Welcome to this painting diary! During this week, I will be posting my advances and thoughts about this fantastic piece.
The story so far: Among our plans for February, we have a special collaboration with the Atlanta Military Figure Society. We have prepared a special commemorative Fahrenheit Miniature Project figure for the occasion!
Fahrenheit Miniature Project
FAH00025 – Sergeant, 5th Georgia “Clinch Rifles”, 1861
Sculpture: Eduard Pérez
Painting: Fernando Ruiz
Number of parts of the kit: 8
Scale: 75 mm
The kit will be pre-released in exclusive for the 2019 AMFS show that will be hosted on February 15th to 17th at the Hilton Atlanta/Marietta Conference Center. The kit will include two choices of a hat, a regular forage cap and a tall kepi. The second hat will be exclusive for the show version. The club is opening a reservation of the figure kit, to be picked up at the show, just in case you don’t want to miss your copy. The special price for the show is 45$ and you can contact them to reserve it or ask for further information here: firstname.lastname@example.org
We will be releasing it on a future date but without the optional exclusive headgear. This painted example will be donated for the silent auction hosted every year during the show.
We will be present at the show in collaboration with our exclusive American distributor, Scale 75 USA, so expect to be able to buy all our range of miniatures from his table. Also, I have a seminar some days before the show that is fully booked excepting for one seat.
So, if you are in the area, don't even doubt it, come and pay us a visit! See you all there...
Sergeant, 5th Georgia “Clinch Rifles”, 1861 A painting diary!
English Language 17:21 04.01.2020
OK, let’s start with this!
The first logical step is applying a coat of primer to the figure. I applied a coat with the new Vallejo’s Black Primer over all the bits, as this uniform is quite dark and it will be a perfect foundation for it. This one works exactly as good as the Citadel spray primer I am used to applying and is a tad matter so, a win-win situation.
These are the basic tones I will use for the flesh: MC Brown Sand 70,876 for the basecoat, MC Black Red 70.859 for the shadows and MC Ice Yellow 70.858, that I expect to make the whole thing a bit more bronzed tan usually (the last face I painted, the Roman Aquilifer bust, was really pale and I wanted a change ). Of course, all these tones are for the basic work, there will be additional colours applied in the form of shades, glazes, and final touches that will make the face look exactly as I want.
I’m going to show you really zoomed pictures of the face process. Of course, you will be able to tell exactly where I applied the brushstroke and it will look somewhat dirty, especially in the earlier stages, but keep in mind that this is a 75 mm figure’s head!
Basecoat with Brown Sand.
if you have attended one of my seminars, you already know my approach for faces (and also for many other areas); I do first a quick sketch with the basecoat plus 2 or 3 highlights and shadows, to map the surface and understand how the volumes work. This quick work is very important, not only because it will help to understand the face, but also as I will put a balanced contrast on the face that is easier to apply in the beginning, when nothing is definitive, than at the very end, with all the fine job done and a lot of hours invested that could make you chickening from achieving the depth you really should be aiming to get
First shadow, adding Black Red to the basecoat
Next, I apply the first highlight. I alternate highlights and shadows to balance the contrast on the go and making easier to see where I’m heading even quicker.
First highlight, adding Ice Yellow to the basecoat.
Now, the 2nd shadow, adding more Black Red, in much smaller areas that the first shadow.
And the 2nd highlight, adding more Ice Yellow and aiming for smaller and more extreme points too. The contrast is really striking, right? This is what we want
Now I start working a bit in the transitions, to try to start making the whole thing smoother. Also, I use this step to start tweaking with the volumes, expanding highlights or shadows and connecting together the different areas to make it more natural.
As I like the result, I work a bit more on the smoothening of the whole face. It is not over of course, but I will add the finer delicate work once I apply the glazing and extra parts. Also, it is a good idea, when painting a face, to let it sit until the next day and pick it with fresh eyes to value the previous work
Tomorrow, I will do all that and surely also the hair. Stay tuned!
Here we are again, ready to show you how I finished the head of this awesome figure…
First, let me show you the new colours we will be introducing today. From left to right, MC Black 70.950, MC English Uniform 70.921, MC Flat Red 70.957, MC Light Flesh 70.927 and MC Light Green 70.942.
