Before we go any further, a minor grr, none of the photos I took of dear Ol' Cap. were terribly sharp, the focus just seemed to wander off of the details. Mentally sharpen them up would you folks? For those not terribly familiar with the character you may dismiss this chap - as I did until I got to know the character - as a jingoistic propaganda tool, a (literally) wrapped in the flag stereotype. For the longest time I did too, but that was because I had only seen the rubbish story-lines. At his worst handled Captain America is essentially Team America World Police: The Super Hero Years. With clumsy authoring he is almost unbearably "America! F*** Yeah!". But get him in the hands of someone who knows what they are doing and he becomes something very interesting indeed. He's a tragic character, trapped out of time without the cushion of years to soften the transition between the 1940's and today. He is, also, genuinely a hero, he embodies most of the Ideal of the classic hero which America like to freight those they consider heroes and then are furious when they don't live up to them. The Cap is the other way around, he genuinely is all those things and it is the world around him that constantly lets him down.
Even his powers are just juiced up regular human, peak of physical ability with just a slight push into the super-human. He regularly is a leader, not the lone gun so many super heroes are. Heck in the war years he had a whole commando unit he led plucked from the various allied nations. He also has a very rare thing within superheroes, he's fine with killing. He is a soldier, was made as such. Where Batman will go to sometimes ridiculous lengths to save the lives of those he hunts, Captain America will pick up a gun and shoot if the person he is firing at presents a danger or is a threat too dangerous to live. With all this he occupies an interesting place in the super hero canon. Humble, self-sacrificing, disciplined, a leader and a soldier first, he is the soul of Shield and keeps them on the straight and narrow as much as he can. He's a genuine hero.
And I really, really didn't get him until recently.
Enough of that though, painting! That's why we're here! Knight's first Captain America model (I'm not-so-secretly hoping for a war years one with the Howling Commandos and - please, pretty, please Knight - a Red Skull and Hydra lackeys) is modelled on the original comic book version rather than the movies. This means the Puerto Rico flag outfit (seriously, check it out, it's not the American flag at all). I knew I wanted the colours to be a little muted and naturalistic rather than the rather strident scheme you normally see (except the shield, more later). So starting with the blue I went with a grey blue worked up from The Fang, through Russ and Fenrisian Grey. This was then glazed in two layers of thinned blue ink with the usual Lahmian Medium thrown in. This made for a denim blue that pleased me so on with the show. The red I handled in two different ways, the cloth was just painted straight red with the usual highlighting, the gloves and boots I wanted as red leather so they got Rhinox Hide added at each stage of the highlighting process. The white was just the usual half dozen tedious thin layers of ever lighter grey. Yawn.
The Shield though, that needed to be all kinds of bright and shiny. Again, it hasn't photographed terribly well but I hope you can get the idea. I used the same trick as I did with Iron Man. Just buffed the white metal part up with finer and finer sanding sticks until it was a mirror, used inks to colour the bits that needed colouring, scratched a few dings and nicks into the paintwork and then glossed the whole thing to prevent the metal oxidising back to a matt grey finish. Easy, but effective, the shield really stands out from the whole.
Fun thought, the pose of the Cap works really, really well paired off against the Hulk. I can see my Avengers being deployed in the cabinet in one of their all-too-regular missions: Stop the rampaging Hulk.
|yes those are three of The Watchmen behind the paints|