Saturday, October 18, 2014

WIP Saxon Warrior Part 5

Well, I'm just about finished with the Saxon figure.  The base, well that still needs a lot of work.  But I think I've got the painting the on the figure all wrapped up.  I made a simple design for the shield, based on the wolves from the Sutton Hoo purse cover (an artifact found in an Anglo-Saxon burial site from the 600's).  After that was finished I gave the figure some weathering with washes and pigments.  More on that after the pictures...

This is my three step weathering process.  The first step involves some washes.  I used some Tamiya Clear Red to create a few blood stains on his axe, shield, and a bit on his hands and clothes.  I used a small frayed brush and dabbed it on.  I also took some green-brown washes and added a little discoloration here and there.  Hard to see, it's a subtle effect especially over darker colors.

For the second step I took some dry pigments and mixed them with Matte Medium to form a paste-like paint.  Again dabbing with a frayed brush I applied the mud to the feet, up the back of the legs, and then a little to the shield and bottom of his tunic.  I'm using four different shades of pigments (dark brown, medium brown, a yellow brown, and a red brown) and mixing them together in different ratios to create some variation in the mud.

For the third step I stuck with the pigments, but this time kept them dry.  Using a somewhat stiff brush I dabbed them onto the figure and then wiped them off.  This leaves some of the color behind and gives a dusty look.  This was done mostly on the lower part of the figure, although extra was applied to the elbows and shield.  The rest of the upper body did get some, but not too much.  After the pigments were applied I went back with the Tamiya clear red to bring out some of the blood stains on the shield which were toned down by the pigments.  Since the blood is new it should be on top of the dirt.

Here's the progression of the weathering using two different views

Monday, October 13, 2014

WIP Saxon Part 4

With the putty on the back of the shield set I could work on the front.  I took some milliput and smeared it on the front nice and thin.  No need for complete coverage, just get it wet and smooth out the edges.  When it's painted you don't want to see lines where the putty starts and stops.  I then took a sharp tool and scratched in some tears and holes.  For the larger tears I took some extra putty and made the flaps where the covering it hanging down.  I added a few more small holes and a bit of texturing.  I plan on adding a design too, so no need to go overboard with the wear and tear.  I just wanted to add enough to make it fit with the rest of the scene.

After priming the shield I painted the back side.  I used the jewelers vise which normally holds the figures and inserted some of the pins so it could grip the shield.  The wood grain was painted using a lot of vertical strokes and with shadows on the top (concave shape).

With that done I attached it to the figure and started on the front.  The covering is a 4 to 1 mix of Weathered Stone and Olive Drab.  For the shadows I used a 4 to 1 mix of Brown Liner and Ritterlich Blue.  For the holes I did the same wood look as the back.  That gives me a good background to use when I paint in the design elements for the shield.  I've been looking at examples of Saxon art, Migration Period Art.  I found some nice representations of animals so I'm trying to adapt those into a design for the shield.  Right now I'm still working it out on paper.  Once I'm satisfied with what I've got then I'll transfer it to the shield.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

WIP Saxon Warrior Part 3

I put some more time into the arms and legs.  For the pants I used the same blue-brown mix as the tunic, just reduced the amount of blue.  The shadows were still 50/50 Ritterlich Blue and Brown Liner but the midtone went from 50/50 Soft Blue and Basic Dirt to 10/90 or 20/80 blue to brown.  Same with the highlights (Heather Blue and Bone Shadow).  I'm trying to create some consistency to the figure as a lot of these colors are used over and over again, while at the same time making sure the brown in the pants was different from all of the other versions of brown on the figure.

For the cloth wrapping on his left arm and lower legs I'm using one of my white mixes but shifting it.  So instead of Bone Shadow, Weathered Stone, and Leather White I'm using Blackened Brown, Bone Shadow, and Weathered Stone.  I may go in on the arm with a little Leather White to lighten it up more but I'll definitely keep the legs dark.

The hand got the same treatment as the face.  First the basic skin tones and then some red and purple glazes.  Purple in the shadows and red around the knuckles.

I wanted to add a little more detail to the shield.  I figure it's a wooden shield with a leather covering, so I added the part where the covering wraps around the edge and is tacked into place.  Now that the putty is dry I might flip it over and make some tears or slashes on the front.  That will be a bit tougher so we'll see.

