My latest finished project, the Giant of Albion. I've named him Gilgamesh the Sickly and he's ready to eat some humans.
I've recently been made aware of a painting competition over at Good Games at Top Ryde, and being a sucker for these things I've shelved my current work to give something a go for it. I've started to paint one of my Giants of Albion, yep sticking with the retro figures. I love this model and have always wanted to paint it. The pictures here are mostly for the face. I'm playing with new colours for faces at the moment, reds and purples on top of skin tones to give him a really gaunt and unhealthy feeling.
I've also been working on my eye process, dotting the pupils and colouring the iris to give him more colour and make the eye a little more catching. I'm quite happy with the result on this guy.
Finally, looks like I've lost the hands for this model so I'm trying my hand at sculpting a replacement. It's only half way there, layering up small bits of green stuff at a time to get something that resembles a hand. It's really hard to do and very new for me but so far I'm happy with my first effort.
And that's what's on the bench.
Now that Horatio is complete, I'm working on my next project, the Pay Cart. In KoW I'll use this as a battle shrine as it's most appropriate for that role. In 9th Age it works well as either an Arcane Engine or a Battle Altar. It's a fun model, well at least the characters on it are.
First up is the Pay Master. I've promised my friend that if he manages to defeat the Demon Price of another mate that smashed my army up then I'll let him name my Pay Master. He hasn't come up with a name yet.
Edit: Salvatore Gregorio the Rotund, High Lord Exchequer of the Moot it is.
Every other picture I found of this fat little grubby man had him wearing a shirt, but I just didn't see it in the cast so I painted his top half naked. I tried to give the impression of shiny silk wrapped around his ample belly to lather him in opulence, he does of course control the money for my lustful army after all.
I used some different shades on his face to give him the red faced look of a man who spends too much time with drink and heavy foods and I'm really happy with the outcome. I wasn't impressed with the cast issues around his eyes or his hands, but I love the rest. His beard, hands, shoes and necklace are not finished yet.
Then there's Mydas the Mean. I've posted a few photos of this guy already as i did a non metallic gold photo shoot and tutorial with him. He's done, but still needs weapons, I haven't' decided what to give him yet. Not sure what went wrong with my photo here, it came out rather overexposed.
Finally I have the chest. I'd lost the lid so I thought I'd try my hand at green stuffing my own. The lid is made with Fimo, and green stuff for the surroundings. I molded a half cylinder for the base, then etched otu the wood grain finish. It was pretty easy to do. Then just added in green stuff for the metal bindings and rivets. Pretty happy with the result, not a master piece, but then it's just a lid. I'm not good with green stuff so I'm pretty chuffed.
Finally, here's a group shot of what's in progress.
Not forgetting Mr Ed in the background, he's going to get some attention for this piece too.
And that's what On the Bench.
Horatio, famous Magus of Eugedral, is best known for his unusual gait as he apparently skips across the battlefield earning himself the nickname "Magus of Glee". Don't call him that to his face though, his apparently joyful progression masks an insincere and grumpy persona more likely to fry your entrails as a game than to offer a helping hand, well at least not without the right amount of gold.
This guy is a Guild Ball model that I have been meaning to find time for for a while. I wanted to give him a cold persona so I've blended the purple colour all throughout the shadows of the model, most clearly seen around the face.
The first thing my wife said when she saw this completed model was, "Why is he skipping and look so angry?". Thus he was named, Horatio, Magus of Glee.
The glowing pink orb on his staff was an experiment, and I'm very pleased with the subtle results. I used fluorescent paints from Vallejo to produce the effect, layering up from red, to fluorescent pink to white. The highlight is just glazes of red and fluorescent pink mixed over the already highlighted cloth in areas that would likely be hit. The fluorescent paint was also glazed over the pre-shaded metal to highlight and indicate reflective surfaces.
He's on a 20mm base but it's slotted in a 60mm holder to allow transport without him falling over, he is metal and quite heavy after all.
My other blog posts cover my basing if you are interested.
