Miranda Ashcroft, Authorised Bounty Hunter, Step-by-Step
My Aleph are going well in the local league, having won both of my opening games. It’s an unknown position for me as I am usually one of the back markers in such events!
I’m sticking to my plan of painting at least one mini a week, and having a game lined up is a good incentive to get it finished off in time so that it’s all varnished and ready to go.
Next up from my list is Miranda Ashcroft, Authorised Bounty Hunter. She’s the promo model I got for pre-ordering the Infinity Art Book.
She’s actually a mercenary, not an Aleph, as you’ll spot from the alternative faction symbol on the base as well as the overall colour scheme. Rather than the iridescent yellow-purple and cool purple-greys of my Aleph I thought I’d give her a warmer cream/orange/lime colour scheme as inspired by a piece of art by Hyung Tae Kim I came across in a favourite art book. Pretty pleased with the overall look, and the different but similar base style. There’s a bit of tidying and smoothing I’d have done if I wasn’t trying to paint her so fast but I’m pleased with the result, given the time she took.
On that note, I thought I’d do hourly check-ins so you can see how I made progress. I set a countdown timer to force me to take regular snapshots.
Slightly differently to the Ghulam I did hourly updates on before, you’ll see that I worked on the whole model at once this time, rather than working single areas to completion. This way I get a sense of the overall harmony and composition of the miniature as I paint. The downside being that it’s harder to know when you’re finished and how much is left to go.
Anyway, here are the hourly check-ins:
I used zenithal airbrushing to prepare her. I can’t remember the colours used but it’s not far from black and white.
I think it was more of a cream colour over a dark grey-blue, looking at the base.
Getting some base colours down. Testing that the overall scheme works and blocking in colours with some rudimentary highlighting.
Coloured the hair and worked on the flesh and face a bit. I always find that the mini comes to life so much when you get the face and eyes done.
Picked out some of the accessories – eg bags, pistol and sword – and pushed the contrast a bit. Contrast is so key when painting miniatures and you’ll often hear people saying it helps the paintjob to “pop”. It’s definitely something I’ve worked on a lot lately and have come to realise just how important it is. More contrast! In the case here, adding the shadows has really helped add definition and shape.
General smoothing and a bit of work on the orange areas as well as continuing to push that contrast. I think I also re-shaded the ivory a bit, adding in a brown element. This was essentially accomplished with glazing thinned paints over what was already there. Never be afraid to go back over what you’ve already painted, pushing the tones and hues, darkening or lightening to get the finish you want. You achieve this with glazes (thinned inks or paints) or washes. It also helps to smooth out blends.
The decision to emphasis the lines on her leggings in dark orange was a good one I think. Really adds some visual interest.
More on the orange, some shine highlights on the hair and I re-toned the green by glazing some violet-blue into the shadow areas. See how it is now a cooler hue than the yellow green we had before. Wasn’t planned but I felt that a hue-shift would help bring the green to life a bit.
Then the last hour was spent tidying, finishing the leather straps, re-glazing a bit of yellow ink over the orange stuff, and of course the base. Really pleased with the colours on the base (which is incidentally one of my own resin cast ones).
I painted the base with a pale warm grey and then crudely blended out to a dark olive at the edges. Adding the “spotlight” effect like this helps to subtly draw the eye to the mini I think. Anyway, I picked out some edge highlights in an ivory colour and then laid down a couple of washes. GW Baal Red first, and then GW Devlan Mud to follow. After that it was a matter of carefully drawing in the fuschia pink lines and even more carefully running thinned white down the centre of those lines.
Then the merc symbol freehanded on before varnishing with the airbrush to finish. I did one coat with a satin varnish for protection and then a light dusting with Army Painter anti-shine to matt it right back down.
Phew. All done in about six hours.