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Marvel: Crisis Protocol

Marvel: Crisis Protocol

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Project Blog by jelosloth7

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About the Project

I've started painting up the Marvel: Crisis Protocol miniatures. Going to document my progress on here.

This Project is Active

Ronan the Accuser

Tutoring 3
Skill 4
Idea 4
No Comments
RonanRonan

After struggling through Storm’s paint job, where I second guessed everything I did, it was nice to just go on autopilot for Ronan. Nothing super about his paint job, just the basics. Pretty happy with how he came out. Glad to be done with him.

"Do you know what happens to a toad when it's struck by lightning?"

Tutoring 3
Skill 3
Idea 3
No Comments
StormStorm

Storm has been sitting on my paint desk for a very long time. I don’t think I’ve been more intimidated about painting a model as I have been with Storm and it’s caused me to put off her paint job in favor of less intimidating models for quite some time. I’ve seen so many paint jobs on her where the light from the lightning is entirely (or almost entirely) ignored and I really wanted to avoid that. I really liked the idea of virtually all of the light coming from the lightning, to really show how powerful the lightning strike is and be a nice focal point for the paint job. I also liked the idea of having a powerful glow come from her eyes.

I recently learned with Blade that doing the OSL via airbrush before painting the model doesn’t work. I ended up having to redo the OSL by hand afterwards and I think the model suffered for it. In retrospect I should’ve just airbrushed red on him after painting him and then touched it up with a brush to make the OSL clean. So with Storm I decided to try that. After giving her a general prime I used airbrush white to lay out the areas that were going to be lit up from the lightning strike.

I then laid down base coats for her skin, outfit and hair. I then re-established the OSL using very light white spray from an airbrush. I then picked out the highest highlight colors and watered them down to turn them into a glaze and worked the OSL into the base coats. I played with this step for some time, trying to make the transitions smooth and all the while trying to remember to keep the highlights going in the direction of what would be lit up from the lightning.

After doing that I noticed that the black on her outfit in particular just didn’t look finished. The problem here is that all of the lighting is coming from either beneath her or behind her, so the darkest area on her is the front of her torso. However, just leaving it black was making it look unfinished, which is no good. The fix I came up with for this is to highlight up the darkest areas with just a layer or two of highlight, keeping them a very dark bluish grey, to give them some depth. If I kept this minimal, in theory it should give the black depth without taking away from the OSL.

Finally I struggled with what to do with the lightning itself. I’ve seen it painted blue, yellow and white and of those I liked blue the most, but having the OSL from the lightning being blue didn’t seem right to me, so I opted to try to keep the lightning on the lighter end of blue and keep the OSL white. I’m still not sold that this was the right decision, but I feel like the piece looks good enough that I should just call it.

Overall I have no idea how I feel about the paint job. Everything with it was so experimental and the results are so mixed that I’m just not sure if the decisions I made on how to achieve what I was going for were the right decisions. It will be interesting to go back and review this mini once I’ve had more time to sit with my feelings about it and perhaps after I’ve had more practice with similar techniques.

Convocation painted so far

Tutoring 3
Skill 4
Idea 4
No Comments
Convocation painted so far

Got the faction for Christmas and finally got a replacement airbrush so I can get them primed. Hopefully I can get them knocked out in the next couple of moths.

Still to be painted/released:

  • Ancient One
  • Baron Mordo
  • Clea
  • Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme
  • Doctor Voodoo
  • Magik

Planned Repaints:

  • Doctor Strange
  • Wong

"Who's a good boy?!"

Tutoring 5
Skill 5
Idea 5
No Comments
LockjawLockjaw

So Lockjaw was a bit of a laid back fun experiment. My wife and I have a piebald miniature dachshund with a very unique and gorgeous color pattern and I wanted to see if I could make Lockjaw match that color pattern. I really did not hold myself to a very high standard with this model as I just wanted to look at it and have it remind me of my puppy. I spent more time focusing on getting the colors to match than I did focusing on how smooth the transitions were or on making everything highlighted and shaded in the way I normally do. As far as the color palette goes, I feel like I generally succeeded, and since that’s all I was going for I’m just gonna call it good.

"You need to do better."

Tutoring 4
Skill 4
Idea 4
No Comments
Sam WilsonSam Wilson

Finished up Sam Wilson this week. It’s funny, I’m noticing a few things as I paint minis:

  1. My standards for myself are getting higher and higher
  2. “Higher quality” paint jobs are getting easier and I’m accomplishing them quicker.
  3. My criticisms of my work are getting more and more harsh.
  4. My opinion on “quality” of paint jobs is getting more and more subjective and vague, to the point to where I might have to abandon using it as a term.

