Roman signifer

Discussion in 'vBench (Works in Progress)' started by Ferris, Aug 3, 2009.

  1. Ferris A Fixture

    Hi All,

    What a great forum! There really are some great works to admire. And to learn from!! Just joined as a member and decided to show you some of my own cut-and-pasting work...

    I have been modelling on and off (more off than on, unfortunately) for many years, and used to focus on WWII armour models and about four 120mm germans, but recently developed an interest in the roman theme. I am years behind in technique so tried this Andrea signifer to get acqainted with silver, gold, red (actually: all non field-grey) finishes. And with acrylics (was stuck with Humbrol).

    By the way, the figure is slightly improved: I redid the hands (left hand is Verlinden, right one modelled in Duro, the signa is brass rod. Body armour and red parts are acrylics, white parts, human and lion skin are oils, silver is bare metal.

    Please let me know what you think about it!

    Nice meeting you, until next time!


    Attached Files:

  2. JGREEN A Fixture

    Nice work! Welcome to the site. The design on the shield is particularly well done.

  3. tonydawe A Fixture

    Hi Adrian,

    Welcome to Planet Figure, and thanks for sharing your pictures with us. You've done a great job on the signifer. Great painting.
  4. Ferris A Fixture

    Thanks guys!

    I'm a slow builder and painter, but will be back....

  5. Babelfish A Fixture


    You don't look "years behind" to me. From the evidence of these photos, this looks like a stunning piece of work.

    I love the groundwork as well - share your secret!

    - Steve
  6. Guy A Fixture

    Excellent painting Adrian. Welcome to planetfigure. I hope to see more of your work in the future.
  7. Ferris A Fixture

    Thx Steve and Guy!

    Steve, about the groundwork: I made some basic relief with paste to fill holes in walls. This was covered by a mixture of dried coffee, dried tea leaves and crunched birch seeds to make the forest floor. The ferns are photo-etched ones from ScaleLink, of which I replaced the stem with copper wire. Positioning and bending the fronds took a lot of fun time. I painted them in various sand/yellow tones with dark brown washes. And to top it off I used quite a lot of the great PlusModel oak leaves.

    The idea is that the signifer is part of the Roman armies campaigning in Germany in the first centrury AD, taking revenge for the loss of the three Varus legions in 9 AD. They didn't like woods, but had to cross many....

    Hope this helps.

  8. housecarl A Fixture

    Lovely job, Adrian. Looking forwards to seeing more of your great work.
  9. megroot A Fixture

    Great work Adrian,
    Welcome to the planet and i hope we see more of your work.

  10. Babelfish A Fixture


    Yes definitely. Thanks - I have some ScaleLink ferns floating around unused somewhere in the hobby room that I picked up a couple of Euromils ago (one of those 'impuse buys'). Also some PlusModel leaves.

    The dried coffee is a new one on me. Interesting idea.

    - Steve
  11. chris1 Active Member

    Hi and welcome.
    You have done a fantastic job there.
    By the way this figure was one of my first purchases and it has sat and sat and sat on my bench,I was to afraid to tackle it,that is about to change.
    Like you I've had to replace 1 arm I've used an old Dragon one from the spares box and am considering replacing the other,also need to sculpt,modify the sword,mines been eaten by the carpet monster along with afore mentioned arm.

    But may I get from you your colour mixes for the lion,mine just don't look right,yours appear to be spot on.

    Keep up the great work

  12. Ferris A Fixture


    Thanks. The colour mix for the lion is quite simple. Base tone (oils) is a mixture of yellow ochre and burnt umber (I forgot the exact proportions), mixed with white until it is the right tone. Main point was to get the yellow tone out of the yellow ochre. Shading was done with additional burnt umber, lighting with white. After drying for about 24 hours, I added some white to some edges to suggest the whiter coat parts. Dark hairs are burnt umber and Van Dyke Brown, slightly highlighted with burnt sienna and some extreme shadows added in lamp black. Later I discovered that lions do not really have such dark manes, so you might reconsider this... (Maybe this one felt sensitive about grey hairs and dyed them just before the Romans caught him (destroyed his camouflage)).

    I did not worry about a rather streaky/brushstroky appearance as this suggests short hairs. After drying I added 2 coats of matte varnish (should add some more actually).

    Good luck with yours!

  13. Paul Kernan A Fixture

    I seem to remember reading an article years back concerning the colour of pelts. It was suggested that a North African species of Lion (since extict) did in fact have a darker, tawny pelt with possibly a slight greyish tinge.
  14. chris1 Active Member

    Hi Adrian,
    Cheers and thanks for taking the time for sharing your paint mixes,the lion pelt was really causing me grief.
    I'm starting the face after Coronation Street.


  15. Ferris A Fixture

    Chris, by the way (hope I am not too late): I found out later that what I painted as the jaw of the face should actually be part of the helmet. There is only a thin bit of skin visible in the face, and you could even paint that as a scarf.
    I noticed this when I saw a copy of that helmet recently...
    So if you are going to paint the face, get out the silver paint!


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