First thing I did today was to check the previous work with a cup of coffee in my hand. After planning the work, I started working a bit more on cleaning transitions and also pushed further the contrast, using the previous palette of tones plus Black Red pure for the darkest shadows and introducing MC Light Flesh 70.927 in the final highlights.
Sometimes you need to frame the previous work in order to appreciate it. In this case, it meant painting the eyes and at least the basecoat for the hair. The eyes in this scale need to be simplified. I painted first the eyeball with Light Flesh. After that, I painted the iris in MC Black 70.950, drawing also an outline with that tone between the upper eyelid and the eyeball. Finally, I added some highlights with MC Light Green 70.942 and even adding a bit of Light Flesh at the end. It makes sense to use striking colours for such small eyes, to make them pop a bit in such a small face!
After the eyes, I painted the basecoat of the hair with a mix of MC English Uniform 70.921 and a bit of Black Red. As you can see, suddenly it all makes much more sense. That’s why it is useful to take a rest from the time-consuming task of blending the face together and do these steps, as maybe you are almost there but you haven’t noticed.
Next, I added this blush effect to the face. With a very thinned mix of Light Flesh and a touch of MC Flat Red 70.957, I glazed over the surface from the mid-tones to highlights. To reinforce the effect, I glazed with extremely thinned but pure Flat Red all the areas from mid tones to shadows. This is a delicate process, that you better do bit by bit, as an excess of red can easily ruin the face. Better be conservative if unsure
Next, I did the hair. I simply applied highlights with English Uniform first and then added small successive amounts of Light Flesh to highlight it. For certain underlying shadows, I used pure Black Red. Even if I used a greenish tone for the base and highlighted with a pale tone, it looks quite yellowish! Well, imagine then if I had used colours richer in yellow! Always remember, blonde hair is not as yellow as you imagine, but more like an olive tone in different degrees of darkness.
The rest of the time I spent it tweaking further with the whole thing, mending transitions, integrating the reddish/pinkish areas, adding touches to the hair… These hi-res zoomed pics are really good helping to check what are you doing, especially in the face area, that has so many volumes going on at the same time in such a small space. I might work a bit more on it as the figure progress, we’ll see. I took some pics with the tall hat in place, to get a better idea. As I always tell my pupils in the seminars, nothing is completely done until you say so! See you all tomorrow…
I had a slight delay but doesn’t matter, here we have another step in this SBS. Today we’ll paint the hats. As you know, the limited show edition of this figure comes with two choices for the headgear, a tall dress kepi and a forage cap, being the first, exclusive for the AMFS 2019 edition. Let’s first check the colours that will be used for this. From left to right and up to down: MC Black 70.950, MC Deep Green 70.970, MC Dark Sea Blue 70.898, MC Brown Sand 70.876, MC Glossy Black 70.861, MC English Uniform 70.921, Metal Color Gold 77.725 and MC Light Flesh 70.927.
This uniform is a bit tricky to paint, as the references on surviving examples are scarce and you always have to judge if those photographic references from museums are affected by the light conditions and also imagine how that particular piece would have looked like in its day when it was being used and not 150-160 years old. The good thing is that the system used for manufacturing these garments..
I worked on the transitions and added the final highlights, adding MC Brown Sand 70.876 to the previous Green mix. In the pictures, the tone looks lighter than it is in reality, as the light you perceive on these type of darker tones depends on the environment. It will adjust later when you have the much lighter face along to the hat.
Note that the highlights are a bit more accentuated on the forage cap, to make it look more worn than the tall hat that remains darker.
There might be some adjustments to make on the cloth, but I decided to move to the visor. First, I painted the visor of the forage cap with MC Glossy Black 70.861 and added highlights with small amounts of Brown Sand. Using a dark gloss tone for the basecoat and highlighting it with a matt colour is a very simple trick to get a leather finish in surfaces that cannot have a strong texture work.
I did exactly the same on the tall hat but avoided to exaggerate too much the highlights so it looked more new.
Next, the brass bits. The basecoat is a mix of Glossy Black and MC English Uniform 70.921, highlighted first with pure English Uniform and finally with Metal Color Gold 77.725 in small spots to add the final shine. On the forage cap, we have two buttons and a buckle. In the tall hat, we have the buttons and the Clinch Rifles (CR) emblem in the front.
