Commission Work

This piece has been on my desk for a bit, getting attention when I had time. Technically, it’s a commission – a follow along for the same client that had me paint up Madrak a while back.

This past weekend my gaming club, the Nova Nomads, put on our annual charity event: Feat of Service. This year, we were benefiting the Fischer House Foundation. Part of the event is a painting contest (this was in lieu of the Custom Caster event we’ve done for the past two years).

That was the impetus I needed to finish this up.

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The most difficult part of this model were the crystals. I had to examine each facet of each crystal and shade and highlight them individually. It was lots of work, but it turns the lumps of stone into glowing crystals.

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I’m incredibly pleased with how this guy turned out. The Classic Mauler is one of my favorite models that PP’s put out, and I’m glad I got the chance to paint one (they’re no longer producing it!).

The judges we had for feat of Service seemed to like it too, because they gave it the win! The competition was very stiff, and it just barely beat out a gorgeous NMM Thyron model.

This is another instance of “You just don’t say no”. This model’s better than once in a lifetime, it’s one-of-a-kind.

This model was thought up and constructed by the client and it’s made of parts from many different Protectorate kits as well as an Extreme Juggernaut, which lends lots of bits to the underlying structure. Quite a few parts are also custom made from plasticard and there’s loads of greenstuff. Additionally, most of the structure of the legs is made from brass tubing.

The client wanted the majority of the model to be an off-white color, pulling inspiration from the stone of the St. Peter’s Basilica. Dark blue was to be the secondary color on all of the trim, and lots of bronze for the Menofixes and other metals as an accent. Overall this is fairly regal palette, which is very fitting for Protectorate.

I started with the legs as a test bed for the colors I wanted to use for the model. After priming white, I picked out the shadows in P3 Bastion Grey (a brown-ish grey). Then, an even coat of P3 Menoth White Base was laid over most of the model, leaving the Bastion Grey in the darkest spots on the bottom. Then, P3 Menoth White Highlight was airbrushed in as the final highlight on the top bits.

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Nomad. Alchemist. Charlatan. Explorer. All of these words equally describe the Farrow adventurer Jugaar. Plying his trade as an entrepreneurial alchemist and healer in an oversized vardo, the self-styled “Doctor Professor” stands out as a singularly peculiar individual on the roads of western Immoren.

Some commissions are loosey-goosey, with just a few instructions and lots of leeway. Others are very strict and exact, because the client has a very specific vision. Both types of job are fun, but for different reasons. The first are a way to unleash the creativity and interpret the client’s vision however I want. The more strict variety appeal to the engineer in me, the need to solve the puzzle and create a finished product that’s as perfect as possible.

This job was of the second variety, and that was incredibly refreshing while working on it.

Not only did my client (the highly esteemed High Lord Faultimus mod Durmstrang, Esq., II) have a very specific vision for this chartacter, he already had colored art and he’d already kitbashed and sculpted the model.

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When I got the model, the first thing I did was zenethal prime it and take pictures so I could see where all of the dark and light bits were. More and more, I’m finding this a very useful first step, it takes out the guesswork on how the light will play over the model.

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When someone approaches you and asks you if you want to paint an old Confrontation model, and they want to pay you to do it, you don’t say no.

This awesome Confrontation Red Karnagh model was a blast to paint, and there are some gorgeous paint jobs for it out there. It’s seemingly static pose radiates strength and menace and I was instantly smitten. The client had pulled some images from Google, and picked what he liked from them which was super helpful. He wanted a tabletop paint job that incorporated grey skin and a snowy-wolf pelt for the helm, and one of the sample photos had very stark contrast on the armor that he liked. The rest we figured out as I tried various things and the character took shape.

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I had free reign on the cloak, so I went with red for a few reasons. One, this model will be for a barbarian in D&D, and as we all know, they often see nothing but red. Additionally, the pose doesn’t do much to convey the anger hiding within, so a little outward representation of that would go a long way. Lastly, I hadn’t painted red in a while, so I wanted to.

