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As Halloween approaches the dollar stores are filling up with cheap decorations and spooky bricabrac. Amid all the potential projects a certain reflective skull caught my eye. Not knowing if it would take paint or not I decided to roll the dice on a few. I attached them to some bases, added a bit of sand, and the next day I took them out to prime. 

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They ended up taking primer just fine, though I guess I shouldn't be surprised with the primer I use. Unfortunately I forgot to snap a picture of their grey primed goodness. 

 

Next up were the basecoats of the skull and "dirt".

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I didn't get great or even smooth coverage on the skulls, but it was good enough as I was just going to add a heavy wash anyway.

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The wash was a bit thicker than I wanted but again I figured it was passable and more than good enough to move onto a final drybrush.

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Not too bad, but there is definitely room for improvement. I guess I'll just have to practice a bit more with my new drybrush. 

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I finally took the leap and tried Uncle Atom's makeup dry brushing technique. Though this project probably qualifies as a failure, I do see the potential. Now all I need is more practice, it's not like I don't have a huge backlog of terrain just waiting to be painted.

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I'd gotten a set of ones with the same sculpt, but in a bone color where it looked like they hit them with a wash. One of them is now partially buried as part of an ongoing project with a wasteland/giant graveyard thing I've been playing with using some of the other dollar store bones...mainly the smaller ones, though I have a set of their skeleton garland that I'm also planning on using in it.

 

Part of the issue with this type of skull is there isn't as much texture as you normally have to work with for drybrushing or even for basic work. An easy way to fix it also comes from the dollar tree, grab their cheap plaster patching compound and a pack of the kids watercolor brushes (The kids brushes with the plastic handle and extremely cheap bristles, they're disposable and you can get quite a few in a pack for a buck), wet the brushes and use it to stipple some of the plaster over the plastic, it'll give a bit of texture to them on the larger areas along with places where the mold lines were nigh impossible to get rid of since there's some off joining and the injection point is way to visible.

 

I also used some of the stones from their craft area and more of the plaster along with sand I already had to work the base up and partially cover the underside of the skull, used a bit of superglue to have a bit of sand in areas ontop of the skull.

 

Primed in grey, hit the bone areas with a parchment and let it dry. Then I went over the entire thing (bones and base) with a thinned brown ink (I think it's a burnt sienna), working it into the parts of the skull I wanted darker at the same time such as the face where there's already a lot of texture.

 

When that dried, I used some white paint on the stones in the base.

 

I went with a similar thing using a black ink watered down, though I only used it to darken parts of the skull detail, but with the bits of sand on it and on the basing. For the skull part, it worked to expand the shadows.

 

After that, once dry, I went back to the parchment and drybrushed everything, a heavier one on the skull, along with some work with the paint to make the teeth distinct. Then a white highlight on the skull and stones. Sealed it and added some grass and flock. (As another tip, look at their cheap, large wall brushes for ones with more natural looking bristles, you can cut clumps of it off and use a gel superglue to make tall grass for basing, then a bit of flock along the edges of it to improve the look)

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Tonight the bases recieved some flock.20200914_222331.thumb.jpg.a0e2f123b055848911fd4357f18153fb.jpg20200914_222403.thumb.jpg.3d9947646c873fc3d6c51f77816ca733.jpg

I honestly thought about repainting the skulls but in the end I kind of like them as is. They could be better but they'll fit in fine with the rest of my terrain so I'm calling them done.

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