Contest Entry

Ok, to wrap up the loooong saga of the lowly Drone who has cast off his shackles and joined the rebellious Firebrand….here’s the stitched final image I’ve submitted for the informal contest over at McVey’s place.

Firebrand Drone




Although the colors on the base don’t really show in these pics, I’m pretty happy with how it looks in hand. Could use some better shading on the base and I don’t really care for how sloppy the pipe looks (back-2-base-ix base).

Don’t know if it’s the different backdrop or I changed a setting on the camera by mistake, these pics look a little more washed out.

I learned so much on this mini, it’s hard to be disappointed with its lack of perfection. 2nd mini down, bring on the next one!

Glowy bits

Thanks to Althai for the hint on highlighting, that really helped with this last round of detail work!

All I did at this point was bring down the black so it wasn’t highlighted on the lower areas and then I did a quick splat of ‘oil’ on the gun hose near the pack end. Then the glowy bits and visor.


I’m close to calling it done, I’ve been on it for six weeks now 🙂 I know it’s not perfect, but then I never expected it to be. Second mini in 14 years!

Highs and lows with the Drone



Black parts highlighted, getting straight lines was a total pita…definitely going to be an area I focus on. Tightening up my lines and smaller crisp highlight edges along long surfaces. Also struggled a ton with the circular thingies, same as I did on the arm. Small details certainly a weak point!

You can also see some of the new shading for the orange.

Pretty much the gun tip, eyes and visor left. And a bit of touching up, but I’m not going to go nuts on that. Possibly going back to weather stuff to bring it in line with the armor/gun.

Talk about rusty!

Welp, I made a decision on the flesh tones for the Ogre boss man…and I am waiting on the paint to arrive. So, back to the Drone!

Working on the armor. Re-base coated the armor for the third time, finally got happy with a mid-tone of the previous two attempts, but now the paint is thicker than a tenement kitchen wall. Ah, well.

Applied battle damage/scuffing with a nubbly brush using black/brown paint applied pretty thick. Turned out pretty awesome once I got the hang of it. Needs to be pretty thick to give the right look, and there’s a bit of an art to applying it, though it was quite forgiving about mistakes while still looking quite convincing. So far so good.

Then I went to rust stains/general muck. My initial mix was too red brown and by the time I caught it, it was a bit late. Also, and probably the biggest issue, it was way too thick. Should’ve been down near a wash rather than a layer. I salvaged a couple areas by remixing with a lighter brown (beasty brown), going over a few spots, and then deepening things with some black and a few dabs of the initial redbrown/black mix. I think if the paint had been thinner, I would’ve been right in the neighborhood. As it is, I’m not real happy with it…but again, trying to remember it’s a learning project and my first try 🙂

Now for the images!





Oh, and I had also hit the orange jumpsuit with some deeper shadows when I first started today.

Blinded by the white

Got the pants, boots and warm greys done. Left to go: armor plates, black metal and straps, glowy bits. The pants and boots don’t have a huge amount of contrast but I like the way they came out enough that I’m moving on.

When I got to the armor plates, the original grey (VGC 48 Sombre Grey) was way to purple/lilac, so I decided to paint over it with VGC 47 Wolf Grey…which is almost white and really blows the contrast. It also went on really poorly, might be a bad bottle as I couldn’t really get it very workable and even very thin it’s pretty blotchy/globby. So I’ll be going back to bring it down a bit, then get on with weathering it ala Ali’s WIP.

Still tweaking the lightbox setup, balanced out the bulbs with a couple Reveals. Still hotspots like mad, so I’ll add some more diffuser sheets and see how it goes.

The fabric of our lives

Worked more shade and the highlights into the orange. Starting to get a feel for paint consistency, had a real nice pool of paint going for each and played around with it just having fun trying to paint. Never realized how little I actually painted before, with washes and drybrushing hiding the almost complete lack of technique.

Then I moved to the warm greys, and as I have a small wet palette, I tried to save some space by removing the previous warm grey base tone and putting in a new pool to work from. Went great at first, and to my amazement, I was starting to pull off Ali’s 2-brush method with this much more diluted paint (they had told me to thicken the paint if it dried to quickly). There was one blend I was actually happy with! Of course, I then slopped on it when shading something else. Dammit. 😀 Then it got ugly, because I hadn’t been thinking about the fact that the old paint had dried enough to lay a layer of acrylic down that stopped the wet palette action and the paint got thick, my painting got messier, and I’ll have to rework most of the greys because of it.

I’m not going to spend forever reworking problem areas, as it’s really my first shot at fully painting a mini. But these greys, yeah I can do better! The oranges aren’t great but I’m pretty happy with where they are for where I am as a painter. I can see some progress and that’s really the whole idea with this project.

Looks abysmal in photo, so I’m using them as a guide for the next session and don’t really feel like posting them 🙂