Project diary: 1177 B.C. - Epilogue

by David

Hey all,

welcome to the final instalment 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.

Wow - What a ride! When I had the idea to write this diary to document the progress of my first project in 2021, after a six-month hiatus and absence of painting mood and inspiration, I had no idea that it would be almost four months before I would be finished. I thought: this is gonna be a quick and fun project to get back into the groove. Similarly, I thought that the diary would consist of quick-and-dirty notes to document the project's progress. Well, it turned out quite a bit differently.

In fact: while the project turned out to be much more extensive, both in time and in scope, than I thought, it did rekindle my painting energies and motivation. Similarly, the diary turned out to be as much a way to collect my thoughts during the project as it came to be an accountability tool to track my progress. The feedback I got from my jungle brothers and some of our readers also greatly encouraged me to keep on going writing the diary.

So, and in the spirit of documenting my thoughts, before I leave the diary behind me I want to put together a few notes on what I want to take away from this little exercise:

  • Writing a project diary is fun and greatly helps documenting the different steps of a project.
  • Writing a project diary in a way that other people can read and, hopefully, understand the different steps of a project is lots of work; but if you do it for yourself, it will be quick and easy, and could be done in just a few hastily scribbled lines and observations after a painting session.
  • Painting skintones in 1/72 is great fun.
  • I still have not really grasped NMM - more studies to come.
  • I still have much to learn when it comes to recreating water - more studies to come.
  • It's great to be patient and to try different approaches and multiple times when I'm not super-satisfied with a part of the mini.
  • But then again, it's also fine not being super-satisfied with that part of the mini and leaving it the way it is, if continuing on would sap motivation. I can always come back to it - if I really want - later, when inspiration and motivation is back.

So, thanks for having joined me on this journey. As always, feel invited to drop me a line in the comments to let me know if you found this format interesting and if you'd like to see something like it again, sometime in the future. In the meantime, take care!

Best, D.

Project diary: 1177 B.C. - 10

by David

Hey all,

welcome to Page Ten 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).

We're on the finish-line, folks. This will be the penultimate installment of the project diary, and today, I will talk about finishing the base. This included three main steps:

  1. painting the base
  2. adding the "deep water"
  3. finalizing the water effect

But before we start, let's take another look at the project when we left it in Part Nine:

The first thing I did was painting the base. This included three parts: first, to finish the sand, giving it a little "depth". For that, I simply gave the sand a slight wash with a very diluted brown (VMC Smoke). Once that was dry, I drybrushed the sandy surface with the basecolor (VMC Dark Sand) and, finally, some Ivory to bring out the highlights a little. Second, I treated the parts of the base where I envisioned slightly "deeper" water with a diluted wash of VMC Emerald and, where the deepest part would be, a little VMC Turquoise. This, later, will simulate some depth in the water. Finally, I also painted the cast shadow of the miniature, taking into account the zenithal lighting situation and the idea that the Mediterranean sun is standing high and glaring in the sky. I didn't worry too much about getting the shadow totally and exactly right as the water, which will flow around the raider's legs would distort the shadow and lighting a bit.

Some turquoise to imitate the depth of water...
... and a little grey for the cast shadow.

The next step was all about that deep water-fun! As will all my water-works, I followed my MV jungle brother Josua's fantabulous 2K Water Tutorial. So, I started constructing the borders into which I would be pouring the resin water, using some cut-up transparent plastic sheet, which I then glued to the plinth.

... and after.

Once the borders had been put in place, I prepared everything for pouring the 2K resin. As noted, I follow the commandments laid down by Josua for all times in his excellent tutorial. But as described in a previous tutorial of mine, in addition I like to stir the resin while bathing the container in a mug of hot water. This makes the resin "runnier", i.e., more liquid and like water - it becomes easier to pour and there will be fewer air bubbles. And that's exactly what I did with this base as well. Once the 2K resin was nicely mixed, I used a single-use plastic pipette and carefully let the liquid run into the area. I used a toothpick to make sure it spread everywhere I wanted and to remove the two or three tiny air bubbles that occured at the edges. And with this, I left the project to rest for about 24 hours.

