WIP Camel Mounted Touareg Warrior - 75mm

Discussion in 'vBench (Works in Progress)' started by phil_h, Mar 20, 2017.

  1. phil_h A Fixture

    Hello Everybody...

    I've finally been able to start my next project - a 75mm mounted Touareg Warrior from Romeo Models.

    Some initial observations:
    • This kit is huge. The camel, while ostensibly 75mm, is larger than every 90mm mount that I have in my grey army - I took them all out and measured this. The rider is also larger than said scale.
    • As befits such a huge kit, it is heavy - very, very heavy. After a bit of inspection, this is by quite a few kilos the heaviest kit I own. The rider is one solid block of metal. I think they would have benefited from making him two pieces and hollowing out each piece. Normally I never worry or concern myself about hand fatigue, how to hold something, or "painting ergonomics" but that is not the case here.
    • As with my last project, there are several serious issues regards the casting. Dry fitting the parts revealed all sorts of nasty large gaps as well. Since the prep work is the least fun for me, I was not pleased to see this (again)...
    • Aside from the above, I really, really like this sculpt a lot. For me, it really captures that "desert mystique" in a big way.
    To do this guy justice, the base/groundwork will be a desert scene consisting of an oasis, scratch built palm trees, and other assorted foliage/ground stuff.
    Here are all the parts laid out, ready for prep and assembly:
    2017-03-09 16.36.07.jpg
    (apparently there is a piece included for allowing us to have a male camel if so desired...)
    Since the mount is unusually large and heavy, I though it may help some beginners out there if I went into a little more detail about how it was prepped and readied for painting. (Also, while we see our fair share of horses, I can't say I've seen a whole lot of camels 'round these parts lately...)
    To start, this thing will require a lot of pins to make sure it doesn't fall apart, and all the necessary weight can be supported. We'll also need some pretty strong glue for this as well - super glue is just not going to cut it here, pins or not. In addition we'll need a drill and some clamps (you could use a pin vise/hobby drill, but you'd be nuts).
    In order to make sure our pins align with each half, we'll take a little bit of primer and make a thick dot on one side - we'll then dry fit the pieces together - by doing this, we'll create another dot of primer on the other piece in the exact place where the pin would align:
    In the photo above, you can see that I made a small dot of primer on the one side, then put the pieces together, and... now you can see another dot of primer on the other side in perfect alignment for our pin. (Note - of course, there are other ways to do this, but I've find if I can get away with doing it this way, it's the fastest, surest method for making sure things line up properly).
    To actually drill the pins, we'll be using this bad-boy:
    If you don't have one of these - go and get one - you'll never regret it. The pins themselves are just cut from steel paper clips. Very strong and very easy to find.
    Here are the front and rear quarters after having all the pins inserted (after marking the locations I wanted). The front:
    And the rear:
    Now that we've taken care of the pins, we need to glue them together. For this task, I've used this:
    J-B Kwik is a very quick curing 2 part epoxy glue. It is also gap filling, and when fully cured can be sanded, filed, etc... This is important, because this way, I can glue and fill in the gaps all in one step, eliminating the need to use something like green stuff or magic sculpt to take care of filling everything in. I love this stuff, and I use it all the time - even when I can get away with just regular ol' super glue. Also in the photo above, is a small dish with rubbing alcohol in it and a q-tip. I dip the q-tip in the alcohol to get rid of any excess epoxy and help to fill in the gaps.
    Here are two small photos of the epoxy - separate and mixed together (with just a simple tooth-pick):
    20170312_182044.jpg 20170312_182124.jpg
    Now that we got everything mixed and ready to go, we can apply this stuff (again with just a tooth pick, and slab it onto our model. Here is the front half glued with all the gaps filled in:
    You can see by the black line in the middle above, just how much of a gap there was at the top between these two pieces. With that done we can go onto the other half, clamp them together and wait for things to dry before we add the head and then glue both halves together.
    After doing just that, here is the entire thing assembled and ready for priming:
    2017-03-18 13.49.14.jpg
    Also shown is the home made cork/foam brick I've made and used to hold and place mount the priming/painting. Once mounted we can get onto the priming:
    Now our happy camel is ready for painting. Also, here is the rider all primed up and ready for painting as well (he'll acquire his arms a little later in the process - all they would do is get in the way at this point):
    Onto the painting!!
    stoffy01, Oda, balder and 15 others like this.
  2. peedee PlanetFigure Supporter

    Excellent stuff.
    I shall follow with interest !

