Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Onto the next project - Murmillo Gladiator

Time to start on another historical figure.  This is one of three projects I'm hoping to wrap up by the end of the year.  The first is the Knight of the Holy Sepulchre.  I've already posted WIP pictures here and he's well on his way... just need to take care of that damn horse.  The second is a 75mm gladiator I started recently.  And the third is a 54mm Saxon from Latorre (still in the assembly phase).  The hope is that these three will all be entries for Crystal Brush next March.  The Saxon and Knight would go into historical single and mounted categories while this gladiator will go into the large scale category.  Things always seem to take longer than I plan, so I want to try and get my entries together early.  If I am able to finish these around Dec/Jan then I can start to look for a project to enter into one of the fantasy or sci-fi categories.  So yup, that's the current plan.  We'll see whether or not I stick with it.

As for the gladiator, it's a 75mm kit from Alexandros Models.  This isn't your stereotypical gladiator kit, he's bulky and has a gut.  It's less idealized and I'm guessing closer to what they really looked like (though who can say).  The kit represents a Murmillo gladiator.  They fought with the typical Roman short sword and large rectangular shield.  They were pretty well armored as far as gladiator's go, with the large shield, padded lower legs with a greave on their left leg, armored right arm, and large helmet.  The name murmillo is a reference to a type of fish, so you'll often see these kits with a sea theme.  This one has a lot of that imagery, with dolphins on the helmet, capricorns and shells on the belt, a merman on the greave, and Neptune with his seahorse drawn chariot on the shield.

So far I've focused on painting the skin.  It's a big figure (even for a 75mm kit he's big) so I've been working on the skin in sections.  The upper body is pretty far along but the legs are still at an early stage.  I'm following the same approach as I used on the Dragoon's face.  Once I get the legs and hands to the same state as the upper body I'll go back in to add brighter highlights before finally using some red, blue, and purple glazes to create some more variation in the skin.  In the meantime I'll be using some glazes of the skin and shadow shades to help fix a few of the transitions (like the one on the back of the left leg).

Since this is a larger figure those pictures are just about actual size (only slightly bigger).  Here's a zoomed in version (about twice the real size) so you can get a better look at him.  It's a bit easier to see here that the skin still needs more definition through the highlights.

Here's a sneak peak at the other project, the 54mm Saxon warrior.  I recently got my detail sheets from the Etch Masters indiegogo project, so I used one of those pieces to switch out the axe head on the figure.  I'm going to give him a pretty beat up look, so this will help with that.  Still need to do some tweaking to his shield, but I hope to start painting him next week.


  1. You're going to have a strong presence at Crystal Brush. It will be nice to see some of the "traditional" historical models there for a change. I think that will serve Crystal Brush well to attract more established artists. Not to mention you'll pretty much rock that category!

    I don't have very ambitious plans yet for Crystal Brush. A few neat and fun ideas, but not anything that's going to be competitive. Still looking for my muse for that one. Regardless, it will be good to catch up with you there.

  2. Yeah, the show will be a great chance to see old friends and finally meet people I only know from the forums.

    As for the historical categories, the past few years have been rather sad. The vehicles tend to be good, but the figures... well, not so much. That may be a bit harsh as there have been good historical figures there. But I have yet to see a year where I thought the whole top three were anywhere near the quality of the winners from the other categories. Oh well, I hope that sooner or later people will catch on and start bringing more historical entries. Considering it allows up to 54mm you've got more room to add detail and wow the viewer.

  3. Hi David: I'm looking to commission a painting of the Alexandros Murmillo. Would it be possible to request a quote from you?

    1. Sure, I'd be happy to. However I'd rather have the discussion over private message than in the comment section. If you scroll up, on the right hand side you should see the Contact Form where you can email me (just above Blog Archive and below Followers and Follow by Email). Message me there and I can send you a quote and any additional information you might need. Thanks!