After my recent post on the Alcatani I've had a few people ask me about my formula for gold, so I thought I'd do a post about it as I've got a few more gold models coming up. It's really very simple and all it requires is patience and a little practice.
First up, the paints. I use 4 paints for gold metal, same for silver metal. They are all warm shades and they blend together quite well. You can mix and match the colours without any problem, just aim for a similar lightness of colour in your 4 choices. You can get away with 3, but it looks better with 4 in my opinion. Your darkest hue should be a very thin paint. I use Model Air because it's thinned down and smooth, but you could just adjust the density of the paint with some water or thinner.
Before you start you should identify the light source for your model. I would normally take a photo of the model base coated with my painting lamp where my light source is. Don't worry if you get it wrong, if you look at any picture of armour in natuarl light it can be hard to identify a light source because it reflects everything.
Here is the 4 step process used when painting the helmet beaver:
Step 1 - Base Coat
Using your base colour, English Uniform for me, paint the surface. I normally like to finish each segment before moving on to the next, but in this case I base coated the whole armor.
Step 2 - Wet Blending
Once you have identified the point that will have the lightest colour, you're going to need to create a smooth transition of your highlight colour (Sand Yellow for me) to the base colour. I use a process called the loaded brush technique. You can use glazing or layering, but they take longer and in my opinion once you're good at the loaded brush it produces better results. If you don't know this technique, there are a bunch of videos linked at the end that will show you how, I highly recommend learning it. If you're after a shinier metal, make the transition faster, smaller bright point will look shinier than larger surfaces of bright metal.
Step 3 - Edge Highlighting and White Points
Once you're happy with the blend, dry your brush, load up in the highlight colour and run it along the edge of any surface pointing towards the light source. Do not edge surfaces pointing away from the light, it won't look right. Then with a tip of thinned down white, put points against any areas that you thing should stand out. The brightest corner of your highlight colour, any corners pointing towards the light, the edge above your brightest point of highlight colour.
Step 4 - Shadows and Rivets
With your shade colour (Armour Brown for me), thin it down (thinner is better because you can always do it twice if you need to) and focus on any areas pointing away from the light source. If you keep it nice and thin you shouldn't have to worry about creating a sharp edge of paint between your base colour and your shade. Make sure you also put some shade around each rivet in the armor to make it really pop. Put a drop of highlight on the top of each rivet to make it shine too and add to the effect.
And the finished armour result. I'm pretty well practiced now, so this guy took me about an hour, maybe an hour and a half because I was stuffing around with this or that. The first time I did it it took me a whole night just to do one horse's barding. There is no doubt about it, this technique takes some practice to get it right and a decent time investment, but I think the results are totally worth it.
If you have any questions, just ask me on facebook or in the comments below. I hope you find this useful.
Here are some of my completed non metallic works:
I have finished my latest project, the Alcatani Fellowship.
There are few mercenary outfits with a fame quite as large as the Alcatani, a renown earned through the defense of the defenseless, though perhaps not the penniless. Rodrigo, their one eyed leader, would rather take a contract to defend a bevvy of farmers oppressed on their land than a rich merchant's caravan on route through the bad lands. Of course everyone pays, but we don't talk about that. "Socius Alcatani" is their cry, it means "Fellowship of the Alcatani", a band of brothers, fiercely loyal to their brothers and their gold.
I've had these models for years half painted. I've finally gotten around to restarting them and completing them. I used the same basing technique I've been using across my army. Every model in this unit is individually based. Grass is applied using a static grass applicator I made myself and the flowers are all made by hand.
All the armour is non metallic metal done with the loaded brush mostly using English Uniform as the base, Armour Brown for the shade, Iraqi Sand for the highlight and white for the tips. The spears I'm particularly happy with. Their Khaki, then lined with Armour Brown and White, then inked with Brown ink. I'm pleased with how they turned out.
Some freehand on the banner. I'm not overly happy with the banner itself, making a banner with sculpy is harder than I thought, but I was please with the outcome when painted. My new Windsor and Newton brushes are worth the cost that's for sure.
