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Anhurian Spearmen (77359)


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Probably won't get around to actually putting paint to pvc until later this week as I have some midterms early this week.  But I took an hour to clean these guys up and sketch out some ideas.




These spearmen will be representing the members of the city guard (which is really just part of the army) of an Elven city in my homebrew 5e campaign.  The elves have extreme reverence for the Sun and Moon and consider them driving forces of nature and thus very powerful.  Hence the design on the shield.  I think I might be biting off more than I can chew, thinking I'll be able to freehand this, but I'm up for a challenge.


Areas in blue (which is basically just the pants and the scarf/padded arming cap) will actually be a pretty basic creamy linen offwhite.  Debating for the shield whether I want to do the design in silver and gold, or simply yellow and gray, would love to hear other people's thoughts on that.


My goal with this project is going to be to paint everything but the face and shield as quickly as possible and spend a decent amount of time on the face/eyes and a good deal on the shields.


edit: grammar

Edited by hammer570
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My personal suggestion, based on having just painted these guys last week, would be to start with the face & eyes. I found it really hard not to hit their helmets, head covering, etc when doing the faces. I found it a lot easier to avoid getting other colours on their faces when doing the rest of the model. That's just my 2 cents though, and I'm hardly an expert. ::P: 


The sun/moon motif looks cool. Certainly looks doable to me, if you have a steady hand and a good brush and don't mind taking your time. 

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Thanks for the tip!  Was planning on that route anyway based on most people's general advice to start skin and then move to clothes -> armor -> accessories etc., but advice based on firsthand (and recent!) experience is the best.  I've got the brush, whether I have the steady hand, patience and talent remains to be seen ;)

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Still haven't yet put paint to mini, leaving that for the weekend when I don't have much else going on and can take the time to mix up enough paint in the wet palette to handle all three minis.  Was messing around today practicing the shield design freehand and a couple other things, when I came up with an idea for the eyes.  According to forgotten realms lore and depictions of elves in many popular culture stories, elves have blue, green, gray or even purple eyes, but most importantly, gold flecks in their eyes.  I definitely want to try to incorporate this.  Played around with some paints and found that either heavily diluting gold paint (1:3 or more paint:water) or mixing gold paint with gloss varnish dramatically frees the mica flakes.  This allows for an almost entirely transparent "glaze" that carries the mica flakes fairly uniformly, but with much greater dispersion than the original paint.  I tried it out on paper, applying over swatches of other colors and the result is a very cool gold shimmer that doesn't alter the underlying color.


Thus, my idea was born.  My plan is basically to follow this tutorial but with the addition of an iris, followed by the mica glaze, then the pupil, or perhaps this tutorial with the mica glaze between steps 5-6.  I have doubts as to how well this will translate on a medium size creature at 25mm heroic, and it'll also be my first time painting eyes this way (previous instances were very simple white blob black dot), so I don't expect revolutionary results, but I have high hopes.


Has anybody tried this technique and can lend advice before I get started?



edit: grammar

Edited by hammer570
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Still haven't gotten around to painting these guys yet, but I did have some time to test out the new pin vise and optivisor, which I used to replace the bendy spears with toothpicks.  Extremely happy with the result, especially since it was my first time modifying bones and I was quite sure I would end up ravaging a hand with the pin vise beyond saving.  Hopefully will get around to laying down some paint this week, though I'm debating waiting until I get some more paint.  We'll see.  Anyway, for now, here's the new toothpick spears!  Bonus points if you can guess which was the first of the three to be modded ;)



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Thanks Lexomatic.  The one on the left was first.  Had to experiment a bit with how to mount the spearhead, as well as overall shape of the shaft, and ended up having to whittle a bit of the first toothpick.  I think it looks a little wonky compared to the others, not as clean a taper before the head, and the head is mounted funny.  Still tabletop worthy but the other two look much nicer I think.

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Primed and got some of the basecoating done this evening, as well as the eyes.  Some of them are a bit wonky, but the sculpt is incredibly difficult to work with on the eyes.  Besides the obvious bits of helmet encroaching on the eye area, there's sculpting for either the orbital bones or perhaps maybe even the eyelids, so it was extremely challenging to get detail where I wanted it, even with 2.75x magnification.  Overall though, I'm still pretty happy with them.  Managed to get sclera, irises and pupils looking reasonably decent to my liking for tabletop quality.  Perhaps if I feel especially squirrelly, I'll go back and try a pure white highlight on the pupils, but I rather doubt it as I want to finish these guys up and a lich before my group's next game in two weeks, and I also have a birthday gift I need to get to work on (Nocturna Models' Alice).



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Finished basecoating today.  The brown basecoat will serve as the base or midtone for many of the areas it's currently on, but I plan to darken the boots, scabbards, belts, and probably the pauldrons.  The metal structure of the helmet will also be changed to a metal color (obviously).  But for the most part, this will be the general look of these guys besides shading and highlighting.  The freehand emblems on the shields will probably be the very last thing I do.  They're coming along pretty well though!




C&C most welcome!




edit: belts

Edited by hammer570
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Pretty much done with these guys.  Will eventually remove the broccoli and rebase them on 25mm rounds once my cork, GS and other materials arrive.  Pretty happy with them for the relatively (for me... probably 4-5 hours for the group) short time I put into them.  They could definitely use some real highlighting and shading rather than the rushed wash and glaze job I did on them, but I'm ok with it.  They're just serving as NPCs in a DnD game that will be use pretty rarely, so they don't need to be perfect.  Overall though, this was quite a fun project!



Additional pictures behind spoiler.





I'll definitely consider any tips that you guys have before I seal and base them, or if you just have advice for me going forward that would be great!  Honest critiques are the best way to help me improve :)

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Well, I got my BYOPS in yesterday and decided to touch up the helms and spearheads of these guys with my first attempt at TMM (besides super basic gold accents).


And I learned...... I suck at TMM :lol:


Not sure if it's my stuffy environment drying out the paints too quick, or if people thin them, but I couldn't seem to get undiluted metallics to work how I wanted.  A fine pointed tip of paint would basically dry before I could even touch it to the mini, so I was using bigger globs than I really wanted.  But even barely diluted, the paint seemed to run too much and the suspension and distribution of mica was just too runny.  Also, I made many errors with contrast while trying things out.  I'm not sure I'll put a lot more work into these guys, but I would love some tips and tricks for future forays into TMM if you guys have them!


Pics behind the spoiler as I took a fair few.




edit:fixed spoiler

Edited by hammer570
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Doug,  that's a good point.  I was using my 00 rather than my 2 for the small details.  Perhaps I'll need to get a 1, as the bigger belly from the 2 would definitely solve the problem of paint drying too fast but I don't think I can be quite as precise as necessary with the 2.  I'll give the 2 a shot next time I'm in that situation and see how I fare.



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