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Recently set to work putting together a band of Bullywug using Privateer Press's Croak Raiders.

 

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Stumbled upon these guys while browsing black Friday sales and they perfectly fit my vision of tribal Bullywug but we're distinctly not Grung. The bulbous heads is what did it for me.

 

My friend got me a set of Croak Raiders as an early Christmas gift and I ordered Underchief Mire to serve as a King. Also had to request a replacement part from Privateer Press as I received an incorrect extra body in place of the unique unit leader's.

 

Finally received all my frogs and set about assembling. I mostly buy reaper bones, and the other brands I get tend to be plastic as well, so this was my first set of metal minis that required assembly and it was more difficult than I expected. Arms didn't slot into the body as neatly as I would have hoped and many broke off before the glue had set. I also wasn't too keen on needing to pin ten sets of arms. Hopefully the glue holds and I don't lose any arms during painting.

 

For basing I decided to give another try to this instant-grout I picked up and used once before. It has a cool look, but is not very practical for standard minis. This was the conclusion I had drawn after the first time I used it, but now I'm certain. The grout will be reserved for large mini bases where my standard super glue and baking soda technique would be impractical. 

 

As for coloration, I'm going to do something similar to the box art. Slightly inspired by the red-eyed tree frog. Green bodies with darker backs, and orange feet. Might play around with different spots, stripes, and eye markings just to add some variety. I want them to be vivid and colorful but I don't want to dip into the poison-dart-frog territory of Grung.

 

Also considering trying out my airbrush for the first time to base coat these guys. We'll see if I work up the confidence. 

 

As a side note, there are a few other unique Croak models in the Hordes line, but I was satisfied with just the unit and the Chief. But for others looking for some cool frog-men, there's a few more specialist models out there as well.

Edited by MoonglowMinis
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Well I finally started slapping paint on these froggy friends.  I took the leap and decided to test out my airbrush.  I wasn't bold enough to use an airbrush for the very first time on something I cared too much about, so I took a brief detour to paint up a Purple Worm.  This gave me the confidence to try out something more ambitious.

 

The frogs had been primed in grey craft paint which is my usual priming choice for bones.  I may look into getting an airbrush primer now.  I also wish I had known that I was going to end up using the airbrush as I would have primed them black or darker grey.  I eventually tried giving a zenithal spray to the frogs, but they weren't primed dark enough to really get any effective results.

 

I sprayed them up with Peacock Green as a base coat and hit them with Viper green as a highlight.  I then used a mix of Candlelight Yellow and Bleached Linen to give them a lighter underbelly.  Finally I hit the hands and feet with a mix of Carrottop Red and Sunrise Orange.  I used a bit of torn cardstock to make a barrier between the arms and the body on some of the harder to reach spaces.  This left me with a pretty good place to start with traditional brushwork.

 

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A quick sidenote: as I'm not used to working with metal, I was surprised by how unstable my makeshift paint handles were.  I ended up purchasing some cheap decorative rocks to fill the pill bottles to stop them from falling over as often.

 

These models are crammed with details, and whenever I paint large units I quickly get burned out, so i decided to plan ahead to make my life easier.  I wrote up a painting plan to keep track of color choices, and to make sure that all of the brown and tan details wouldn't just blend together.  Planning this ahead of time has definitely helped to speed up my process as I'm making less decisions while painting.  I painted up the bases by basecoating them in Dark Skin then drybrushing in Harvest Brown and Woodland Brown.  I also based all of the Wood and Leather bits in Dark Skin.

 

I also went in and painted up the eyes starting with black before adding Brilliant Red, and a mix of Brilliant Red and Sunrise orange.  I dotted the pupils with pure Black and added dots of reflection with Pure White.  I wish I had gone brighter with the orange highlight on the eyes as they ended up a bit dark.  At this point I was becoming exhausted by painting 11 minis at once and I decided to break the process down into a few minis at a time.

 

I decided to work on one set of 3 and began working on the skin.  I highlighted the skin in Viper green and then added a speckled pattern of Viper Green and Candlelight Yellow to add texture and more highlights.  I eventually came back with a second coat of dots with even more Candlelight Yellow.