All prepared for the resin pour...
... and done. The cent piece under the plinth ensures that the resin will remain mostly at the left side of the base.

Once the resin was hardened, I returned to the project and - as always when working with 2K water - was a little anxious about what would await me when I would remove the barriers. Well... Overall, I was happy with the result. BUT: there were two issues that needed work before I could finish the water. First: When I super-glued the barriers onto the plinth, a little bit of glue had snuck up and laid itself on top of the already painted sand area. Once I removed the barriers, the superglue stuck to the barriers, and I removed it along with the barriers, leaving a little hole or tunnel at the bottom of the 2K water.

There's a hole in the resin...

The second issue was that, despite the "genious" trick of positioning the plinth on a one-cent piece, a little bit of resin had run along the edges and now there was water where none should be:

... and some superfluous resin.

I first addressed the second issue, cutting away the superfluous resin that had run along the edges of the barrier. Along with the resin, I of course removed some of the "sand", so I had to recreate it with a little bit of Milliput, which was then painted. Then, I took on the first problem - simply by painting the sandy surface below the "deep" water and then adding a little UV-hardening resin into the "tunnel". When that was cured, I gave everything a nice little sanding to even the surfaces.

Then, it was time to add the waves. For that, I used Vallejo Water Texture, a thick, gooey acrylic gel that is white-opaque when it comes out of the container, but becomes transparent when it cures. With this, I did two rounds of adding waves, trying to recreate the look of surf at the beach, and letting the first layer cure before adding a second one.

Adding waves.
Layer one...
... cured and transparen.

Once the second "wave-layer" was cured, I added a bit more acrylic gel here and there, and added a tiny bit of Vallejo Still Water on the beach, where no waves would be. I did this, first, to give the sand the impression of wetness and, second, to smoothen the transition between "waves" and "sand".

And a second layer.

However, when I looked at the scene with a fresh set of eyes before starting to put the whitewater on the waves, I was not really happy with the look and "feel" of the waves. I was not really sure what it was, but when I compared the waves with images of "the real thing", something was off. So, and as so often with my projects, I decided to take a radical step - and put a sharp scalpel blades to the waves, which allowed me to start from scratch with modeling the waves...

Off to a fresh start

Thankfully, I remembered that I had seen a tutorial on modelling a beach scene some time ago, over on YouTube. This I decided to follow slavishly. So, I started out with carefully making the waves again, in a more realistic fashion. For the whitewater, I mixed the acrylic gel with a tiny bit of acrylic white color and some microballoons, usually used for recreating snow, and carefully added it to the waves. Finally, when all was dried and hardened, I gave the whole surface a slapping of some Still Water effect to restore the shininess. The last bit of work was some light and careful sanding, polishing, and gloss-coating of the sides of the hardened 2K-resin to make it nice and smooth.

Adding the waves...
... take two.

Looking back, to be honest, I was not super-satisfied with the result of my second water experiment, as I find the waves a bit too shallow and I dit not manage to recreate those little foamy crests. I also do not find the water lapping up the raider's hind-legs particularly convincing. But I decided to call it a day and leave it as is.

For the absolute final step, I checked the figure for some last-minute corrections. The only thing that I decided to do was to repair two little specks at the mini's sword-hand where I accidentally removed some paint during the sanding, and on the lower side of the shield, which had mistakenly been hit with some water texture. I also made my peace with the sword, deciding to leave it as it was. Then I painted the plinth black. I really like the effect of a deep-black painted plinth, which, in my eyes, serves as a nice and strongly contrasted "frame" to the scene, driving home the idea that the mini-and-base combination is a small sliver "taken out of some larger environment". I painted two layers, using cheap acrylic black color, and in between I carefully sanded the surface with fine-grit sandpaper. This makes the paint really nice and smooth. As a last thing, I added my signature at the base of the plinth - for me, this always signals a project's completion.

The final thing.

And that's that. For the final presentation, I will put a small, plaque on the plinth, which I'll have custom-made for this project by my friend Conny over at Fredericus Rex! I will post some final, good pictures at the blog once I have made them. In the meantime, and as always, feel invited to drop me a line in the comments? I hope to see you soon in the Epilogue for a quick debriefing!!

Best, D.