Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Speed Painting: Part Two, the finished product

Another image heavy post. Over the weekend, I was able to finish up my speed painting project. Here's a shot of the guy totally basecoated. I'm not sure if I mentioned Reaper Golden Blond in my color run down but I decided to base the little parchment bits using that paint.

Here's the back. All the brown is the Reaper Earth brown, the skull motif has been shaded with Agrax Earthshade (in case I hadn't mentioned that before). All the metal bits have been undercoated either black (for the silver bits) or brown (for the gold bits).

Unfortunately, I got carried away and painted a whole bunch between the basic basecoat and when I remembered to take a picture next. In this next picture, I've finished the cloak and the armor and put down a basecoat on the metals. I used GW's gold base (balthazar?) and silver base (ironbelcher?).

I did the cloak first since it was going to be the easiest. Working with a wet palette, I mixed Snow Shadow with VGC White. I thinned the white 1:1 with water (kind of annoying to corral it all on the palette paper, but ultimately worth it imo) and mixed as I went using the red number 1 brush. I was pretty pleased with the results tho' the highlights get washed out by my crappy camera setup.

Similarly, I took the VGC Red Gore and highlighted up with the Reaper Phoenix Red. The Phoenix Red is pretty orange and I was hoping it would match the Blood Angel Red well enough. I had to add a little yellow into the mix to get the edge highlights to stand out.  But, again, I was pleased with the results.

Once finished, I poured a small puddle of the Reaper Brown into the wet palette and did the leather parts (holsters, axe grip, ammo bag) and the shoulder skull motif. The leather was done using Reaper Burnt Orange as the highlight, while the bones were done by mixing pure white into the brown. The skin was just Reaper Bronzed Skin and Bronzed Skin Highlight. The rope on the back of the cloak was drybrushed from the Reaper Brown to Golden Blond. Looks like I put some GW Fleshshade on the devotional parchments he has hanging on the armor.

At this point, I tried doing a little freehand of the blood angel tear on the left shoulder pad. It turned out like crap so I painted over it with some thinned down Red Gore and Phoenix Red. It doesn't look as good as the original but luckily the lighting hide the flaws from the camera.

I went ahead and did the metal. I drybrushed two shades of silver on all the steel bits, the highest being Runefang Silver. I'm not a big fan of the "dry" paints that GW makes so I didn't add any of their highest highlight. I did not drybrush the gold because it would have messed up everything around it. The highlight on there is Auric Gold. I'm a big fan of the GW metals and inks but dislike everything else about their paint line. I used the GW inks, orange and blue, to put some heat damage on to the barrel of the melta gun attachment.

So here's the finished product. From head to foot, this took me about four hours and I'm happy with how he came out. A little slower than perhaps I could have done, but I'm kinda rusty in terms of painting fast. I cut a lot of corners and it shows. The blending isn't very smooth and I forgot a few things. The belt that's holding on the cool winged buckle was supposed to be black. Instead it's whatever colors bled on to the area while painting. The smooth wires, like the one between the skulls on the axe, were supposed to be a bright green but I forgot to paint them. The model also needs a backpack, I never found one, and needs to be sealed, especially if it's going on to the gaming table. Unfortunately for me/the figure, it's in the gentle hands of the USPS now and I'll never see it again, so these errors will live on forever. :)

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Speed Painting Part One

A bit of a warning: This tutorial/expose is a bit picture heavy and is kind of rambling in a self-indulgent fashion (however, isn't all blogging?). If you make it through, hopefully you'll find the information worthwhile. The photos were taken using a Sony Nex-F3 with 10mm macro extension. Since I was doing this quickly, I didn't spend a ton of time getting the lighting correct. Hopefully the pictures are clear enough.

The Beginning

I've been in the process of selling a bunch of 40k miniatures on eBay. I put some marines up for auction but no one seemed to want them so I arranged to send them to a friend. I thought I'd go ahead and paint one of the figures before shipping them off, just for fun, and decided to do it as fast as I could. I don't have a ton of time to paint (toddlers will do that to you) and so have been working on painting techniques that will give me the look I want in the time that I have, so this was a perfect test.

The figure I decided to paint is some Space Marine captain. He's got an axe and a storm bolter and I thought he was some limited Games Day promotion for the Black Templars but can't confirm that online. First thing I did was to take pictures of all the brushes I'm going to use and lined up all the paints I was going to use. Of course there were some changes. I substituted an Earth Brown for the Auburn Shadow and added a Burnt Orange to highlight that (for leather). I also decided purchase the Bronze and Gold base paints from the GW line and used them here.


