Step by Step: Chimera vs. Bellerophon, part 1

by Massive Voodoo

Heyho Jungle,

time for another step by step by - well, once again - Roman.
This article will be seperated in two parts as posting it in one load it would just make the blog and Roman's brain explode. Maybe yours too.

Now let yourself carry away by Roman as he takes over.


A step by step of this project means it is soon finished and believe me or not I never thought this might happen one day, but let a good story start from the beginning, shall we?

Back in early 2011 I accepted a comission. Nothing too special as I am a miniature painter who makes a living from it. The comissioner asked me if I would be interested in a theme of "Ancient Greek Mythology" and hell yeah I was. I am a big fan of this topic and my motivational flame burned strong.

Furthermore my comissioner was so cool. 
He said he wanted to have a painting by me, he was just asking the topic "Chimera vs. Bellerophon", a beast slain by a greek hero on Mount Chimera. No other restrictions. My comissioner left everything to me - he wants a painting/picture/interpretation/version of me, a part of myself and the project exectud as I see, imagine and feel it. This is just too great! No timeline, just freedom and fun.

I will now take you on a journey through this project. This step by step will not teach you color recipes or brushstroke techniques as the project is just to huge to go into such a detail. This article tries to explain to you the mad moments of motivation, fun, ideas, decisions and passion an artist can go through.

You should already have recognized this: Started in 2011 - finished in 2015? WTF? Well, as you will read on you will get a picture of my motivational curve through this project and why it ain't so good to have all the freedom in the world sometimes. You will see the project starting at my workbench at home, the workbench changes to the first studio room and to the second. The project travelled a long road with me.


Before you start such a project it is important to get yourself into the mood, into the myth, into the topic. This is so great about our hobby, if you do it right it can be some kind of self-study of the topics you like. So I read the Iliad by Homer (thanks to Arne, I will return your book soon!). I read Wikipedia articles about Bellerophon, of the Chimera, had a look on artistic interpretations of the topic, for example:

The Miniatures
I got myself into the mood and as I was completly free in which models to choose and which base I build I had to collect first. Browsing through models available, searching for the ones I wanted to use.

For the Chimera I decided to go for one big monster from Banebeasts in 28 mm. Still huge, but the perfect monster for this act. You can find a Miniatures Unpacked of it here. Meanwhile the company changed and is not Maelstrom Games anymore, but Mierce Miniatures. Big monsters, including the Chimera are available there.

Different story for Bellerophon on Pegasus.
I just didn't find one model doing exactly what I wanted him to do: Looking epic, riding brave Pegasus, challenging the beast. After searching and searching I decided to scratchbuild this guy. I got myself a great horse in 28 mm sculpted by Maurizio Bruno, called Roustam. Still had some wings of an old GW demon in white metal and had no idea how to set up the hero himself, but I decided to start now as my motivational flame burned strong.

Building the base
Everyone who reads Massive Voodoo knows that I love to build bases.
So for this epic scene I decided - with all the freedom I got from my comissioner - to go big and epic.
An old greek temple ruin, mystical on its own look. Yeah why not place a big historical miniature, 90 mm Pegaso model, Greek Strategos, as a statue in it. I love to play with scales as this offers epicnes. 

Superglue is ready, lets go. 

I used a wooden plinth by as the ground. Added plastic card walls to frame my scenery and pushed a lot of aluminium foil into it to push up the volume.

I added some acrylic texture paste to cover it all. The brown part down left low is a wood piece.

Well, good start, not. This was way to much acrylic paste at once. It won't dry underneath. So I took a toothpick and added "air holes" all over the place. And some rough white plaster stones.

 I took all my prepared materials at hand to see where my base build up would lead me to.

Columns. I need columns for my temple. There ain't a temple without enough columns:

I did not like my base with all that paste. So after all of it was dry I destroyed parts again and added cork here and there and began to work on the base with material for my greek temple. Not too much thinking, just building up my imagination. Adding the beast and the pony to see where I would place them later on.

Mkay, mkay. I was happy with that base. Epic, brutal, dangerous and dynamicly setting both miniatures in good spots  for the viewer's eye. Motivational flame burning powerful.

