Sunday, November 18, 2018

Cowboy: Gun Belt, Boots

Back to the cowboy! I worked on the gun belt and his boots today.

I think I need to add a couple more spots of highlight to the outside of that left boot, but other than that I'm pretty satisfied with it. I want them to look slightly shiny, but not super glossy or anything.

I need to make that adjustment to the boots and then shade and highlight the band on his hat. After that, I'll probably work on his gun, and leave the coat for last.

Saturday, November 17, 2018


Finished up the bear today. I'm not super fond of how the pink came out. But, he's done, and I'll get back to the cowboy shortly.

Friday, November 16, 2018


I wanted to get some painting in tonight, but I've had a long week and didn't really feel like working on something that I was going to put a lot of thought and care into. So, I skipped the cowboy and started this grizzly bear with a battle axe instead.

Obviously, he's not done, but I think I made reasonable progress. He's not going to be a high quality piece, but that's OK. This one is just for fun. I'm not trying to accomplish anything in particular.

Why is he wearing pink? Well, it's a grizzly bear. With an axe. Are you really going to second guess his wardrobe choices?

I mean for it to be a darker pink, more toward magenta, but the color I chose was pretty thing, didn't cover well, and didn't get along with the plastic. So I've undercoated with a thicker paint that covers much better, and I'll go over it with the darker pink that I really want later.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Cowboy: Pants, belts, vest

I did not actually get much done this time. I've toned down the highlights on his pants with a few glazes, tried base coating the belts on his pants to a lighter brown, and popped up the highlights on his vest a bit. I would rather the vest had a bit of shine to it. The pants shouldn't. I'm still undecided about the lighter belts, but I think I like it.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Cowboy: Pants

Continued on with highlighting the cowboy's pants.

I'm not sure I like the vertical highlights on the sides. I'm also wondering if I made the highlights too light. That's pretty typical, and the answer is almost always no, they are not too light. If anything, it probably means I need to make the highlights on the rest lighter.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Cowboy: Vest, Pants

Today I finished off the cowboy's vest and those leather straps, and then started on his pants.

I put stripes on his vest, which worked much better than the dots. I put some texture on the edges of the leather straps and finished highlighting them. Then I moved on to shading and highlighting his pants. I need a round of brighter highlights, and also to reduce the size of the existing highlight in some places. They're too broad, and I need to bring in more mid tone, particularly along the back of his legs.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Cowboy: Vest, Straps, and Such

I started with some freehand on the cowboy's vest today. I went with gold spots, and here's the result.

I was not happy with the results. The spots are too much like the buttons, so it all gets kinda messy. So, I got rid of them. While debating whether to leave it without any freehand or put on stripes, I worked on his ammo belt and the other strap there (also the buttons on the vest are now silver, and I did the watch and chain).

The belts aren't quite done. They need some more highlight and some weathering. But, I am kinda liking doing a section to completion.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Cowboy: Shirt, Vest

Today I worked on his shirt and vest, doing shading and highlighting on them both.

The shirt is done. The vest still needs work. I tried doing the buttons in black, and they're just getting lost. They need to be silver instead. Also, I was thinking of putting some freehand on there, which I didn't get to tonight. That may be a little risky - if I mess it up, I'll have to start the vest over. At least it's not a very big area.

I did something I rarely do - I shaded the white shirt with gray. Usually I avoid that; shading white with gray tends to make it look dirty or, well, gray. In this case, I went with it because:

* the browns I'd usually use were too close in color to the coat, so it all kind mashed together.
* the grays are also being used on the hat and pants, so it'll help bring together the different areas of the mini.
* it's the old west. It's OK if he looks a little dirty.

Oh, I also went back and re-did the highlighting on the hat in the same family of grays I'm using for the pants and shirt. I think it would have been OK as it was, but this is better.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Cowboy: Color testing.

I did color testing with the cowboy today. This was just base coating the other areas of the figure with the colors I'm thinking of using to see how it all goes together.

I don't quite love it, but I think it'll work. I do need to pick a lighter or darker color for the belts; it doesn't stand out enough. I'd been planning on putting a pattern on the vest in gold, and I will also have to put some more thought into that - yellow/gold might be too close to the color of the coat.

And I probably will redo the highlight on his hat with these other grays.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Cowboy: Hat, Shirt

I moved on to the cowboy's hat and shirt, and spent a whole lot of time fighting with them.

I started with the hat, which got a base coat of my favorite not-quite-black, Reaper MSP Noir Black. That was all well and good. (The band I'm going to make the same color as the various other leather straps and belts, so I'll come back to it when I do those.)

The trouble started with highlighting the hat. I started with some desaturated blues, but they weren't desaturated enough and So I painted over it and thought about it while base coating the shirt.

I had picked out what I wanted to be a cool off-white. Instead, on the figure, it looks Well, I stuck with it until I could get some shading and highlights on there, hoping that would help.

Then, I decided to go with the Dark Elf Flesh Reaper MSP triad for highlights on the hat. It's gray with a bit of purple, and usually works well for me. It's also in the same family of colors as the off-white I used for the shirt, so hopefully that would bring a little cohesion to the color palette and make the shirt look less pink.

I fought with the placement of the shadows for a while, particularly the one on the front of the brim. I'm mostly happy with it now, but need to bring the brightest highlight color a bit father back.

So then I did some experimental shading and highlighting on the shirt. It was pretty rough, just meant to help determine if it was going to look less pink when finished or not. The short answer: Nope. Dude currently has a pink shirt.

