25 Jan 2018

107th post - Sméagol! (Showcase & Tutorial)

Hi everyone!

Well, four months after my latest post, a university break enables me to turn my attention to the blog  once again (for a short stand though).

For the first post of 2018 I'll be presenting Sméagol/Gollum.
This miniature is part of the BGiME magazines (came with the number 63) and was painted about two months ago, but due to lack of time it has been waiting on the shelf for photos and varnishing all this time.

So, who is Sméagol?

"Ghoul and former Hobbit. Gollum was once a Hobbit of the Stoor strain called Sméagol, who was born not far from Gladden Fields in the Vales of Anduin.

In 2463 of the Third Age, Sméagol's cousin Déagol found the One Ring while fishing and Sméagol immediately murdered him for it. The power of the Ring lengthened Sméagol's life, yet it warped him beyond recognition. Thereafter he was called Gollum because of the nasty, gutteral sounds he made when trying to speak. 

Description from David Day's
"Tolkien, the Illustrated
He became a ghoulish being who shunned light and lived by foul murder and eating unclean meat. 
He found comfort in dark pools in deep caverns. His skin became hairless, black and clammy, and his body thin and gaunt. His head was like a skull and his eyes bulged like those of a fish. His teeth grew long like Orc fangs,and his Hobbit feet grew flat and webbed. For nearly five centuries, Gollum lived hidden in caverns beneath the Misty Mountains.

Then, in 2941, the Hobbit Bilbo Baggins made a fateful visit to his cavern and took the One Ring from Gollum. In 3019, Gollum at last hunted Frodo Baggins, the new Ringbearer, but try as he might, he could not overcome him. For  a time Frodo almost seemed able to tame Gollum, but Gollum lived by treachery.

So it was at the final moment, when the power of the Ring overcame even the good Frodo upon Mount Doom, Gollum attacked the Ringbearer on the edge of the Cracks of Doom. Summoning all his evil strength, Gollum won the Ring by biting off Frodo's finger, but at that moment of victory, he toppled backwards with his precious prize down into the fiery bowels of the Earth."


This miniature is very easy to paint, but it has some details that really characterise it overall. The difference really stands in the details for this one.
I have decided to split the whole process of painting into six fases:
  1. The lake
  2. The rock
  3. The skin
  4. The hair
  5. The cloth
  6. The fish

First of all I've painted the base of the lake with random stains of deep blue 
(making sure they had all different tones), and a hint of green.

Then I applied a transparent nail varnish with glossy effect, in about 6/7 thin coats.
For it to be effective it is extremely important that the different layers are well dried, 
before proceeding to the next layer.
Painting the rock was the simplest of works:
Basecoated the entire rock (and the ground)
with Vallejo's Dark Grey
The texture was achieved with two drybrush coats:
Here with Citadel's Administratum Grey,
applied heavily, so it could make for most of the rock.
And finaly, with a mix of:
Citadel's Administratum Grey and Army Painter's Matt White,
just to make the edges of the rock stand out, and achieve
that final rock ground look.
The skin is, in my opinion, the most important part of this miniature,
 and great focus should take place when working on it.

For the basecoat, I've used Vallejo's Iraqui Sand, applied in the whole skin, and
avoiding only the eyes and the mouth, since I prefer to have them done after the washing/shading process.
The second part of the skin are the shades:
I've applied a 70/30 mix of Vallejo's Fleshtone Shade and Red Shade.
Finally, the skin is completed with the highlights:
First, again with Vallejo's Iraqui Sand in the most prominent areas of the skin.
Second, with Citadel's Screaming Skull for the same parts of the skin, but in a
 really smaller area.
For Sméagol's hair all I've used was Citadel's Stormvermin Fur and a really small brush.
It's crucial that it's done calmly and with a firm hand.
For the cloth part, I've decided to play a little with the properties of the shades,
so the final step will be essential.

For the basecoat, here it is: Citadel's Rhinox Hide.
The first highlights were made with Citadel's XV-88...
...and the second highlights were made with Vallejo's Ochre Brown.
On both the highlighting fases I've used a really broad base of Sméagol's cloth,
always with the objective of finishing it with the final washing fase.
And there it is, the final step with Citadel's Agrax Earthshade applied all over Sméagol's cloth.
For the final part of the miniature, I decided to paint the fishes.
Well, first of all I used two old metallic acrylic's I had from Pébéo (the silver and the turquoise),
but I'm sure a mix of silver acrylics with any non metallic blue will achieve the same effect.
For the fish bones of the fish laying in the rock, I've simply drybrushed lightly with white.