    Best wishes for an enjoyable build.

    stoffy01, Oda, phil_h and 1 other person like this.
  3. Wings5797 PlanetFigure Supporter

    Nice kick off Phil.
    I always wondered how to paint that damn dust ridden camel in the back of the cupboard.
    I am about to find out. YIPPY!
    stoffy01, phil_h, Borek and 1 other person like this.
  4. alamac Well-Known Member

    Following this one
    stoffy01, phil_h and anstontyke like this.
  5. marco55 Active Member

    Excellent SBS.
    stoffy01, phil_h and anstontyke like this.
  6. Ulrich PlanetFigure Supporter

    Looks great and thanks for the SBS
    stoffy01, Oda, phil_h and 1 other person like this.
  7. Viking Bob PlanetFigure Supporter

    Looking forward to this one , excellent start.
    stoffy01, phil_h and anstontyke like this.
  8. anstontyke PlanetFigure Supporter

    great start phil. thanks for the sbs

    stoffy01, Oda and phil_h like this.
  9. Chris Ribchester PlanetFigure Supporter

    Good start, will watch out for this.

    stoffy01, phil_h and anstontyke like this.
  10. Borek A Fixture

    Amazing, looks epic figure. Nice start, i wil follow. Good luck :)
    phil_h and anstontyke like this.
  11. KuK_Grenadier PlanetFigure Supporter

    I will follow this to see how you paint the camel cause i am working on the RP french dromedaire regiment.
    Great SBS so far!

    stoffy01, phil_h and anstontyke like this.
  12. kansas kid Well-Known Member

    This will really be a nice piece. I understand after watching
    Turner Classic Movies and Robert Osborn in a 2014 interview of
    Peter O'Toole, that camels can run very fast. During the filming
    of Lawrence of Arabia, as we all remember, O'Toole had many
    scenes where he had to ride a camel. O'Toole said in the interview
    that those camels could run 30 miles an hour speed. Whoa Nellie.

    And the neato thing about this sculpt is that this camel is definitely
    in full motion. That along with your "old world Jockey" atop
    said steed will really add a lot of tension and atmosphere
    to the composition.

    Like the other Planeteers have said, I will surely watch this progress with
    much interest.

    Miami Jayhawk. . . . we're still in the Big Dance. ;)
    stoffy01, phil_h and anstontyke like this.
  13. phil_h A Fixture

    Hello Everybody...

    First off, thanks everybody for such kind comments - they're very encouraging!

    So - let's paint the camel :)

    First we need to determine a palette and colors to paint this thing. Based on the box art and reference pics courtesy of Google, I'm going to use the following colors:
    2017-03-21 17.26.22.jpg

    Before we actually start painting though, I want to mention something that will make this whole process easier - in hindsight it's something fairly obvious, but it is worth mentioning. This is the fact, that for big models, we should use a big brush:
    2017-03-21 17.30.56.jpg

    In this case, our big brush is a Raphael Kaerell size 8. I like these brushes - I think they're the best synthetic brushes around. For about 90% of all my painting I use these brushes in various sizes, pulling out the Winsor & Newtons for only the really detailed or freehand stuff. I find these brushes to be a little stiffer than Kolinsky haired brushes, and for me at least, I find that helps with blending acrylics.

    With that out of the way, let's put on the base coat. Our base coat and medium tone is going to be Naples Yellow mixed with a small amount of Titanium White. With our big brush, getting the camel covered with a couple of thin coats of this takes all of about 5 minutes. Here's the camel:
    2017-03-21 18.15.58.jpg

    Now that we got our base coat on, we can start thinking about our shadows and highlights. For something this big, the easiest thing to do is break things down by sections. So for me that meant, head and neck, front shoulders and legs, belly/mid section, and left legs and rear, with each side considered separately. Also, since the camel appears to be moving in a pretty dynamic fashion, we'll be a little less subtle in our contrast then normal. This will help emphasize the dynamic pose of the camel. So here is how we're going to approach this:
    1. Our initial shadows and highlights will be done in each area taking a more "global" approach. We're not going to worry about details and accuracy but just concern ourselves with getting in the highlights/shadows in a general sense. Also, for our initial general shadows/highlights, we'll be using wet-blending to blend everything together. When working with acrylics, blending over larger areas is really a job for wet-blending. Layering, glazing and other methods would just take, way, way, way, too long.
    2. Once the general shadows and highlights are in place, we will then go back to each area and then using layering and glazing, we'll refine and make the volumes more accurate and shape them exactly how we want them. We'll also start using brushes that are a little smaller too :).
    3. Next we'll concern ourselves with the details - the face, tail, the little mane, furry patches, knees, wrinkles etc...
    4. Finally using light and highly diluted washes, we'll adjust our tonal values and saturation to get the exact color that I'd like this thing to be.
    First let's add the shadows. On a global level, this means that the entire bottom of the camel needs to be in shadow. We'll also use shadowing to help define the musculature and give the camel dark socks on each of the leg. Our main shadow color is going to be Burnt Umber. we'll just keep mixing a various amount of Burnt Umber into the mid-tone to get us a large variance in our shadow tones. (I'm using a wet palette so this is easy.) I also mixed a very little speck of Phthalo Blue into the darkest area of shadow - just to give things a little bit more visual interest. Here are the shadows for each side:

