One last fantasy piece

Despite appearances, the WWI chap is progressing. I’m not a big fan of all that smoothing off you do with larger bases, so it’s been slow going, but I did get one side sorted out today, and the other should be done tomorrow, assuming I don’t suddenly come up against something disastrous. I’ll also need to add a little more detail to the window frame, but that’s nothing in the larger scheme of things.

In the meantime, I’ve continued working on the ducks, and now Lenin and the mandarin are both finished, and I have a few more underway. I need to remember to order more ducks.

I’m fairly happy with how they’ve come out. It’s easy to be critical of your own work, especially when they’re blown up to this size, but I just remind myself that they’re minuscule, and they do look great in the hand.

These guys are all for next year’s shows, though, and I have time for one more fantasy piece before I get properly stuck into painting nothing but ducks.

As some of you might have seen, the very, very famous Madagascar Pirate (often misnamed the Sad Pirate, because of a particularly famous version of the piece) is back on the market. Raul Latorre has dug out the moulds and has re-released it along with a few other pieces and some newer works.

Check out his range: it’s quite special.

If you do buy him, the casting is lovely, although his earrings didn’t manage to cast. That’s an easy fix if you’re keen on them, of course, so don’t let that stop you.

Anyway, I’d been thinking about doing him for years, but had resigned myself to the fact that it would be another one of those pieces that you dream about but never get the opportunity to do – like Ilyad’s Virago. Of course, I like to mildly horrify people, and I also like to do things people haven’t done before, so I thought I’d do him for fantasy. Pirates are already sort of halfway there, much like gladiators.

So, here’s where I am with him:

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As you can see, I’ve gouged out his chest and added some strange brown stuff all over the place. This brown stuff is one of GW’s crackle paints. Dried earth sort of thing. I have an image in my mind of a creeping blackness taking over the corpse, and I’ll use the crackle for that.

Of course, crackle paints are notoriously fickle, and I wanted to be sure that I’d get the right effect from it. This is the second attempt, and I decided I needed to take it more seriously after the first (which basically looked like I’d just put too much paint on). So, I went to my trusty plasticard for a wee test of some theories.

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The two areas on the left are both neat – no watering down or anything – while the two on the right have been very slightly thinned. The bottom row has also been painted over a thin layer of dried PVA glue. My thinking with this was that the crackling would work better on a more flexible surface – if the paint keys to the resin, after all, it’ll have a harder time actually moving apart as it dries.

As you can see, it looks like this is a good plan: there’s much more crackling. On the down side, there are fewer large, unbroken areas, and it’s much more regular. If you’re after actual cracked earth, you’re probably fine using the stuff straight out of the bottle (and I’ve done so myself – it’s a genuinely good product at a good price from GW, which feels like a strange thing to say).

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