I'm using cheaper brushes right now since most of what I'm doing is basecoating (fancy detail works takes time). I've got a couple of Windsor and Newton University Series (maybe 3 USD each) that will do most of the work. The green brush is a Crystal Silver series that I'll do blending with. Any sort of work requiring messy blending on the figure will be done with the red citadel starter brush since that's seen better days. The yellow brush is for mixing paint. I have a Citadel small drybrush since those are the only brushes they can get right these days, and finally a Windsor and Newton Series 7 000 for the eyes and darklining.

Here are the paints. As I said, I replaced the Auburn Shadow with a less reddish brown.

My trusty egg-shell palette.

Getting to Work

Next thing I did was to prime the figure black. I usually use a brush on primer because the Colorado weather isn't very conducive to spray primers but the morning was just about perfect conditions and I ended up spray priming four figures, including the Space Marine.

Need to find him a backpack.

Once the primer was dry (I left it overnight), I started on the armor. I used the Vallejo Game Color Red Gore as the basecoat. I made a mistake and didn't shake it nearly enough. That meant I had to thin the paint to get it to give me a smooth coat but then thinned it too much. I had to add paint to the mix and ended up putting two or three coats on the armor. So, it took me a lot longer than anticipated, about 30 minutes just to do the one section. Here's how it looked after I finished with the basecoat and used some of the GW Crimson Shade on it.

The next stage also took me about 30 minutes but I felt much better about it. I decided to do a light blue/white cloak and I knew I was going to have to put at least two shades of basecoat down over the black. I also put down the Bronzed Skintone on the head and the Earth Brown on the leather bits and everything I'm going to paint gold. I didn't touch the weapons so I'll need to revisit those with more Earth Brown. I haven't quite decided what to do with them which explains the delay.

Here are some shots of the areas before shading. The skull motif on the shoulder will be bone rather than metallic. The metal right there next to the head looks kinda silly, imo. Pretty pleased with the contrast between the red and the blue and also the smoothness of the color (Reaper Snow Shadow).

I thinned down the GW blue wash 1:1 with water and applied it all over the cloak. There's a little bit of cloak visible between the legs and I used the blue wash straight out of the bottle since I wanted a deeper shade there. I also applied GW Earthshade to the leather bits and the skull motif. His head was shaded with GW Fleshshade. I went ahead and added a bit extra to accentuate the wrinkles in the forehead.

So here's where the figure is at after about an hour, including picture taking. I've used the size 3 and the size 0 brush (for the head and the leather) so far, but nothing else.

Monday, August 12, 2013

The Dwarven Engineer

A friend and I are trying to create a dwarven engineer class for my DnD adaptation of Cadwallon. The idea is that the Engineer is a versatile character that is a hybrid mostly between leader and striker. The class starts with a moderate damage attack and a weak heal that requires the engineer to touch whoever he's healing. 

One of the problems that we ran into is that 4e doesn't really provide a mechanic for adding on functionality after first level. Every class starts with the basic mechanics and then builds on those. My inclination was to add functionality at later levels but that cuts against everything else so we had to shoehorn everything into first level as best we could.

My fear is that the Engineer is too effective at being a striker, despite the fact that his use of encounter powers weakens his overall damage capability. My thought is that there should be a price to pay for his versatility and the slow erosion of damage production doesn't really provide enough of a trade off for bolting on million abilities. The basic attack, however, isn't as good as other strikers, I'm must not sure it's weak enough.

Anyway, here's what we have so far. Constructive criticism is very welcome and appreciated:

The Dwarven Engineer:

Class Traits
Role: Striker
Power Source: Steam. You build machines and power them with Steam.
Key Abilities: Int, Dex, Con

Armor Proficiencies: Cloth, Leather, Hide
Weapon Proficiencies: Simple Melee, Simple Ranged, Gunpowder weapons
Bonus to Defense:  +2 Ref

Hit Points at 1st Level: 14 + Con Score
Hit Points per Level Gained: 5
Healing Surges per Day: 7 + Constitution modifier
Trained Skills: Engineering
Class Skills: Choose Three of the following -
Dungeoneering (Wis), Endurance (Con), Heal (Wis), Insight (Wis), Perception (Wis), and Thievery (Dex)

Dwarven Engineering is the study of steam and its uses. Devotees of this path work to harness the power of steam and metal. Novices content themselves with clunky pieces of machinery built through trial and error. Masters of this art can make huge machines powered by the fires of rare ores or tiny devices that are almost magical.