    2017-03-22 22.14.07.jpg

    2017-03-22 22.14.30.jpg

    One thing to keep in mind is that in these and all the following photos where the camel's head is on the left side, the belly/midsection is blended in a fairly rough fashion because it will be covered almost entirely with a very large shield that will be attached to the camel there. The shadows are still a little too dark in some areas, but we'll adjust that with washes and what not later on in the process.

    With the main shadows out of the way, we'll now do the same thing but with the highlights. We'll be highlighting by simply adding more and more Titanium White to our Naples Yellow mix, and applying appropriately. On a global level, as we get to more parts of it that are exposed to the sun, we'll want to make sure everything is lighter in tone. In addition, each individual part will need their own separate local highlights as well. So, let's go ahead and add them:
    2017-03-23 20.33.24.jpg

    2017-03-23 20.32.48.jpg

    With all our main shadows and highlights on, we can now focus on getting a little more precise with their placement and tonality. I'd like to bring the overall color scheme up in tonality and soften some of the shadows on the thighs and some other areas. We'll also do the face, fur and knees. Unfortunately, I don't have pics of each of these steps, just the final results. Everything except the knees were all painted using the same colors as the main body areas. The tail/fur/hair was base coated in Burnt Umber,and then highlighted with various mixes of Naples Yellow and Titanium White. The face was painted in the exact same fashion as the body, with the eyes being pure Burnt Umber. The knees are painted dark grey (made from a mix of Titanium White and Carbon Black). They were highlighted with a lighter grey and shadowed with black. With the details finished, we can now apply highly diluted washes of varying degrees of Naples Yellow and Titanium White mixes to shift the overall tone from yellowish to a more off-whitish tone with a hint of yellow in there somewhere. Finally I blocked in all the other details such as the saddle, harness in black. To get a better idea of all the different colors/tones in play, here is a pic of the palette - this makes it very easy to see all the variations used in the shadow, middle and highlight tones between these three colors:
    2017-03-24 21.03.11.jpg

    And of course, here are the pics of the finished camel:
    2017-03-24 21.08.28.jpg

    2017-03-24 21.09.05.jpg

    2017-03-24 20.18.29.jpg

    I hope you enjoyed this little SBS on the camel - please feel free to ask any questions...
    Viking Bob, stoffy01, arj and 12 others like this.
  14. Wings5797 PlanetFigure Supporter

    Many thanks for sharing such good in depth SBS Phil.
    Your pallet choice is very interesting and works really well and I will be recreating in oil when I take on the Verlinden sitting camel. This will make the blending a longer process.....for the older man.
    Great work and following every brush stroke.
    phil_h, anstontyke and Blind Pew like this.
  15. Borek A Fixture

    Great SBS, thx for sharing. very valuable :)

    Cheers Borek
    stoffy01, phil_h and anstontyke like this.
  16. kansas kid Well-Known Member

    Wow, what a well done tutorial, Phil.
    Thank you so much for all your effort
    here. Again, those photos, along with
    your text, are just excellent. And hopefully,
    you're having a lot of fun with this! :)

    stoffy01, phil_h and anstontyke like this.
  17. Dan Morton A Fixture

    Nice tutorial, Phil! Very instructive!

    If you drilled out the rider body to save weight and increase mounting stability, and maybe added pins to secure the bits together, I missed it. Not needed?

    All the best,
  18. anstontyke PlanetFigure Supporter

    great sbs phil
    this is why i love this forum, people like yourself who are willing to go into so much depth to pass on knowledge to others(y)

    stoffy01, Oda and phil_h like this.
  19. KuK_Grenadier PlanetFigure Supporter

    I agree. Great SBS. Thanks for all your tips about brushes and blending....

    stoffy01, phil_h and anstontyke like this.
  20. OldTaff PlanetFigure Supporter

    An excellent SBS, Phil, nice to see it all coming together. She's looking very much like the mount I rode in Jordan. Thereby hangs a tale.........

    anstontyke and phil_h like this.

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