Friday, August 10, 2018

Apfap, The Graceful Gobliness

Hey Everyone!  Today I wanted to go through my journey of painting a miniature bust for the first time as it was something very different for me and my hobby skills and I found that I enjoyed it quite a bit more than I anticipated.  Before I begin I want to give a shoutout to the Sculptor's page, Iter Miniatures, as when I saw this Miniature Bust I simply fell in love with it and knew I had to try to paint it.  They are newer and only have a few sculpts, but their quality is great and I will certainly be picking up more from them in the future.

I first saw the sculpt entitled "Zayna, The Golden Gobliness" online while the official commissioned piece was being worked on and while I have never been a fan of goblins the piece really stuck in my mind and I knew I needed to paint it.  That didn't stop me from waffling as my hobby skills are tuned toward army painting above all else but after encouragement from my friends I bit the bullet and ordered the piece.  It arrived packaged very nicely in a sturdy box with the piece itself in a soft bag.  It came with its own Plinth and a card listing its number since the piece was a limited run.  I was thrilled with it, but let it sit for a long time as I was honestly afraid to paint it.  Thankfully I mustered up the courage as you are about to see.

The model is a hard resin so I gave it a nice bath to get rid of any release agent used during casting and after affixing her to her plinth I added on the few strands of hair and jewelry that were separate from the kit.  Thankfully I had a new airbrush compressor so I was able to quickly and easily lay down some primer and give a quick zenithal highlight.  I once again got some cold feet and filled my time working on some other army projects, but the bust sat close at hand until I felt inspired to pick it up again and get some color on the miniature.

I had a lot of internal debates on choosing a skin tone for the bust.  Green was an obvious choice and blue was originally a close second.  However, after searching online and seeing some of the great artists painting her in those colors I felt the need to go in a different direction so I wouldn't be comparing myself to the work others had already done.  I ultimately decided to go with a brownish tone similar to the skin tone of Orcs from World of Warcraft as I felt comfortable with the color and I didn't see anyone else using at the time.  I am very happy with the choice in hindsight and have no honestly thought about using it for a Destruction army in the future.  It was a joy to paint and blend the skin tone and I would like to do more of it in the future.

I wanted her robe to be something bold as I envisioned the piece being very outgoing and not afraid to be the center of attention.  I felt the blue worked well with the skin tone and being familiar with using the color I knew I could blend and shade it pretty much any way I needed to get a nice final result.  The grey fur I chose to keep neutral to help separate the skin tone from the robe color without distracting away from either.

As I mentioned above painting the skin tone was very enjoyable and it taught me quite a bit about blending and playing with light and shadow on a miniature.  I used a thinned down brown was to start and after a few layers, I used a thin line of black wash for the deepest recesses on the model.  I kept the fur simple and did a few lighter shades of grey with drybrushing.  The robe was more challenging than I originally thought as highlighting this scale is much different than smaller wargaming pieces, but after some blending and washes, I felt happy with the result.

I got really into a long session of painting and failed to take progress pictures as I did the face and hair as I went.  I painted the hair black followed by some highlights using a blue-green color before a black was over it all.  I then added more subtle blue-green and finally grey highlights to finish the hair on the piece.  I used a thinned down bit of the blue-green for her makeup as well before mixing a bit of a more typical Caucasian flesh tone with the model's brown flesh tone for a very light drybrush to pull the face together and lighten it up a bit.  The jewelry was some simple washes and drybrushing to finish it off.

The last bit to tackle was the eye and the part I was most excited for and most feared to begin. However, I was on a roll and dove right into painting them up knowing patience was my best friend for this bit.  I chose purple to really help them stand out and to work with the green in her hair and makeup.  After a bit of work and touchups, I was pleased with the result and could call the piece complete.

With the model complete I took some pictures and then discovered the hardest part I didn't even know existed.  I put the model down in a display case.  I know there is more I could go back and do, but I would risk ruining the piece by continuous subtle tweaks.  After a bit of time letting my mind think of a few potential names, I settled for Apfap after my Goblin on World of Warcraft as that was the only other goblin I ever found any attachment toward and it seemed to suit the piece.

I am very happy with how the piece turned out and I am equally excited to enter her in competition in a few weeks.  I am not worried about winning anything, but looking forward to the experience of it all.  I will be sure to let you know how that experience goes in a future article, but if you are attending NOVA Open this year you'll see this piece on display at the Capital Palette.  Hope to see you there.  Happy Hobbying.

Chuck Moore