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Monday, October 12, 2015

WIP Hannah for Malifaux

Hey guys!

I thought I'd share my work-in-progress. This is Hannah, a sweet model for Malifaux. She's ginormous.

Ever since this model came out I've been dying to get my hands on her. She's super dynamic, the model is a really cool concept, and it gives me a lot of opportunities to use techniques I'm now getting good at. Plus in game she's great at denial and can take a beating!

So let me go over a few caveats on her model. She's definitely a challenging model to put together. Figuring out which finger belongs where was certainly a hassle but not impossible. Then there was a difficult "translation" part for the arms compared to the instructions but not indecipherable. The toughest part was doing the order of assembly, topped with putting the suit's legs with the body and making sure the feet lined up to be level with the ground. Well, they didn't for me. In fact, I've seen a lot of other people's pictures of her online and it doesn't seem to match well for others either.

Her standard pose with both feet on the ground lends her to have some weight shifted as if she's winding up for a punch. This looked pretty cool but definitely has a "lower" feel to it.

An example from the excellent blog of GMort

No doubt, still an awesome pose. Note how the toes point in different vertical directions, this makes it difficult to have a completely flat footing and placed flat on the base, even with a marginal difference. 

With mine, though, it was a huge difference and didn't line up at all. I decided to alter the base so that her right leg was level and the left foot was slightly coming off the ground, with only the toe making contact. This in turn also made the pose look more heroic rather than dynamic, with a slight angle adjustment she looks more like she's anticipating her next move. Or maybe she looks the exact same, what do I know?

I took cork and placed it in half the base, with additional cork ripped for another level of rubble in front of her. I then used super glue and varying grades of sand to add texture to the "ground" floor and hide the seams of the cork levels. 

I base coated her black and using the airbrush I sprayed on black/stone grey, blocked in highlights with stone grey and light highlights with white.

I probably redid her left shoulder pad 12 times to get it right....

It's important when doing Non-Metallic Metal to get the highlights right. The colors are not what makes NMM work - you can make NMM with any color really. The colors I used for Hannah are the exact same colors I use when painting stones or buildings. The difference that really makes NMM work is where you place those highlights, and where you emphasize your light sources. You need to change how light reacts on your surface, since metal reflects light differently than say cloth or leather, or even painted metal. On a curves surface you'll place the highlight right where the curve occurs, where light would be reflected the most. The same principle can be applied to hair as well, as it behaves much like NMM.

The next step I took was really emphasizing the contrast by black-lining between each plate and join with a 50/50 mix of black/midnight blue. Once that was done I added stone grey and white highlights on each edge. These take it to the next level and really makes the contrast pop.

Now we're cooking with gas!

I also began working on the base colors. I really didn't want to make it grey, as the model itself is predominantly grey and makes the model get lost. But I wanted it to fit in with the other models of the crew, so sacrifices were made. I added some blues and browns to differentiate but overall it looks very grey. I'm not hung up on it though, and it looks good on its own. Hopefully when I paint the ring of the base green it will look different.

She's getting there...

And this is where I stand with her now. I added a tuft of grass to break up the grey on the base, and some flock in the back. I painted some red leather and olive cloth and blocked in the skin and wrappings. I feel like she's coming out a bit flat when compared to the suit, so I may go back and add more contrast to the leathers and clothing. But really all my other Malifaux models are muted in tone so she'd fit in with them, it's just that when she's sitting with a suit with colors that pop it's hard not to feel underwhelmed by her current colors. I won't revisit those colors though until I finish up the rest and see where she stands.

Anyway, that's my current work in progress. I'll post up more pics once she's complete!