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Trying figure painting for first time - Verlinden US Cavalryman bust

Discussion in 'vBench (Works in Progress)' started by AlbertD, Sep 20, 2021.

  1. AlbertD PlanetFigure Supporter

    I bought this Verlinden bust years ago along with a few others and then life got in the way and they sat in a drawer. I retired a couple of years ago and got back into modeling airplanes and cars but always wanted to try figures.

    I just got him primed this morning and gave the eyes a try using Vallejo acylics. It's a long way away from the quality I see from you experienced painters and what I see in books. I guess it will come in time. When you look at the figure without magnification it looks OK but blown up they look like a mess to me. I'm not sure if I'll redo them or not.

    If I decide to redo the eyes is there a way to remove the acrylic without messing up the lacquer primer?
    IMG_1137.jpg IMG_1138.jpg
    Babelfish, DaddyO, Nap and 1 other person like this.
  2. housecarl A Fixture

    This may help.
    Not aware of a way to strip without removing the primer, sorry.
    Welcome to Planet.(y)
    Nap, Helm and AlbertD like this.
  3. Nap A Fixture

    Hi Albert

    Nice to see you posting do introduce yourself in the Welcome Aboard forum

    Like Carl I am not away of leaving the primer on .....to strip I use Dettol but it will clean back to resin

    I would use a filler for the hole on the right cheek Msg me if I can help further

    housecarl and AlbertD like this.
  4. AlbertD PlanetFigure Supporter

    I didn't even notice the hole until I looked at the picture but I will fill it for sure. I'll strip the head and re-prime it and try again.

    I see some amazing work on here and then I look at my pitiful eyes. I know it will get better with time and practice but it seems so far off.
    Nap likes this.
  5. Steve Brodie PlanetFigure Supporter


    I know its easy to say , but its just practice, practice, practice. One tip for the eyes, keep the paint quite fluid and dont be tempted to use a small brush, the paint will probably dry by the time you get it anywhere near the figure (especially Acrylics) , a number 2 or 1 brush should suffice. And just ask away with questions, everyone on here started at the beginning and are always happy to help. Oh and welcome to the Planet. (y)
  6. AlbertD PlanetFigure Supporter

    Thank you for the suggestion about the brush. I did go right to the smallest brush I have. I think instead of stripping the whole thing I’ll just try painting over what I have. If that goes bad it will be stripped and re-primed. The eyes were the first thing I tried and even on this 200mm bust they are sure tiny. I’m going to hit the hobby shop tomorrow and pick up an optivisor. That should help.
    Nap likes this.
  7. Babelfish A Fixture

    Don't get too hung up about your painting not standing up to intense magnification - very few painted pieces do, not even the work of experienced painters. I always used to fret about it, but at some point realised that it was foolish and counter-productive to do so. Magnification is VERY unforgiving, no matter who you are. Just try your best to do as neat a job as you can, and over time that neatness will improve along with your technique.

    Even when looking at the top guys' figures in books, online or on show tables, once the initial "WOW!" factor has past you'll (almost) always see even with your own two eyes tiny flaws and blemishes if you look hard enough and long enough. It might be tiny specks of dust trapped under the paint, it might be an eye that's slightly "off", it might be a sudden hard colour transition, it might be something else.

    That's not to take anything away from the amazing quality of the work, it's just pretty much inevitable. In all my years in the hobby, you could count on one hand the number of painters I've seen whose work looks as good massively magnified as it does to the naked eye. And such God-given talent can't be taught or learned (IMHO). You've either got it or you haven't.

    Also don't be fooled by guys who post up small-scale (1/35 or 54mm) figures with minutely detailed, perfectly symmetrical (and perfectly "painted") eyes complete with tiny blood vessels etc. and claim it's all hand painted. No-one can paint that microscopically small. I call photoshop-style jiggerypokery on that stuff.

    And finally ........ welcome to planetFigure!

    - Steve
    Nap and AlbertD like this.
  8. Steve Brodie PlanetFigure Supporter

    And/ Or eye ball decals, LOL !
    AlbertD likes this.
  9. Babelfish A Fixture

    Yes those as well LOL!

    - Steve
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  10. AlbertD PlanetFigure Supporter

    I'm working on my first figure. It's an old Verlinden US Civil War bust. I'm using Vallejo Model Color paints and trying a wet pallet for the first time. I did a base coat of medium flesh then used a lighter flesh to highlight and a darker flesh to show shadow. I let the base coat dry completely then did the other layers wet. I still have some work to do but just wanted to get some feedback to see if I'm headed in the right direction. IMG_1140.jpg IMG_1141.jpg IMG_1142.jpg IMG_1144.jpg
    theBaron and Nap like this.
  11. Nap A Fixture

    Hi Albert

    Well done your certainly heading in right direction, using a WP will help , try making Xiang the tones having the base colour as the initial layer

    I also use W & N Blending Medium adding a tiny bit when painting

    This might help http://www.planetfigure.com/pages/Painting-Faces-in-Acrylics/

    Suggest you look in the Painting Techniques there's lots there and on You Tube

    This is good bust to choose to work on

    Happy benchtime

    AlbertD likes this.
  12. theBaron A Fixture


    Sorry, Nap, didn't copy that, "try making Xiang"? Is that a typo, a typeahead suggestion from a smart phone, or an expression I've never heard before?

    Second that about the wet palette, though, and that Albert is on the right path. Yeah, Albert, you build up thin layers till the color looks right to your eye.

    AlbertD likes this.
  13. Peter Day PlanetFigure Supporter

    That's looking very nice indeed Albert. Just keep doing what you're doing.

    As far as I'm concerned there are no rules about the way you use your chosen pigment/medium. Whatever you find works for you and gets results is the way to go - a process of practice and experimentation.
    AlbertD likes this.
  14. AlbertD PlanetFigure Supporter

    The bust is a US Civil War Union figure with a blue coat. Of course the buttons and strap buckles are brass so that's easy enough. What I'm wondering about is the collar piping on the coat. It's a gold color but definitely different from the brass. To me eye it looks like it should be more orangey yellow with gold highlight.

    Any suggestions for replicating this? I've been using Vallejo acrylic paint and this is my first shot at figure painting.

    Thanks for any help.
  15. AlbertD PlanetFigure Supporter

    Thank you gentlemen. I appreciate the guidance. This is definitely challenging but sure is fun. I'm finding the biggest thing is to just jump in and start painting.
  16. Nap A Fixture


    Typo Brad ....or I am losing it ! ...sorry for any confusion ....should read " try mixing the tones ......"

    theBaron and AlbertD like this.
  17. Nap A Fixture

    AlbertD and DaddyO like this.
  18. DaddyO A Fixture

    Hi Albert

    I'd agree with Kev
    I might also add that I've found yellow doesn't cover especially well so adding some white into your base colour to the first coat will help overcome this (y)

    AlbertD and Nap like this.
  19. AlbertD PlanetFigure Supporter

    Thanks for posting the pictures. I do have the box art but your pictures are way better and are a huge help. I also see that I should have made the shirt a different color for much more interest. I made mine the same as the coat. I'll fix that for sure. When I get him done I'll post it in the finished work section for you guys to look at.
  20. AlbertD PlanetFigure Supporter

    Thanks Paul, I will do that for sure. I just finished painting a 1/24 Porsche in yellow and even with white primer it needed 3 coats.
    DaddyO likes this.

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