WIP: Old School Dwarf Slayer Part 1

Next Up on the Painting Table

After completing the Mordor Orc, I’ve been searching for the next model to paint.  After painting quite muted colours, mostly shades of brown, I felt like going for something a little different.

Digging the various storage crates of models without finding anything that was particularly grabbing my interest, I finally stumbled upon an old GW Dwarf Slayer.  He was pretty beat up, and had a terrible old half paint job – with a particularly awful skin tone shaded with armour wash,  which means first steps was a bath in Dettol!

Dwarf Stripping

I never thought I’d ever type the words “Dwarf Stripping”, but there you go!

I popped the dwarf into a small tub of Dettol (the brown stuff), on Friday evening to soak.  I’ve found that Dettol (the brown stuff) is absolutely brilliant at stripping paint, normally I give metal models in the bath overnight.

Quick word of warning.  Wear gloves if your going to be messing around with the Dettol.  The first time I used it, I stripped a lot Orcs and I didn’t use any, and my hands became sort of dry scaly and flaky!  Lesson learned!

Saturday morning, I popped on a silicon glove picked the dwarf out, and ran it under the cold water tap.  This pretty much washes the majority of the paint of the model, but a bit of a scrub with an old toothbrush takes the remaining off.

I then wash it thoroughly with cold water, before drying a bit with a towel.

The end result:

Stripped Dwarf

Just like new as you can see!

Preparing for Undercoat

I was pretty surprised that there weren’t really any visible mold lines, so there wasn’t much preparation required.  The dwarf was already glued to a square base, but I plan to add him to a round base as this the style these days.  As I’m planning to change the base anyway, I removed the old base to make painting easier.

To give me something to hold onto whilst painting, I drilled a couple of holes in the feet, straightened out a paper clip, and super glued it into the hole.

Mounted ready for priming

With the model prepared, I broke out the airbrush to apply an undercoat.  I’m experimenting with a zenithal highlighting approach, to try and help with placement of shadows and highlights and being able to see the details.

A quick, very thin coat of black to start with, looking for even coverage without losing detail.

Primed black

Next stage is to add a grey undercoat, but only covering the upper 25% of the model.  This is achieved by airbrushing at around a 40 degree angle from the top, and rotating the model.  The result is that when you look at the model from below, it should appear black; when above it should look grey.  Looking at the model “face on”, there should be a smooth transition from grey to black between highlights and shadows.

Zenithal primed grey

It’s a little hard to see from the photo above, as my camera and the lighting very much wipes out the contrast.  In real life it’s very pronounced.

The final undercoat step is to airbrush white from the top to give the highest point highlight.  I like to slightly tilt the model backwards when it comes to spraying white, just so the lighter undercoat is a little stronger on the front, as I want higher contrast on the face in particular.

Zenithal primed white

Again, the camera and lighting loses quite a bit of the contrast, but hopefully it shows what I mean.

With all the prep done, I thought I’d experiment a little with my camera and alternative locations for photos.  Moving the model into my airbrush box.  Interestingly this seems to have wiped out even more of the contrast in the photos.

Primer done

I actually quite like the affect that my airbrush overspray background has on the photo!  Unfortunately, the lack of contrast that this set up seems to lead to means I probably won’t use this approach.

Obligatory close up

Looking forward to putting paintbrush to model tomorrow.

Cheers folks.

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