Pirate King WIP 5


So my first big steel nmm without the guiding hand of the ever-helpful Anne Foerster (you better believe I had the L2PK3 booklet at hand, though!). About an hour of working back and forth with 5 or 6 different intermediaries, just smoothing and honing in on where the shading and highlights looked best. Not going to win any awards, but for my first real blade on my own I’m pretty happy.

Then I laid in the sword grip stealing Derek Schubert’s recently revealed brown recipe. I just used three paints he uses for roughing in tones, Stained Ivory, Woodstain Brown and I subbed in Walnut Brown for the Brown Liner (mine has gone wandering somewhere). Roughed it in with those three and then used a simple glaze of Woodstain/Stained Ivory to smooth it out.

Then applied the Ororo formula for the black boots and belt.

Pirate King WIP 3

Flesh, hair (such as it is!), white done. First pass at the main coat color (not cuffs) and chest wood. I struggle with the happy medium between speed and blending via layering, not really compatible goals 🙂 For the coat, I think I’ll have to do a pass with a lighter tone to pick out some highlights, it’s just too subtle. Goal will be to keep it strictly limited to still read ad an almost black purple. For the chest wood, ye gods. I can’t really get in there to drybrush, and the relief is a bit shallow for washing to provide decent shadowing…so it’s almost a freehand deal. Results were decent enough I didn’t throw it against the wall (heh) so like the coat, I think picking out a few highlights and call it done.


The skin I did pretty stock quick job (although it’s cool to have a stock skin tone in my trick bag now!), with the addition of flesh wash to roughen him up a bit. Not a lot of hair so pretty quick-n-dirty on that. Whites…ecch. They’re there. I’m going to have to put some serious study and practice into white one of these days, thus far it’s utterly my bane.

Pirate King WIP 2

Finished up the base coat more or less, still a bit of clean-up but I’ll catch that as I go. Trying for a more subtle eye than I usually do, I hit the sockets with a little flesh wash and liked it, so I slapped in some rudimentary shading with it. I’ll go back and bring the base coat for the flesh back in most spots the wash covered. Then the eyes, looking off to the same side as the wife is looking (where do you think that pesky canine will be?).


Definitely tougher to eke out painting time in the summer! I’m pretty worried about the deadline on this one.

Pirate Queen WIP 5

The Queen nears completion. I liked the look of the muted boots in hand under lights, but I think seeing the pics I might go back in with some more highlights as originally planned, using the recipe from Ororo’s leathers. So that and a few touch-ups and she’s pretty much done, have to keep this train moving!


Tough to see the color in the bottom of the gem from this angle, but it’s Ultramarine Shadow, then some Ultramarine Highlight with a little white. Boots following Ororo’s leathers recipe, first highlight is 2:1 Military Grey:Twilight Blue. NMM is still following kit 3 recipe, feeling rusty when painting it.

Non-Metallic Metal Gold

I just posted this (modified for this blog) on the Reaper forums in response to someone struggling with Reaper’s Learn to Paint Kit 3 (NMM), it might be helpful so I decided to repost here.

I spent so much time poring over the instructions on this kit. Reading, re-reading, re-re-reading. Examining the pictures intensely. I spent at least a couple nights studying them before I even started painting.

I find NMM is a constant back and forth as you dial in the highlights and shadows. The main thing with gold is to figure out where the brightest highlight will be. This usually runs along the longest axis of the object, but there are lots of exceptions (which is where studying the pics comes in). Anyway, I put in a line of thinned white as a guideline for that highest highlight.

Then lay out all your spectrum from shadow to highlight on the palette (this is why I like a wet palette). The very basic rule is to paint one side of that line as shadow and the other as light. The shadow side will start with the darkest shadow right next to your guideline and will fade away from it to the mid-tone. The light side will start with the highlight next to your guideline and fade away to the mid-tone.

Forgive the crudity of this, and it lacks the center highlight, but I whipped it up in a couple seconds in GIMP 🙂


So get that idea down and you’re getting started with gold nmm. Study Anne’s instructions and painted examples and look to see how she applied that to the different surfaces on the two models.

Steel…yeah, still working on that one…Anyway, hope this helps!