Robot in Yellow

This sculpt is C-48 Roy from Savage Forged Minis but I’m calling my piece Robot in Yellow. After painting the last few models of my recent High Elf army commission with yellow robes I got a taste for it and I wanted to paint something of my own in that scheme. This miniature fit the bill perfectly, because it isn’t too busy and would look good with a super simple 2-color scheme. Yellow was to be the primary color of course, and then dark steel as a nice contrast. The clothing screamed wasteland to me, so I decided to go with a desert base with a bright sun in the sky overhead reflecting brightly off of the model.

Building the base was quick and easy. The setting I imagined was a pretty barren, flat expanse with cracked reddish earth and a few tenacious plants with their roots wormed into the few rocky outcrops where moisture might sometimes collect. I tore up a couple pieces of cork to use as rocks, then slathered the base unevenly with crackle paint. It ended up creating unexpected patterns of cracks, maybe due to the way I spread the paint or it could be because the surface of the plinth was so smooth. I didn’t mind the effect though so I kept it and just spread a little bit of textured paint around the rocky bits to tie them in more naturally.

Painting the base was just as simple, using the wet-in-wet technique I learned from Roman. I just covered the whole thing in my mid-tone and then hit it with a couple shadow and highlight colors. To shade the recesses and bring out the texture I used the classic GW method of washing and drybrushing the whole thing lightly, but I flipped the order so that my wash would tint everything evenly. A couple tiny grass tufts later the base was finished and looked pretty good! Not the most interesting, but just enough to set the scene I think. The warm brown tones would compliment the yellow of the robes, and I could mix them into the shadow colors for the yellow too.

I approached the mini itself in the same manner as the base, starting off with a fast wet-in-wet sketch and then several stages of refinement. I used the mid-tone of the base in the shadows of the robe and pure white for highlights, but because that ended up fairly desaturated I hit the whole thing with a glaze of bright yellow to bring back the color I wanted. What followed then was a back and forth as I defined the shadows, then the highlights, then checked my progress and went back to the shadows, etc… To get an idea of what needed more attention I used black and white photos because they make it easy to see the amount of contrast I’ve achieved. In between I would sometimes need to glaze that bright yellow over the highlights again where they got too desaturated too.

Once I was fairly happy with the robe I painted all the metal areas in a mix of black and the darkest metallic silver I had as a sort of basecoat, then took a couple photos under the bright light in order to get a reference for where I wanted to place the reflections. I knew I was going to do really bright reflections off of the dark metal to represent the blindingly bright desert sun, so getting the placement right was important. Flat surfaces like the shoulder armour piece are tricky for me because I want them to look interesting, so I ended up giving it a gradient and some texture. It doesn’t feel totally right to me, but my understanding of how light interacts with surfaces still leaves a lot to be desired and this is the best I think I’m going to do for now.

To paint the metals I used a slightly worn out brush to get a slightly scratched texture and did alternating coats of brighter metallics and dark blue/black washes. The blueish tint should work in contrast with the yellow to make the metal seem even darker, despite such extreme highlights. Whether that made a real difference I don’t know, but you can tell in a few areas and it makes the metal more interesting than a plain, neutral silver. I dabbed a bit of blue on the lenses then too to see if I liked it before moving on to the hose. Having every piece of metal be the same makes no sense really so I thought that the hose was probably a different material and more susceptible to rust because it is flexible and has those little grooves for grime to collect in. To represent that I shaded those recesses with dark brown and tinted the whole thing using several washes of Seraphim Sepia and Reikland Fleshshade.

For the leather belt and the foot wrappings I wanted a much rougher texture than that of the robe. By making lots of distinct brushstrokes instead of smooth blends for each highlight layer I ended up creating a coarse looking fabric and a worn leather effect. After going back with a dark brown to redefine things I was pretty pleased by the result! At the end to make the foot wraps look a little dusty I ended up glazing the orange-brown from the base onto the lower half of them, especially in areas where dirt might get stuck like the recesses. The wrappings on the hilt of the weapon didn’t get so much attention. It’s not a big or important part of model so I just used a couple shades of red and mixed in black and white for the recesses and highlights respectively. Honestly I treated the green cloth showing on the upper arm in the exact same way, super quick painting there.

With that finished all I had left to do was the final touches. I broke up some of the dark steel with a coppery metal, did some weathering effects on the vents to make them look used, and painted the eye lenses. The lenses got a glossy varnish at the end, though that unfortunately made it hard to photograph them clearly. The important thing is that I like the way they look in person, and actually I’m quite pleased with the model as a whole! He looks ready to take on whatever comes his way in the wasteland.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s