Exploring the Asura

More updates on the Asura for you.

As I’m trying to be a bit more warts-n-all here on the blog I’ll start off with a pic of how things don’t always go right first time.

One thing I’ve found on sci-fi minis is that the weaponry can often end up looking a bit plain. So I was looking for some inspiration and browsing through the really good Art of Halo 4 book when I saw a variant with glowing orange lines that I though would look pretty cool and give a bit of visual interest.

Aleph Asura WIP Close-up

In this first pass, you can see that I overdid it with the orange and the overspill just looks really messy.

Having tidied that a little I started thinking about the base. Because this is a colour exploration, I wanted to jump back and forth between areas to get the overall colour composition right. Again, inspired by art design from Halo (I’m playing through the first game at the moment on Xbox as I missed it first time around) I decided to go for a cool purple-grey-green gradient. I’m also thinking of going with orange glowing lines again to balance with the tech weaponry.

Aleph Asura WIP

In this picture you can see some evidence of how I was struggling with my paints that day. For some reason I’m getting a lot of colour separation with the paint pigments (using Vallejo Model Colours mostly) which leads to the paint smearing and generally misbehaving. The result is that the base blend is quite blotchy and messy.

Time to put the brushes down.

Aleph Asura WIP

Another day and I went back over the base again with further smoothing. I’d been watching an excellent Miniature Mentor tutorial on basing by Ben Komets and he did a little bit of wet blending on some cobblestones that he made look sooo easy. Inspired, I had to give it a go myself but again my paints were misbehaving.

I’ll stick to glazing for now, until I can find more time to explore this wet blending technique. I think a lot of the “skill” of painting is about experience with different paint consistencies. Eventually you get a feel for the right mix and how to apply it.

Anyway, I also did a bit more green light work on her back and again there’s further tidying needed – especially as there’s a slip where I misinterpreted a sculpt line on her left shoulder.

Another thing that I find important when it comes to the overall feel of the miniature is the face. It’s often the face that really brings the piece to life and it’s such an important area for attention.

For the Asura I wanted her to look inhuman – she’s clearly a cyborg of some sort with those lines going down her cheeks – so I’ve gone for a grey-white tone, but with a purple shade across the eyes. Sort of reminiscent of Pris, the Nexus 6 from Blade Runner. Again, more work needed to get the eyes just right and really bring the face to life. But so far I’m liking the direction.

Pris, Nexus 6 Replicant

I’ve worked up the hair too. I’m happy with how it’s rendered although I am concerned that the colour is a bit bland. I’ll leave that until I’ve got everything covered and see whether I need to do a hue shift. Possibly with glazes, or a complete re-work. We’ll see.

Those buns!

So there you go, a bit of an insight into my process as I try out various things, many of which aren’t working out first time. The thing is to remain confident and know that you can go back and fix things. As long as your paint is thin enough not to obscure details, you can always return with some glazing or heavier re-work until it looks just right.

~ by Max Von Deadlock on December 11, 2012.

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