Engineers begin the game with a steam generator and a steam powered hyper-rifle. They also begin the game with a couple of other gadgets. These represent what they’ve been working on since they were a little dwarf. The finally design of this equipment is always different but they fall into these broad categories.

Shoulder mounted steam engine:
The shoulder mounted steam engine is a backpack sized steam generator. The secrets of the inner workings are usually closely guarded by the engineer. The steam from the engine can be used to power the engineers equipment. Generally, the steam drawn from the boiler chamber isn’t enough to trouble the engine. Some pieces of equipment, however, take a great deal of power which can cause strain on the mechanisms.

The amount of strain a particular engine can produce is represented by steam points. These steam points can be spent during an encounter to power pieces of equipment that might only be used in an emergency or just require a great deal of power to use. Using the steam points depletes the boilers steam reservoir, strains the mechanisms to the breaking point, or a combination of the two. Once steam points are exhausted, a short rest is required to either allow the steam to build back up or to make the minor repairs necessary to get the engine back in working order. As the Engineer increases his knowledge, the sophistication and sturdiness of his machines increase.


Class Features:
Hyper-Rifle Shot:
At-will ◆ Steam, Weapon
Standard Action Range 10
Target: One Creature
Attack: Int vs. AC
Hit: 1d10 + Int Damage plus additional damage equal to the number of steam points still in the boiler.
Special: This can be used as a basic ranged attack.

Elighir’s Monumental Energy Injector:
Encounter ◆ Steam, Healing
Special: This may be used twice per encounter.
Requirement: You must spend a steam point.
Minor Action Melee 1
Target: One ally
Effect: The ally may spend a healing surge and gain surge value + Con mod hit points.
Also, gain +1 steam bonus to speed until the end of the engineer’s next turn.

Level 1 At-will Attacks: (Choose 2)
Khor Runner’s Bolo-Gun:
It’s often prudent to slow an enemy down to get a little distance between you and the enemy so the engineers have mimicked the bolos used by the dwarven Khor runners.
At-will ◆ Steam, Weapon
Standard Action Range 5
Target: One Creature
Attack: Int vs. Ref
Hit: 1d6 + Int damage and target is knocked prone.
Steam Point: The target takes an additional 1d6 damage and is immobilized (save ends).

Steam powered mechanical screwdriver
At-will ◆ Steam, Weapon
Standard Action Melee 1
Target: One Enemy
Attack: Int vs AC
Hit: 1d8 + Int damage.
Special: If the target has the mechanical or construct keywords it takes additional damage equal to your dex modifier.
Steam Point: The target takes an additional 1d8 damage and is weakened (save ends).

Arc-lightning Generator
This rifle attachment generates an electrical charge that can be discharged against your foes.
At-will ◆ Steam, Lightning, Weapon
Standard Action Range 3
Target: One creature
Attack: Int vs. Reflex
Hit: 1d6 + int modifier lightning damage.
Effect: A creature within 2 squares of the target takes lightning damage equal to your Con modifier.
Steam point: The target takes an additional 2d6 damage and you may repeat the effect once, but the second creature has to be within 2 squares of the first.

Rapid Fire
At-will ◆ Steam, Weapon
Standard Action Range 10
Target: One Creature
Primary Attack: Int vs. AC
Primary Hit: 1d10 damage.
Effect: Make a secondary attack against an enemy within 3 squares of the target.
Secondary Attack: Int vs. AC
Secondary Hit: 1d10 damage.
Steam Point: You may repeat the Secondary Attack two more times.

Level 1 Daily Powers: (choose 1)
Vent Power Source
In an emergency, the steam engine can be vented, either to prevent a blowout or to damage and confuse enemies.
Requirement: You must spend a steam point.
Daily ◆ Steam, Weapon
Standard Action Close burst 2
Target: All creatures in burst
Attack: Int vs Fort
Hit: 1d10 + Engineering skill damage and the target is pushed 1 square and knocked prone.
Effect: Create a zone of steam in the burst that grants concealment until the end of your next turn.

High Pressure Shot:
You allow pressure to build up behind the projectile in the gun’s barrel, straining hoses and barrel alike.
Daily ◆ Steam, Fire, Weapon
Standard Action Ranged 10
Target: One Creature
Attack: Int vs AC
Hit: 2D6 + Dex fire damage and everyone adjacent to you takes Con mod steam damage as your engine releases pressure.
Steam Point: The target takes an additional 1d6 fire damage and takes 5 ongoing fire damage (save ends).