Hope you enjoy them.
The Captain of the Alcatani Fellowship. I've been pushing my painting speed a little and developing techniques to get quickly painted non metallic metal and facial tones. So I put aside an hour to finish a single model, the captain of the Alcatani Fellowship. To be fair, I have already practiced the method a few times on the rest of the unit, which definitely helped. I took 3 20 minute sessions with this guy. One for the armour, took closer to 30 though. One for the face and leather, easily within the 20, and the last one for the rest of the bits (sword, hammer etc).
I'm not 100% happy with the hammer, but I'm pleased with the rest. I think I still have a little work to do on my gray NMM technique when I'm not using the loaded brush.
Anyway, the Socius Alcatani is nearly done, just a few models to complete the unit and some clean up and banner work. I don't have a lot of time to paint right now, only 4-5 hours per week, but I'm really enjoying this unit and pleased with the results so far. Hopefully my next update is a completion post.
That's what's on the bench today.
Life has been a little in the way recently so these guys are taking much longer than I'd like. The base is done and the first 10 or so models are done with 7 placed on the base. A bit of touching up is required on each model and then a matt varnish coat. The polished bronze armour is all done with NMM loaded brush technique, it's pretty quick to do actually now and I still hate working with metallic paints.
I am a little worried about how well the army is going to tie together. Common colour theme doesn't work well with a money grubbing out for themselves dogs of war army. I have blues and greens and grays and reds and golds with plenty more to come. Here's hoping the bold basing colours are enough to tie it all together.
I did manage to get myself two new brushes. The ever popular Windsor and Newton Series 7. They are great, easily as good as the Raphaels I've beeen using. If you are looking for a great brush at a good price, checkout www.discountgw.com.au . Good site, easy to order and fast delivery.
Well this is the second attempt at posting this update. I guess I pressed something wrong and published a draft and overwrote the finished post. Oh well, I blame the cold. It's just turned into winter here in Australia. The only good thing about the cold weather is that winter is Hobby Time. I get more games, I paint more and hobby more. Winter has to be good for something other than freezing your ass off right?
Started the base for my Alcatani Fellowship. The cobblestones have been laid and the sand stuck down. Next is the paint and then tufting, flowering and grassing. Hopefully I'll finish it this weekend with the extra holidays.
I'm half way through painting the pike men also. Here are 5 finished models in the shiny non metallic metal and red pants. I decided against the blue pants, they didn't look uniform enough and I really like the red/brass look.
Finally I have a new hero on my bench. This is the free model I got at Clash of Kings AU from MOM Miniatures. MOM Miniatures really aren't known for their excellent casts, and this model is a shining example. Lots of hard to clear mold lines, bubbles and cracks. But after some greenstuffing around and hobby knifing it's not tooooo bad. This model is a bit of an experiment in really pushing the contrast on the non metallic metal with mixed results. Gloves, sword, feet and neck aren't finished yet though, also his Lion friend is still to come.
And that's what's on the bench this week.
Now that the Wolf Knights are all complete it's time to start something new. I was going to do a single model, something high quality, but I'm on a bit of a high from creating a unit so I decided to do another one. Keeping in the Dogs of War theme I decided to break out the Alcatani Fellowship. Had these guys for ages and I will probably rename and theme them once the painting is further through.
Keeping with the non metallic metal theme I was going for a polished brass kind of look for these guys. Vallejo English Uniform for the base, Armour Brown for the shadows, Iraqi Sand for the highlight and white for the tips. Sounds like a lot but with loaded brush it is a quick 4 step process. I don't know if I'm all that happy with the blue pants though and I'll probably change that.
Pretty happy with the helmet and plume. There are two types of plumes, which is a shame because I like the Mohawk style one pictured here.
Going to do about 20 or so for this regiment, count them as dogs of war for KoW and EoS spear men for 9th. A second regiment will let me make a horde in the future, but one at a time.
