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Bonehenge Priestess

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I picked this up at ReaperCon as my faction mini, and have been toying with her ever since.








My dissatisfactions are legion.


First, I foolishly started painting her without removing the original base first. By the time I concluded I would have to cut it off after all, she was already painted. I got the base off fine with a razor saw, but it generated quite a bit of pewter-dust in the process which has lodged itself all over everywhere.  I've gently scrubbed at it with a wet paintbrush several times, but to little avail -- the loose bits came out just fine, but there are quite a few persistent little flecks that just don't want to come off.


Second, my blends.  Ugh.  I mean, part of that is the camera -- it's damned hard to make a blend that holds up under extreme zoom -- but still.


Third, I'm trying for an OSL effect here, and have been diligently painting the light on the mini before beginning to add the paint to simulate yellow light from the lantern.  I'm just not sure I've got the angles right, and it's been a struggle to figure out the best colors of paint for each surface. Mainly the skin. Her face was base-coated in 1:1 Amethyst Purple/Fair Skin, and then I started putting in highlights, midtones and shadows with Fair Skin, Tanned Skin, and Dark Highlight in the darker areas.  But it's just not really coming together, and I haven't even begun worrying about her lips as yet.


Fourth, I've messed up the placement of her eye sockets. Look:




Her head is slightly canted to one side, but her eyes are level with the ground. It looks like the right side of her face melted slightly. I'll have to redo that socket entirely, but I think the basic sculpt may not want to cooperate.


Speaking of the sculpt, I love the snake, the antlers, the lantern and staff, and the robes. Very cool and flavorful.  Makes for an excellent druid.


I'm not such a big fan of all of the random belt doodads. By my count she's got:


  • two belt pouches
  • a map case
  • a mug
  • a short sword
  • a sickle
  • a random ring, which may be the release pull that turns her robe into a parachute.


Seriously? Too much! I'd have been perfectly happy with one belt pouch and a sickle. Having all this stuff festooned in front of her not only makes her a lot more difficult to paint, it tends to draw the eye down to her mid-section when the logical focal point of the sculpt should be her face where the light falls.


(For dramatic effect, I'm ignoring the fact that her staff should logically be casting a shadow directly across her face.)


Anyway, at this point I've sunk a ton of work into her and I'm seriously considering chucking her into a Simple Green bath and starting over.

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I think youve done a fine job painting her, but i would simple green her due to the dust alone.  Causes it to look a bit chalky .  shame to lose all that work, especially the beautiful job you did on the dress but if im not satisfied with a mini, especially one i really like and know could be better, i definitely start from scratch.  


Definitely agree with your point on the number of items though.


By the way, have you tried purple power?  I used that on my rock troll and after 10 seconds of soaking the paint toothbrushed right off.  There appeared to be no melting/damage to the sculpt either.  

Edited by Elbon
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I reluctantly agree that a Simple Green bath (or similar) may be called for.  Anything I can suggest to remove the pewter dust from the mini may also potentially damage the paint job.  (If you don't want to go that route, try using a soft toothbrush.)  It might also help to restore the detail of her face.


The eyes would be well-placed if she were standing straight.  I feel like they were applied based on the horizon rather than how they are actually sculpted.  Removing the paint and reapplying primer may help.  Other things that may help include applying a wash to bring out detail and painting the eyes first.


Since I don't have the mini in hand, how is the side of the lantern facing her sculpted?  I wouldn't be surprised if it were flat metal rather than paned glass.  If it's flat metal, you don't have to worry about OSL from that side (including the shadow of her staff).

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The side of the lantern facing her is completely obscured by the staff.


And yes, it hurts to do it, but I think I have to start over. Bah. I'll put her in the bath this evening.


I have never tried Purple Power, or heard of it. I've had pretty good luck with Simple Green, though, so I'll probably use the product I have rather than getting a new one.

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And there she goes ... into her bath of toxic sludge.


You know, I've Simple Greened minis before. But somehow this one hurts worse than any of the others. I spent nearly a month working on her.


And all because I didn't make up my mind to base her properly at the outset.

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1 hour ago, Darcstaar said:

You can rebuild her: faster, stronger...

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor 6 million dollar woman




@wdmartin I know it hurts, but you can do it!

You wouldn't be happy with the result as it was, sometimes it's part of the hobby to start all over.

I'm sure you will do a fine job!

Edited by Glitterwolf
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Most of the paint and primer came off pretty easily after a good 24 hour soak in 50/50 water and Simple Green.  Then I spent about half an hour hoiking bits out of the deep recesses with the tip of my scalpel:




So here she is, back to bare metal.






I got the vast majority of the old primer off cleanly -- I think there may be a tiny bit left at the base of one of her antlers, but that's about it.


I also took this opportunity to slice the bottom of her staff free of her skirts and bend it over slightly. On the first go-round it was a pain getting a brush into that sleeve -- this should help a bit.


I've primed her again and will post more pics after she dries and I start working on her again.  I generally let the primer dry for a full 24 hours before I proceed, just to be sure it's entirely dry.

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When I first saw the title I thought it said "Bondage Princess" now I'm not sure whether to be disappointed or relieved...

