Knight of Balance
Wow, round 2 of the Last Painter Standing Contest already! This is hosted on The Miniatures Page. Twice even! I just finished writing this, and the power conked (Argh!). I want to again thank Bill, I-Kore, and all of the "fans" and other contestants... As far as I'm concerned, WE should be on the next cover of Time Magazine :D
Anyhow, to start off, I am mainly a fantasy painter. Recently, I have gotten into a few cross-genre pieces, that I essentially did my darndest to turn into fantasy figures :D so right away, this guy was less than appealing to me. I think this is why I pressed the deadline so late this round. Finally, inspiration came. I wanted a hero. No VOID fluff, just a superhero kinda future boy.
To get started, I show my tools. I have an assortment of brushes ranging from teenie 10/0 detail brushes all the way up to fat mixing brushes... Also, my knife, some kneadatite (just in case), My Polly Scale Engine Black primer, my wet pallette (you MUST get one of these bad boys), and the most useful tool ever invented. The Wondrous Pink Rubber band of Bottle Opening! Get 'em off your produce such as broccoli or asparagus spears... great for all of those siezed up paint pot lids :D
To start off, you get to see my HUGE hands again! Actually, I had little trimming to do, except for the odd spear of flash, and the gun was pretty bad seamwise. Also, at this point, I made a terrible mistake.
I thought the original shape of his left arm was somewhat awkward, as in, too far back. In my moment of pure brilliance, I grabbed the best tool for bending things known to man, some pliers... Well, not only was the arm relentless in it's position, but the teeth of the grip dug in nicely, and somehow even managed to knick the blade of the sword. Thus, the kneadatite comes out. I used my wet tiny screwdriver to blend in some of the greenstuff to cover the wounds, and also smooth the sword. Please note that it is very important to use wet tools or you will have your putty sticking to the wrong things, and a great mess can be found down that road.
I fastened him to a square base for handling while painting, which proved to be another terrible mistake :D Out came the black brush on Polly S primer. I use it fairly thin, so I do a couple of layers for good coverage. It seems a little glossy, so I gave it a shot of Testor's DullCote after priming. Better for the other paints to stick to in the long run.
He has a goodly motocross mask on, but there is still some face present. Tiny as it is, and the right eye seems lower than the left, but there is definately skin showing. I began by painting the eye areas white, and then cleaning it up with some thin black. Next came the pupils, simply a dot with the brush. Nothing fancy like on the Druid, just black. The face was quite easy actually, so I started with Vallejo Game Color Dwarf Flesh, mixed in some Vallejo Light flesh and then some white for highlights.
Well since I was so uninspired, I felt I had to get some good color happening soon, and that is what I did next. Starting with Vallejo Game Color Scar Red, I based the entire outside of his trenchcoat with it. Shading was quite easy, simply blending down to Vallejo Cadmium Maroon and then doing some unifying blends in rough spots.
I really want this guy bright, so when I do the highlighting, I will go to extremes sometimes! From the Scar Red base, I blended up through Vallejo Game Color Bloody Red, to Vallejo Orange Red. Highlights were blended up further to Vallejo Light Orange and even mixed up with some white for the odd spot. Overall, he was poppin nicely, and I had a good start, and something to look at!
Now using Heroic colors, I thought either I would do white tights or blue, so when it came to the body suit, Blue was in order. I base colored it using Vallejo Prussian Blue, and mixed in some black for shading purposes. From the Vallejo Prussian Blue, I blended up through Vallejo Andrea Blue and mixed white in for the final highlights, like the boots, and down his leg... I also felt that I really wanted white cuffs, so I did his hands as if they were gloved or covered by the same body suit.
The third color was white. I started by painting the inside of his coat, including the collar and his belt and cuffs with Vallejo Game Color Bone white. I wanted some well-defined shading in spots, especially under the inside of his coat, so I blending to about 50/50 of the Vallejo Game Color Bone white and Vallejo Chocolate brown. I had to do a little unifying blending here and there, especially on the big area but it turned out okay. From the Vallejo Game Color Bone White base, I added white until I was highlighting pure white for everything.
The first picture here shows how I block out the metal armor plates and the swords using Vallejo Intermediate Grey. I wanted to maintain some blackling around the plates, so I had to be careful here. The second pic show work on the Upper half of my NMM chrome. Since it reflects the sky, I basically pick a horizon for the shape of the object and I paint Citadel Ice Blue from the horizon to the top. After this upper half is defined, I blend up to white at the horizon line. I think the white is key for this effect. Also, white edging can be doen on some of the other edges of the object to simulate the shine as well.
This shows the completed sky sides with specular light reflections added, and also, the ground sides. For this, I darkend up my Vallejo Intermediate grey with some black and blended from the horizon down with increasing amounts of the Intermediate grey and even a bit brighter to simulate the ambient light being reflected from the ground... The sword blades were done more subtly, and basically I blended from white at one end to the darkened Intermediate Grey at the other. I reverse the direction on opposing faces and it looks pretty sharp (no pun intended)... Also, the hilts seem to be sculpted as part of the blade, but I had other plans for them :)
The first picture shows how I re-base coat all the parts white that will be done in NMM gold. I think this really makes the Citadel Snakebite Leather pop out better than goign over the black. I was going to give him golden blonde hair as well, so I also based his hair white too. The second picture shows the areas done in gold, using Citadel Snakebite Leather blended up to white for the shine. His hair was mainly done by applying increasing washes of the Snakebite Leather to certain areas. Afterwards, I simply lightened up and layered lighter and lighter in spots. I have also painted the hilts white at this point.
This is where the BIGGEST mistake came in. Leaving his tab on, and him attached to another base. Since he is a sci-fi kinda guy, I didn't want to do my usual chemo-grass and sand looking base, so I had a friend (Roktop) give me this excelletn base from Paintminion. of course it was unpainted, but that is coming! My mistake showed me that I had to cut his tab off (and he is finished being painted), so I hacked it off, and only had to touch up two spots! The base was painted using my NMM colors for steel, namely the Vallejo Intermediate Blue, white and black for shading. After all is said and done, I used Vallejo Smoke thinned down and did rust from the bolts, and also some weathered staining on the decking. Probably my best part here ;) I simply glued him on and voila!
For the gun which I really really wanted to leave out, I picked certain panels to be Vallejo Dark Prussian Blue and also some Gold, and Steel NMM. The copper clip was done by mixing the Citadel Snakebite Leather with some of the Vallejo Light Orange.
In the end, I really felt that he didn't need any unnecessary freehand (Most folks just go too overboard with it...) and even iconography didn't want to mesh, so I think the piantjob will stand as is.
Hope you enjoy the write up and miniature. In the end, he was very fun to paint!
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