Finally I've started to work on the base.  My first impulse was to put him on a plain dirt base with some rocks, grass, and perhaps a tree stump.  Easy to do but not very creative.  I'm trying to push myself to create more narrative bases.  When I do a plain old dirt base the story is 'hey look, I painted this figure.'  For this guy I'm thinking he's in the middle of a raid and has busted into someone's house or perhaps a mead hall looking for loot.  The trick will be conveying that story in the space I have available.  The first question was how do I get across that he's in a building.  I don't want to create a lot of the structure.  Even just a single wall will block a lot of the figure from view.  I suppose I could have done a small section of wall with a busted in door (the open door allowing us to see more of the figure).  Instead I opted to go with a large supporting beam from the interior of the structure.  I added a cross beam and support to make it seem like it was part of a building.  It's all made from balsa wood and then distressed/weathered using an x-acto knife.  I'll be adding a wood plank floor which will hopefully complete the interior look.

Once that is finished the next step will be adding debris to imply there's been a fight.  I made part of a broken table but it too up too much room on the base.  Instead I think I'll create a smashed chair and then other debris for the ground (perhaps shattered plates, glasses, etc).  We'll see how it looks as I add more pieces and try to figure out what else the scene might need.  The limited space is a challenge but it can also be an advantage.  It forces me to edit and really think about what I'm going to put there.  Hopefully the end result will be stronger because of it.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

WIP Saxon Warrior Part 2

I worked on a lot of the leather pieces and then painted the hair.  There's quite a bit and it was a pain in the butt to do.  Since he's a Germanic warrior I could have gone with blond hair but I didn't like the idea of light colored hair next to the dark browns of the helmet and shoulder coverings.  So I decided to make it a dark brown too, slightly darker than the surroundings.  It was based with Brown Liner and then highlighted with a mix of Brown Liner and Tanned Skin.  I've found that skin tones make a nice highlight color for brown hair.  I approached it similarly to how I did the fur pelt.  I did a pseudo drying brushing over a dark base.  It was a mix of very controlled dry brushing and going in to pick out individual hairs.  Then I did a glaze of the Brown Liner (mixed with glaze medium and water) to help bring it all together and then went back in to rehighlight, this time no dry brushing just painting individual hairs with a fine detail brush.  As I said, it was a pain.

With that finished I finally had to pick a color of the tunic.  I actually painted a small section in green, another in red, and a third in blue.  I decided I liked the blue the best so redid the whole thing with that.  I wanted a very toned down version of blue so I mixed all of the colors 50/50 with brown.  The shadows were Ritterlich Blue and Blackened Brown, midtones were Soft Blue and Basic Dirt, and the highlights were Heather Blue and Bone Shadow.  I had previously used the Blackened Brown in the leather and the Bone Shadow in the fur pelt (plus it'll be in the wrappings on the left arm and legs), so hopefully that will help tie things together.

Here is a little more detail on how I did the metal for his body armor.  The circular plate on the chest and back already had a dented texture to it so I tried to bring that out more with the placement of the highlights and shadows.  The piece around his waist was smooth so I used a somewhat more random application of shadows and highlights to create some texture for it.  Below is a breakdown of the how I did the circular plate on his chest.  Starting on the left is a base coat of Brown Liner. You can still see some primer peaking through but the metallic layers will fix that. The next image is my dark metallic base. I'm using Scale 75's Necro Gold mixed with Reaper's Imperial Purple (an idea I got from MassiveVoodoo). The metallic paint is dark but mixing it with a dark flat color (whether purple, dark brown, black, etc) helps take down the shine. I want my dark layer to stay dark even when the light hits it. From there I layer in my brighter metallic tones. Into the Necro Gold + Imperial Purple I mix in Elven Gold (your standard bright gold). At maybe 2 or 3 parts Elven Gold to 1 part Necro+Purple I start to mix in Thrash Metal instead. It's a little hard to describe the color, you can check the Scale 75 website, but I'd say it's a pale bronze. Lighter than the Elven Gold but less yellow. It fit what I wanted and was used for the top highlights and edges. That's the third image. The final step was to go in with some glazes for the shadows. I used layers of Brown Liner, Pure Black, and a just little turquoise, all mixed with Glaze Medium and water.