And finally, just so the model would have a more charismatic element, I've used the
Citadel's "Technical" paint Blood for the Blood God in the raw fish that Sméagol is eating.

Next, all I did was applying the final vegetation, and that's all !!
I think it's a wonderful miniature, despite the fact that my lack of practice 
gets noticed (particularly in the skin work).
Overall I enjoyed it a lot, and am really happy with how the lake turned out!

I wish everyone an excellent 2018!
Happy hobbying.

8 Sep 2017

106th post - Bilbo Baggins! (Tutorial)

...  and half a year later, I'm back (again)!!!!!!!!!

Well, while I acknowledge there have been too many pauses on my painting progress, I've reached a conclusion: My will to paint comes in waves (some longer than others) and there's no point in forcing it, since the main objective of this hobby is simply to have a good time doing something that makes me feel relaxed and happy.

With that said, here's the so long promised tutorial on Bilbo Baggins at Bag End (from the Lord of the Rings, not the Hobbit).

The miniature belongs to the magazine nr62 of BGiME.

For this tutorial I have decided to try a new approach. There are some aspects that surely need to be re-worked (mainly concerning the photography style), but overall I intend to keep this type of tutorial on my future posts.

For Bilbo's skin I used only two highlights
since I wanted him to look fairer  than the normal hobbit,
 but not lighter than an elf

With his hair, I tried to give it a grizzly look, all with greys.
I'm pretty happy with the Administratum Grey highlight.

For the scarf, I tried to achieve a vivid colour, since it's a really tiny part of the miniature
 and it needed to get, somehow, noticeable.
 For this, the brightness of the Army Painter's Greenskin was fulcral as a basecoat,
 followed by a Vallejo's Middlestone edge highlight. 

Seemingly simple, the pants are one of the most laboured parts of this model.
I wished to try something dark to have a bit of contrast with all the brightness.
The idea was to start with the pure black and lighting it gradually,
 first with the darkest grey, and then with a few mixes with a lighter one.

Finally, I've highlighted the edges of the pants with Administratum Grey (which is really light),
 and ended with a Nuln Oil glaze, to blend all the grey's together.

A good job on the waistcoat would be critical to have a good looking Bilbo,
so I tried to play a bit with a wide variety of red's.
To have a flannel finish, I decided to mix the Agrax Eartshade
with Vallejo's Red Shade when doing the washes.

The red jacket needed to contrast with the red waistcoat, and so
I decided to make it darker with a brownish hint. All the shades for this were essential.

For the really small buttons (both on the jacket and the waistcoat), I used GW's Auric Armour Gold.
As for the inner part of the jacket, I decided to use earthy green's, washed with Agrax Earthshade.

Bilbo's red book (I'm sorry for the small images of it) was quite a task.
I've used Screaming Skull for the pages, and then proceeded to the highlights.
The small details were all made with Runefang Steel with all the caution in the world.

An this was the method that I've used to paint Bilbo Baggins,
 on which the main difficulty was the fact that it is a really small model.

I hope you guys enjoy this form of tutorial.
Happy hobbying to you all!!!!

20 Mar 2017

105th post - Bilbo Baggins! (Showcase)

Hello everyone!
The miniature that I'm presenting today was finished more than a month ago, but, as usual, the few time I have to spare has been dedicated to my university course (with no regrets!).
Well, this Bilbo Baggins model is another one of those fun to paint minis, with lots of details and things to work on.
It's actually a really tiny model, which gave me a bit of an headache (just to think of the Bilbo from the Escape from Goblin Town I'll be painting in the future which is even tinnier... ).

A picture with Strider, just for scale! Bilbo really is small.

On his left hand he carries the Red Book of Westmarch, while looking at the One Ring, on his right hand.
Since it is such a little model, I've decided to exaggerate a bit on the vegetation of the base.
I think it looks great!

The One Ring!

And that's it!!!
I'l be surely posting the tutorial on this little guy as soon as possible, hoping you guys like it!

Happy hobbying everyone!!!