Thats what's on the bench today.
Had a great time painting these guys. They are old hammer knights of the white wolf. So much better than any of the new knights from games workshop if you ask me, at least the empire ones.
All the metal is done with non metallic metal with the loaded brush (a quick form of wet blending). The base follows the same style as my halflings fighting cocks and there are nearly 200 of those lavenders, phew.
I play 9th age and Kings of War. The bases are interlocking individual bases that are the right size for both games. Individual models can be removed (should have taken a photo but you can see the lines between the bases).
The Wolf Knights of Tyris Gate are the body guard of the Ice Queen of Tyris. Their banner is modeled after her horse barding. They roam the land selling their services in the search for fame and fortune and building their brand as brutal and unforgiving killers.
Thought I would try something else here as well so I shot a video of the unit to get a more natural feeling of the unit. Would love some feedback if you watch it.
Project Complete! Lastly, here's a few photos of the bases before I put the models on.
Slow hobby progress for the last few weeks as I've been on a little holiday. Had a great time but little painting done. I have done a little now I'm back, and started on the base for my wolf knights
The flowers are easy, bur damn there are a lot of them!!
Same basing technique as the halflings, but not in a skirmish style. Regiment of knights for Kings of war or 10 knights for The 9th Age. Lots of flowers to finish up and then the grass to add.
Four of the knights are done, barring a little weathering and cleaning up that I'll do at the end. All done in non metallic metal mostly with a quick loaded brush.
Not a great photo but you get the idea. Started working on the unit captain too, love the old model and quite fun to paint
Still quite a bit to go, hopefully he'll look wicked when I'm done.
So that's what's on the bench today.
I want to take a few more in progress shots now and then so this is the first of my on the bench posts.
Getting close to finishing the first of my wolf knights. It's a little sketchy and I'm not overly happy with the blending but I'm painting an army here and indoubt I'll go back and fix it up. I do have to weather and scratch it up though, that will blend it in well. I've done all the horses though and I'll get through the rest of the knights over the next week or so.
My bits finally rocked up, lion knights! I don't like the warhammer chicken knights, but I do love these wolves. Not sure about the rider, I'll be work on that.
And that's what's in the bench.
Ok so it's been a very long time between posts. This is mostly because I was working on the above two entries into the Crystal Dragon painting competition at CanCon this year. I feel very lucky to have achieved a bronze for both these entries and had a blast both painting them and at CanCon.
Primarily I went for this competition. I didn't enter in any other events, mostly because I wasn't sure I was going until a few days before, but I got to observe one or two and they looked like great fun.
Entry 1 - The DUELIST
MOM Miniatures is a small miniature company out of Spain that produces great miniatures if you love Kings of War or The 9th Age. I got a bunch of stuff from them, including this guy. While their casts are poor, I do love the character of their blanks and was keen to paint one up. He took quite lot of cleaning and fixing to make him presentable, lots of bubbles and bad joins, but in the end I was happy. The Non Metallic Metal steel is the same formula I've been using for a while, but I added some Iraqui Sand into the gold as well to make it more yellow and pop out a little more. You can see my other blog posts for how to do the basing, it's the same as the halfling unit.
Entry 2 - Smug Sniper
Demigods Evolution is a miniature line I stumbled across when looking through a gaming store. They looked like fun, 48mm, so I bought a couple. This is the first of two, and he looked fun to paint, so I did him first. I liked the smug look on his face, the armor and gemstones in the model. The cast was good, though the hands were lacking detail that I had to paint in. The base was just a carved out wooden block and the NMM was done int he same fashion as the Duelist. A lot of this model was done in monochrome and then glazed into colour (the pants and straps, the undergarments), which was a new process for me and I liked the result.
All in all they were both super fun and I'm super chuffed with the results. Here's the album with both entries
Clash of Kings
I was lucky enough to get a drop out position and late entry just 1 week out from the comp. Massive thanks to the TO and his posse for putting this comp together, it was amazing fun.