Level 2 Utility powers:
Elghir’s Clumsy Defibrillator:
Range: Melee
Target: One unconscious ally
Using the defibrillator on the target allows them to immediately spend a healing surge. They also stand up immediately and have +2 Ref until the end of the Engineer’s next turn. Target may not perform any abilities that require speech (including talking to party members, giving instructions, or singing) during this period because they are too busy screaming in pain.

Level 3 Encounter:
Fragmentation shot:
Allowing a build up of steam behind a bullet will sometimes shatter the projectile as it leaves the barrel of the hyper rifle.
Close blast three
Dex vs. AC against all targets in blast
1d8 + dex damage

All affected are at -2 to attack until the end of the Engineer’s next turn because of the painful shards lodged in their skin

Monday, July 29, 2013

Board Games, RPGs and Night's Black Agents

Our Sunday gaming group has been on a moratorium. We lost a couple of players and found out the latest Ashes of Athas installment would be the last. Our Dark Sun game lost momentum and sputtered out, despite heroic efforts by Rob, the DM at the time. We picked up some new blood and were muddling around trying to figure out what to do. The moment seemed right to start back up with the Sunday game but I had only just started working on an adaptation of the Cadwallon world to DnD (long story short, it's the system people are used to). Not willing to move ahead with an unfinished product, I picked up my copy of "Night's Black Agents," so as to give myself some time to finish the first phase of world development.

For those unfamiliar with the Night's Black Agents, it covers a world of intrigue where the characters play spies/secret agents in a modern world where Vampires exist and pull strings behind the scenes. It's based on the GUMSHOE system by Robin Laws. It's a simple enough system that allows for cinematic action without a lot of mechanics to bog things down. My brother sent me a copy (seemingly signed so I assume Kickstarter?) but I hadn't given it much thought. I read through the rules in a couple of days and decided to run with it.

The first part of prep was to re-read the important rules, chases and combats are the most complicated but there's really no tactical element (somewhat less important where you are on a battle mat when you're dealing with bullets as opposed to swords). Second was to steal a page from board gaming and make a whole bunch of little circular tokens that represented each skill. The idea behind doing this was that I was making all the characters for my players. I told them very little about the game in order to preserve a layer of mystery. I didn't tell them about vampires or any of the other supernatural things that could (and would) happen to them in the game. Instead of a character sheet, I handed them a dossier with a character history, a couple of cards that represented unspent characters points and their MOS (military operation specialty, basically an auto-success once per session), and a couple of plastic baggies full of counters that looked like this:

In the GUMSHOE system, each skill point adds to a pool for that skill. Each point in the pool can be used to get some answers from the DM (in the case of investigative skills), to boost chances of success, or to do something totally awesome (in the case of general skills). My hope was that this would help with immersion and would ease game play, giving some new players (and a new DM) a little bit of help with the gravity of spending points from the pool. The other hope was that I could avoid the players needing a character sheet (there aren't really any stats) and I could handle the bookkeeping, leaving them to think of awesome cinematic things to do while they roleplayed. 

Unfortunately, best laid plans and all that. I didn't make enough counters (nor did I get the fake money to put into the dossier folders and didn't manage to stencil the full names on to the folders...) and wasn't able to sort them into baggies before the session. When I set out on this project, I didn't realize that there are 62 possible skills (health, mental stability, and languages being skills) that I needed to make counters for. I also didn't appreciate the number of each counter that I would need to make so I ended up shorting a lot of the investigative skills since there was a great deal more overlap than I had expected (next time, make characters first!). So, in the end, I gave the players their sheets. 

Fortunately, no one paid much attention to the Vampirology skill and the undead guy in the adventure came as a total surprise. The session ended on a high note with the Analyst character taking some vodka he had bought (and explicitly brought with him in order to try to bribe some guards), making it into a Molotov Cocktail and rolling a six to hit the baddie square in the face.

The players enjoyed having the counters, even if there weren't quite enough. We're going to try to finish up the adventure next session so we'll see how things go on the second attempt. I have high hopes that we'll get some great descriptive roleplaying. The party was getting into the spy setting by the end of the session and things were starting to get interesting.

