Step by Step: Pirate Buccaneer

by Roman aka jar


nobody believed this day will ever come,
but the Pirate Step by Step won the last Tutorial Voting.

Massive Voodoo's year of the painter is proud to present you another article.
Everything sorrounding this model is sponsored by CoolMiniorNot.

Roman already wrote a Miniatures Unpacked to that figure and as you can see he really had to struggle with the quality of the cast - click here to see the honest review.

The paintjob itself was planned as a quick fun project for Roman, not a competitive piece, just a fun paintjob. A paintjob for joyment. A problem that occoured during the paintjob was still the odd surface issues on the white metal and - sorry to say that - a lack in preparation time. Maybe you encounter this lack yourself sometimes and in the end you find out that this is not the best idea, even for a fun paintjob. Anyways this did not made the paintjob the joy Roman was looking for. Some mouldlines that were placed on awkward areas on the figure appeared even stronger after priming it and the surface of the white metal showed his true horror while painting.

A photo from the Miniatures Unpacked to show what we are talking about here.
This were issues up front cleaning it.

The Painting Process

Regardless of those issues Roman pushed his way through the figure and in the end it still became that fun paintjob he was looking for, kind of. Another point that has to be mentioned is the "painting strategy" Roman took for this bust. It is a bit different from his usual approach and might bring in some - first awkward looking areas during the process, but let's see all together ...

The start was done with black primer on top of the bust. The priming with the can left some spots which were not easy to reach and they were erased to black with the brush afterwards.

Basic tone application with the airbrush was next.
At this point it is already important that you make your thoughts on what skin you want to paint. Roman did not want to paint black skin here, rather he planned to make a very suntanned dark skin. So he did choose a basetone not too dark as in his mind he already thought: "First I will go very bright and use glazes on top of that to darken it all down".

 Basic tone here was Orange Brown by VMC, applied with the airbrush, 
but as you can see Roman was not happy with the covering power of his colour so far:

 After the first applyment dried, he did two more to make that colour strong.

Next was still using the airbrush for the first shadow area sketch. Therefore the following colours were used: Basic Tone VMC Orange Brown, VMC Air "Tank Brown" (to make it darker and even more brownish) - this was the frist shadow application. An additional step made this tone even darker as VMC Dark Sea Blue was added in the mix.

This was sprayed mainly from a low angle into the figure. Aiming for the shadow areas.

Now the poo hits the fan with the next step. Working pretty rough on the highlights of the skin, but don't you worry Roman got in mind that he is able to bring it all together in the end. Working mainly on the facial prominent areas.

Sad thing is that all those stupid mouldlines now appear again even stronger. The lack of time in preparing that bust gives credit. Whatever, time to head on forward, no reason here to clean already coloured areas, this would mess up everything even worse. A brighter skintone was used and mixed into the orange brown basic tone to get the first strong highlights in place.

Additional to that Roman choose to close in on the final picture of the bust by placing a basic tone to the leather parts. Preparing the eyes, mouth area and other details. You even can see a little texture added to his lip basic tone with a stronger brighter tone. Same here, it will get darker in the end again.

Article that brings you thoughts and examples on how you can paint eyes.

Well, next step is even going brighter. Still looks kind of madness of the cleanness of the blending quality. Sorry that the picture is brighter than others but the lamps on the table closed in a bit to really show you all those mould lines ... gnarrggll!! Using more of the bright skintone here, even adding white to it in the mix for highlighting the areas in three steps.

Now it even went too bright for Roman so he switched back to the airbrush, using some dark brown tone in it. A mix from the shadows he used in the beginning. The dillution of the paint was pretty thin, like a thin glaze and carefully sprayed on top of that highlight mess. Not aiming for an covering layer, just some layers of thin application to bring it all together. This could also be done with the brush and glazing work, but takes much more time.

Ahh, these mould lines hurt!!