Nick Prosser was first up with a 10 -10 draw against one of the nicest guys I've played in a while. We were within just a few points of each other and a really fun way to start the tourney. Forces of Nature are very hard to kill!
Played Drew Mclean's beautiful goblin army with custom white cloaks on each of the models and a while lot of hand made modelling. I got lucky with the win tying on victory points but killing more stuff. Great opponent and fun game.
I got Traished. Jeff Traish is a great player. His undead army, while simple, just posed questions I didn't have answers for. He wiped the floor with me 19-1 and then humbly congratulated me on a good game. Really enjoy playing Jeff, one day I'll beat him though.
Nothing like finishing up the first day with two massive losses. Lost to Jay Neilson 18-2. Not a great way to end the day, but a humble and excellent opponent out played me as I made several mistakes against his elite Varungar army.
At the end of day 1 I was 48th of 62. I'd like to note that my brother rocked up for the last 2 games to watch and I still blame him for my losses, he is terrible luck. He made up for it by buying me the most awesome miniature from one of the stands.
Ok no chance of placing so time for some fun. We had a member of the rules committee at the game and I got to play him and the TO's beautiful Scibor Dwarf army. Loot scenario and very little was killed as we stalled each other. In the end I sacrificed most of my units to get the tokens and wondered off with a 13-7 win. Quiet guy, Sami, but great sport and a fun opponent.
Ogres in control. I don't usually do well against Ogres, especially not the standard shooters, boomers, warriors and 2 boom wagon list. But my opponent made a deployment error and I blew up a wagon 2 inches from 3 of his units. He also charged my chaff screening for my doppelgänger unit and let me have a front charge on a warrior horde with them. I also needed a double 6 to break his goblin unit, with a reroll, and got it. The dice were just coming up trumps for me. Cleaned him up by the end of turn 5 for a 19-1, but he took the loss well and was a great sport.
Last up was Darren Holme and his Ogres. Basically the same list as my last opponent but kill and pillage instead. Close game, really fun trying to jostle for position on the tokens. In the end he gave me a flank on his siege breakers with my doppelgänger unit and that made the difference. Dead even on kill points but I got more tokens for the overall win.
Ended up 24th of 62, which I was very happy with after the first day, and most importantly had a ripper time.
I was never in contention for a placing and, other than Jeff, none of my opponents were either so each of my games was relaxed and fun. I played Ogres twice, and twice prior to this tourney in the last tourney and I'm a little disappointed to see that every Ogres list is largely the same. 1 unit of shooters, 1 unit of boomers, 2 (or 3) boom wagons, Wizard with lightning bolt and one or two hammers (Horde of warriors once, Seige Breakers and Bezerkers the next, chariots once too). The good thing is that I know how to beat it now, but some variation would be good to see. Maybe the new tournament pack will help with that.
Armies on Parade
I'd like to finish up this post with a video I made on the Armies on Parade. I might be biased, but I think that the Kings of War tournament had the best showing of hobby of all the other miniature games. So much effort went into the armies and each army I played was very impressive. At lunch on the first day was a small event called "Armies on Parade" where people could display their armies if they wanted for others to vote on a as best painted. I took a small video for my own memory, but thought you might enjoy it.
Ok so originally the Ice Queen of Kislev before her homelands were destroyed and she moved to Mantica. I really love this model. She isn't the fantastical animated glowing spikes messy elaborate giant of the new games workshop figures and I love her for it.
I went with a very monochromatic cold colour scheme for the ice Queen. Only 4 colours in total are needed to paint her. Dark Sea Blue, Midnight Blue, Azure Blue Elfic Flesh. Also a mix of black and white.
The horse weatherbeeta (I think that's what it's called) was my first attempt at free hand. From black I shaded the moon haphazardly with an airbrush, then masked it with a round piece of tape, shaded the sky, painted the mountain and trees, then dotted the stars. One thing to note, White is very hard to freehand with, the stars are light gray and just dotted white.
