Note : Same principle as the tutos "Glaak!" (brutes with firearm) and “Crack! (brutes with chains).
KKRRKKK ! – Painting of Clayface disguised as Wrath
The goal of this tutorial is to paint Clayface disguised as Wrath to a higher standard than the goons.
Welcome stranger, but if you intend to paint this mini in 1 hour, move along and never come back.
As usual, I use as references the coloured 3D rendering of the miniature and the comics drawings.
Okay… the coloured render is not overly helpful.
So I dig out Dectective Comics #22 (and following ones) to scrutinize the dude. Hereunder are only 2 pages, but I used many more. References and documentation is very important when painting, drawing, and other similar activities. It plays an integral part in the process.
Now these are better references. And we know that when Wrath crushes his sidekick’s head, it makes a KKRRKKK noise. Ouch.
The art shows that there are armor pieces (grey-black), cloth/fabric (grey-black too, but darker), lights (yellow-orange), and some kind of brownish shaytes.
One of the goals will be to differentiate the materials while using similar hues (grey-black), this is not particularly easy, I’ll see at the end if I succeed or not (or half).
But what are these brown shaytes ? Burr walnut plates? The dude must have bought his armor from Rover or Jaguar, for sure.
Back to google to search for references. And I find the character’s concept sketch.
"Military camouflage" written near the left arm. OK, burr walnut seemed a tad unappropriate for hand-to-hand combat.
Now I know where I’m going.
Note : The step-by-step pictures look very blue overall, it’s due to the camera’s auto-settings. The final picture is more true to the reality.
As usual, see the other tutos.
Deburring, washing, then spray-prime. See the other tutos.
Here, I prime with a grey can (Unifom Grey AP, it’s a slightly blueish grey).
Shadows, dark grey wash everywhere (Dark Grey VM 994). 2 washes, go get an homogeneous result.
Shadows, black wash everywhere (Black Ink VG 094). A 1st wash everywhere, heavily diluted ; then several other washes in shadow areas, deepest recesses, and cloth surfaces (cape, thighs, bags, etc.).
Highlights, dark grey (Dark Grey VM 994). I start by a light-handed drybrush everywhere, then a second drybrush focussed on the lighter areas. Then some blending, to smoothen the surfaces and push a bit more the highlights.
And now you’d tell me that there’s not much difference with the previous step. But there is, particularly on the cape. It’s subtle indeed, because there’s not much luminosity gap between black and dark grey.
Maybe I could have skipped this step. But since I’m not 200% confident regarding how I’ll handle materials differentiation, I prefer progressing little by little instead of messing up and re-doing everything.
As a general rule, in case of doubt, always try to proceed so that you can correct & adjust easily later on.
Highlights, medium blueish grey (Russ Grey GW), on the armor plates.
I do a very-light-handed drybrush where I can and have access to (like, the head and the shoulders). It takes 1 minute tops. Then, the serious work: doing blends, then highlighting edges with the side of the brush. It definitely doesn’t take 1 minute, you need to repeat, and so on…
On several of the reference drawings, the "W" on the torso is darker than the rest. I decide to not follow the references, and paint it like the rest. For 3 reasons: First, I won’t bust my balls over it ; second, the mini should still be visually “readable” ; and third I’ll still be able to repaint it easily at the end if need be. There again, always aim for easy correction, yadda, yadda.
Another armor plates highlight, using very light blueish grey (Pale Blue Grey VM907). Here, I only highlight the edges that catch the light most. I repeat where needed.
Let’s start the camo plates with a basecoat of light yellowish brown (Tan Yellow VM912). Several layers are required to get enough opacity and homogeneity, especially on the dark base we have here.
Continuing the camo. Spots of medium brown (Flat Earth VM983), then spots of dark brown (Brunt umber VM941), then some spots –not too many- of black (Black AP).
Still continuing the camo. I find it a bit too bright compared to the comics, so I glaze it with a ready-to-use dark brown wash (Agrax Earthshade GW).
I re-use the same wash, but locally, only in the areas interfacing with the other elements (under the grey elbow plates, under the thighs’ pouches, under the pecs).
The wash gives a satin look to the surfaces, that will disappear after the final matte varnish (I’ll decide at the end whether I re-varnish the plates in satin or not).
End of the camo. Highlights in beige / bone (Bone white VG 034). As for the grey armor plates, I only highlight the edges that catch the light most, and repeat where needed.
At this point, I’m not overly happy with how the camo looks, but I’m fed up. Sometimes, you need to just stop. And there are several « big » things remaining that will impact the mini’s perception.
Beginning of the armor’s « lights ». I start with basecoats of un-diluted bright orange (Deep Orange VG 851), on the easily accessible areas (=raised areas). On the recessed areas, I apply diluted paint, capillarity will make it fill the sculpt. Of course, you have to repeat quite a bit of times to ensure opacity on this very dark base.
Continuing the « lights », by painting bright yellow (Deep Yellow VM 915) in the center of the orange surfaces. Here, I need my super-pointy brush... I mess up at places and put too much yellow (unavoidable, my hands are not steady enough), but I correct with diluted orange paint, applied locally.
End of the « lights », with some micro-dots of pure white (White VM 951) in the center of the yellow. Not on all “lights”, only on the eyes and on the torso thingies. Here, I need my super-pointy brush AND my magnifying goggles (too old for this shit, as Danny Glover said). These last dots make the “lights” pop a bit more.
Let’s start highlighting the fabric/cloth parts (cape, bags, boots, etc). First, I do blends using slightly blueish grey (Unifom Grey AP, same as the primer, but in pot), then the last highlights with blends of neutral light grey (Light Grey VM990). This step is looong…
To try and differentiate the hues and materials, they greys I used here are more neutral (less blueish) that the greys on the armor plates. And I decide to keep these areas as « black looking » as possible, to raise the contrast with the armor plates. Which means the highlights are done on smaller surfaces. You can push the highlights very far (even up to white) on a black overall look, but you have to do it on small surfaces, otherwise it will look grey.
End of the cloth parts. At this moment, I feel that something is missing there. So I do the “dark-red-gives-depth-to-black” trick. Which means local washes or brownish red (Cavalry brown VM982) in some creases and recesses of the cloth/fabric parts. I take a risk, by going further away from the comics’ art. But worst case scenario, if it looks crappy, these local washes will be easy to cover it with pure black and I’ll think about a plan B.
16 - 17 -
The dark red trick ends up looking okay.
Let’s work on the few metal parts : gun in the back, grenades on the ribs, and belt buckle. I previously painted the belt buckle in grey (same as armor plates), but now I think to myself that it will look better in metal, and I just have to paint around the orange “light”, it will be easy.
So : Basecoats with dark metallic grey (Gun grey VMAir072). On the gun, a couple of black washes (Black ink VG094). Then a few last highlights / dots with very light metallic grey (Chrome VMAir064).
I highlight the gun’s handle with a blend of neutral light grey (Light Grey VM990).
And the base. Exact same method as for the other dudes.
I liven up the base a bit with a torn and stained poster (my file is available in the dowloads section, if need be), and spray everything with matte varnish.
I decide not to put satin varnish on the camo plates, I’m afraid it might draw too much attention compared to the orange “lights”.
And new pictures with a decent light and truer colours.
KKRRKKK in your face, sidekick !