Last thing about the counters: I got the process for making them off a Board Game Geek forum post by Nick Hayes. I made the counter icons in Paint.Net. I bought a 1 inch Arch Punch, a cheap rubber mallet, a package of chip board and a cheap cutting board to make the counters (I had some spray glue already). I printed the sheets out at FedEx/Kinkos cuz I don't have the wherewithal to buy ink for my printer. All in all, it cost me about $40 (about half of which was the Arch Punch). I'm not too concerned by the cost since all but $7 was equipment necessary for reproducing the process. I was able to put 56 1 inch counters on a sheet of 8.5x11 paper and made 11 sheets so it comes out to about 6.5 cents per counter, I think. Next batch will be just the time and the printing costs.

I didn't bother to make the counters double sided (I'm lazy). The chipboard offers some nice heft to the counter but if you wanted, you could probably make them out of heavyweight card paper. Here's a picture of the back and sides:

If you like this idea and don't want to take the time to make your own counter icons, profit from my hard work. The counters are here (I'm hosting them on Dropbox because Google Docs changed the formatting). I'm sort of embarrassed by the pictures on a few of them so if you have a better suggestion for an icon, please let me know. If you're offended by any of them, also let me know. As far as I know, I used free images but if not, let me know and I'll change whichever icon you wish. I'm not big on infringing on copyrights.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Painting the Pyre Troll

Underpainting With A Brush
A while ago, a tutorial was posted on the G+ Miniature Painting community board that involved a cloak being painted with a grey scale which was then painted over with what they called "Candy Paint." This technique is called underpainting and was used by some of the Dutch Masters and Titian (thanks Wikipedia). I've used this technique on miniatures before, having been introduced to it by Victoria Lamb back in the days of Yahoo Groups (at least I think she's the one who brought it up as a possible painting method. I no longer have those emails). 
Strangely enough, I had recently started painting a Trollbloods Pyre Troll using this exact technique and was taking pictures for this tutorial. I decided to try underpainting in the first place because, contrary to the aforementioned tutorial, I thought it would provide me with a sort of rougher looking painting scheme that I thought would look good as fur on Confrontation's Wolfen. I painted a number of Wolfen using underpainting to what I thought was good effect.  Here are two examples. On both, the fur/skin and the clothes were painted using underpainting while the rest of the figure (armor, hair, weapons) was done using "traditional" layering. I didn't use very dark shades on either model which turned out well, I think. I was able to dapple the skin of Managarm (figure on the right) to provide a little bit of texture to her skin.

I decided that I was going to underpaint the Pyre Troll while I was cleaning it. There was a fair amount of flash for a new plastic figure and I wasn't having much luck getting the scoring from the files out of the surface of the figure. The theory was the added texture would blend in better with the rougher appearance from the paint job. At least that's the theory.

A quick disclaimer: This is not a painting technique for people looking to produce "table-top" quality figures. Which is to say, it takes a bit of time to paint this way so if you like the look and decide to try to reproduce it, be prepared to spend some time with a brush in your hand. The result, hopefully, will be something you will be proud of. The point is that this takes time. I think start to finish this project took me 15-20 hours, not counting the writing of this tutorial. This is not to discourage anyone, just a word of warning.

Commonly used abbreviations:
RMSP - Reaper Master Series Paints
VGC - Valleo Game Color
VMC - Valleo Model Color
GW - Games Workshop

The first part was assembling and priming the figure. Here he is, all primed up. Because the weather in Colorado is unpredictable (once ruined a figure while sealing it due to blowing cottonwood pollen) I use a clear brush-on primer (Folk Art Glass & Tile Medium thinned 1:1 with water with a little black or dark brown ink to pick out details).

The next step was to paint the whole model black:

The next step is where the magic starts to happen. So far all I've done is prep work. Obviously, I could have primed the thing black and then touched up with a brush and it would have been quicker (it took about 5 minutes to brush all the primer on and then about an hour to let it dry, just to be safe), but you know, weather.

With the model painted black and all the paint dry, thin some white paint about 3:1 water to paint and brush it over the whole figure (my measurements are approximate because the water dropper is a little larger than the paint dropper). I'm using VMC White and "soft" water (water with a couple of drops of Jet Dry in it). While doing this step, avoid the lowest of the low spots, leaving them black. Everything else should be kind of an ugly, dirty grey color. You'll note that I have not painted white on the inside of the mouth, the leather "loin cloth," or the chains. That's on purpose as those will get painted later. The fire on the troll's hands is painted backward. The deepest parts get the most white paint and for the most part, I left the ridges alone:

The next step is similar to the last. This time, I thin white paint about 2:1 water to paint. Paint the high spots, trying to create a grey scale from the black low parts up to the high parts. Unfortunately, I don't seem to have any pictures of this step. I'm chalking this one up to inexperience at writing tutorials.