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Only a tiny bit of progress this evening. I have her primed.






I decided to try zenithal priming her to have a reference for where the light would fall. Last time I primed her straight white and just did it by dead reckoning.


I've also painted the lantern panes solid white and the lantern frame solid black at this point (not pictured), but I spent most of the evening working on another mini.

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Once again, only a tiny amount of progress on her this evening, as I was finishing another mini that I'm going to need soon.  Basically, all I did was a single coat of flesh color on her face.




That's 1:1 Fair Skin and Oiled Leather, applied thinly enough that you can still make out a bit of the zenithal priming.


Her eyes continue to give me difficulty. Mostly the angled one on the right.  Here's her face after two attempts at just filling the eye sockets with Walnut Brown:




In both cases I immediately decided I hated it, and removed it with some hastily applied water. You can still see how the right eye came out much too large.  But the remains of the Walnut Brown make it very difficult to see where the sculpt actually sits.


Hrm. Maybe if I go back and look at the photo before that one ...




Yeah, her right eye is not only tilted, but she's also raising her eyebrow, which changes the usual shape.  I'll have to give it another go tomorrow.

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All right. Last time I started painting this lady, I didn't put enough thought into it. I was eager to go and just sort of launched in; and soon I ran into problems. And I almost did the same thing this time.  Have I not learned?  Must I repeat my mistakes?  No!


The biggest problem was the decision to remove her original base AFTER she'd already been mostly painted, of course. But there were other ones as well, chiefly having to do with small details I hadn't noticed earlier, such as her belt and the poofy shoulder decorations. What color should those be?  The belt ought to be different than her robe, and possibly the shoulder decorations.  But what colors?  And how would that interact with the yellow paint for the OSL? Some of the colors I might otherwise have chosen I hesitated over because I didn't know how they would work with the OSL effect.


So: let's get organized!  Here is a list of all the details on the mini by logical color-regions.


  1. Antlers
  2. Hair
    1. Leaves in hair?
  3. Skin
    1. face
    2. hands
  4. Necklace
  5. Robe
    1. Shoulder decorations
  6. Belt
    1. buckle
  7. Mug
  8. Belt pouch (left)
  9. Belt pouch (right)
  10. Map Case
  11. Sickle
    1. blade
    2. grip
    3. strap
  12. Short sword
    1. hilt
    2. grip
    3. crossguard
    4. scabbard
      1. locket (face-shaped)
      2. scabbard body
      3. chape
  13. Staff
    1. Lantern
      1. Faces
      2. Body
    2. Snake
      1. Belly
      2. Back
    3. Ribbon

And on the base I've picked out for her (and began painting before the Simple Green decision):

  1. Tree trunk
    1. Bark
    2. Exposed wood
  2. Moss
  3. Leaves
  4. Mushrooms




I want to stick with most of the color choices that I made last time around. So the light from the lantern is going to be yellow -- I have a fresh jar of Primary Yellow from Golden Acrylics for that.  It's very bright, warm, and quite translucent, so it should glaze on nicely.


Her robes I did in the Olive triad (Pale Olive/Olive Green/Muddy Olive), using Linen White for the brightest highlights, and shading down into a grey (1:1 mixture of Muddy Olive and Amethyst Purple) and finally into Imperial Purple in the deepest shadow. I think that worked quite well, and I'm going to stick with it.  Also, I think it makes sense for her shoulder decorations to follow the same color pattern. They're part of the robe.




The leather doodads plastered all over her front are, logically, brown. I mean, there are other colors leather could be. But brown makes sense, and it should work okay with both the olive robes and the yellow light.  So, I think for those parts ... Desert Sand, Suntan Flesh, and Muddy Brown.  If I need darker darks, I'll take it down to Walnut Brown.  Probably not pure black, but that's an option if it comes to it.


Antlers: Midtone of Aged Bone glazed with sepia ink; shaded down to Muddy Brown and highlighted up to Linen White.




Hair.  Uhh. Last time around, I made her a brunette. I still think that makes sense ... yeah, I think I'll stick with that. I can probably get away with using Muddy Brown for the deepest shadows, but I think the midtone and highlight need to be somewhat different from her leather gear. Hmm. How about shifting it towards red?  Maybe Muddy Brown/Ruddy Brown/Sandy Brown ...




Nope. The Ruddy Brown works, but the Sandy Brown is not doing it for me. Maybe with some Ruddy Brown mixed in ...






That's more like it, I think Muddy Brown for deeps, then Ruddy for midtone, then a 2:1 mixture of Sandy/Ruddy for highlights.  Though I may wind up having to push the hair highlights further, especially close to the lamp. Okay.  What next?


Metals!  There are bits of metal in this scene. The lamp body, the sickle blade, and the hilt, crossguard, locket and chape on the sword.  And now, of course, things begin to make my head hurt. In the ordinary course of things, I would slap some metallics on there and be done with it. But I'm not convinced that's going to work well with OSL, because the highlights on metallic paint move with the viewer, but the OSL on the rest of it does not.  It might work okay considering that 1) there's not very much metal, and 2) most of it is in shade.  Do I really need to try doing NMM here?  Probably ...  but I'm going to table that for the moment.


