Saturday, 9 March 2013

Gabriel Blackburn, Serpentia Commando - work in progress

I've been painting stuff from other companies recently, largely to give myself a break from the furious tide of GW models I'm frequently struggling to stay afloat on. There are some secret projects but one I can show is Gabriel Blackburn from Andrea Miniatures' awesome Dark Nova range. This model is 100% badass (with an extra 10% of awesomeass thrown in for good-measure) and sculpted by one of my all-time hobby-heroes Joaquin Palacios.

Despite working on lots of larger models (tanks, ships, dragons and mutated beasts) I don't do much large scale painting, so this is a new adventure for me. 54mm scale - especially a big, heroic 54mm model like this one - opens up a whole new world of opportunity to the dedicated painter. I'm not exactly the most dedicated painter but my work so far on Gabriel gives me hope I can get by without changing my painting approach much.

Allow me to elaborate...

I'm aware I have a rather loose painting style and really wasn't sure if it would translate well to bigger scales. My highlighting style could certainly be called expressive or bold and if you were to say messy I'm not sure I'd be able to argue with you. But, I've grown to be ok with that. I don't obsess over perfect blends and smoothness any more (it stresses me out and is a sure-fire way to ensure I never finish any models) because my main goal now is to create a strong feel, convey a mood, and make a model look pleasing as a whole.

I wasn't so sure this approach would translate to the larger and potentially less forgiving areas of bigger scale models, I feared I'd have to go back to the old, blend obsessed me and that would have sucked! But, based on what I've done with Gabriel that doesn't seem to be the case.

Sure, he's not as smooth and tight as the work of a master, but I like how he's looking already and he's far from finished. I've felt confident adding highlights and shading across surfaces much larger than found on a standard gaming miniature. More than anything else, I've enjoyed working on him immensely. That's the most important thing eh?

Obviously there's still lots of refinement and final details to do and it's worth noting that the face is very much a work in progress. Areas like the skinhead and the pouches on his front will be seriously tidied up with glazes and fine detail brushwork. The metal needs a ton of shading. I'm going to add some orange lights to nicely contrast with the blue. The base is barely started... Yeah, there's lots to do.

But I reckon I'll have him completed pretty soon, so keep em peeled for an update.

Also, I'm working on this, but you can't see it properly just yet. :p

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