Project diary: 1177 B.C. - 06

by David

Hey all,

welcome to entry six of my project diary. If you're wondering what this is, please check the announcement post, in which I explain the motivation and general goals of the diary. At the bottom of that post, you will find a link to all parts of this series (constantly updated as soon as new articles are published).

Today I'll work on the groundwork laid in last week's post, focusing on the sea raider's skin! As noted in a previous installment, I usually do a little research before I slap color on the mini. For skin tones, I find this little article over at the CMON Forum very helpful: Ethnic Skintones. It provides a nice selection of pictures of different skintones, discusses some of the colors that make up these complexions - and for all lazy people among us the article also suggests five-color recipes to achieve these results. So, inspired by that guide and keeping in mind that I wanted to give our seafaring adventurer a nice, deep tan, I decided on starting with VMC Orange Brown as a basic color. The color has a nice and warm brownish tone, but is a little desaturated, which always is a good foundation for a mid-tone as it allows playing with color-saturation and not only value to achieve plasticity.

The original mid-tone and some shadows...
... and highlights.

However, once I started to work on the mini, slapping on some shadows and adding a few highlights, I realized that the basic color was a bit too light and to yellow. Moreover, I did not really like those strange "cuts" in the miniature's shoulders. I originally hadn't worried too much during the preparation phase, but now, once there was some paint on the mini, they really bothered me. So, before I continued, I filled the gaps a little with two thin layers of Vallejo Plastic Putty. I really like this material: it is water soluble, easily applied and dries pretty quickly. Its main drawback is that it shrinks pretty much during drying, such that multiple layers will be necessary for closing all but the most shallow gaps.

Plastic Putty to the rescue.

Once that gap-filling was taken care of, I applied a new, darker basecoat of the skintone. For that, I mixed the original orange-brown with some VMC Hull Red, which is a nice, deep burgundy-like red. Then, I went into shading and highlighting the skin. For highlighting, I added some Sunny Skintone into the orange-brown, which was further lightened with Ivory; for the shadows I mixed more of the Hull Red into the mid-tone, to which I added some greenish/grey blue (VMC Dark Sea Blue) for the deepest shadows. Typically, for laying the light-and-shadow foundation of my 1/72 miniatures, I do three to four highlighting steps plus a single, almost white top highlight, and two to three steps into the shadows. This is not super-systematic, but rather involves a lot of back-and-forth between shadows, mid-tones and highlights. The next pic shows the new palette and the new base colors:

The new, darker base color, front...
... and back.

With these colors, I worked back and forth until I had the skintone at around 90 per cent done. Especially at the legs and the shield arm, there was still some work to to. But for now, I left it as it was and turned my attention to other parts of the mini. In between these next steps, I will continue to work a little on the skin, here and there. That way, the miniature overall progresses, but I still do some touch-ups and can finalize the skin area without feeling bored working on the same part of the miniature over and over.

Some progress in making the mini more plastic...
... shading and highlighting
The skin when I left it...
... I'll get back to it from time to tome while working on the rest of the mini.

And that's it for today, folks. Thanks for reading. Next week's project diary will focus on the sea raider's colorful panelled kilt.

As always, drop me a line in the comments if you like. See you in a bit!

Best, D.


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