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Descent: Journeys in the Dark (Second Edition)» Forums » General

Subject: Painting Tutorial: Flesh moulders rss

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Introduction: I found the flesh moulders to be difficult to paint, which isn't surprising since they're essentially human figures, and human figures are the hardest to paint. If you're new to painting, paint these figures last but before painting the heroes. You should have some high-quality painting brushes and other hobby painting supplies by the time you start painting these. Myself, I've even decided to strip my first paint job, since I missed so many mold lines by not first un-assembling the miniatuers. (When stripping, soak the miniatures in isopropyl alcohol 91% and/or Simple Green for a few days, then scrub off the paint with an old toothbrush. Leaving some primer on the miniature is fine. Wear rubber gloves for comfort.)

Tutorials from easiest to hardest:
Zombie painting tutorial: http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1148047/painting-tutorial-zo...
Cave Spider painting tutorial:
http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1150793/painting-tutorial-ca...
Ettin painting tutorial: http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1140289/painting-tutorial-et...
Goblin painting tutorial: http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1144852/painting-tutorial-go...

Secret Wash appearance directly on primed figures:
http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1129305/how-to-select-a-wash...

Other pictures from previous attempt at painting the flesh molders:
http://boardgamegeek.com/image/1981113/sam-and-max

Un-Assembly: Most boardgame miniatures come pre-assembled with superglue, making them difficult to remove their mold lines as well as paint. Luckily, the flesh moulders are easy to unassemble. Optionally, warm the miniature in warm water to make it softer to cut. Cut the tab in the stomach with a sharp hobby knife and separate the figure. Cut off the excess tab. The head is also glued, but does not need to be removed. Normally, you would fill in the gap left by this separation with a filler material (putty, greenstuff epoxy), but I think a gap well suits the nature of a flesh moulder!

Mold Lines: Mold lines are the "lines" of excess plastic on the miniature that should be cut off with a hobby knife, and filed off with small files. An engraving pen (under $10 at some craft stores) is a small handheld battery-operated "drill" with an industrial diamond-tipped head that will remove mold lines *much* faster. After removing mold lines, clean the figures in hot soapy water to remove the mold release agent, an oil. If you find mold lines after priming, you can still remove them. You can either spray white primer again, or use clear gesss (about $8 at craft stores) to paint over the plastic to "prime" the model for painting.

Priming and Pre-Shading: To get the paint to stick to the plastic, spray the miniature with primer. Hardware stores sell spray primer, and make sure to purchase primer that says it will bond to plastic. When spraying primer, first clear the nozzle with a quick burst not aimed towards the miniature, then spray in sweeps starting a few inches to the side of the miniature. With pre-shading, first completely prime the miniature black. Then lightly coat it in grey, then white, inspecting the miniature between sprays. You want the raised surfaces to be white, and recesses to be black. The black will give you a head start with shadows on the miniature, and the white areas will make highlights easier. Search on "zenithal priming" for additional techniques.



Cut and pre-shaded


Next: Pre-Washing
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Pre-Washing: By applying wash directly on the primer, you can add more shade effects to the model, as well as see the details better. A wash is like paint, but is thinner and settles more in the recesses of the model than the surface. Typically, you will use a wash that's a shade darker than the paint, because the recesses of a model are where the shadows are. For the flesh moulders, I'm using Secret Weapon washes Flesh Wash, Ruby (as a dark red), and Concrete (grey is used as a shading for white). I'll be working on the lower halves of the figures first, since they're easier to paint, and I can do a little experimenting on them before the rest of the model.



Top halves have been cut, and are added for comparison.


Next: Flesh!
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I've just bought one of these engraving pens from eBay, nothing pricey at this stage. Any chance of some tips on usage? First question being do you use it upright or at an angle?

I'm concerned I'll gouge a figure as I'm a little heavy handed so any tips would be appreciated.
 