The snake I want to be bright and colorful to contrast with the darkness of the scene.  I'm thinking coral snake -- banded red, yellow and black.  Red and yellow kills a fellow, right? Except that she's a druid, and not only would the snake not bite her, if it did she's probably immune to poison anyway, so big deal.  Anyway, Base coat in Palomino Gold, then Cadmium Red for the red stripes, and Solid Black for the black parts.  I may re-use Aged Bone with sepia ink for the belly.  But there will need to be highlights on those colors, especially where the snake is immediately adjacent to the bright yellow light of the lamp.  The Palomino Gold can just be highlighted with Primary Yellow.  The red would shift towards orange -- maybe a highlight based on a dark orange like Fireball Orange?  Experiments say: a mix of Cadmium Red and Fireball Orange would be a good highlight here, especially counting on the yellow glaze to shift it further towards orange.


And as for the black ... uhh ... I don't really know what happens when you get bright yellow light on a black surface.  Especially a moderately reflective one, like snake scales. Cue hold music!


doo doo dooooo, doo doo doo DOO doo doo, doo doo dooooo, doo doo doo DOO doo doo ...


Okay, having made a large image of pure yellow, loaded it onto my phone screen, and held the phone up against the moderately reflective black plastic cap of a bottle of GW Chaos Black Primer, I can report that the highlights would be just like regular highlights, only yellow.  In retrospect, perhaps that should have been obvious.  Oh well.  So I think I can highlight it with white -- maybe linen white -- and rely on the Primary Yellow glaze at the end to impart the correct color.





Skin!  I haven't talked about skin.  For shadows, I was thinking 1:1 Oiled Leather/Fair Skin, but then I realized that's not really dark enough for the REALLY dark shadows, which I may take down to Dark Highlight.  So, Dark Highlight, then the Oiled Leather/Fair Skin, then straight Fair Skin, then Linen White/Fair Skin, then pure Linen White.




What haven't I thought about?  Leaves in her hair?  Do I have to?  Could I just paint it like the rest of her hair and hope no one notices?  It's dark out! ... but if I have to, are those leaves dead or alive?  Because there are leaves on the base too ...


... and those ones could be fresh or dry.  Uhh.  There's too much brown on this model already! They're alive!  Time to get the greens!  For my midtone, I'll be using whatever the heck this bottle of green is. 
The label rubbed off years ago.  I think it may Leaf Green, but I wouldn't swear to it.  So let's call it "Whatever The Heck Green".  And I can take that down a notch with Blue Liner, or up with Formula P3 Wurm Green.  And by god, if I need brighter green, I can add some Primary Yellow to that Wurm Green!




The staff.  Uh.  The staff should be ... not brown.  Grey?  Grey.  It's old and dry and worn.  I think I'll use the same paints as the antlers, minus the sepia ink.  Oh, hey, I could do that for the mushrooms, too.


Is that it?  Please?  ... metals.  Okay.  Can I get away with declaring that all of them are silvery grey-toned metals, so that I don't need gold tones too?  Yes, I think so.  I hope so.  I'm doing it anyway, and none of you can stop me!


Plus Walnut Brown, because one way or another that stuff winds up on essentially every mini I paint. I think that may be it.




The bottles come marching one by one, hurrah, hurrah ..

The bottles come marching one by one, hurrah, hurrah!

The bottles come marching one by one,

The Walnut Brown stopped to stick out his tongue,

And they ALL went marching DOWN

To the ground

To get OUT of my BRAIN ... dum, dum, dum ...


Edited by wdmartin
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Okay.  Okay.  Lights!  Camera!  Action!


First, a very thin wash of black ink on the face -- just to help me find the eye sockets.




Next, Walnut Brown slathered generously in the sockets. I also added a couple swashes to block in some shadows on the nose and lips at this point.




Sclera!  The right eye (her right) is Linen White.  The left eye (her left) is a 1:1 mixture of Linen White and Blue Flame.  This is because it's slightly further away from the light source; but frankly, it may not actually be perceptible.




Irises, stage 1!  Walnut Brown to define the future spots where the irises will be.  I went and spent some time looking at photos of people with sly grins on their face, which helped me figure out that she must be looking up and to the right, towards her snake.  This is where they started coming together.




Next, Linen White inside the areas defined in the previous step.




A very thin layer of Pthalo Green over the Linen White from the last step, to give the irises color.




Pupils! I was terrified putting these in.




Her right eye seems to have a white highlight which appeared spontaneously.  I don't think I put it there, but I'll take it because it's great.  Tried to follow suit on the left eye.




Her left eye is not quite as good as her right eye. And the two don't quite match in size - her left iris is noticeably larger than her right, and the pupil appears to be a slightly horizontal line rather than a proper circle.


But you know what?  I don't care!  These are still probably the best eyes I've ever done.  I don't want to touch them; anything I might do is likely just to mess them up at this point.


And all it took was five hours.  It's almost three in the morning, and I've been obsessing over this figure ever since I got home from work, and it's time to go sleep.

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