This week I focussed on only 2 of the remaining 5 undead figures that I’ve had in my painting queue.
The “Wight“, “Sword Wraith“, or even “Ghost” (under D&D 3.5’s template rules) I decided to do in similar fashion to my skeletons – since its a figure in robes, chain mail, breastplate and helmet. Grey over most of the armour, black wash over the chain then silver dry-brushed over that. A light coat of antique gold over the breastplate and helmet. The gold didn’t come out quite as I was expecting, so the plates and helm got a touch of yellow ochre before another coat of gold. This came up much better.
I’ve found that using the yellow ochre under a coat of any gold brings it out as a much brighter metallic, than on its own. Otherwise I need multiple coats of gold for a similar effect, but usually it’s still duller.
I started with a dark blue over the robes, then found a violet in my “new” paints to use for folds and edging. I later put some lighter blue touches for highlighting. Sleeves between the mail and breastplate were treated the same way. Red-brown (Hull red) wash over the hands, silver on the sword blade, some white over the antlers on the helm and then decided it was a good time to re-base the figure.
A black wash over the flocked base looks good. This figure has always had odd balance – I’ve previously held it on a base with blue-tak. I got some putty to fill the slot in the base, a little glue and pushed the figure in. Cleaned up the putty edging and left it to sit for a day to sit. I touched up around the base with some more black, and looked at final touches to the figure.
Yellow ochre, then gold on the sword hilt, antique copper for studs (and edging) on the hilt, helm and breastplate. Grey on the hair, then later some dark brown. A touch of brown on antlers so they don’t look too clean. I ran a line of fluro-blue down the centre groove of the sword blade – I think that’s come out really well. I wanted to do something about the “eyes” – which aren’t really any more than a hole in between the helmet and the chain face-guard. A fluro-red wash got some paint in the holes and needed some careful clean up of the area around – but it seems to have worked. With a bit of light and the right angle there’s the hint of red behind the “mask” – it’s not really as distinct as its come up in the photos.
The other Wight or Skeleton Lord was done at the same time – but he’s mostly a full suit of plate armour. I spent some time online looking up images of real (or almost-real, LARP) plate mail and full plate to get ideas. Metal armour seems to mostly be shiny and bright. It is rarely looks anything other than “silvery” in real-life. I didn’t want a clean shiny look as if the wearer had just walked out of an armour-smithy! This undead should look like he may have been in the suit for decades.
I started with grey over the chain-mail, and parts of the armour. Black wash over the mail, and parts of the armour too. A hint of red-brown wash over the face. Silver lightly brushed over the mail. I have a “new” silver thats more fluid than my previous one and that got freely painted over the plate. (For a short time here the figure almost looked bare metal again rather than multiple paint coats!) I then did two separate black washes over the plate and that really brought out the lines in the armour and while it still has a silver-look to it, its a much duller look now – just what I wanted. I went over the mail with my antique copper and this has given it some contrast from the plate and more of a rusted look too. Re-based like the wight.
Yellow ochre on the sword hilt and pommel, white on all the skulls – there are 2 on the sword, 1 at the helm front, one as a belt buckle and tiny ones around one shoulder and the back of the armour. Gold over the ochre and silver along the blade. (I toyed with the idea of a white or black blade with luminous red edging, but didn’t think I’d get it looking right.) A bit of red along the blade from the hilt – a bit like the skull is bleeding, and a touch of black on rivets in the hilt. A hint of white on the teeth of the skeleton himself. Grey then brown wash over the belt. A hint of gold in the inlay on the front of the chest plate.
I didn’t want empty eye sockets – I really wanted glowing blue orbs! Thoughts of painted putty eyeballs were dicarded and I tried filling the sockets with clear acrylic… this didn’t quite work as planned so I just went with luminous blue filling the remaining holes. This has worked – and very effectively.
I went looking for my bags of bits and pieces to see if I could find a shield that suited. I turned up a couple of dozen shields – most were great shapes, but it quickly became apparent that most of the shields would hide a lot of the figure – so I went with one of the smallest, which might even be the one it originally came with! The shield has a hole in the centre to fit over a stud on the figures left fist. I stuck it on the end of a paint brush so that I could undercoat it, then grey, bits of black and then glued to the figure. Silver once the glue dried and I turned up a suitably sized skull decal to put on the shield, then two black washs like on the plate. Antique copper on the shield rim studs.
I’m starting to photograph my figures at this stage – before I give them a coat of varnish. The large pictures on my PC often show up little bits that I didn’t notice or places that paint didn’t quite reach and I have a chance to go back and do some touch ups! [I went back and did a black wash over the skulls on the sword to darken the eye & nasal sockets and a little more black around the base of the sword wraith.]
It’s “Cup” week in Melbourne this week, which means a day off work on tuesday. I’m trying to fix up a 2nd PC as a minor upgrade to my existing system, (to deal with hassles I’ve been having for too long) so there might not be much painting over this next week.