FINISHED: Blood Claw

#Although really I could have cleaned up this one a little more, particularly on the Wolf Tail, I really wanted to say I’d completed this model before the end of the year.

I doubt I’ll get much painting done tomorrow or Sunday, so today was really the last chance to push him over the line.

 Basing

The model has basically been “done” for a few days now, I just hadn’t got around to completing the base.  Rather than use the original smaller 25mm bases that this model came with out of the box, I decided to use one of the Citadel 40k scenic bases instead.  The detail on these isn’t fantastic (it’s quite shallow, and basic), but it’s leagues ahead of the original crappy black plastic that comes as standard.

I had started painting this the other day when I last posted an update on this model, but I’d lost interest in it a little after the Nuln Oil wash I’d applied to the metal pretty much flattened all the colour from the base.

I have a bit of habit of making the bases a little too lacking in contrast and dark (see my Orks), and I really wanted to avoid just falling back into my comfort zone of just slapping on a bit of static grass on a brown base and saying “there you go!”.

Yesterday, I spruced up the metal by highlighting the raised detail, and added some edge highlighting.  This was still boring me to tears, so I decided to spot on a few washes of various colours (splodge on is the technical term I’ll use here to describe the technique), and I also “flicked” some red to look like blood spatter – though this is probably a little lost, and maybe just looks like regular weathering on the metal.

I had decided initially to paint the gaps in the base plates as mud, but that was once again veering into lacking contrast and being a bit boring, so I decided to try something I’d not done before; green ooze!

A little left-field I know, but sometimes you’ve got to go a little different – and I’m really pleased I did, it’s added a much needed spot colour.

Hobby Retrospective

Time to evaluate how this model went.

What went well and I should continue doing?

  • Attempting blending for the first time was interesting.  I think it worked quite well in some places, and in others it was a bit rough, but that’s to be expected whilst I learn a technique that works for me
  • Brighter colours are more fun for me to paint at the moment.  I’ve tried to paint without too many bright colours since re-starting the hobby (see my old Orks and the Mordor Orc), but I found painting the reds, blues and greens far more interesting.  Although this doesn’t lead to very realistic painting, the vibrancy and contrast is much more attractive for me to paint, and I’m enjoying it more, and after all is that not the point of a hobby?!
  • First free-hand attempts of the Great Company icon came out really nicely.  I suppose I could have highlighted it to really make it stand our, but I’m pleased with the result, so didn’t feel the need to push it any further.  I think this is something I’ll try to do more of.
  • Micro-detail armour chipping and scratching was fun, and helps hide mistakes!  Useful to know with my habit of poor model prep and rushed paint jobs
  • Eye lenses came out well.  I followed a guide in the Companies of Fenris book.  I wasn’t convinced at first nor in real life, but funnily enough it’s one of those things that looks better in photographs – it’s normally the other way around for me.
  • Sculpting the Wolf Tail was fun, even if the bit that connects it to the gun is not very good
  • More effort on the base has really paid off on this one.  Trying new techniques and colour choices that I’ve not attempted before was a lot of fun, and is something that’s come out better than I expected.  It’s nice to aim for something (the luminescent green ooze), and actually see it come out as it appeared in my head
  • Edge highlighting really can make a difference

What didn’t go so well and I should stop doing?

  • Improper model prep.  I didn’t shave down the purity seal properly.  I rescued this slightly by making it look like it’s battle damage to the shin, but really I know what it is.  I need to make sure that I start preparing the model.  Perhaps clean all mold lines and finish it up, then leave it and come back to it 24 hours later with fresh eyes might do the trick.  I can be a little to “that’ll do” when it comes to prep
  • My technique for painting skulls and bones leaves a lot to be desired.  I’m just not sure if it’s the paint, or my application of it.  I don’t see to have the same problems with other colours.  Perhaps I need a new set of bone colour paints and try again, or perhaps I need to water them down more and apply in thinner layers, accepting that it just won’t have any coverage without 4 or 5 layers.
  • The fur tail is probably my least favourite part of the model now.  It is self-sculpted, which explains the lack of detail on the part that connects to the Bolt pistol, but painting this was really hard due to the lack of detail.  In the end, I left it a little flat.  The fur itself is also not too well done either.

What Puzzles Me?

  • Layering and feathering is still tricky to me.  Although I felt I started to make progress with it about half way through the model, it was still something I feel I’m very much in the process of learning.  Next model I think I need to work on this more.

Summary

I’m pretty pleased with how this one’s come out.  Several new techniques have been attempted, some successful, some not at all successful, and others sort of partially worked.  I’m actually happier when something I try doesn’t quite come off, as I know that it leaves room for improvement, when things go “OK” I tend to keep trying that technique and approach without searching for changes and tweaks, which can restrict improvement.

I think that’s a nice way to sign off on the hobby for the year, but I’m still planning to put together an “end of year” hobby retrospective, along with a few targets and aims for 2018.

Until then, thanks for stopping by.

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