Next step was taking the highlight colour again and doing the same procdure again. Adding stronger highlights. Working with the surfaces and colours the step before resulted in. It was time to start the eyes more properly and ...well maybe Roman should have made him look directly on the evil mould lines, eh? Then he would look in several directions and might need more eyes.

All went too bright again. So Airbrush again and carefully darken everything down with a shadow tone. Maybe too much but no time for worrying or being sad of mould lines here.
Pft! Pft! Pft! Pft! Pft! Pft! Pft! Pft! Pft! Pft! Pft! Pft! Pft! Pft! Pft! Pft! Pft! Pft! Pft! Pft! Pft!

Too dark? Yes, so what happens next? Well easy answer: Doing highlights again. Also some have been added to the ears as they were totally forgotten so far. Edge highlights to the leather part. Eyebrows are important too. Even added some bright blue colour to his right side. Used the same highlight colour there but added a small drop of a bright blue to it.

Too bright? Too blue? Yes, so what is next? Right, shadows again, BUT not with the airbrush this time. Roman decided to go with the brush to have a better control on where to apply the glazes and have better control on how often he applies it to intensify the colour there.

This time he did not use the dark shadows he used earlier, he used the basic tone VMC brown orange or was it orange brown?
Glazing work now has the task to bring it all together, smoothen it. Eyes, lips and nose were glazed with thin red glazes and the teeth recieved some highlights back as they were messed up from all the airbrushing. Same happened to the leather parts and even his tongue got some bright tones on top of one edge.

You can see that the glaze was more often applied to the left side. The side the direction he looks at as Roman wants more focus over here. It is gently bringing in a warm/cold contrast in the skintone due the bigger shadow areas on his right, where still the VMC Dark Sea blue was used in the skin's shadow.

ARRRR!!! Those mould lines!!!

Remember that you got control on how often you apply the glaze. For example on the next photo you can see how the blueish highlight still looks kind of blueish under the glaze.

ARRR! These surfaces ...

Now it was time to use the brush again with some darker glazes, not the basic tone anymore as done before. The shadow and basic tone areas had to be more smooth. Picking up that the right tone here is a bit tricky but if you are working with a wet palette you could still figure out what colours you used for the first shadow. Now use those for smoothing the areas below the basic tone.

Roman even went one step further as he enjoyed the warm cold/contrast that appeared in the steps before. On one side of the bust he mixed in a warm red into this precise shadow glazes, on the other side he added a little darker blue to it. If you add more glazes to one spot the colour there gets stronger.

A simple quick tattoo was freehand painted to his chest.
The tongue got more alive by applying a more saturated colour there.

The last steps on this bust were:

- Increasing some contrasts here and there by adding stronger - but smaller lights to already bright areas

- Painting the metal piece of the belt in true metallic metal

-  Working on the skin with more reddish and blueish shadow glazes to intensify the effect of two light sources influancing the skintone. This also influances the leather belt and the metal piece if you look close enough.

- Working on the eyes and eyebrows a bit more

- Trying to hide the mould lines and rough surfaces here and there with blood and smut (failed on that one)

- Taking better photos in a photobox, with proper light and a better camera

This is how he looks in a way too dark cabinet beside other figures:

Personal Closure
Hopefully you enjoyed the article. Massive Voodoo hopes that you did find one or the other hint or tip in here even the paintflow of this bust was different than usual. Roman should have taken more time to clean up that bust, definatly, but sometimes this happens and if you are facing such a mess on a figure his decision was just throwing paint on it after a normal clean up. Maybe not the best idea, but an issue that happens sometimes, so why hide it?

As mentioned, it was done for fun, not as a competition piece. If this would have been done for a competition the time invested for proper cleaning and preparing would have taken many more hours. Maybe the painting on the bust would have been more fun in the end, but sometimes it is like that if you set yourself a limited time to finish something. Sadly the figure itself was such a bad cast. In some points this is definatly a fail-article, but in others not.

If you are interested in another Step by Step of a Tales of Wars "Barracuda" - click here!

Keep on happy painting!
Best Wishes
Your Massive Voodoo Team


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