The final touch is painting the pompom. I basecoated it with the green mix use don the cloth and highlighted it adding tiny amounts of MC Light Flesh 70.927 to make it look lighter and more vivid than the rest of the hat.
And this is the final result together with the head. As I said, now it looks darker, simply by comparison with the flesh tones. The head with the tall hat.
And with the forage cap. The Green jacket will have a similar tone to this, but with some variation, maybe in the mix, maybe through wear effects, but we’ll see that i the next chapter
Today we bring a significative advance to the figure, the frock coat. Let’s check the colours first, from left to right and up to down: MC Black 70.950, MC Deep Green 70.970, MC Dark Sea Blue 70.898, and MC Brown Sand
For the jacket, I’m using the same mix I did in the hat and cap, but with a bit more of Dark Sea Blue in the main mix to get a slight tonal difference. Again, I will use Black for the shadows and Brown Sand for the highlights. First of all, I masked the head and airbrushed a preliminary highlight with the above-mentioned mix. This way I had already a soft sketch that would serve as a starting point.
I started the brushwork concentrating my efforts on one sleeve. This is a good idea because it allows you to check if the mix is what you need and how it looks once applied. You can use your method of choice for the blending. In this one, in particular, I applied careful layers of highlights and shadows and later on I glazed the transitions with an intermediate tone. Essentially, I did it “old-school”, as the mix was quite comfortable to work with.
As the result was satisfactory, I painted the whole frock coat in the same way. It seems like a simple step, but it is the most time-consuming one in the whole figure. Now, besides the trousers and the rifle, it is only missing mere details
Let’s start with the details of the frock coat. First of all, the cloth insignia and lacing. For that, I used the following tones: MC Burnt Umber 70.941, MC Gold Brown 70.877 and Metal Color Gold 77.725
I painted the basecoat of the insignia with a mix of Burnt Umber and Gold Brown and started highlighting it with pure Gold Brown
The insignia color should be a gold braid, so I used a bit of Metal Color Gold just in the final highlights edges, in order to avoid that it looks like a solid brass element. With the same mix, I painted the lacing on the cuffs and collar, plus a lacing I had forgotten in the tall hat.
Next was the red sash. I used MC Black Red 70.859, MC Flat Red 70.957 and MC Brown Sand 70,876.
The process is very simple, a basecoat of Black Red and highlights, first adding Flat Red and finally some tiny amount of Brown Sand.
Next, the leather belt and accessories. I used MC Black 70.950, Game Color Charred Brown 72.045 and MC Sunny Skintone 70.845.
Over a basecoat of Black, I added small amounts of Charred Brown creating some texture on the go while I applied it. Game Color paints are slightly more gloss and intense tan Model Color, so I use a few of them for special effects, like leather, or simply because I like the tone! For the final highlights, I added some Sunny Skintone, trying not to overdo as I wanted it to look dark.
The only thing left to finish all the upper part of the figure were the brass details, like buckles, buttons, etc. I used the following colors: MC Flat Red 70.957, MC English Uniform 70.921, Metal Color Gold 77.725 and MC Deep Green 70.970.
First I painted a basecoat with a mix of Flat Red and English Uniform in all metal elements
Then I highlighted it adding some Metal Color Gold
and finally toned it down with a wash of Deep Green.
Finally, I did all buttons with the same mix but skipping the final green wash so they would detach better from the uniform. That’s all for the moment, more advances very soon!
Well, we are in the final stretch of this project!
There are just a few elements left to finish so let’s go for them. The next part is the trousers. I used the following colors: MC Black 70.950, MC Brown Sand 70,876, MC English Uniform 70.921 and MC Burnt Umber 70.941
First of all, I painted the trousers with a mix of Black and a bit of Brown Sand. Then, I did the usual basic sketch, applying additional shadows and highlights with Black and Brown Sand respectively, so I had a rough outline of the finished appearance. The last part was to blend everything together, making the transitions smooth and outlining the seam detail. The trousers also can be painted in the same green of the uniform, BTW
The trousers have golden lace stripes. As I wanted them to look different from the upper lacing and they were in an area that is naturally darker, I made a slightly different tone and skipped the final metallic reflections. I painted them with some English Uniform, mixed with the basecoat of the trousers, and highlighted it with pure English Uniform.
