Friday, December 16, 2011

Hard work and a box with teeth

I've been meaning to pick up some of the Discworld minis by Micro Art Studios for a while. The other day I showed the website to a friend who reads Terry Pratchett, and foolishly suggested that the Luggage looked easy to paint and I could probably get it done in a single saturday. Since his birthday was coming up I decided to paint him a model as a gift.

I was wrong. I wasn't able to finish it in a single saturday. Nevertheless I managed to get it finished in time:

It came with a slotta base with a recessed top, but the model itself had no tab to fit the slot and I didn't like the recess so I filled it with milliput. I had to pin the model to the base, and I didn't like leaving the pins exposed under the base (plus I wanted to write on the bottom), so I filled that too:

Here's a picture for size comparison:

First I primed the model white, then painted the different surfaces.
Cloth: scab red basecoat, blood red, blazing orange drybrush, light bleached bone drybrush, baal red wash.
Brass: tin bitz basecoat, Bronze layers, boltgun then chainmail drybrushes.
Wood: calthan brown basecoat, devlan mud wash.
Teeth: skull white.
Legs: elf flesh basecoat, bleached bone toenails.

Then everything was washed generously in watered down gryphonne sepia. This worked quite well for the teeth, did very little to the wood and brass, but wasn't quite enough for the legs, or more specifically the recesses between them, which were not dark enough as the washed flowed down and got sucked under the model. So I had to apply more, laying the model horizontally so the wash would pool properly, but first I applied a heavy wash of devlan mud directly into the recesses at the top, where it looked like it should be darker still. This was a little messy so I had to touch up the legs before the second wash of sepia, which I did with dwarf flesh (which was very close in colour to the sepia-washed elf flesh).

Finally I applied an extremely light drybrush of bleached bone on the legs, not just to highlight but to reduce the warmth a little (my previous experiments with drybrushing skin were terrible, but it seems if you put almost no pressure on the brush you can get a subtle improvement overall). I actually performed a bunch of experiments before painting the skin, this was the best effect I was able to get.

I considered using Army Painter quickshade but decided against it in the end. I'm not fond of the effect quickshade has on most surfaces, though I love how it works on skin - except the colour is a very dark brown that's not "warm" enough even for dark or tanned flesh. Mixing it with washes didn't work (it doesn't mix), washing over it was better but I'll need to experiment more - glazes may work, but washes probably don't add colour in the same places as the quickshade so it will create different overall skin colours - or at least that seemed to be the problem in my early tests. Perhaps a weaker quickshade would help, I'll have to experiment more in the future.

Overall it came out quite well, but the spaces between the legs and between the teeth aren't dark enough. Next time I'll wash between the teeth with devlan mud or badab black before the sepia then touch up the white, and I'll carefully paint the legs a different colour to the spaces (which will be slightly harder than I'd like because there's not always clear boundries between the two, but I'll just have to keep hacking away until it looks right). I don't think I'll bother basecoating the brass in tin bitz next time, as it took a while to build up over white, I'll just use the same brown for simplicity. It might help with the legs too, at least if I want a dark colour between them. In fact I'll probably just use brown as the basecoat for everything except the teeth.

I do love the cast, and overall I think it turned out pretty well, in fact I'm considering painting another for myself. I might put Rincewind on the same base as I think the models will work well together, though I would have to paint them seperately. Too many other things to paint first though, so it might be a while.

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