Commission Work

I’m back painting again after a too-long hiatus thanks to Overwatch. Most nights, I’m painting for a few hours, then playing for a few, when friends are online.

A few weeks ago, I was contacted by Trevor Christensen, from the Chain Attack podcast. His commission painter, Ashton Holbrook (aka. Red Modeling & Painting), was no longer taking commissions (for a very good reason) and Ashton had referred Trevor to me as a possible replacement. Trevor needed his Karax unit painted before he heads to Amsterdam for the WTC next month, so I got to work as soon as I could. Trevor asked for something quick and simple, so he’d be sure to have them on time. I’ve always wanted to paint these models (I love cool looking shields) so I gave them an extra special treatment and went all-out.

I’m not going to go into the process and recipes used here – it’s predominately 2-brush blending with a little glazing. The recipes are Ashton’s and truth be told, I enjoyed mostly being a mechanic following the directions as written rather than having to actively figure everything out. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy that part too, but this was rather refreshing.

Trevor sent along an Extoller Advocate to use as a test model, along with a few models Ashton had painted for color and quality reference. Since this was the first time I was painting someone else’s color scheme to match previously done models, this was incredibly helpful. I’ll probably ask for that sort of thing next time I have to match an existing scheme for a project.

Trevor seems pretty happy with the results, and I’ll be showing these guys at the Nova Open next weekend before shipping them to Trevor. I’m not sure how well they’ll do in the painting competition where every brush stroke is examined – corners were cut for time and I didn’t worry about getting every blend perfect, but they’re firmly an above tabletop quality job on a 10-man unit done in about 12-15 hours, and I’m eager to get feedback on them. I’m confident that an army painted to this level would be in contention ofr a Master Craftsman award, and I’m very happy I was able to do that as quickly as I did.

Enjoy the pics, and stay tuned for more models in this scheme in the future!

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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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