Had a ball painting this witch. She has so much character! I'm pretty happy with the result and plan to take her along to the scale model show tomorrow for a bit of fun.
My new army project is a KoM / Leave of Rhordia Mercenary army based on my old Dogs of War minis. I have decided on a basing scheme of rolling planes of lavender and broken ruins overrun with greenery. This is hard to do if you're individually basing all of your miniatures, which I want to do because I still play the occasional game of T9A and use the minis for dungeon games like Warhammer Quest and hopefully Dungeon Saga at some point soon.
First Challenge - Base
The standard GW bases have tapered edges. These will create large gaps between my troops and make my base look broken so I ordered a bunch of 20mm square MDF bases. They are laser cut and accurate with nice square edges.
My base is made up of three layers.
- The first layer is a perspex sheet, 2mm thick and cut into two troop sizes. I cut a regiment size and then split it in half so that they would fit together exactly. If you have 1mm perspex then you can just score and snap it so there is no wastage.
- The second layer is 2mm thick ferrous rubber (feels like rubber, but magnets stick to it), glued to the perspex and then trimmed to match the size exactly. It's not strictly required but if you want to magnetize your miniatures for transport I'd recommend it.
- The final layer is the bases. Each base has a rare earth magnet drilled into it. My unit is a skirmish style unit so the MDF bases are placed on the ferrous rubber with their magnets spaced like a skirmish unit so that it will work for both T9A and KoW. The gaps are filled with Milliput (don't use greenstuff, milliput sands better and fills like clay)
Lastly I placed some magnets in the joining ends so that they would stick together for when I use them as a regiment rather than two troops. Final result looks like this. Not much to look at but a good starting point for the rest of the process.
Second Challenge - Scenery
I wanted a road through my base. Even Halflings like to walk on stone every now and then. I bought a green stuff roller from Laser Shark Designs . I laid down a mat of green stuff over the joined bases and then rolled it over with the roller. After trimming the edges I cut out the spaces between the MDF bases, removed them and let it dry. A small amount of trimming was required one dry to slot the bases back in, but not much.
Rolling hills are rarely flat. I wanted a messy small edge of a hill dirty and rocky. Cork is great for that. I got mine from spotlight, a few bucks for a bunch of coasters. Cut them up a little and stick them down with superglue and they look good. Cut out the edges of the MDF bases once dry just as with the road and it's done.
Time for a spot of paint. The airbrush is great for bases, saves lots of time and give you good effects without much effort. This base was German Black Brown, highlighted with Khaki and then final highlight with Bleached Bone. I'm happy with the results.
Step 3 - Grassing
Two types of grass were used on this base. Firstly I made a bunch of tufts. Rather than buy these at a premium I made my own static grass applicator. It's not hard and it works well and you can find a video on how to do it here. I used 6mm grass for my tufts that would end up being lavender bushes and darker green than I was going to use for the rest of the grass. I stuck the tufts along the road and along the edges of the hill where I thought they looked good.
For the rest of the grass I applied this directly to the base using the applicator. I used a grass mix from Noch, Summer Meadow I think it's called and it's a mix of 4 different lengths in varying colours. Once applied, I trimmed it in appropriate areas so it wasn't too tall where it shouldn't be.
I think the outcome was good.
Third Challenge - Lavender
This was surprisingly easy to make.
- Take a single bristle of a coarse paint brush (best to use a large one for painting walls) and paint it green.
- Once dry, dip the tip in white glue (PVA for us Australians) and then into fine white sand.
- Again once dry, paint the sand dark purple and then highlight in light purple.
- Once dry, dip the other end in white glue again and then slide it into a tuft of grass. Slide 1-6 of them into each tuft depending on density needs.
I'd suggest sticking down the tufts in their desired location before adding the lavender or other flowers and using tweezers is essential unless you have tiny fingers and not the clobbery ones I have.
I'm very happy with the end result. There are 75 lavenders on the base, I did them in two batches and in total it probably took 1.5 hours for the lavender. I painted the base with an air brush and a quick dry brush that took less than an hour and the grassing took roughly 30 mins. Comments, questions and feedback are always welcome here or on Facebook.