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Engraving pens are really easy to use. (: You'll hold the miniature in your other hand (you don't need to mount it on a pot), so you'll naturally position the miniature and pen at angles that you're most comfortable with. Flat areas, such as the base, and convex curves, like bald heads, will be easier to work on. Fur, irregular surfaces, and faces can be difficult. Most boardgame plastic miniatures are hard enough for engraving pens, but not so brittle that they will break. Some plastic will still be stuck to the model, but you can remove it with your fingernail.
 
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Flesh: After some experimentation, I found Reaper's Tanned Shadow and/or Tanned Skin to work well with "human monsters", such as the ettins and flesh moulders. Reaper paint doesn't require as much thinning as other hobby paints, and can be used from the bottle. In any case, make sure you use a thin coat of paint (wipe the excess on the palette), and wick the brush tip to remove any excess water. With the side of the tip, brush against the raised edges to avoid accidentally apply paint to shaded areas like between the toes. Build up more layers of paint on the raised edges for a highlight effect. Layers with less paint will allow the darker pre-wash to show through, suggesting a non-highlighted area (such as shadows). The legs are a relatively larger to paint than, say, the face, so will be good practice before painting the rest of the body. If you lose some of the detail from the pre-wash, use a brush with a small tip (eg. Size 0) to reapply the wash to specific parts of the model (don't "slop and glop" the wash on the entire model).

Pre-Washing: I next washed the clothing of the legs with the darker red Secret Wash Ruby and "darker white" (that is, grey) Secret Wash concrete. In the next picture, we'll see these areas painted in red and white.



Some Flesh Wash still visible in this picture, but not easily seen on tabletop.


Next: More painting!
 
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Red: Red hobby paints tend to be transparent. This makes them difficult to paint over darker colors, such as a black primer, but, with this preshading technique, painting red on top of the washed area gives a reasonable "dirty" look suitable for this monster. Another layer of wash brings back any shadows. Alternately, for a "cleaner" red, first paint a layer of flesh or pink, then paint red on top of that.

White: White is opaque, so didn't have this problem. Painting many thin layers of white isn't difficult, and adds white to areas you want highlighted, while leaving the other areas shaded. Then carefully paint in grey wash in the folds for shading.







Next: The other halves!

 
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Flesh: The miniatures were given Secret Weapon's Flesh Wash, followed by Reaper's Tanned Flesh, then another wash. The second was was applied much more carefully, "painted" with a Size 0 brush into the recesses. Not surprisingly, this step starts taking up time, and further painting of flesh was done throughout the rest of the painting.

White: Like the bottom halves, the miniatures also received Secret Weapon's Concrete wash as a pre-shade before painting white.



Next: Eyes!
 
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Eyes: With monsters, you can use a red Prismacolor brush-tip to ink the eyes. First give them a wash to outline the socket. Then ink the eye red. If the eye is too large, paint with the flesh color to make it smaller. Optionally, use a size 0 brush to draw a line or dot for the pupil. Most inhuman monsters will not need a pupil.

Cotton: Cotton can be used for various web and smoke effects. Tear off a small piece and wrap it around the spell effect of the miniature. With the red miniature, you can brush the cotton in red and gold to make it look more distinctive.

Hair: The hair was painted brown, an easy color to paint hair.

Bases: Bases were painted black (inside dungeon) for the minions, and brown (outside terrain) for the master. After drying, sand will be glued on and painted.



Next: Details!
 
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Metallics: While the gold edge to the red masters worked fine, the silver metal to the minions looks more like glossy grey paint, not worth the careful work necessary. Gold paint was added to the spell effects of the red master. Silver paint did not look good onto cotton.

Bases: For the bases, paint them black or brown, and let dry. Spread glue on the base, then dip in playground sand. Paint the sand black or brown, using thinned paint, then let dry. Drybrush in grey and tan highlights.


Yeah, I'm not gonna miss the stomachs. Shove 'em on the tabletop!



 
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