Wednesday, July 18, 2018

How to paint battered bronze

Hello friends and fellow hobbyists,

Before I continue with this article I would like to express my feelings:
Okay now that I got that off my chest, we can continue... Thank you for understanding.

Some of you have seen my painted version of Achilles by Young Miniatures and I've gotten a ton of compliments about how I painted the bronze armor. I did take some pictures of the painting process but not really step by step.

Luckily, I also had a bust of Hector, by the same company, and in order to tie them together, I wanted to paint some elements the same way. The center relief on the shield was the perfect spot for this.

Materials I used for this paint job:
  • Scale75 matte black paint (depending if you want to start with a dark base) 
  • Scale75 Ancient Gold
  • Synthetic brush (size 2) 
  • Van Gogh oil color Ivory Black
  • Thinner
  • Blister sponge
Now you can start this particular technique in two ways, depending on if you want a darker or lighter end result. I wanted to match the dark armor on my Achilles bust, so I started with a black basecoat. If you want to create a lighter bronze look, you can best start with a dark gold or bronze base.

(PS: I apologize for the horse nudity, but that is how it was on the original movie prop)

Okay, but since I wanted to match with Achilles' armor, I started with a black basecoat, just regular matte black acrylic paint from Scale75.

Since we will also be working with oil paint, and thus will also be using some thinner, you might want to protect your paint job with a coat of varnish. I did it without varnishing my paint job since I've done it before with these paints and didn't have any problems.

So If you started with a gold basecoat, you can skip this following step once! It is time to stipple on some gold. For this, I use an irregularly ripped blister sponge to sponge on some of the Scale75 Ancient Gold. Try to make it look as random as possible by using different angles and twisting and turning your sponge.

As you can tell from the above picture, it does create a nice texture, but it looks way too bright! What I like about this technique is that you will hit raised surfaces and larger flat area's, but the crevices next to the detail won't get touched by the gold so much. Next step is to tone down that bright gold. people who started with a gold base and thus skipped this previous step can chime back in now!

Now get some of the black oil paint and put it on a piece of cardboard. This will suck out some of the oils, which makes it easier to work with. Next, get some of that black paint and put it over the previous (partially) gold layer. Don't freak out if it covers your gold completely! Just get some thinner on your brush and work the black paint around on the model until some of the detail from the previous layer starts to show through.

From this point onward, just repeat the previous two steps for a while until you're happy about how it looks. From this point, I did two or three more layers, each layer creating more depth because you keep seeing some of the gold from the underlying layers and you're creating an actual texture to the surface that you're painting.

Okay, so at this point, I'm pretty satisfied with how the embossed relief looks. It might be a little darker than the one from the movies, but it ties in really nice with the armor of Achilles. To give it a little individuality I decided to paint on some verdigris. This is the greenish oxidation or rust that you sometimes see on bronze statues. To make this, I mixed some green and turquoise together and applied it randomly in the crevices where I thought it looked nice.

There you have it! You can, of course, use this technique for different kinds of metallics, but I especially like it for this aged and worn bronze.

I hope you found this little tutorial useful and if you did or want to see more tutorials like this be sure to leave me a little comment down in the comment section.

Untill next time!

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