Is that a Light I see before me?
I often find that with miniatures the end sneaks up on you, and it’s no different with Sasha. One moment I was looking and thinking there was a lot of work ahead, and the next minute, she’s done. Done in the sense that the main figure is done, the base is clearly not done, but I haven’t properly based a miniature for about 10 years since all I do when they’re finished is stick them in a foam box. So, this is part seven in a seven or maybe eight part diary about painting Sasha DuBois (other parts are one, two, three, four, five, six).
Yesterday (Saturday as I write this) we popped out after breakfast to Hobbycraft and Maplins and picked up a few things. Some acrylic extender which I’ve been after for a while, a magnifying visor, a brush stand and a few other items. Acrylic extender prevents the paint drying so quickly which is useful when it’s very thin, which in turn is very useful when using small brushes and detail work. I tested the visor on a couple of other miniatures and then set about Sasha’s yellow bits. The extender is really excellent, keeping the paint on the brush useful even when moving slowly with small amounts of paint, and the visor is good enough to let me see some real detail. The picture just above shows the panels on the back of the figure before and after the second layer. That layer was put on using the extender and the visor. That was all that got done on the figure on Saturday. There’s a few of photo’s of that stage after the cut …
I was really pleased with the second layer of yellow, and this morning (Sunday as I write this) I was really looking forward to getting back to the figure, but still thought there was a few days of effort left in it. The first task was to paint the last missing bits of yellow which for reasons known only to the Norse Gods, I’d missed first time around. Once that was done I put the first wash onto the yellow. Always a tense moment, I’d messed around with the Zombies playing with some yellows and washes so I was half confident the colour would be ok after the wash. However, it’s still depressing to spend a lot of time putting a nice smooth coat onto something, then putting a wash onto it and discovering you have to do it all again after the wash makes it look like vomit.
Thankfully the wash worked fine, leaving the yellow with a nice golden sheen and settling into the crevices cleanly. I wanted to do something bolder than my normal dry brushing on the yellow, for two reasons. Firstly, it’s quite a small area and dry brushing is both difficult and not very effective under those conditions (at least my attempts are), secondly I really wanted to try the highlighting as a step towards blending. I ended up using three highlights (the original yellow, a lighter version and then white). In general, I’m okay with the results, they look reasonably effective on the back and not too bad on the epaulettes. It dawned on me a few days ago what my main problem with highlighting and blending is. I don’t actually look at how colours work in real life and try to replicate them, I just paint the miniature by habit or how I expect/assume it will look. So if I want more realistic looking shading, I’m going to have to start looking at real colours.
Here’s a few shots after the wash.
And the shots after the highlights.
You can see in those two shots that I also started work on the belt detail, the watch and the goggles. Once I’d done the yellow highlights I realised there wasn’t really that much work left, but what was left was pretty detailed. That’s something I’m not normally patient with but I really tried to take my time. The watch I did with a basic gold for the back and white for the face. I tried to do some fine detail on the face but I’m really not skilled enough to pull that off, and I may have been better just putting some dots onto it.
I tried really hard with the goggles strap on the head, painting that brown, putting a black edge around the lenses and then painting the lenses last. They’re grey with a white spot highlight.
Here’s a shot of the top of the head, showing the goggles (badly) and the watch and an in-progress show of the belt.
The rest of the time was spent tidying up the belt and attachments being as careful as I could to make each piece distinct. And that was it. Done. Fully painted miniatures deserve fully painted bases, and I’ve got my eyes on some pre-formed sci-fi ones, which I may get for Sasha, but for now she’ll just have to cope. Here’s a collection of final shots.