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Grumpy Cave Bear

GCB Paints: 77102 Ebonwrath

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When I do a WIP, I try to do something I haven't really tried before, just to keep expanding my skill set. This time, I'm going to borrow an idea from Pingo's WIP on Deathsleet (http://forum.reapermini.com/index.php?/topic/59960-pingo-tackles-77110-deathsleet/?p=1082463) and try paint a black dragon with an iridescent color.


The process is going to be a bit different, though. Instead of interference paint, I have a pack of pearlescent pigments I purchased in the past, but haven't really used yet:




It probably works a lot like interference colors, but with mixing involved; measure out a small amount into a clear varnish (I did one spoonful of pigment to one full airbrush cup), mix well and spray over another color. I'm going to try painting over black to give an iridescent shine to the dragon's scales.


Here's the obligatory first shot of the dragon, mounted on a housepaint stirrer for airbrushing, and primed and painted a 1:1 mix of Pure Black and Stormy Gray:




Then I wanted to try out the various pigment colors, to see what they will look like, and to learn how the pearl colors handle. I sprayed a number of painting cups Stormy Gray and Pure Black, then tried the blue, red and purple pearl pigments:




The red gave a very brown coloration over gray, and I rather liked the purple, and decided to save it for another project. (When drying a spray-painted bit over a space heater, be careful not to get it too close.) I Thought the blue pearl looked best for the dragon.


I mixed the pearl into Liquitex Gloss Varnish (with just a little water to thin it), and sprayed the dragon:






Whoa, that turned out really blue. Under normal light, the dragon is mostly a dull blue-gray with a few highlights, but under the daylight bulbs on my work desk, it really shines. The yellow light of an incandescent bulb counteracts the blue, but not the full spectrum lights.


I'm letting it dry overnight. Tomorrow I'm going try defining the scales with a wash of Liner Gray, and that will decide if this dragon will be a black dragon or it becomes a blue dragon instead.

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Can't wait to see how this comes out. I just tried for iridescence on my exchange mini by mixing bronze into my color. It didn't turn out exactly how I imagined but it didn't suck either!


Good luck with the dragon. I am going to sit here and watch.


(Gets comfy in chair with some snacks.)

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Looks Good!


What are the Fans in the back ground for?





That's exactly what the fans are for! They're a second-hand home-made vent fan for airbrushing, given to me by a coworker whose father was also a model maker. It originally connected to a spray booth through a pair of 4" vent hoses, hence the round holes in front of the fans.


I'm lucky enough to have a dedicated work table in front of a second floor window above the garage. When I want to airbrush, I just open the window and turn on the fans. A cardboard standee cut from a box and some scrap wrapping paper on the table will block any overspray.


The fans have a pretty powerful airflow, sound like a Douglas DC-3 taking off, and are sturdy enough that they'll probably be used third-hand someday.

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Wonder how many people will know what a gooney bird is!


I love my airbrush station, makes life so much easier!

No more going out to prime or seal. ..

Best B Day present ever!

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Has it already a week?


I could regale you with some of the events that have kept me from painting over the last week, but it's much too painful, in the stress headache sort of way.


Instead, here's my progress:




Wait, what? Did I just prime it again? No, that's a coat of Blue Liner I sprayed on. I'm letting it dry overnight before I do the next step, which is a secret for now. (And, it may not even work!)

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...aaand, after a bit more work today, here's the result:




It gleams like a black beetle in the sunlight. Pity it doesn't photograph quite as well as it looks.


I managed to do this when I noticed that the Liquitex gloss varnish is fairly resistant to rubbing alcohol when dry, where the Reaper colors are not. I took a handful of cotton balls and cotton swabs and rubbed off most of the Liner Blue from last night. (You can see the used ones in the background.)


It's kind of like that art project in grade school where the teacher has you cover a page with random crayon colors, then scrub a layer of black crayon over it. Then they have you draw your picture by scratching the black layer, so the drawing appears in color.


The wing shows how little of the Liner Blue remains:




There are a few problems with this technique, I learned. First, there were a few places where the pearl lacquer layer was sprayed too thin, and the rubbing alcohol attacked and lifted the black primer layer below it. I had to lots of little touch-ups; I'd fix that next time by using an alcohol-resistant primer and thicker pearl layers. Second, the alcohol did leave a flat surface after it dried, so I had to respray a gloss varnish layer again to bring back the luster.


Next is the underbelly and the details. The underbelly will likely be a slightly lighter blue-gray (Twilight Blue?), and none of the pearl shine. I may leave the wings this black color; but I might tint them, or give the leather parts a satin finish instead of gloss. Thoughts, anyone?

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Finally able to get back to this guy...


I didn't like the solid color of the dragon, so I masked off the underwing with watercolor masking fluid and FrogTape painter's masking tape:




This was the first time I tried using the FrogTape, and due to a long lapse, I did give it a good long test. It came off with no residue or paint lift after two weeks on the model. It's a bit large and thick for model work, but can be cut to shape.


I sprayed Twilight Blue, fading into Rainy Gray on the underwings, leaving the upper wings black and pearl blue. Then I painted the same colors by brush on the back fins, with Twilight Blue on the underbelly.




Then I based the horns and claws In Alien Flesh. That turned out very bright against the blue-black, despite being very ivory-gray, so I'll have to put a wash over it later.

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...And a wash of Blue Liner to grey areas of the under wings, spine and belly to add a more organic feel. It's shiny now, but I'll cover it with matte varnish to soften it.




It's odd, but Rainy Gray is about as neutral gray as you can get, but the Twilight Blue and pearl blue lends a ivory yellow cast to it. It's an interesting example of actual vs. perceived colors, and here, I'm liking it.


That's enough for tonight. In the next session, I'll start on the small details.

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who wants a tummy rub! :)


lookin great - really like what you are doing here

Tummy rub is exactly what the dragon got this evening. I edged the belly scales with pure Rainy Gray, then sealed the stomach, wings and spine with matte varnish. That's all I finished tonight and it wasn't enough progress to merit a picture.

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