Thursday, April 7, 2016

Samurai Part 15

I guess if you read the last few posts it's no surprise that the samurai has been completed, but I thought I should still share all of my final photos of him.  The main thing missing from the previous WIP posts was the base.  This guy presented a bit of a challenge there as the figure is kneeling with one leg up in the air.  The kit comes with a base that has a big boulder (which the figure is resting his leg on).  I wasn't a huge fan of the boulder sculpt, so I decided to ditch it and come up with something on my own.  I went through a number of ideas.  Most of which ended up being scrapped either due to time (had to finish for the show deadline) or my inability to sculpt anything too complicated.  In the end I kept it simple.  The figure is kneeling on a small hill and the scene is just made up of dirt, grass, and rocks.

The actual base was made using cork to build up the basic volumes.  This was then covered by putty, rocks, sand, and baking soda to create the textures.  I did the initial base painting using an airbrush, then went in with a traditional brush to apply some washes, dry brushing, and some more detailed highlighting and shading.  After that grass was added using woodland scenics field grass.  I took two colors of grass (a dark green and to a lesser extent a light green) and mixed them.  This broke up the color and made it look more realistic (instead of every blade being the exact same shade).  Once these were glued on, I used dry pigments to stain them and create more color variation (plus it ties them into the colors of the dirt).  Those same pigments were used on the dirt sections as well for a bit more color variation.

I had a few more grandiose ideas for the base, but just did not have time to realize them.  I would have loved to have had a small stream running next to the hill (with his foot in the water) or have added a flowing banner behind him.  But, honestly, the figure is complicated enough that a simple base can be a good option.  You can take a look and decide whether you think it's better this way.  Anyhow, the samurai and also the Northumbrian images are up in my gallery, so you can take a look at that final pictures of that one too!


  1. Gorgeous. Damn shame it didn't win anything at CB, did you get some feedback on him from anyone of your caliber?

    1. Thanks, Zab. Yeah, and the talented people liked him too. =P Seriously though, I got some great feedback from a bunch of people. Jen, the head judge, even sent me an email saying how much she liked it (looks like it just barely got outvoted). Kyriakos, the guy who won first overall, did pick out the one part I wish I had done better (well, maybe not ONE part, but the part I felt was farthest from what I wanted). It was an interesting conversation and did give me some ideas for the next project.

    2. to me that's the real value of contests. not prizes. not the money. the interaction with other great artists!

    3. Yeah, though winning that $10,000 would have been pretty cool too.

  2. As you say, the figure is already very complicated with so much colors and details. You've made the good choice with a simple base to overlight the Samurai..which is beautiful actually.