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WIP Critique Roman legionary 90mm

Discussion in 'vBench (Works in Progress)' started by Ethan, Dec 27, 2011.

  1. Ethan Active Member

    My latest project, "Andrea" Roman Legionary. Dacian Wars, 101-102 AD. This piece came in quite a large package and I was very impressed with the details of the figure. The casting marks were barely noticable and the only critique I would give the casting would be the cloak needing to be better fit. Still not a huge deal to fill the gaps and sand them down.

    I will try to go as 'Step by Step' as possible as I am trying new techniques and would love to learn how to do them better. My camera is from my smart phone, so details may be slightly off but I should have a better camera soon.

    Please critique!

    1box art.jpg
    Box Art

    2open box of pieces.jpg
    All the pieces out of the box

    3open box body, light burnishing.jpg
    The body with some filing and steel wool work done

    4open box heads.jpg
    2 Options for the head of the figure

    5open box shield.jpg
    The shield

    6first try at varnishing body.jpg
    I decided to try the burnishing and varnishing technique for the Armour to make it look more realistic. I began by cleaning the piece and using steel wool to get a bit of the oxidation off. then I used a sculpting tool to burnish the metal to a high shine and used a rotary tool with a felt disc to buff the metal to a nice shine. Then I used JW Right Step, water-based satin varnish with Reaper Pure Black and Dark Blue to start the coloring process. This is after 2 coats. and looks just like new steel.

    7first try varnish full body.jpg
    Another look at first attempt at varnishing

    8burnished sword arm.jpg
    Sword Arm, pre varnish but after burnishing

    9current sword arm varnished and aged.jpg
    This is where I may have made an error. I want the piece to look as if the Armour has been worn for an entire tour of duty and he has oiled it just enough to keep the rust off. However as soon as I put the third coat of varnish on the piece something happened and I lost a few chunks on the greaves and the Breast Plate. I scraped all the varnish off, re-burnished, added fighting damage and started the process over again. This time I used a water thinned, black, india ink the fill the cut marks first. Then I used one coat of varnish over the top. I think I lost some detail with the second burnishing though, and may have gone over the top with the fighting damage. Any thoughts? Btw I think this specific part, the Sword and Arm turned out great. Its the Breast that got muddled.

    10current greeve varnished and aged.jpg
    The Greaves Im pleased with. They would have taken alot of damage, especially if this soldier ever rode a horse.

    11current opposite greeve varnished and aged.jpg
    Opposite greave

    12current body varnished and aged.jpg
    This is where I think I messed up. If you think it indeed looks off, any thoughts on fixing it without messing up more detail? I like it but I see what it looked like before I had to scrape it clean and wish it was a bit cleaner. The primer is Vallejo brush on and it works REALLY well! This is the first time I've used it and I will probably change all my primers to that brand now.

    13cloak glued together with gaps showing.jpg
    The cloak has been cleaned and epoxyed together. It came in three pieces that did not fit together very well. I will have some decent patching to do.

    14chosen head slight burnish on helm.jpg
    My chosen head. The helmet inside is going to be tough to do! I hope I can get it burnished and varnished to match the rest of the metal.
    Kisifer likes this.
  2. Azgaron Member

    Very nice work so far with the metal! Looks great! Looking forward to see more!


    Ethan likes this.
  3. megroot A Fixture

    I Like what yo have done so far.
    At the left graeve the damage is to symetric in my opinion. The right is more realistic

    Ethan likes this.
  4. Babelfish A Fixture

    Hi Ethan,

    From what I can see from the photos, it looks ok to me. Don't go overboard with the burnishing and the weathering though. It's easy to get carried away (ask me how I know!), but sometimes "less is more". I also do armour and have learned the hard way that once you're happy with the overall look and effect - STOP!!!

    I've recently added this kit to my own "grey army" and it's a real cracker. Keep us posted with your progress.

    - Steve
    Ethan likes this.
  5. Edorta A Fixture

    Ethan likes this.
  6. Redcap A Fixture

    Nice start Ethan on a cracking figure. To get a nice effect of worn and dirty 'on campaign' armour but nor rusted, consider some washes as well with either Speia or Burnt Umber oils which give a nice 'grimey' and worn look without overdoing it.
    Ethan likes this.
  7. Ethan Active Member

    Thank you all for your comments!

    Azgaron- Thanks so much! I hope to have some color up this evening or tomorrow

    Marc- I agree, I will look at what I can do to add a few small nicks in some different directions. If i have to redo the Greave Ill probably leave it to save the detail though.

    Steve- I totally agree! Next time I will remember to stop early and let my eyes rest before looking to add to it.

    Eduardo- Thanks very much!

    Gary- I believe I will try a very light wash of exactly what you said. It would be nice to get a bit of steel tarnish on him. I love the oils after doing a pirate base. Its so easy to correct mistakes!

    More coming after work!
  8. Ferris A Fixture

    Very nice to see you handle this figure Ethan, as I've had my eyes on it for quite some time.

    Like what you did on the metals. Maybe the body armour is a tad too strongly weathered, in my opinion. But this may come out well after your further steps.


  9. combatartist Active Member

    Very nice indeed! This one is going to be a good SBS!

