Thursday, March 24, 2011
MFCA is coming soon and I am looking forward to the trip. I have been busy working on completing some commission pieces that I have owed for far too long but at the same time I have been working on this figure a bit at a time.
The horse assembly has finally been completed, taking longer due to some sculpting work that was required to get the saddle cloth halves to align with the cast on straps. In fact I had to remove two of the four straps and resculpt them to get everything aligned and looking right. This is a product of having an older casting.
I have completed the face and am about 3/4 complete on the helmet. The armor is coming along nicely as well, but there is a ways to go before I am anywhere near satisfied. No rush though as there are other far more important pieces to complete before the end of April.
Monday, March 21, 2011
It is always a joy to complete a figure and this particular one was nice to see finished. It is a very nice subject, casually posed but little to excite the viewer in the personality department. The amount of red involved was a challenge to create in a variety of tones without becoming repetitive, something that is very difficult to capture on film. In the end it was fun to research, paint and display. My goal was to carry the oval shape of the shield, cylindrical effect of the column and spear shaft through the shape of the base. I rarely use round or oval bases but this base was perfect for the figure. In fact I have had this base since my first or second figure show in New Jersey back in the mid 1980's. It is an old Base Camp base and has stood the test of time and storage well. I'm glad I could finally use it for something so nice. Now onward to my other projects, including something that is a bit different for me......stay tuned this week for a preview.
Monday, March 14, 2011
The fun part has begun after weeks of preparation. I began as always with the flesh (what little there is of it. Facial features on these figures aren't as pronounced as some but it's all there I would have liked to have applied some darker shadows and may well go back in once I get further along. I have a very difficult time when the face is set so deep in closed helmet spaces.
The fur was started with washes of Burnt Sienna and Burnt Umber. This is really just a base tone or undertone for all the colors to come.
My technique with armor like this is to apply three colors as washes, each one day apart from one another to allow for drying. The first is Prussian Blue, second is Dioxazine Purple and lastly Black, either Mars or Lamp. As each dries and prior to adding the next, I use an old cotton t-shirt to rub the excess off. I find that this bit of color on a smaller figure gives a nice appearance of reflected color once the rest of the figure is painted. Against the surrounding white primed surfaces it simply looks like what it is, blue, purple black. Wait until I get further along and be the judge. On larger figures (120mm and above, busts, etc) I will not use the blue and purple, but may well add a thin reflection of what ever color surrounds that area of armor prior to working with the black. In the larger scale you need to be specific with your color use for scale realism.
Sunday, March 13, 2011
There are a lot of updates to catch up on here. This one should get us up to date on this figure as of tonight. I developed further highlights on the mantle. I want to keep the color dark and rich so my highlights never made it past a mid cadmium red tone. The patterns on his tunic are near complete and the shield design has been started. The design will be golden yellow on the red field. I hope to have this piece completed by the coming weekend.
Groundwork prep has been completed and the horse assembly completed as well. I did a bit of rework on the horse to get the saddle halves properly aligned with the molded on straps on the horse halves. The groundwork has now been primed and the horse will be primed and left on a working base until painting is complete.
As usual on white metal figures I have masked any areas that will be steel/iron and primed the figure. The masks allow me to use the natural appearance of the white metal rather than paint the surface. No silver paint ever looks as realistic as the real thing.
Work continues on this late Roman subject. Decorative border edging has begun to be added at the lower hem and sleeves as well as a round design (orbiculi) on the lower right portion of the tunic. The spear will be segmented red and yellow.
After the figures were fully prepped I used a liquid masking agent on all of the armor and primed the exposed surfaces with automotive primer. Each figure is on a wood working base with one of the figures left in two parts for ease of access.
The final preparation for the groundwork on this piece was completed a few weeks ago and is outlined here in this post. Fine sandy dirt was glued to the putty surface with a thinned mixture of waterproof Elmer's Wood Glue and water.
After this dried I applied a thin sealing coat of the same glue mixture and sprinkled model railroad static grass in patches that will stay glued by absorbing that sealing coat. Once dry I was able to mask the wood and spray the entire structure with white automotive primer.
Once the primer coat was dry I removed the masking tape from the wood and began applying washes of brown and black oils. The picture below shows the base after the first initial wash of Burnt Umber with Black shadows in a few small spots. Further washes of various colors and tones will be added before I began to drybrush the weathering tones on the wood.