Step by Step - Male Galaxy Defender

by Massive Voodoo

Good Morning Jungle,

this week is a bit special as there are two articles up for you due past MV's year of the painter's special Birthday Tutorial Voting Edition (wow, what a describtion). Six articles have been up for your vote and MV decided to bring you two articles from it.

We hope this is a good thing and there is another change of plan on the horizon. The so called "SciFi base" on Northstar Models Male Galaxy Defender will not only take you on a trip through the basework, but will also bring you a walk through Roman's painting process.

We hope you enjoy!


As a true Mass Effect fan I one day had to paint the Male Galaxy Defender by Northstar Models in 54mm. I could not skipped that one, after I have done the female version already.

On a day while the sky was burning and the galaxy was aflame I started this model just beside some other projects. Call it preparation and a simple start, but unfortanetly I did not worked further on him after this initial start.

A very bright greyish/blueish armour, a brown face and a simple base build on top of a beautiful unique wood plinth by and a little orange/brown/yellow colour sketch to the base. I did not went further for about a year.

Usually my inspiration and muse plays tricks on me and I often thought about this model in my WIP cabinet. My guess was, if I one day play Mass Effect again or get in contact with it I finish him up due the sucked up inspiration. It did not happen at all, but one day without a proper inspirational butt kick I sat down and tasked myself with finishing him up.

I searched the endless Internet for some inspiration and printed them to take them to my workplace. I don't like to sit down with my smartphone or tablet (that I do not have) while I paint. I look in such daily life tools too often and painting needs no combination of this multimedial thing, at least in my oppinion. I still read books as I like them better than ebooks, see?

I quickly realized that there is work ahead.
First thing I did was using my airbrush to spray that bright blueish armour darker with some thinned Scale75 Inktensity black. After this I used some VMC grey, London Grey (very neutral grey) to spray from above on the models armour, added a drop of VMC Ivory and a drop of GW's ice blue in that airbrush mix and gave the first sprayed highlights a more cold appeareance. Sorry for the lack of photos in this step.

 For the next steps we have photo results. I took some more of the Ivory to the mix and took the brush to glaze my way into stronger, brighter areas on the armour. Adding more of the Ivory to it I also head for the edge highlights on that armour alreay with a first sketch.

The face recieved a basic tone with gentle lights while I did my first experiments with the Scale75 Skin Set. The weapon recieved a basic tone with some sandish VMC tone and also some gentle brighter areas by addition of a tiny drop of Ivory. I used some yellow/sand/orange colour drops on that base to mix them together in there, just to find my direction. His, well yeah "hair" have been painted with a basic tone of London Grey but with a little tourquise in it to keep it cool. You might also recognize the little purple touch in that armour's shadows. Well, Inktensity again, but really well thinned 1/20 (colour/water) and gently sprayed from a low angle into that armour sketch. You can see it everywhere if you look close: armour, face, weapon, base, etc. ...

Why purple? I have no idea ...

Next step was working on stronger edge highlights and shiny armour dots here and there. I did so by using more and more Ivory in my armour colour mix and some of those white dots have been done with pure Ivory. I do enjoy paint these when it comes to such models. The Artwork in the back really helped me a lot for inspiration on how the light falls and spreads on that armour and on helped me how I wanted to tackle the armour too. The Computer Game Mass Effect Series has a special look (light, shadow, materials, athmosphere) on it and I am looking forward to one day play Mass Effect 4.

I used some pigments on the base, but I'll tell you later on the basework itself. Just check that I gently used these pigments also on the armour of the lower body parts. A little reflecting light from the groundwork to the armour going on.

During the next steps I took care of the weapons damage by using a dark brown mixed from VMC Chocolate Brown and black and did some initial weathering to the weapon. Again, the artwork helped me here to guide me as an inspiration.

The amour recieved its "warpaint" by first creating a very bright line to his right arm with a mix from Ivory and a tiny drop of ice blue in it. With the same colour I went for making stronger highlights here and there at the armour once again. Now I used some Army Painter Dragon Red for to add the red stripe on the "warpaint". After this I took the first Ivory/ice blue tone again and added scratches and ripped of colour to the red part of the "warpaint". The "N7" logo has also been painted with these colours.

During the next step I masked his face and sprayed a thinned mix of blue and black Inktensity by Scale75 to the whole armour to bring it all together and make it look more as one. Via Airbrush.

I repeated the steps of highlighting the armour with bright greyish Ivory (brushwork) and again after this step took the airbrush with thinned Sclae75 Inktensity black and used it on the lower parts of the armour.

Sprayed some gentle very thinned blue on top of the whole model as I really wanted to catch the athmosphere of the artwork. Painted a some more stronger highlights on the basic skintones and with his scar on his hair slowly found the character I was aiming at. Slowly. Before I went further on the model it is time to talk of the basework now.

I decided to do something simple but with great effect. I wanted to achieve small amounts of pigments here and there to create a marsian look of the base. Therefore I used Gravel & Sand Fixer by Ak-Interactive, which you can get at Big Panda V or PK-Pro. A lot of companies have similar products, for example Secret Weapon. Pigments by MIG in this case, but you can find the pigments you prefer from many different companies.

A gentle test on the base with some shy drops of pigments there. 

Using a brush and let a drop of the liquid fall down on top of it, or put close beside.
It will suck in to the pigments and fix 'em.

More pigments now.

After many more pigments and the repeated procedure the base looked like this, still wet from the liquid, but with the pigments fixed. Yay!

The final paintwork included brushwork only. I took care of some more edge highlights and detail lights here and there. Used pigments again on his feet to get back that orange reflection from the base, used an orange/brown glaze at the weapon, added gentle scratches to the armour here and there and went for the final detail lights with pure Ivory, plus did some final work on the prominet face areas and added some fighting wounds to the one and only galaxy defender: Shepard.

For sure I did paint the plinth black as a final step and took proper photos, not from the WIP-table:

If you want to see more angles on the model check Putty&Paint.

Well, I had my fun finishing this fella up. Here and there I could have spent more time invested in the cleanness of the blendings but frankly, I wanted him to look a little messed up after a fight and enjoyed finished him the way he turned out.

I hope you enjoyed this walk with the Male Galaxy Defender.
Shot questions, ideas or other thoughts via comment if you like!

Keep on happy painting!
Best Wishes


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