“OK, say hello to my little friend!” *
This post is about painting my Mayacast Masterglass Q4 Tagline entry: Scarface
I also used the TAG as my entry into the best painted miniature category at the NO 7 event back in November.
*Do you know I don’t think I have ever actually seen the film.
The model is cool, no doubt about that, and I found it to be one of those models that looks better in reality than on the Corvus Belli images. However there is just one small tweak that I wanted to make, and that was to alter the right arm slightly.
In the stock pose the arm is pointing the panzerfaust down at the ground. That could be interpreted as an aiming at something below you/shorter than you pose, or even as a relaxed ready pose. However with the head turned as it is and the sideways stance I thought it would be much cooler to have the gun aiming off horizontally at a distant target. In my head it’s a duellist pose, aiming a “Panzer-pistol” at the next target Scarface holds in contempt.
It was really simple to do, drill a hole for a brass rod into the shoulder joint on the torso, and doing the same running into the arm, but along the length of the arm, as opposed to what you would do if you were pinning the arm in place for the stock pose. Dry fit the arm together with a section of brass rod cut to the right length, and manipulate it unto you are happy with the direction the arm is pointing in. I then took it apart and glued it back together.
This left a gap in the shoulder joint, mostly on the front side of the model. So it really needed filling as the shoulder pad would not hide it at all. I used greenstuff to fill the gap, and did my best to continue the shape of the muscalture present on the model and continue the surface texture across the greenstuff. I took my time pushing greenstuff around and building up the general shape by adding small ‘sausages’ of greenstuff as I worked. I thought this would be easier then adding one big blob and removing excess greenstuff, it seemed to work out for me. Once I was happy with the general shape I smoothed out the greenstuff with a clayshaper, and left it to cure for a little while. The surface texture was then added with a sharp edge, I think I started with a sculpting tool, but ended up using my Xacto knife as it had a finer point. The surface texture seemed to just be cross hatching forming XXXXX patterns across the muscles. I started at the front of the chest and worked around onto the arm, trying to keep the size of the cross hatching consistent with the original detail.
No work in progress pictures, but here is the finished sculpting:
Note: that this is also how I painted it, with separate head, shoulder pads, and MK12s.
I make my own bases, and I wanted some 55mm bases to mount my Pano Combat Remotes on. So I built a 55mm base out of plastic card and other parts. Check out my basing posts for more detail on that process. Here is the completed base before making the moulds and casting it up – actually its the mould and a cast base, as i’ve lost the master base.
Painting the TAG
So here is where I made a slight fluff faux pas – I’d listened to Mayacast #102, the Merc episode – where they’d talked about the back ground of various Merc units. This included both Merc TAG units, Scarface & Cordelia along with the Anaconda. Scarface pilots a Ramhorn TAG while the Anaconda is part of the Nomad’s Reptile series of TAGs.
A week or so after listening to the episode I stumbled across something that inspired my paint scheme for Scarface’s TAG. It was a snakeskin pattern mask for use with my airbrush. So I bought the airbrush mask, and ordered Scarface & Cordeila box, and while waiting for them to arrive started thinking about colours.
I thought giving the Reptile TAG a snakeskin paint scheme would be awesome…and so you see my fluffy mistake. I really don’t know why I got the backgrounds for the two TAGs confused (Mayacast #102 – Scarface & Cordelia timestamp: 27:52).
This background error dawned on me before my purchases arrived, but I thought I’d continue with that plan anyway as it was something completely different to Panoceania Blue.
I don’t have many work in progress shots so here is a brief description for each colour. Over a black Army Painter spray undercoat…
- VMA dark green
- VMC Violet ink airbrushed into shadows for nice deep shading colour
- VMA gunship green
- VMA light camo green
- VMA light cmo green + VMA grey white (this was actually a mistake, I’d intended to use ivory sand for a more yellow colour but actually quite liked how it turned out).
At this point I thought I’d have a go using VMC green ink, but I really didn’t like how the first area I’d hit with it looked, so didn’t bother.
Breaking out the new snakeskin stencil:
- Ivory sand (I didn’t want to use white, so I chose a light cream colour), I stencilled on the pattern over the larger armoured plates.
- I then used VMC sepia ink lightly airbrushed over the model to tone down the ivory sand.
Edit 6th Jan: Here is a picture of the stencil, I had to cut some of the edge off to allow me to get the pattern where I wanted it as my model was mostly assembled.
The separate head and shoulders were then hit with:
- VGA purple
- VGA purple + VMA white
And that was all the airbrushing work complete (except the base), so it was back to the old fashioned normal brushwork.
The first job was to complete the green armour, I went back round trying to blend in the following highlights:
- VMA light camo green + VMA grey white 90:10
- VMA light camo green + VMA ivory sand 50:50
Then followed the Gold NMM:
- The gold areas were base coated VMA dark camo brown.
- The gold was then painted using the Vallejo NMM set (I’ve been playing with this set a little – link)
- An old pot of GW leviathan purple watered down as a glaze to bring back the purple colour,
- followed up with a slightly less watery mix to add shading (the wash was never used undiluted).
- Edges then highlighted with purple + white mix.
Snakeskin pattern, once I’d got this far the addition of the highlights made the snakeskin pattern start to blend into the green. So I carefully went and picked out certain parts of the pattern to highlight with ivory sand.
These were simply painted:
- Dark grey
- Highlighted with a medium grey
- Edge highlighted white
- Washed with watered down black paint. Glazed would be a better term, as I’d watered the black down a lot, and built up the layers so that I could control how much grey turned to black. A Final edge highlight of white was added in a few locations.
I cant really describe how the knife was painted as it was done in quite a fluid manner. Although it was probably based off the NMM set mentioned earlier.
- Mid Grey
- Dark Blue
Finishing touches and freehand
I do have work in progress pictures for this, so you can see how I went about doing this. Before i even touched the model with paint i spent some time with a pencil and paper practising the shapes and sizes of the design i wanted to paint on the model.
A similar process was used for the other shoulder star. The “Scarface” text on the right collar was much simpler colour wise – just black – but required the steadiest hand of all three areas of freehand.
- The eyes (and scar) were carefully painted with a watered down black paint to shade the recesses.
- White paint was carefully used to give a clean bright surface to paint the eye lens
- The lens was painted red.
- Highlighted with a mix of off white
- With a final dot of white at the focal point of the highlighting on the lens
I used some weathering pastels to dirty up the lower legs, and the base. It was the first time using this, and so I was very careful not to go over the top. Its possible I didn’t go far enough and you can’t tell I have used any lol.
Of course nothing is ever realllly finished…
There are a few things I would have liked to have done but decided to leave alone.
Running lights and OSL, I decided not to add any OSL because I was running out of time for the Northern Open, and I have a love/hate relationship with the technique. Sometimes I can get it to work well, other times it looks crap.
Battle damage, what I envisioned for Scarface was a battle worn TAG that, although well cared for (thanks to Cordelia), had been through a few scrapes. However by the time I had finished the TAG armour I began to think that any battle damage might be a bit lost in amongst the snakeskin pattern and so decided against making the model look too busy.