Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Son, You've Got A Condition...

The drying time model (something I paint while batches of wash are drying and so on) over the last week or so has been a big 'un.

Yep! It's the Incredible Hulk! Knight Models have been absolutely knocking them out of the park with the Marvel Universe sculpts and Hulk is no exception. At first I was baulking a little at the cost of him (he ain't cheap). However, a combination of knowing that licensed models like this are a bit "smoke 'em if you got 'em" - i.e. they can up and vanish like Knight Models excellent Star Wars line - combined with seeing the sheer size of the model convinced me. Oh, the size you say? Surely that's a normal sized base right?

you can see more of Iron Man here
Nope. Hulk is HUGE. The biggest solid metal model I've worked with in years. I had to remember a bunch of tricks from back in the day to get him together. Most companies with models this big use resin. Not Knight Models, oh no, this bad boy is solid white metal and heavy with it. I needed to put him down for a rest several times during painting. Something remarkable though is the balance. Hulk's centre of mass is absolutely slap bang on that base. He doesn't even wobble. Really, really nice work Knight.

best photo of skin tone, convenient no? He really does have eyes btw...

So, to business! Painting wise, there is an obvious place to start, the skin. Because lets face it, it's The Hulk. You're gonna be painting green. But which green? Stick Hulk into google and scroll through some images. You are going to see every shade of green going. Most of them kinda highly saturated and very yellow. I wanted a bit more of an "Avenger's Movie Hulk Green" to give it it's car showroom name. This was a fairly easy fix. The Avenger's Hulk works because he is quite a fleshy green. So I started with Castellan Green for the khaki green base. I shaded it down with Athonian Camoshade to deepen the shadows. It was at this point that I knew that delicately blending every highlight on a model this size would send me insane. Just insane. Instead, given the texture of the model I decided to tap a little used technique for this kind of thing, drybrushing. Drybrushing takes a bit of flack in our hobby. It's seen as a newbie technique and that's largely because people don't do it right. You use as many carefully gradiated layers of colour as you would for blending. But instead you apply it with a very, very dry brush. If there is any moisture at all it will streak. Use a lighter and lighter touch with each successive layer, each layer was essentially just Castellan Green with increasing amounts of Kislev Flesh. Finally I glazed it with Val Black-Green Ink to intensify the green tone and deepen the shadows.

The whacking great lump of masonry in his hand presented an opportunity for a contrast colour so red brick was going to be the win. I've got a fairly reliable method these days. Val Saddle Brown is the base coat, add various brown and bone tones to the Saddle Brown and pick out a couple of bricks in each. It creates natural variation and makes a more believable effect. Lastly, I wash the whole thing in very thinned Val Stone Grey which is a decent analogue for old school mortar. I dabbed off the excess with some tissue leaving mortar in the cracks and some mortar dust on the bricks.

Mercifully, Knight sculpted the traditional torn and strained clothes onto El Hulko otherwise he would just be green and a bit more boring. The clothes break up the large areas of colour and maintain visual interest. It is, by the way, the reason for super heroes wearing trunks on the outside of costumes. It breaks up the colour. There were options for the trousers, they're sculpted as denim jeans. But a traditionalist spark in me made me reach for the colour that the Hulk's trousers have always been. Purple. Makes no sense, colour theory wise (had something to do with 3 colour printing from the silver age of comics) but looks right because, well, the Hulk's trousers are purple.

And that's all folks! I have Captain America on the drying time workbench but he'll have to wait. There'll be more Inq28 stuff by the end of the week. If that isn't enough for you though, the Goblin's Popular Front await on the Beard Bunker. Until then


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