So, my starting point was the skin and the cloth. Those are the most internal points to the model, and it’s always a good idea to start there. I apologize for the terrible pictures, some of these were taken with my cell. As you’ll see, I also added some deep red as the shadow for the skin, further emphasizing the anger hidden deep inside the barbarian.

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After getting confirmation that the red was OK, and the skin tone was good, I started in on the furry bits of the helm. We had originally discussed red eyes for the barbarian, and blue ones for the six eyes on the helm. I also put down silver lining on the armor, and took a pass at all of the leather bits using a very familiar recipe (GW Rynox Hide highlighted with flesh tones).

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After bouncing these off the client, we made some changes. The brown leather was tossed in favor of having a uniform look across all of the armor and leather. See, I’d made the assumption that the armor was to be metal, when in fact it was a black heavy leather. Thus, metal wasn’t a good choice. We also decided to nix the blue eyes and go for more red on the helm, transforming it from an icon of the barbarian’s frosty northern heritage into a reflection of / a source of his power. I also re-did the fur, since the wash I was trying to use was just too stark. Lastly, I did a sample of the revised armor scheme to see if it was more in line with what the client wanted.

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Turns out the new armor was right on the money, so off I went to detail all the armor bits. We made two other minor modifications: the horns went from a brown-to-cream fade to a black-through-grey-to-cream fade, and we made the axe shaft be made from black wood, not brown. Making the model devoid of any color other than red really made the red stand out.

In order to keep the nod to the barbarian’s frosty home, the base was made to look like dark rock covered in snow. I scrounged some wood chips from my yard and went to work on a simple base. Some crushed glass and water effects later and we have a finished model!

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Local Warmachine player, friend and all-around awesome guy, Andrew M., recently inquired about commissioning some Khador models. He was only interested in Tabletop quality, and he had a fairly clear vision of what he wanted the scheme to convey.

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Andrew’s Khador army has been dubbed, “The Shadows of the Empire”, and the scheme is designed to feel dark and imposing, embodying the unstoppable juggernaut from the frosty north. This is conveyed with dark blues for the primary color, and a very light blue as the edge highlight. Having a bit of a WWI / WWII feel was important as well, reinforcing the militaristic nature of the Khadoran Empire. To achieve that, a dark green was added as a secondary color, and white and red were chosen for iconography. Lastly, to reinforce the northern cold feel, Andrew wanted cold magical effects, so we pulled out the old stand-by for magicks, Arcane Blue.

Andrew and I spent a good long while on the scheme, but we wanted to see how it would do on an actual model.

So I painted one.

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Andrew supplied the Spriggan (already assembled and primed, and I hauled in all of my painting gear, including my airbrush. I quickly ripped the spriggan off it’s base, and flocked it with my usual gravel mixture (railroad flock in 2:1:1 Fine:Medium:Coarse). After dropping a pin into each foot and cleaning the most offensive of the mold lines.

I airbrushed the main blue color (shade -> mid -> highlight), utilizing a bit of masking tape to separate the little shield over the head from the rest of the main body panel. i then two-brush blended the shadows on the more vertical panels on the either side of the chassis.

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From there, I laid down the shade color for the green, and then the base color for the silver metals. Next was the brown undercoat for the bronzes. From there, I added the green highlight, the bronze main color, and the washes on both metals. The last effects were the bright edging and attaching the ‘jack to it’s base (which had been dry brushed with grey by then).

All told, the entire thing took about three hours, including the pinning and flocking.

I’m very happy with the results, which I feel firmly achieve tabletop, if not above tabletop. The main thing that keeps it on the border for me is the couple mold lines that I missed and ended up being rather obvious, so I think an extra 10-15 minutes to check for those would be worth it for future efforts. Here’s an example:

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Also, I apologize for the picture quality, I only had my phone, and I let Andrew take home the ‘jack (of course). Terrible quality aside, here’s a few more shots:

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Overall, I really enjoyed this exercise, and I think Andrew and I were both very happy with the result.

However, it just now strikes me that I may have accidentally used Gnarls Green instead of Ordic Olive for the green bits… Oops.