Sunday, April 25, 2010

Space Hulk Librarian

Hello All!
Continuing show & tell time, here's my recently finished Space Hulk Librarian. I still want to go back with DullCote to tone down the shine on much of him, especially the recesses of the tabard. But I'm currently out of DullCote and the photo setup was ready, so I decided to go ahead and get some pics. Here's what he looks like, in all his flaws and glory:I'm not ecstatic about his face. It seems my limited selection of flesh tone paints had died and dried up over the years since I last used them. As it's tricky to get good artist paint late at night and I wanted to be done with this damned project, I mixed this and the highlighter up from a couple brown, a red and a white.
I am underwhelmed with several things about this sculpt. There's a number of little details that fell victim of the CAD sculpting process. There also the super-sized axe he's holding up like he's selling it on late night TV. But I've realized the part I hate most is the sculpting on his eyes... or, I should say, the utter lack thereof. They are these huge featureless orbs bulging out of the caverns under his mighty jutting forehead. They look like a normal human had his eye sockets staved in with a sledgehammer and some joker stuffed a pair of golf balls into the cavities. It looks better once I freehanded eyelids, but the effort was probably more than it was really worth. I understand now why many people don't bother to define his eyes or do them with a glow effect.
As if all that weren't enough, I got inspired by the work of several other bloggers and decided to try my hand at doing his shoulder heraldry...It's not a well known thing, but the entire reason I taught myself to sculpt is because I hate doing freehand. Attempting this took me a number of tries... It was bad enough that I had to just scrape the surface clean a couple times. (Yes, I know how bad that is to do... the alternative was worse.) It didn't help that the first time I tried doing it all in metallics. Wow, was that a mistake. Guys, please note that layered metallics do not allow for a clean definition of shape nor blending of tone. Trust me on this mistake.
Still, I'm glad I persevered. I certainly learned that I need to have a better idea of how I want it to look before I start. Also, I need to replace my flesh tones and build a decent wet palette. The end result isn't great work, but it's decent and it's mine. Plus, I'm tired of working on him. It's time to work on some other projects now.

***All images are MINE! They are my precious... and totally posted on the internet. This makes them about as protected as your average Taiwanese hooker. Have fun and don't complain to me if you catch a virus, you perverts.***


  1. It looks good my friend. I wouldn't beat yourself up over the freehand. It is a whole lot better than a whole lot of us could do.
    I really like the model. I really wish that it was available somewhere other than space hulk. Oh well.

  2. I agree with Magilla, you are being a little too critical of your work. I think he looks pretty darned good, and will look even better if you get the shine off the mini with a good dose of matte varnish.

    I like what you did with the force axes blade.


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  4. How on earth did you do the freehand work on his book? That's amazing!

    I know that you're going to dullcoat him, but could I recommend that you not do so (or not do so too aggressively) on his axe. I think the shine really works wonderfully on the very cool glowing metallic areas on that axe.

  5. I agree with the others, the freehand looks great! Wonderful work dude.

  6. This came out really well, what's not to like?

  7. Hey guys, thanks for the positive comments!
    I think my negative tone about the failings of the sculpt and frustration with the shoulder freehand carried over into excess negativity about the final product.
    I am really glad I did the shoulder freehand. Is the current look perfect? No and that twigs my perfectionism a bit. But it looks decent and I'm certainly not going to redo it again. The best part was that this was an excellent learning experience. It really pushed me outside of my comfort zone and I know any future product will be improved because of that.
    So overall, I'm quite happy with how the guy looks. He's easily one of the best figs I've ever done.

    @Big Jim: The force axe was a deviation from how I normally do power weapons, but I will be trying it again as I like the look. I was testing a technique I'd read where progressively lighter layers are applied in strips of thin, straight lines to create glow, carapace edging and NMM effects. I learned a lot with this... mainly that I need to invest in a good detail brush and then work on my control with it. But yeah, I'm happy with the different kind of glow effect it creates.

    @bsmoove: Simply, the book details were done with a Fine Detail Brush and being VERY careful. Most of the detail wasn't painted so much as it was stippled.
    The book was painted up to Bleached Bone as a main and had all the shading done. The shape of the skull and text lines were then done in Scorched Brown. Then there was edge cleanup and adding the eye and nasal sockets back with BBone. The crossbones are actually a later modification. Originally I'd done a sword underneath the skull, but my wife called the two elements combined "too cheesy" and suggested some alternatives. So I went back and modified it to what you see here.
    Also, I'm certainly keeping the sheen on the axe and gems as it gives a nice effect. It's mainly the armour and tabard that need dulling.

  8. Your blue is all purdy like ^_^

    When I get annoyed at my failed attemts to highlight my Ultras properly, I'll have to lay them on your paint altar with a suitable sacrifice of food or alcohol ;)