Monday, August 1, 2011

Project 2--For A Friend

My second project so far is a gnoll model. My GM for the Pathfinder campaign I'm playing in right now had this sweet un-painted gnoll that needed some color so I volunteered to paint it for him since we were using it a lot in various battle scenes. The piece came unpainted (is made of pewter not plastic), his joints were glued together already, and the arrow he held with his right hand was broken off and missing.

STEP 1 (Basecoat)

The first step was to break his limbs off so that painting in his joints didn't become overly tedious. After that was done, I remade an arrow for his right hand by clipping a brass wire I had left over from my chainmail supplies, and molding an arrow head from clay. (in the future, I need to buy some greenstuff for that kind of thing, but for now, all I have available is oven-bake clay)

I didn't have a craft/hobby hand drill set so I just superglue the copper wire directly onto the fletching in his right hand. This broke multiple times during the painting process and will, no doubt, break off for my friend Justin as soon as the model falls forward. This frustration caused me to buy a hobby drill, which I might make a short post about later, but it came after I was done with the model so. sadly, the arrow must make due with just superglue.

I sprayed him with a basecoat of flat black, then started painting him.

STEP 2 (Painting)

After filling in the base colors for the model (e.g. brown for the fur and wood, silver for the armor, maroon for the cloth), I began the highlights. Highlighting is a general term since each material, be it cloth, wood, leather, or metal, all are highlighted in different ways.

For the fur, I decided I wanted to make his fur look sun bleached since this was going to be a desert gnoll. To do that I made a light tan paint mixture and drybrushed his pelt, giving him the highlighted fur effect.

(note: I use the term "drybrush" a lot in this post. I'll do a post or video down the road about drybrushing in more detail.)

For the armor, I wanted his gear to look used and unkempt, so I decided a light rust would work well for all iron on him. I dryburshed his armor a rust color to create that effect.

For the wood, I wanted his weapons to look as though they've never been cleaned, to look almost greasy, so I gave his bow and weapon shafts on his belt a dark grey drybrushing, creating the well-handled look; although, for the arrow wood, I used tan highlights, giving the shafts a newer look, since I figured that the gnoll probably scavenged the arrows from someone else since arrows are semi-disposable tools.

The cloth was different, and I think I nailed it. After the previous model of the female ranger that I did, I realized that, although cloth does have highlights to it, they are subdued, unlike with leather, armor, or rubber. So I used the same maroon color as the base color for his cloth, but added a little white to lighten it up marginally. They were essentially the same color, just one was a bit lighter. After drybrushing his hood, I saw that it worked quite well and did the rest of his cloth the same way.

STEP 3 (Base Plate)

Once the painting on the model was done, I worked on the model's base plate. I got some fine sand and Elmers glue, glued the base where I wanted mounds of sand to be, glued the sand and a small chert flake onto the plate and painted it a light sandy color. I also drybrushed the sand and base plate sides to give it some depth.

STEP 4 (Transportation)

I was afraid that the arrow I had made, that was so precariously glued to the model, would come off during transportation. But I found that those cases dice sets come in, are great single model transports if you add a little cleaning cloth in there for shock absorption. Don't use tissue though. That covers the miniature in some type of aloe they put in the soft tissues, or flake/dust from the dry kind.



  1. I like the rusted armor and the arrow you made. Good ingenuity there :)

  2. That's one of the most complex paint jobs I have seen you do. How long did it take you to paint him? How long did it take you to put the whole thing together without the use of the drill?

    And the most important question -- did you get any brownie points from the GM for painting his model? ;)

  3. Thanks guys. This mini took around 7 hours to make, from start to finish. All the drill would have done is make the arrow not break off so easily, wouldn't have taken any more, or less, time to craft it. I'm going to do a post on what drill to get and various uses for it soon I use it next on a model. And yeah, I got a few extra experience points in game for the gift.