Author Topic: Treeman!  (Read 8479 times)

July 01, 2014, 04:47:40 AM
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Will Vale

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Hi folks,

I haven't painted any minis for a while, and I was rather taken with this chap, although not with the studio paint jobs. They're beautifully executed but a bit too clean and fairytale (they remind me of Mononoke) for something that spends its time crashing around a forest.



(click to embiggen)

As usual for the Games Workshop figures, the fit is great and the level of layered detail is bordering on the ridiculous - I wasn't entirely sure how to paint him.

The kit builds three versions, I mixed the legs and left arm from "Durthu", the right arm and staff from "Ancient Treeman" and the left hand launching the triffid-like stingers is from "Treeman". I had to convert the provided right hand into a left hand by removing all the fingers and thumb and rebuilding it all the other way around! Managed to cut my own finger while slicing off one of his, ironically. All the official versions use the same left hand which is bigger and looks like a collection of knives, so I'm quite glad I opted for something different here.

I also shortened the beard and removed the plaited section to use as a pigtail, and built a head using the top half of Durthu's and the bottom of the ancient treeman's. I didn't really like the Princess Mononoke-style mask faces and I think what I ended up with looks better, though it's a bit clunky compared to the kit parts.

I started by trying out some paint colours on his wee wooden bum. I airbrushed all the inner wood sections with old-school "Flesh Wash", basically chestnut ink. This should shade and provide warmth under the paint.

Then I highlighted the sapwood with flesh colours, washed it with thinned Vallejo Khaki, and drybrushed with pale flesh colours and greys. I think it looks OK, but a bit messy and hard to touch up owing to the layers.



I also filled in a bit of the bark but I ended up going with something lighter.



I thought the dark bark was a bit too dark (poetry!) so went for one of the new GW base paints - Steel Legion Drab - which is a little bit chocolaty but makes a nice basis for the bark bits. I gave it a heavy black wash after (which is still wet in these pics) to tone it down and shade the recesses.



I did opt to keep the dark colour (Charadon Granite) for the feet, hands and face/mask. I like it on the feet, it's a bit too dark on the hands (but I think if I blend it into the lighter brown at the wrists, it'll be cool.) I don't know about the face yet.

The loincloth and hairband will probably end up red, but I like the red-brown as a base, I think it'll make for a richer, more subtle finish.

Cheers,

Will

July 01, 2014, 11:26:17 AM
Reply #1

Hunter Rose

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Not familiar with the model but it looks really cool, and the paint job is already looking great!

Excellent work Will. look forward to seeing more  :-)
'Your knowledge of scientific biological transmogrification is only outmatched by your zest for kung-fu treachery!' ~ Black Dynamite

July 02, 2014, 05:48:04 PM
Reply #2

Will Vale

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Thanks! It's a new model from the Wood Elves range, only released a month or so ago so there aren't too many in the wild...

I did another couple of hours after work yesterday evening. I added two or three highlights (Kislev Flesh, Ulthuan Grey and a mix of the two) to the sapwood, then drybrushed it with Baneblade Brown to tie it together and add texture.

The bark edges were then tidied up and it was all drybrushed with Steel Legion Drab, more Baneblade Brown, and then some spot work with Bleached Bone and Codex Grey for aging.



Big version

It's all *really* messy but I'm finding it hard to be neat - the access is difficult and my hands were shaking quite a bit. But I like the colours a lot, and all the different layers are showing through nicely.

Oh, and I gave the loincloth a red wash to see what it looked like - I quite like it. I think the flat bits around the weave are supposed to be leaves, but they look rather leather-like. It seems apt for an angry tree spirit to be wearing bits of dead animals, somehow!

W
« Last Edit: July 02, 2014, 05:49:05 PM by Will Vale »

July 02, 2014, 11:19:15 PM
Reply #3

Hunter Rose

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Thanks! It's a new model from the Wood Elves range, only released a month or so ago so there aren't too many in the wild...

Oh right cool, looks nice it reminds me of a Spriggan from Skyrim. And as always your brush painting style is sweet! Really like the red loin cloth
'Your knowledge of scientific biological transmogrification is only outmatched by your zest for kung-fu treachery!' ~ Black Dynamite

July 03, 2014, 05:31:44 AM
Reply #4

Will Vale

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Thanks! Spriggans are scary - I remember the first time I got attacked by one and it just kept getting back up, plus they have clouds of wasps or flies or something - eek! I think they were in Morrowind too, in the expansion island with the werewolves.

Few more bits done today - I blended the bark colour across the hands, added some simple highlights to the fingers, and highlighted and shaded the splintered timber on the left elbow. I also added some colour to one set of bracket fungus as an experiment - this is mainly Vomit Brown with a Kislev Flesh highlight. It's pretty accurate to real fungi, but it's also a bit close to the splintered stuff. I think I might add some more grey to the latter.


Flickr link

Oh yes, and I've given all the bazillion leaves a couple of coats of green. I'm sure I've missed some - I keep finding white bits when I look from strange angles. But it does add an air of completeness which was missing before:



I need to mix some more greens and vary the colours, plus I want to do the fronts a darker, glossier green than the backs. But that's a job for daylight, I think.