Love the old Dogs of War models and finally Lumpin Croop's Fighting Cocks are complete, well minus Lumpin's shield but I've lost it so I'll need to make a new one so that's a project for another day.
Lumpin, Ned and his Fighting Cocks are all painted with Non Metallic Metal. The Leather is painted with preshading and glazes and the rest is simple layering and glazing. I found the eyes were really hard to paint, not because of the size but because of the molding or the casts. The eye balls just weren't all that well defined. Other than that they were a pleasure to paint.
I am going to use these guys for Kings of War and 9th age so the basing has taken both into account. It's shown in the picture, the base is slotted for 6 20mm bases in each but designed to fit together in a single design. I'm quite happy with the result but would love your opinion. The larger base is two troop sized units and they are inset with magnets to lock together as a single regiment as well.
I will do another post on the basing, but just for this one there are 75 hand crafted lavender sticks, 20 hand made grass tufts, cork, milliput and greenstuff that has gone into making the base.
So this post will be a little messy because I'm really just fooling around. Static grass is designed to react to a static field in a similar way to the reaction your hair has when you rub a balloon on it. I have tried many times to apply grass without a static field and it just looks like matted rubbish, not a nice grassy field.
You can buy products that do this for you, but as always I want to understand how it works so I am going to try and make my own.
Here are the parts I have.
- Two small steel plates
- 9 volt battery
- Bunch or wires and clips
- Negative ION generator
- Apple core (every project needs sustenance)
The only important part here is the negative ION generator. It basically creates a static field between the generator cable and ground. Hook up the positive and negative terminals to the battery and clip the generator cable to one steel plate and the ground to the other. Blue tack your base smothered with PVA glue to the ground plate and lay static grass over the generator plate.
Turn it all on! Grass everywhere! It does work though.
The grass flies all over the place and some of it sticks to the glue. My problem with the first attempt is that it seems to go on thin. It's good, but it could be better.
Next step is to take away my hands, as they are grounded they mess up the field, and try to use gravity.
I've been looking for a good leather combination for quite a while. I've tried lots of layering combinations and a few wet blending techniques and I could just never find something that looked realistic. One thing I find when looking at pictures of leather (google searching leather things is weird) is that leather both holds shadows well (dark darks) and is reflective nearly as much as metal sometimes.
So I thought I'd try a new technique I'd been keen on giving a crack, pre-shading. The technique is simple, just shade the area black to white using whatever technique you like best (I've used layering). Then apply layers of very thin glazes over the top to give it colour.
Ignore the dodgy coat, it's a failed test.
So this picture shows the pre-shading step. I wanted this leather to look a little darker so I've left the blacks very black and not highlighted to high on the white. I'm using Vallejo Model Colour black and white colours. I find they are not grainy and handle the wet palette very well. Next up is the shade. Army painter to the rescue. I generally don't like army painter products. Their paints have arrived dry, their base coat sprays go on VERY thick and once i nicked a can with a plastic knife and BAM paint everywhere! But they two excellent products that I've used. Strong tone and Soft tone.
These are very thin paints with nice smooth pigment that go on as glazes. When combined with the process above, they produce a leather I'm happy with. Here is the same bag with just soft tone. There are about 5 layers, maybe 6, on it, but each layer is really simple, just was it on.
To be honest, I'm not overly happy with my pre-shade or how dark it turned out, but the camera washes out the picture a lot so it makes it look worse than it is, but I am happy with the colouring and highlighting. Different tones of leather can be achieved with adding inks into your soft or strong tone (not much!). Also after your first layer, you can achieve greater contrast by avoiding the whitest of areas and focusing the colour on the darker areas.
The boots on the captain were done in this fashion, so was the belt. The boots have a tiny bit of brown ink mixed in and lots of layers of soft tone, the belt has just a couple with no brown. Different effects (I think) but the same process. Now my goal is to make it a faster process.