The final touch was to airbrush some thinned Burnt umber in the lower portion of the trousers, as a previous work of weathering that would help everything coming together nicely. I would add later some highlights and touches with whatever additional earthy tones I would use on the terrain. But that would be done once everything is glued in place.
The figure carries a Mississippi rifle. It has a rich wood finish and brass in several in many attachments. The handle of the sabre-bayonet is also made of brass. Let’s do it!
I used a few colors for it. Let’s check first the ones for the wood: MC Mahogany Brown 70.846, MC Orange Brown 70.981, GC Sepia Ink 72.091 and GC Black Ink 72.094.
As I just had used the airbrush in the trousers, I made the first steps on the wood using it. Over the black primer, I basecoated the whole rifle with Mahogany Brown, insisting until the color got vibrant. Then, I airbrushed some highlights with Orange Brown to create some simple general contrast. Now came the fun part. With the previous tone and a mix of Sepia and Black Game Color inks for the shadows, I carefully enhanced all the small volumes. Using these Game Color inks in rifle wooden stocks is a very easy way to get that satin patina we associate with realistic rich grain wood. It is always interesting to add some bits of texture here and there, along some imperfections to add character to the surface.
Now it was the turn of the metals. I used MC Burnt Umber 70.941, MC Gold Brown 70.877, Metal Color Gold 77.725, Metal Color Burnt Iron 77.721 and Metal Color Silver 77.724.
First, I applied several layers of the Game Color mix to all the metallic parts of the rifle. That would be the foundation for the upcoming metal tones, I did the brass with a basecoat mix of Burnt Umber and Gold Brown, highlighted it adding Metal Color Gold. The steel parts were made with a basecoat of Metal Color Burnt Iron and some few highlights with and Metal Color Silver in the most prominent edges and the bayonet edges. Once everything was done, I applied again an overall wash over the whole rifle with the ink mix to unify everything.
The last remaining bits of the figure were the hands, painted with the previous mix of flesh tones
And the cartridge pouch, painted with some Burnt Umber and Brown Sand over a Black basecoat
BONUS PART: THE TERRAIN
Let’s close this diary with a bonus that not always get covered, the terrain! This is how I did it...
The main bulk of the terrain itself was made with a terrain paste by Vallejo called Brown Earth 26.219, from the Diorama Effects line mixed with some irregular sand and peebles. This product has a nice grainy texture that works very well for mud. Mixing some sand on it makes the finish more irregular and random but, at the same time, allowing you to build up some volume, the best of both options! The vegetation was made with some static grass, dried seaweed bushes and some random twigs and roots
This is what I used for painting the base. From left to right and up to down: MC Burnt Umber 70.941, MC English Uniform 70.921, MC Orange Brown 70.981, MC Deep Green 70.970, MC Brown Sand 70,876, VP Rust 73.117, VP Dark Red Ochre 73.107, and VP Burnt Umber 73.110
After masking the wood plinth, I airbrushed some Burnt Umber over the whole thing. Then I airbrushed some English Uniform and Orange Brown in random spots to make the color a bit uneven and natural. The final step with the airbrush was to carefully spray the bushes and grass spots with some Deep Green to get a foundation for the vegetation.
Using the brush, I picked up some elements like bigger pebbles and branches with some of the tones of the palette, like Burnt Umber or Brown Sand.
The final bit was applying some thin washes of water and pigments in uneven random spots with VP Rust and VP Dark Red Ochre. You have to be careful with these, as the intensity of the application only is evident after it dries. I used the other pigment, VP Burnt Umber to tone done and blend any spot that ended up too striking for my taste
Only remained to glue everything in place et voilà!
I hope you have enjoyed this journey and found it interesting, the figure has been really fun and easygoing to paint.
I want to remind that the tall kepi is an AMFS 2019 show exclusive part that won’t be included in the future commercial release of the kit. If you want your figure with both options, you better send a message to David Oswalt and reserve your copy at email@example.com
See you next week in Atlanta!