Cheers,

Will

July 04, 2014, 05:15:17 AM
Reply #5

Will Vale

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Thanks! I'm really enjoying this as you can probably tell...

My hands were a lot less shaky tonight so I was able to do some fiddly bits. I worked up the leaves, mushrooms and loincloth, all of which have had two or three highlights. Some of the leaves were picked out with different greens beforehand, and I gave most of them a tiny touch of green wash to bring them to life as well.



Biggerize

For the loincloth, I highlighted the top edges of each weave (not every strand, I'm not mad) a couple of times and used a dark brown (Agrax Earthshade - ex Devlan Mud) wash to delineate the lower edges. I also added edge highlights to the "leather" patches and sponged on some browns to break them up a bit.



After that the woven parts got a couple of red glazes to enrich them and distinguish them from the leather. I think there's a bit more to do here still.

Also made a start on the staff - going for a silver birch, which is what the moulded bark suggests I think. I'm not sure (and I'm not sure the GW designers are either) how to transition this into the giant death blossom thing, but I'm sure something will come to mind.

I started with Astronomican Grey, which is a light blue-grey, and then filled in the splits with Rakarth Flesh. After that it all had a dark brown wash so I can see the detail - most of this is going to get covered up again. The combination of the blue and the brown more-or-less cancel out to give a neutral-ish result - cunning eh?



I need to think about basing soon so I don't leave it to the end and then forget it.

Cheers,

Will

July 05, 2014, 11:25:00 PM
Reply #6

Will Vale

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Spent an hour or so this afternoon on the staff, which I've attempted to make look like silver birch.


Flickr link

I started with the results from the previous update, and sponged on Pallid Wych Flesh (a very very very pale pink) and a little bit of white and Codex Grey. I then touched up all the grooves and re-washed them.

The end bit is just lots of wobbly lines of flesh colours (Rakarth + Kislev Flesh) and Agrax Earthshade/Gryphonne Sepia washes. I gave the cankers a couple of fleshy highlights, I think they may need toning down a bit at the end.



Once that was done I needed to touch up some leaves which had been got at by the sponge. Remaining big jobs are the head and hair, and the flowery tendril stuff.

Cheers,

Will

July 06, 2014, 07:24:56 AM
Reply #7

Hunter Rose

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Great job with the birch effect, you've nailed it Will  8)
'Your knowledge of scientific biological transmogrification is only outmatched by your zest for kung-fu treachery!' ~ Black Dynamite

July 07, 2014, 04:30:36 AM
Reply #8

Will Vale

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Thanks! I got a suggestion on Flickr that it might need more contrast, so I added some of the horizontal slits you often see in a darker black-brown, with a whitish outline.


Flickr link

I've done the gem, which will be the only blue thing on the model, I think, and maybe signifies water. I'm not sure what to do with the bezel yet - maybe metallic gold, in which case that should happen at the very end.



Oh, and I started highlighting the beard, as well as picking out the little leafy bits. I know this is quite a bit brighter than the rest of the figure, but I want to use bright colours on the tendrils and I think they need to appear elsewhere as well in order not to look odd.



Cheers,

Will

[edit - removed garbage, sorry!]
« Last Edit: July 07, 2014, 06:24:00 PM by Will Vale »

July 07, 2014, 03:36:36 PM
Reply #9

Sharkdog

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Your brushwork is always impressive, Will. This figure looks pretty insane to work on, very brave!

July 08, 2014, 03:41:31 AM
Reply #10

Will Vale

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Thanks :) He is a bit tricky to hold, but it's good for me - most of my control when painting comes from holding the mini in finger and thumb, and that's a real problem for anything that is either too big or too fragile to hold like that. So I'm learning something useful!

The access is tricky but I've generally painted inside-to-out and that's made it possible, if not trivial.

The splash of colour from the gem is now (hopefully) balanced by the big colour element - the carnivorous-plant-on-a-stick end of the staff. I couldn't quite figure out how this was supposed to work, but my dad suggested it could be a graft, which is good enough for me.


(click for bigger)

I wrapped the figure in clingfilm to airbrush the tendrils on the left hand, but the right hand ones are more isolated so I could just do them without masking. I used the Citadel paints thinned with water and a few drops of Golden airbrush medium. It worked well enough although cleaning the AB after spraying these was a bit of a pain - the nozzle got clogged. I was able to sort it out with trusty lacquer thinner though.

The tendrils are based on rhubarb of all things, with the red stuff being stronger on the underside and further from the tip - I assume it'd get less sun so there'd be less photosynthesis going on :D



The staff tip was a bit more complicated. After I airbrushed the blend on the stamens/tendrils I filled in the petals with Pallid Wych Flesh (that very very light pink) and then painted lots of thin lines on the insides, starting with neat red and working my way back out to the Wych Flesh.



The outside is more-or-less the same, but with green to white. Oddly, while the inside came out really smooth the outside looks quite ragged. I think varnish might smooth this out a bit.



The ivy wrap is painted conventionally with some simple highlights and a green wash/glaze on the leaves.

