After finishing up the Fallen Angel, I thought I'd try to finish up another old project. The SCAHMS show (the local Los Angeles figure group) is coming up in a little over a month and I don't have anything to bring! I've been working on a lot of pieces, but nothing is finished. The Fallen Angel is the only piece I've completed since last year and it's already off with its new owner. I could keep working on the Celt, but I'm not sure if I have enough time to finish it before the show. Redghar and Count Melenth are close, but both are a bit stuck and I'm not sure I can work through them in time either. Luckily, the Dragoon is a relatively straightforward piece and should be easy to finish off in time. If I'm lucky, maybe I'll even have time to finish something else like the Hussar bust... but that's getting a little ahead of myself.
After dusting off the Dragoon, I started to work on his helmet. I did the basic metal for the helmet and then started working on the leopard skin. Although not this specific Dragoon's helmet, here is an example of a French Dragoon Officer's helmet.
Using that and some other online images as a guide, I tried to recreate the pattern on the figure. For the background color I used Bronzed Shadow, Bronzed Skin, a 50/50 mix of Bronzed Highlight and Khaki Highlight, and finally a bit of Linen White. For the spots I used Pure Black, Dusky Skin Shadow, Dusky Skin, and Dusky Skin highlight to do the black outsides. I tried to vary these in shape and size, using the online references as a guide. For the inside of the spots I used a 50/50 mix of Bronzed Shadow and Muddy Brown, and then highlighted that with Bronzed Skin. Below is a blown up image of the mostly finished helmet.
After that I attached the red plume on his left side. This could have been done in white (as it is on the box art), which I believe would represent the chief of staff. But for the typical Empress' Dragoon it would have been red. I like the extra bit of color (the other red is mainly seen from the rear of the figure), so I opted for red instead of white.
My next task was the horse hair crest. This was done in black, much like the hair for the Fallen Angel. I liked how the faux glossy black turned out there, so I plan to use that trick on a number of other figures! I started by sketching in the shine and then went back to blend in to the black hair. For this I worked with Vampiric Shadow (for the shine) and then blended to black using Dark Elf Highlight, Dark Elf Skin, and Dark Elf Shadow.
My next big task will be to do the cord/braid details. This is supposed to be a gold lace. In the past I've used metallic paint and metallic paint mixed with matte paint, but was never 100% happy with the results. So this time I decided to do a NMM look for the braid. Yes, it means I'm mixing TMM on the helmet with NMM on the braid, but they're different materials and I've already essentially done a NMM gloss finish for the horse hair crest. I did a somewhat rough sketch on part of the cords hanging from the shoulder and am pretty happy with the result. I did a more finished version on the tiny details on the tail of his coat. Now I'll go back, clean up the cord and paint the rest of the gold lace.