are a little off. The upper chest is not bad (except the odd highlight ridge on the left peck that I just noticed now), but (while I failed to show them) the abs are a bit off.


I will be going back and re-touching up the leather strap a bit when I get a chance.


Also the light from the lamp made the highlights look brighter than they where. I'll try to get a picture tomorrow in natural light (sunlight) and see how it looks.




Still no idea how I'm going to do all the Non-Metalic-Metal stuff for the sword/arm shield/gauntlets.

Like, I get the basic theory, and I've seen how its applied to mini's, but I'm just not sure how to apply it to a larger piece. Even looking at excellent references by other talented people on the same mini, it just does not click in my brain.




Anyway, sorry if I've bothered people by bringing this up again. Suggestions/light critique are encouraged. This is my first time paining a larger mini, and my first time doing shading. I think I did OK, but I want to get other peoples opinions, and suggestions on things they think I could improve on next time.


Thanks everyone!

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Thanks guys!


I just hope I can keep at it. I normally paint in spurts. I might start 2-3 minis, then leave them for 2 months, then finish 1 or 2 of them and start another, and the cycle just kinda continues. I really do enjoy painting, but I just have to be in the right mindset for it you know?


Anyway, here's a picture of the back in a more ambient sunlight room:




I realize now that the spot on his lower right back should not be as bright as it is if the light source is intended to be over his other shoulder. still, I think it went ok.



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So... Continuing my trend of only painting every 6 or so months, I've finally gotten more painting done. The problem is that this damn Giant, its one of the few projects I dont want to settle on. Sometimes I'll paint a mini that I know will only be for tabletop use, and if I'm not super happy about it, I'll usually move on anyway. But not this Giant, mainly he's still for practicing, but I only ever work on him when I'm "feeling in the mood". Given that I only paint 2-3 times a year, that means I have not worked on him in quite a while.


On the plus side, over the past year I've had some successful side projects that I feel have helped hone my skill a bit. I just finished a batch of mini's recently for a recent D&D game that my friends and I just started, 3/4ths of them I'm really pleased with! One of them not so much, but thats a topic for another day.


So, this years update (so far?) is that I've finally done the shading on his pants/shorts/kilt/skirt, and done my very first failing attempts at Non-Metalic-Metals! So lets take a look shall we?







Ok, so what have we got?

Well, initially I was quite happy with the skirt shading, until I brought it upstairs to take the picture, and realized that somehow my midtone is completely gone. I dont mind the contrast between the very dark and very light, and I'm pleased with the layering I've managed to accomplish, but it is a tad stark. Its not so bad that I'm in a super rush to fix it (more so out of fear of making it worse). Thoughts? Is the contrast too stark? Should I go in with a mid-tone glaze over the whole thing maybe to tone it down, smooth it out?


Oh, and I disliked the uniformity of the leather strap on his back/chest, so I did some stippling with two different brown colors to make it a little more uneven. Its subtle, but I feel it looks better. Also my first attempt at stippling.


So... on the sword hilt, my first attempt ever at NMM. I got the NMM Gold triad from the Bones III kickstarter which just came in recently, so I figure I'd give it a try.

Well.. not super pleased with it. I think I failed to understand the technique fully. Which does not surprise me. The NMM concept keeps escaping me, no matter how many tutorials I read or videos I watch. It just does not click in my brain for some reason.


Last year (despite not actually painting) I even spent an evening in Photoshop creating a mockup of how I felt the technique works:

(Actual Picture of the base colors)



(Photoshopped example of NMM attempt)



At a glance it looks NMM like, and I'm actually pretty happy with my Photoshop mockup. When I tired to do it IRL tho, even though up close it all looks pretty similar (or at least the best I can do with my fine details brush control), it just... does not look right. Or... maybe it does look ok and I'm just being super critical?


Well, at any rate, hopefully, despite killing the midtone, my shading on the dress shows in some way that I've improved on layering over the past year.


I get this this topic is from 2015 now, and people are most likely understandable sick of seeing it, but if you have any constructive criticism or suggestions, I'm super glad to hear them. I've been working on this one mini very slowly for over 2 years now. In that time I've painted maybe a dozen or so other mini's in total? Given that I got my Bones III in, I now literally have hundreds of unpainted mini's. But this one Giant is always the one in the back of my mind whenever painting comes up. Even when I'm working on other mini's, this guy keeps coming to mind.


So to recap:

-Suggestions on how to not suck at NMM

-Would you say my shading has improved? Do you think I should go back and glaze it with the mid tone, or it looks fine as is?

-While subtle, thoughts on the leather stippling?

-Have you ever had "that one" mini that you just keep coming back to over a super long time?

-Should I just give up and move on with life? Just throw some metalics on him, call him done?


Thank you for anyone that took the time to read this novel, even if you dont have anything to add to the topic, I appreciate your time. I type too much. I apologize. Also Haven't slept yet and its 8am. I'm going to go to sleep now.

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We are never sick of seeing a WIP. Take all the time you want/ need and share away. 


The skit looks pretty good, a glaze or two would smooth out the transitions a bot. You can always go back over and bring back the highlights if needed. The transitions aren't as stark as you think. If anything, it looks like you could bring your midtone up a bit. Black and white pics are super helpful for seeing transitions. As for the NMM, I have no clue. Haven't tried it yet. Good for you for giving it a go. The strap could use some more highlighting. Making thin lines of a lighter yellow gold color such as palamino gold along the edges can help bring a little texture to the straps. Then a glaze to tie it all together. 





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8 hours ago, tiniest rhombus said:

The skit looks pretty good, a glaze or two would smooth out the transitions a bot. You can always go back over and bring back the highlights if needed. The transitions aren't as stark as you think. If anything, it looks like you could bring your midtone up a bit. Black and white pics are super helpful for seeing transitions. As for the NMM, I have no clue. Haven't tried it yet. Good for you for giving it a go. The strap could use some more highlighting. Making thin lines of a lighter yellow gold color such as palamino gold along the edges can help bring a little texture to the straps. Then a glaze to tie it all together.


I've never thought of looking at it via Black and White, it gives a completely new perspective, thank you for that tip!


Additionally thank you for the solid suggestion on the strap, I was not sure what would be best to do the edge highliting, as a light tan would not have been enough, but I think your absolutely right on the palomino gold.

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