Thursday, July 11, 2013

Sean the Overzealous Cricket Player

The model is Dynamic Ray from Hasslefree Minis. I'm calling him Sean for no particular reason whatsoever.

My colour palette was based on some reference photos, so some of the colours were not quite what I might otherwise have chosen, but I really like how it turned out so no complaints.

This was my second attempt at black cloth; I used a black base, grey/white drybrushes then a mix of Badab Black and 'Ardcoat to shade. It came out a little better but next time I'll use a dark grey base rather than true black, which should look better. Not too happy about the white cloth either, but it looks good enough I guess.

The skin was the basic elf-flesh base followed by a mix of Gryphone Sepia and 'Ardcoat, then a pure sepia wash was applied in select areas (like inside the ears and between the arms) to further darken them. It looks good enough to me so I'm happy. The eyes were white with black dots but as usual the white disappeared after adding the sepia; still this is probably the best looking face I've ever managed, though that's largely down the to miniature itself having so much detail there (most models don't actually have eyebrows, for example; this one does).

I initially painted the hair in the same Elf Flesh as the skin, then drybrushed it white and glazed it yellow; I was trying to make the hair seem light and thin by using the same tones as the skin, but I decided it didn't have enough contrast. So I washed it with Devlan Mud, brushed it with more white then glazed yellow again, to get those darker areas. It's not perfect, but I think it's as good as I could have hoped for seeing as I haven't really tried to paint blonde hair before. I did make a mistake by trying to sand a little bit of the hair off the top before painting - it looked a little like a mohawk to me at the time, but I think it probably would have looked better if I hadn't as I created a solid ridge along the centre.

I mixed various browns with bleached bone until I found a colour I liked for the cricket bat. It's not obvious in the photos (or in real life for that matter), I painted on a subtle wood grain effect. It's hard to see, but I think the result looks very close to a real cricket bat so I'm very happy with it.

The watch doesn't look great as it lacks detail; in retrospect I think I could have added a bit more details with the paint (or possibly modelled some on) if I had thought things through better from the start. I think the tie and the belt came out quite nicely actually. I painted on a red name tag with white spots and a metal pocket clip; it's a bit flat up close but from the distance it adds a nice bit of detail.

Some bits do look a bit glossy; it's a problem I've been having lately, I'm not sure if I'm using too much Purity Seal or too little, or if I'm not quite using it right or something.

So yeah, overall I'm very happy with the model. I'm really starting to like the idea of more "recognisable" miniatures; though I do feel a little guilty about buying unlicensed ones - obviously if there were licensed models of the characters I want I would buy those.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Praying Paladin

This is Tiriel by Hasslefree Miniatures, sculpted by Kev White. I love the simple, no-nonsense character and pose of the model - totally fitting for a paladin.

While it was a quick and simple paint job, I was actually experimenting with skin and metal. I've found that brushing metal over black gives a very nice metal effect, but brushing it over white gives a slightly brighter final finish. So I tried to pre-shade the mini by priming it white, washing it black, and finally drybrushing white before brushing on Mithril Silver.

The result was subtle at best:
Mithril brushed over shaded basecoat.
So I ended up giving it another black wash then a Mithril drybrush:
Another wash and drybrush created better contrast.
I was hoping the armour would look brighter. Perhaps painting on Mithril in a more traditional fashion then using a wash and drybrush would give me a brighter overall tone? Actually, I once painted mithril over metallic primer and that came out quite bright, I might have to try that again.

I've been trying to come up with a paler, pinker skin tone than Elf Flesh to use with characters from colder climates - even Elf Flesh is a little tan. For a short while GW had a light pink "edge" paint, but they were not selling it when I went looking. Instead I picked up Changeling Pink, a GW drybrush paint of the same shade. I mixed this with white and a touch of Elf Flesh to come up with a pink skin tone:
Skin basecoated with custom pink mix.

While I was ultimately happy with the mixture's colour, I couldn't figure out how to shade it. I've been shading Elf Flesh with either Ogryn Flesh or Gryphone Sepia (lately mixed with a little 'Ardcoat to change how it spreads across the surface), but neither of those two complements the pink colour, nor do any of my other washes. I decided to try Ogryn Flesh, thinking that it's slightly redder colour would work better with pink than the slightly more yellow Gryphone Sepia. It was a catastrophe, the two did not work together and she just looked ill. In desperation I gave it a white drybrush to try to hide the pink, but that just made it worse; suddenly she looked like a reanimated corpse:
Undead paladin? That's just wrong.

In a last-ditched hail-Mary I glazed the skin with a couple of thin layers of Gryphone Sepia. This essentially killed the pink and white and I ended up with a more typical tanned skin tone:
Saved by the Sepia.

Her skin still looks kinda crappy, and the shading on the face is poor, but it's basically tolerable - especially since it's normally very hard to see her face because of her pose. Perhaps I should actually try to learn how to do proper shading and blending and stuff. Maybe someday.

Overall I'm not really happy with how she turned out. It looks a bit boring, being mostly just a single shade of metal, and of course the skin is rather poor. If I was to paint this figure again I would probably try to use some different colours for the armour, perhaps pick out some plates in gold or add some freehand decoration here and there. I've just been rushing too much; I'm just really tired of having all these great figures sitting around unpainted, and I want to get them done.