I do have pictures of the final step which is where I thin the white about 1:1 and go over the bits that need to be highlighted the most. I usually end up doing this step twice just to make sure the highlights are very white. Remember the grey scale on the fire is done in reverse, deepest parts get the brightest whites. Here's the finished grey scale:

 As you can see the highest points of the figure are now bright white. It's a little more difficult to see but there is some decent contrast between the highest points and the lowest points (beyond just the black and white).

Now, I went to work on some color. I started with a 1:1 mix of VGC Ultramarine and VGC Night Blue and thinned that 3:1 water to paint. I went ahead and just painted all the skin with this mixture. I didn't try to keep color from going into the deepest recesses of the figure. It is, however, very important that you do not allow the paint to pool in the cracks. This will cause all sorts of problems. This requires some attention to detail and wiping off your brush after you dip it into the paint but before you put it on the figure. There are lots of things to pay attention to while doing this and here's another: use an older brush while doing all of the work with thinned colors. Any fraying at the end of the brush isn't really a concern and the paint that wicks up to the ferrule won't ruin the brush if you spend too long with paint on the bristles.

Here's the results of the first coat of blue:

Note how the white is still very visible here.

The second layer of paint was just VGC Night Blue thinned 2:1 water to paint. I brushed this into the recesses of the figure avoiding any of the high surfaces in order to get a better transition from the medium blue and the black that was left from the grey scale:

The transition is much smoother now. Look at all the brush strokes on the paper towel. That's to soak the excess paint off the brush.

The next step was a mixture of VGC Ultramarine and RMSP Snow Shadow mixed about 2:1 water to paint. This coat was the reverse of the previous, concentrating on the highlights and avoiding the deep recesses. I followed that up with a coat of pure Snow Shadow thinned 2:1 water to paint. As alluded to above, this is actually a very thin coat of paint. The Reaper paints thin more quickly than the Vallejos. I can't really guess as to how much of a difference there is but it's noticeable. Were I to do this coat with a light blue from Vallejo I'd probably thin it at least 3:1. I also painted the rocks on his back VMC English Uniform to provide some contrast.

The shading looks a lot smoother now, though the first picture is kind of blurry.

The last coat is pure VMC white, thinned 3:1. My apologies for the camera, I'm taking pictures with my phone and the differences are hard to see. Only the highest of highlights are picked out here. I took a little white paint, thinned 1:1 with water, and touched up the spines on his head fin then thinned the paint to the 3:1 ratio and did a little highlighting of the muscles.

Hopefully it's possible to see the bright white on the head fin from this shot.

At this point, I decided his skin was finished and moved on to the flames.

The flames were quite a bit different as I started with the lightest color in the deepest recesses and moved darker from there. I began with a VMC Deep Yellow thinned 3:1 and slathered it all over the flames.
Then I used some GW Lamenters Yellow glaze to help deepen the color. I used this stuff straight out of the bottle. The staining on the hands is intentional as I wanted to try to introduce the idea that the flames were being generated by the troll and not just existing on the skin.

That image is on the left. The next coat was GW Hobgoblin Orange thinned 2:1. It's a very old color but most bright oranges should work (to be honest, I wouldn't expect anyone to try to recreate this using the eclectic assortment of paints that I used). I used this to hit some of the highlights.

The next coat was VMC Transparent Red thinned 3:1. The transparent paints are very pigment rich. Though I love the transparent paints I think this coat was a bit of a mistake. I ended up not being fond of the way it sort of stained the area and it was a little too bright. Next time I'll use a medium sort of red paint. Concentrating on the highlights, make sure the paint doesn't slide down into the cracks.

The next to last coat was VMC Black Red thinned 2:1. The black from the grey scale still shines through but that's good in this case.

The last thing I did to the flames was to take a little bit of VMC white thinned 2:1 and touched up the "roots" of the paint. Here's a picture of the almost finished model from the top down.

 Here's a front view. The loin cloth and mouth are unfinished and the figure needs to be darklined.

Hope this was illuminating. I need to work on a few things but overall I'm pretty happy with the way this figure is turning out. There are some mold lines which are pretty obvious because of the thinness of the paint. A couple of the highlights on the muscles were a little sloppy. I don't think I'm going to paint all of my trolls this way. This figure had a lot of skin and so there's not a lot of variation in texture so this technique worked well. Next time I do something like this, I'll actually edit the pictures so they're not spread out.