There’s a fair sized pile of nice display minis I have yet to actually paint, so one day I picked four and asked people on instagram to vote on which one I should work on next. Absolute, from Ouroboros Miniatures narrowly won that vote so I dedicated the next couple evenings of painting to her and this was the result! When working with so much skin I could easily have spent weeks on her to get smooth blends and high contrast but I wasn’t in the mood for that so settled for practicing my color composition and light placement. Before I get into that though, here is what the model looked like pre-painting. Not a ton of cleanup or gap filling required, though I do wish I’d smoothed out the thigh joints more because there was a little bit of a rough texture there that bugged me while painting.
I knew from the start I wanted a very simple base, since I wanted the skin to be the primary focus and this was going to be more of a painting exercise anyway. To that end I cut a couple stairs into the plinth, smoothed things out, and called it a day. I primed her black with a zenithal white spray as usual, then selected my paints. Purple is a great shadow color and can add a sort of magical, slightly inhuman feel that I though would suit this android well. As I mentioned, skin is something I could spend ages working on with a ton of nuances in tones but for this project I just wanted to keep things simple so I picked a warm, slightly orange skintone that would be opposite purple on the color wheel and contrast really nicely. Other than those two colors I only used a little white and a smidge of black to paint all of her skin.
Getting to the painting itself, if you’ve read other posts of mine you won’t be surprised to hear that I did a quick wet-blended sketch to roughly place my highlights and shadows. From there I refined it a little bit, and began to push the highlights with a bit of white in the Cadian Fleshtone. I definitely struggled with the abdomen, still don’t really think it looks totally right so that will be something to work on in the future.
With the skin being relatively light and warm I wanted the metals to be the opposite, going with that cold, robotic interior of the inhuman android. A little blue ink in the bright silver gave me my base tone, which I then washed with dark blue all over. I deepened some recesses with a desaturated red before covering all the metals with a slightly thinned blood effect paint. Before it dried I wiped it off of select areas with a clean, damp brush to ensure that I still had metallic highlights shining through. I gave the deeper recesses a second coat of blood effects, and put just a little dripping down from the hands and seam where the skin is splitting.
I was reluctant to add another color to this limited scheme so the hair was going to be purple, but I wasn’t loving the look and ended up fading that into pink which I think worked out. It’s still a warm tone and not too distant from the red and purple, but helps to draw attention to the face which is key. Speaking of, I actually tried giving her eyebrows! Not something I usually do since minis are so small and they’re hard to make look right at small scales, but I like the effect on something of this size and I’ll definitely work on doing eyebrows more on future 54mm stuff. With the lower half of her face missing I felt like a slack, expressionless face was actually appropriate so I didn’t make an effort to define much of an expression. The focused, almost squinting eyes were the exception to that because to me her pose exudes power and control of the situation, she’s going through a transformation but would still be fully alert.
With that done, only the base was left. A quick wet-blended transition over the whole surface and she was finished, not a competition-winning piece or anything but a creepy android I’m very happy to have in my case nonetheless! I do wish I was a better photographer, getting those metals to look right with the white background was unfortunately beyond me. That or it’s the smartphone’s fault…
In any case I hope you enjoyed seeing this project come together, thanks for reading!