Friday, 11 July 2014

Your Pound of Flesh!

So with great intention I recently purchased some of Mengil Manhides dark elf company from Ebay, I acquired 12 for the princely sum of £20. I'm not sure if this is a particularly good deal or not as I am no hardened trader but I was quite pleased.

I did not really approach them with much thought, I simply selected a male and female unit member and began painting using the pallet I had out after painting some Silver Skull Spacemarines (more to come of those later). Right, so that’s the metal and leather on the armor sorted, time for the flesh then.

Oh, that stuff.


I quickly realized after painting Astartes, aliens and not much else for so long I hadn't actually painted any skin of any color in quite a while. So full of enthusiasm, I went digging in my paints box for some fleshy paints. I found a bit of a haphazard selection and went to it with gusto.

Unfortunately, gusto does not really equate to quality. I quickly realized that I had no idea what I was doing and stopped with the following results:

Learning points:
  • Just because the models come undercoated, it doesn't mean they have been undercoated well. It was a bit thick and claggy in places and hid some mold lines that came out when color was applied.
  • Throwing yourself in without a reasonable pallet of paints will not produce slick color transitions.
  • Some of the older sculpts facial details are not great and require an intelligent approach to get the best from them.
Realization that I needed some practice, if not a better selection of paints, dawned on me so I went to the internet to learn from people who actually know what they are doing. Over the next few evenings I watched a variety of video tutorials and some written ones to get a better grip of what I needed to do. While all this was going on, my ever patient wife was listening carefully and providing supportive comments. The next evening she returned home from work with the Vallejo skin and leather paint box for me.

Yep, she's a keeper.

Now I just needed something to practice on. At this point I remembered that a little while ago I had ordered some of the very fine models from Hasslefree Miniatures and they had kindly included a free topless dancer in the box. Sadly, it was only a miniature one but it would prove an excellent practice canvas.  Below are the results.

I had not mixed the colors well and the difference between the layers was far too noticeable. I had then tried to merge them by using washes. Unfortunately this caused it to look chalky and the skin to be much darker than I had anticipated. Darker skin is not a bad thing but it didn't match the ginger hair color the dancer already had. As we all know a tanned ginger is a physical impossibility.

Undeterred I grabbed the next miniature in line, Marina from Hasslefree. This time I was a bit more careful with my mixing. The tones were much closer and the transitions much less obvious. I started with a Bronzed flesh (Vallejo) base, washed it with gryphon Sepia (GW) and then added repeated layers of Bronzed Flesh with more and more Pale Flesh (Vallejo again) mixed in. It's not perfect, placing of some of the highlights is a bit odd and it will never win a Golden Daemon but I am quite satisfied with it and now feel confident enough to have a crack at my intended victims.

Speaking of which, Mengils bunch really need to be stripped and prepared properly before I can paint them to a  standard that I would be happy with. So that will be the next project for me. Assuming that I do not get distracted with the Hirst Arts molds that are currently winging their way across the pond to me. :)

1 comment:

  1. Looks pretty good to me. I'm trying to re-teach myself how to paint after 20+ years away from the hobby and it's been similar. My biggest problem, besides ancient pots of Citadel paint, has been crap brushes. Keep up the good work.