So, next time I'm going to go over the shirt again with a different base color. I'm also rethinking the highlight colors on the hat, as I'm thinking I'll do his pants in a charcoal gray, and if I use something other than that Dark Elf skin color, I'll probably want to use the pants colors on the hat. Luckily, once I figured out where I want the highlights to be on the hat, it doesn't take too long.

Hrm. Maybe next time I'll just do some more base coats of different areas instead, so I can make sure I'm happy with the color palette before I start on shading and highlighting.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Cowboy: 5 o'clock shadow, hair.

Today I continued detailing the cowboy's face and did the hair. He got eyebrows, and I tweaked his right eye so that he looks less cross-eyed from angles that looked a bit off before. I also gave him a a little beard scruff.

I tried putting some texture in the beard. I'm not sure if I like how that turned out or not. Up close, it seems like the texture isn't fine enough, and is too granular. However, from a distance it's OK. I am noticing in the front-on picture, the beard area isn't quite even on both sides, and I'll have to fix that next time. I might see if I can bring some definition back to his lips, too. That's kind of tricky with this sculpt. There isn't much to the lips in the sculpt itself, so it really needs help with paint.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Cowboy: Skin, Face Details

Shaded and highlighted the cowboy's skin today, and worked on details on his face. His face isn't quite done. I want to give him a 5 o'clock shadow, and I'm thinking I may work on his eyes a little more.

Saturday, November 3, 2018


Here's the Werecroc, all finished. By which I mean, I painted his base, but did not do any additional shading and highlighting. I decided it looked fine, at least it seems good enough for table top.

I also started on another piece. This is one of the Thief of Hearts figures from Dark Sword miniatures. It came out of the box of stuff I prepped and primed years ago. That makes me sad - I'm sure it was not a cheap figure, but it's got fuzzy primer syndrome. I went over it with some brush-on sealer to try to minimize that.

All the painted versions of this figure that I've seen went with dark hair, skin, and cloth. So, I'm going to go with lighter colors. This base skin tone is Reaper HD Elf Flesh, which I haven't used before. It's sort of a yellow-y pink. I'd originally been thinking I'd make her blonde, but I suspect red will go better with that skin tone. Or...maybe I'll give her a non-traditional hair color. Purple. Or blue. Something.

I also worked a little on the cowboy, just adding a first round of shadow on his skin.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Werecroc: Details, shading

Got back to the werecroc today. I've got a commission piece I'll be starting soon, and I want to get him finished first.

I put the stripes and spots on his back. That's an idea that was pulled directly from my reference photo. I also put some highlights on the claws, and shaded and highlighted the inside of his mouth. I also put a little bit of a darker brown around the bottom of his teeth.

Next will be doing some (probably limited) shading and highlighting on the rest of him.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Cowboy: Base, Con't.

I attached the cowboy to his base. Not bad!

I also made some adjustments to the railing. I 'broke' one of the spindles and leaned it to the side. I also shortened the side pieces and put caps on them. Here's the result.

And here's what he would look like, more or less, with the railing in place.

It's a little taller than it would be, as I'd trim the corners off the floor boards and set the posts down under the floor. I haven't decided if I'm going to use it or not. It's just be in the way of painting him right now anyway, so I'm going to leave it off, do the painting, and decide later.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Werecroc: Details. Cowboy: Base

I went with adding details on the croc. I did his eyes, mouth, and claws. I actually did this yesterday, but didn't get a chance to post.

A note on painting from a source picture. His skin colors and the color on the inside of his mouth came right from pictures of crocodiles that I found on Google. However, when I looked at the colors for eyes and claws, both were similar greens to his skin. I didn't go with those. Why not? Well, for his eyes, I didn't want them to blend in with the rest of him. I wanted something that would stand out, so I went with yellow/orange. For the claws, I went with a darker color because I also wanted them to stand out. He's a were-crocodile and should be scary, and part of that is the big, sharp, claws.

Today I built the base for the cowboy. I'm going with wood planks, like on a porch or front entrance to the local saloon. Here's the base.

It's built with coffee stir sticks that I grabbed from my favorite Starbucks. That far back plank does have glue on it; I put the wrong side down on my first attempt. I'll have to sand that down. I have painted it gray here. It will end up gray, but this is just a primer/basecoat to start with so that I wouldn't have to worry about painting the bottom of the pieces or in between the planks. It will get final paint later. The broken board is on purpose to add a little interest.

I also built a railing.

This is made with plasticard. It has a number of imperfections. I'm going to put the cowboy on and see how it looks with the railing. I may not end up using it, but here's what it would kind of look like together.

Now, the bottom of the posts will be lower, and I'll trim the thick posts shorter. But we'll see. First I have to see if it works with the figure or not.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Werecroc: Rest of the Base Coat

Today I did the rest of his base coating, at least on the hide. I went with a lighter green stripe and then an almost white belly. I did a lot of wet blending to ease the transitions between those colors.

I'm liking him so far. Not sure what I'm going to do about shading and highlights, exactly.

Next time, I'll either finish detailing on his hide or detail his face. For his hide, the picture I'm working from has darker stripes across the back. For his face, it'd be doing the eyes and mouth. Maybe his claws as well.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Werecrocodile: Base Coating

Next project: the Bones Werecrocodile.

This is just a base coat on his back and other darker skin areas. Next I'll probably try to blend in the lighter color areas along his side and his belly, so the whole thing will be base coated.

Monday, October 22, 2018


Finished of Marcus's base and attached him.

He'll do.

I have a Bones crocodile guy I'll work on the rest of this week. Then, I'm hoping this weekend to get back to the cowboy by building his base. His plinth is made and being finished with polyurethane now. After that I can build the scenic elements he'll be standing on, attach him, and get back to painting.