The flower feels a bit untidy to me - I'm not sure if I should try and tidy it up, or figure out a way to make it look a bit careworn on purpose rather than by mistake! I also wondered about shrinking the green region and getting a tiny bit of yellow tone into the backs of the petals. I'll leave it for a bit and see how I feel.

The only white bit is now the rot inside his head, not sure what to do with this yet. Plain black seems a bit boring and there's some nice detail in there - it looks like a wasps nest or something.

Cheers,

Will


July 08, 2014, 10:27:58 AM
Reply #11

Hunter Rose

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Don't know what to say other than WOW. This is so cool Will, the staff plant and tendrils look so good!

A suggestion for the head rot bit would be maybe to use some clear orange and acrylic gloss medium to create some oozing sap? Though Im not sure if that would be a bit too realistic looking and not fit the style. Just a thought.
'Your knowledge of scientific biological transmogrification is only outmatched by your zest for kung-fu treachery!' ~ Black Dynamite

July 09, 2014, 01:50:48 AM
Reply #12

Will Vale

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I quite like the idea of some sap runs on the sapwood bits (the pale stuff between the bark) - thanks for the suggestion. I've also been looking at pictures on the net and my plan for the left eye socket is now definitely "wasps nest"...

Will


July 09, 2014, 04:34:15 AM
Reply #13

Will Vale

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Thanks!

I finished the basic painting tonight:


Click for bigger

That mainly meant dealing with the hair and head. I added a gradient to the stalks using three or four mixes of thin paint working from Death World Forest through Vomit Brown to Bleached Bone. Aren't these paint names fun? I then highlighted the leaf edges using a mix from one step above the stalk at that point. I remembered to set up a wet palette for this, which is much better for keeping your mixes alive.



The head is just a few highlights working up from Charadon Granite to Vomit Brown. I also shaded the hairline with a couple of washes mixed from Agrax Earthshade and Thraka Green. The interior of the head will end up looking like a wasp's nest, hopefully, but I need to wait for this first stage to dry before finishing this off.



The pigtail was handled with the same paint as the head hair, and I also repainted the hand highlights from greys to the browns I used on the head since I thought they were a better fit. I left the feet in the greys though.

So nearly time for enamels and varnish and whatnot! I found the base (which is quite small) and I think I'll use that rather than build a bigger one. I can always move him if I want something more scenic later.

Cheers,

Will

July 10, 2014, 04:03:12 AM
Reply #14

Will Vale

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I don't know if you can see a whole lot of difference from the previous pic, but I applied a coat of Alclad Aqua Klear and once that'd dried gave the bark and sapwood a wash with AK Wash for Wooden Decks.



It only needed a little bit of cleaning up - the advantages of a soft surface rather than hard surface model - and then I could get on with the moss. This is mostly AK Dark Slimy Grime, applied patchily and then stippled and blended in, to get a damp background.

The moss patches are a slurry of the slimy grime and MIG Beach Sand pigment for bulk. I blended them as well, and applied spots of Dark Slimy Grime, Dark Streaking Grime etc. to break them up. Looking at the pictures they need a bit more blending. I re-applied the pinwash over the moss to keep the contrast up.



I'm wondering about adding bits of "thick" moss using Woodland Scenics ground foam, but maybe that'd be too much?

I also added some lichen with sponged acrylics (Iyanden Darksun and Ulthuan Grey, fact fans). I thought it looked good until I saw the pics - in close up it looks like paint. Might be fixable with some careful painting or picking away at it, otherwise I'll just paint over I think.



Oh, and I made a start on the base. The legs are posed to stand on a bit of plastic which looks like it's supposed to be a dead dwarf or some kind of machine. I kept this since it made getting the foot height right really easy, but sliced away a lot of the detail.

The paperclips in the feet slot into holes I drilled in the base, and the rest is built up from an offcut of balsa, some slate chips, and lightweight filler. I'll seal it tomorrow and paint it then add some ground cover.

Definitely on the home stretch now - I even remembered to put the highlight in the eye :)

Cheers,

Will

July 12, 2014, 04:44:00 AM
Reply #15

Will Vale

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Nearly there, I've re-glossed the gem, added some sap following Hunter Rose's excellent suggestion of using Tamiya Clear Orange, and filled in some larvae in the wasp's nest cells in the head using a mixture of Pallid Wych Flesh and glazing medium.


Bigify

I also plucked up courage and added some more interestingly textured "moss" using a paste of ground foam, scenic cement (dilute matt medium, effectively) and a bit of Knarlock Green paint. I read about this sort of technique in Dave Frary's book years ago, and I think Michael F and Per Olav Lund do something similar.



It's a bit loud, and I will tone it down when dry, but it's not as worrying as I thought it was initially!

The base has had a bit of ground cover too - some mixture of stuff I made up for forest floors in my Hoellentalbahn layout a few years ago. Plus a bit of Mininatur foliage and more moss.

He's fixed down now, so just touch-ups and tweaks to do, then unmask the base and take some gallery pictures tomorrow. Unless anyone can see anything I missed?

Thanks!

Will
« Last Edit: July 12, 2014, 04:48:57 AM by Will Vale »