    Tony S
  10. Ethan Active Member

    Adrian- Thanks for the comments! I agree with the excess weathering and I hope as well that it will turn out just fine! Any advice on ways to adjust the armour would be gladly accepted.

    Tony- I hope you enjoy! thanks!

    Alright, I got to put in a good few hours of work today so now we get to see some color!

    the color scheme right now is slightly dark but I plan on doing some research on some of your professional red paint jobs to get some ideas for how to shade and highlight his tunic.

    P.S. All paints are Reaper Acrylics unless otherwise stated

    First coat trousers and lower belt.jpg
    For the trousers I used a mix of (Oiled Leather) and (Russet Brown) 50/50 to lay down the first coat, the lower belt (anyone know what that is called?) was done with a full 2 coats of (Ruddy Leather).

    first full set of washes trousers and lower belt.jpg
    I washed the trousers with separately thinned to milk consistencies of (Oiled Leather), (Dark Shadow), (Russet Brown), and a hint of (Tanned Leather) for the top highlights. The Belt was washed with (Oiled Leather at the bottom to show wear and a wash of (Ruddy Leather) over the top to even it. I will need to work on this part a bit more.

    first full set of washes trousers and lower belt left.jpg

    first full set of washes trousers and lower belt right.jpg

    finish of day first coat tunic front.jpg
    The piece as of right now, I added 3 coats of (Deep Red) as the base for my tunic. History shows the darker tunics and cloaks to mean a soldier of lesser fortunes so since I weathered the armour heavily I will make both of these pieces darker than what most pictures show. He was a slightly poor and battle worn soldier!

    finish of day first coat tunic left.jpg

    finish of day first coat tunic right.jpg

    If anyone has any tips on red, especially color combinations for highlights and shadow; feel free to voice your opinion!
  11. Ethan Active Member

    Today I added the first set of layers of Highlights and shadows to the Tunic. I do not understand how to work red very well so I don't think I have the depth or Contrast I would like.

    Used (Brilliant Red) as a wash over the base. Then used a mix of (Sun Yellow) and (BR) to get an orange-ish color that was then washed in 5-6 layers to bring out the highlights. Then went back with a wash of (Blood Red) very thin to even everything out and bring a bit of deepness to it.

    I am not thrilled with the highlights. Any guidance would be great.

    First layers of highlight-shadow front.jpg

    First layers of highlight-shadow left.jpg

    First layers of highlight-shadow right.jpg
  12. housecarl A Fixture

    Looks a great start Ethan.
    Have you tried green to shade your red?
    Ethan likes this.
  13. Azgaron Member

    Looking good Ethan!

    I've heard about using green as shade color, but I never tried it myself.


    Ethan likes this.
  14. Ethan Active Member

    Carl -Thanks so much for the advice! I believe I will be using that technique in the future

    Hakan -Thanks!

    I am getting some help from Gellso on the red issue. Should be getting a tutorial in the mail shortly. Until then I will begin working on some of the other parts. Thanks for the patience, will have more photos soon!
  15. DaveG Active Member

    Looking very good so far, Ethan.

  16. Ethan Active Member

    I'm back! It's been a really long time since I have worked on this dude! I hope all of you have enjoyed the 1/6 head paintings I have been posting over the last couple months. They taught me so much about airbrushing!

    It's finals week and I really needed a break so I decided to pull this guy out and get back to work on him. The cloak was the major accomplishment but I zoomed in so you could see that I added all of the accessories and darkened most of the colors with a wash. Details have not been added to the accessories; just first coat so realism will come later.

    Next is the shield!


    Base coat of Bloodstain Red and Deep Red 50/50

    Thin coat of Brilliant Red and then Highlight with Bright Orange with a hint of Brilliant Red mixed in.

    Started to add base coat for mud and weathering with Dark Shadow

    Detail: You will notice a couple random large splatters; I have removed them for the final pics. Toothpicks make great scrapers for pulling one layer of paint off!

    Detail: and nasty splatters!


    Full detail





    Attached Files:

  17. megroot A Fixture

    very nice work.

  18. Steve Well-Known Member

    Ethan, if you are asking about the leather strips that dangle in front of and are meant to protect the crotch, they are called "pteurges", though I have probably mangled the spelling. I have no clue as to how it is pronounced.
  19. Ethan Active Member

    Thanks Marc!

    Steve, I was speaking about all of the leather work except that piece I believe. The Pteurges is finished.

    Now on to the shield (Scutum)! I wanted the Scutum to have parts where the paint has peeled off to show old wood underneath but after painting the old wood, liquid masking it and painting the shield; all of the paint came off with the masking... so I had to repaint the wood underneath.

    Does anyone know a good combination of colors to get a real nice old iron or bronze look to varnish the metal edges and the Boss in the center? I having a bit of difficulty putting the colors together in my head.

    First coats of color in Brilliant Red with, Deep Red. Then scraped back the paint and painted wood underneath and masked all of the detailed parts.

    Added a couple light coats of Orange with Brilliant Red to get a nice tone and cover the masking.

    Final base coat of shield is on and masking took the paint underneath off with it so I have to repaint the wood and then start varnishing the metal edges and Boss in the center.

    Again if anyone has any advice for what to thin with acrylic meduim to varnish on the metal surfaces to make them a deep bronze or very well used iron color.

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