Painting Process
It's on. Prime time. Time for priming. I decided to prime the base black and white, but I have made a photo of it just black - do not know why - here it is:

Here it is with white primer on top - plop!:

After priming I usually give it all a rough sketch of the colors I use for the main athmosphere. Sketch a little light and shadow here and plow! plow! Sketch done.

For this I had to use bigger brushes of course. You can see them taking a rest in the dirty cup of water to the left. Well, and slowly it started that this base showed his true size to me. Oh dear, will I ever be able to paint it properly?

Well, I paint that base later on, first I start with the Chimera. How does she look on the sketched base, still in resin? Oh gawd, I have to put that base away. Far away. Motivational Flame dances in the wind. A little bit.

Ok, Chimera. Primed and ready.

Just loosing the anchor and carried away I decided to go for a most brutal beast. What can be more brutal than a red monster? Reds everywhere!

Starting to seperate elements from elements. Let it carry you away I thought. Red is great, with these blacks it looks so evil.

Yeah, energies burned on this sketch. Looking... red and black and ... yes, evil!

Let's see how the red monster looks on the base. No, I do not like it at all with my sandy desert color sketch. I want to have a cold athmposheric base to have the Chimera look even more powerful and evil. Ok, let's repaint the base then.

Yeah I liked that. Kind of. I was unsecure of my vision now.

My flame of motivation extinquished. Paff! 
I did put the whole story away for a longer time period. Spent my time with other miniature projects, watched tutorials on how to draw breasts, learned how to put a three middlefinger up (to show it to my motivational flame concerning this project) and did many more other things, but just didn't get back to the blue greek temple with the red monster on top.

Seasons changed once again and it was autumn. I love to watch the leaves change color in autumn and decided that I have to change color on that greek temple once again. I took some strong blue and yellow and orange and whatnot and painted this to my base:

That was obviously too much, but I enjoyed to take some "normal" colors again and work over it and liked the way it turned out. A little more athmospheric since my starts on this base. At this point you can say the project was beside me already for three years. The project changed as I change. My painting changes all the time, my feel for color changes, my moods change, my visions change. Not a good thing for the flame of motivation to look too long to a project, but now I was happy.

Cool, maybe I should take some time to start working on the winged Pony. I like to work on all parts of a project side by side to bring them together in the end. I prepared some Magic Sculp and ...

... did nothing with it as I had a good idea for the base. I was in need to get back control of colors on this big base and I was missing natural stuff going on there.

I used some climbing plants from MiniNatur and ...

... tacked them to my lamp with bluetac or pattafix. Plan is to spray them black. Dark and black climbing plants will make that temple look much more evil. 

Indeed that was a good idea. I like it, but it is much work to first spray them black and then place them carefully to their place on the base with superglue.

Much work ahead as the base is so big.

Why not place the Chimera on top of the base to see how it looks:

Nice I would say, but the beast is so red. I am not sure if I do like it that way. Oh dear, my mind is going crazy with this project. Let's put the pony too - oh dear it is still white metal. I gotta work on this too - soon.

... but first, place everything back in the cabinet to let it all wait some months until my muse speaks again with me to lighten up my motivational flame.

Bellerophon, conversion
Meanwhile I was browsing the web for ideas how to build up Bellerophon himself. I was searching for 28 mm Hoplites, Spartans and other interesting models. I took me  a while, but I found this one kneeling guy with a spear that I liked very much. Here you go, a model by Godslayer.

I started slowly with the conversion, changed the spear into a longer spear. I mean he wants to slay that beast not tickle it.

Sadly, I did not take any more photos in this time period of the conversion. I added the wings, cut the whole kneeling body of my spartan hoplite in half, used the upper body, used the legs and sculpted the rest to make him sit on the winged pony. I am very sorry, that I did not make any more photos of this step. I just forgot about it.

I already primed him white as he should be a shining, light burning spear that kills the monster!

Allrighty, this was part one of this neverending project. Part two is in the making.
If you enjoyed it, feel invited to drop a jungle donation for a coffee or a banana,
or simply drop a comment if you enjoyed the read!

Keep on happy painting!
Best Wishes,


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