 

I used a wash of peacock green to help darken the mouths and to bring back some detail on the throats with a bit of a "watermelon" look.  I then highlighted the underbelly with a mix of Candlelight Yellow and Bleached Linen.

 

Finally I tackled the hands and feet.  I didn't love the color they had come out and decided to darken them so I repainted them all with Carrottop Red.  I don't regret the time spent airbrushing them as the transition from orange to green still helped smooth the blend.  I then highlighted them with two coats of Sunrise Orange.  I may need to give them another highlight with something brighter, as they look a bit understated compared to the rest of the model.

 

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I was working on three at a time up to this point but decided to go ahead with one and see how a finished model would look just in case I wanted to make any adjustments to my paint plan.

 

I started by highlighting the leather with Dark Highlight, a mix of the previous and Leather Brown, and finally Leather Brown.  I then tackled all the wood, highlighting with Harvest Brown and Leather Brown.  I based all of the ropes with Olive Shadow before painting all of the various other bits and bobs.

 

Stones, stone knife, decorative stones - Mountain Stone, Mountain Stone + Rainy Grey, Rainy Grey

 

Crab claws - Carrottop Red, Highlight Orange, Highlight Orange + Bleached Linen

 

Bone - Olive Highlight, Desert Sand, Bleached Linen

 

Ceramic Bottles - Jungle Moss, Highland Moss, Pale Lichen

 

With all of the tiny details done, I went in and finished highlighting the ropes with highlights of Olive Skin, and Olive Highlight.  I finished up with the feathers on the arrows in the quiver with Cyan Blue, a wash of Black, and  highlight of Dragon Blue and Rainy Grey.  Since most of the Frogs come in sets of 3 I plan on using 3 different colors of feathers to help differentiate them on the table.

 

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I'm pretty happy with how this mock up turned out.  There's a few changes I need to make on the rest.  The biggest is that I need to darken the leather.  Maybe starting with Dark Shadow or even Ebony Flesh.  The leather bits blend in with the rope just a bit too much for my liking.  I also may add an additional highlight to the hands and feet.  I also plan to redo the feathers, as I don't like how they turned out at all.  Though they were rushed just to get an idea of a finished piece.

 

The base will eventually have some stippling of greens to create a grassy/mossy look, but that can wait until I'm done with all of them.

 

Thoughts so far:

The airbrush definitely saved some time by quickly building up the underbelly color and the transitions to the hands and feet.  It made highlighting the rest of the skin much easier.  Definitely a time saver on this many similar minis.

 

The paint plan was also very helpful for me.  I normally am not one to document all of my colors used, but it will definitely help me work on this set in small batches without worrying about forgetting colors.  Also saves time while working because I don't have to think as much.

 

It was also wise to paint one mini to completion before getting too far on the rest of them.  The leather will be easier to fix on the unpainted models than on the "finished" mock up.

 

In general I'm pretty happy with how this batch is turning out.  Large groups of minis tend to burn me out but so far I'm managing it.  Especially with the amount of detail packed into this group.  I'm excited to finish them up!

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2 hours ago, malefactus said:

OUTSTANDING! The Croakers have been a temptation for me for quite some time now. Seeing how splendidly your Frog Fellows are painting up make them even more appealing.

They're honestly beautifully sculpted!  A lot of character packed into them.  That's what drew me towards them despite typically avoiding metal.  They'd fit in great with your collection!

 

2 hours ago, Glitterwolf said:

They're amazing!

Thank you!  I'm having a great time working on them so far.  Can't wait to see them all finished and standing together.

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So I FINALLY finished these.  They took way longer than anticipated.  I really got worn down by them.  I probably put in more detail than necessary, but I really loved the sculpts.

I am very thankful for everyone on the forums who gave me advice and encouragement in getting over the slump of exhaustion.  I'll be taking photos soon and will hopefully have some photos of the finished pieces up in a couple weeks.

The next time I paint big groups of minis, I need to keep them simple, or allow myself to work on other minis in between.

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