I knocked Sam out in a much quicker time than it would’ve taken me to do half as good a job on two years ago. I would never have believed I could’ve painted something this well two years ago and yet when I look at Sam all I see is all the things I could’ve done more work on and chose not to. I see all the sloppiness in the transitions of the OSL from the explosion on his wing. I see the lack of definition in his face. I see the lazy pseudo NMM I did for his metallics, where it’s kind of black and kind of NMM, but not really. There are many others, I could go on all day about it.

And yet, I put the model down on the table and think: “Man that looks cool” and kind of sit back and be not at all humble for a bit thinking about how good of a painter I’ve become. It makes me realize yet again, along with the last several minis I’ve painted, that it’s all subjective in the end. Does the paint job serve your purpose? In Sam’s case, I wanted a model that “pops” on the table top that I can play games with and generally feel good about the paint job. So despite there being a million little things I think could use a lot of work on, his paint job serves my purposes and serves them very well. Thus, he is a great paint job. He just also happens to be a testament to how far I still have to go as a painter. And that’s okay.

Shield ComparisonShield Comparison

I was especially blown away when I compared his shield to Steve’s shield that I painted when the game first released. I’ve been holding up that shield as a source of pride for the past two years as it looks hands down better than anything I had painted previously, but I can now say I think my work on Sam’s shield just puts it to shame. It honestly makes me cringe a little when I compare them (and makes me want to do my Steve Rogers Cap repaint). I have to be careful about that, because it still looks good and I don’t want people to read my comments as critiques on their skill level by comparison. Painting is such a personal journey that I would hate for people to see how critical I am of my own work and then be ashamed of theirs in response. I would never want to put someone off the hobby like that.

"He doesn't want to talk with James Rhodes--fine. He'll just have to take a meeting--with War Machine!"

Tutoring 4
Skill 4
Idea 4
No Comments
War MachineWar Machine

Finshed up War Machine this weekend.

He was a lot of fun to paint and really makes me realize how much more comfortable I’ve become with painting black. I was a little worried that I wouldn’t be able to differentiate between the darker and brighter panels of his suit, since I was using the same recipe, just with different brightnesses, but overall I think it turned out alright. I think the experience with him will also be really helpful when painting Hulkbuster, so that’s good.

"I. Am. Iron Man."

Tutoring 2
Skill 6
Idea 3
No Comments
Iron Man 2.0Iron Man 2.0
Iron Man Repaint ComparisonIron Man Repaint Comparison

With the Hulkbuster coming out, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to do my Iron Man repaint so I can try to get down NMM red and gold before I try to do it on a massive piece like the Hulkbuster. I used Sorastro’s video as a general guide on this one, but more for the color recipe than for actually laying down the highlights and shading.

Overall I’m really happy with how it came out and feel like I can likely do some justice to the Hulkbuster model. At the very least I’m much more comfortable attempting it. It’s a weird feeling to sit it next to the first one I painted and compare the two. Doesn’t feel like they were painted by the same person and I guess in a way they weren’t.

As far as repaints go, I want to get my rivals Doc Oc versus Spidey painted and before I tackle those beautiful models I want to practice to get recipes and techniques down, so I think I’m going to do those repaints relatively soon.

In the meantime I’m excited to try out the new rules for him on the tabletop. I’m hoping him plus the new rebalance on Captain America will be good on the tabletop.

"I am Moon Knight. The bearer of the mantle of Khonshu. Khonshu the justice bringer. I am vengeance."

Tutoring 6
Skill 7
Idea 6
No Comments

Finished up Moon Knight. He was a complete joy to paint and painted up really fast. I was able to knock out the majority of the OSL with an airbrush and then use white and glazes to blend the OSL into the white. The idea was to go for a pink glow coming from the city below and a cool blue moon light coming from above, rather than just a traditional all white paint job. This of course was after I customized his base a good bit because the idea of a bit of rooftop on a sidewalk really irked me and I couldn’t abide by it. Luckily I had some cardstock and a sander on hand and could create a general rooftop feel for him to be looking out over. Not a perfect conversion, but gives the general feel really well.

While painting Moon Knight I would add some to it, really like how it looks and think I was done, then think of something else I could add, do that and start that cycle over again. Every time I would add something I would really like what I added, but I would also feel like it was done and could be put on the table. And that moment lasted until I looked at a portion and realized that it could be better. I think one of the lessons I learned with this model is that with every single model, you can continue painting it indefinitely, but at some point you have to be done with the paint job and the lesson is that wherever you choose to end it is purely personal preference. There’s no right or wrong answer to that question. So with that in mind I’m calling him done. Not my cleanest work, but was really fun to paint and I’m really happy with how it came out.

Midnight Sons painted so far.

Tutoring 5
Skill 6
Idea 5
No Comments
Midnight SonsMidnight Sons

Midnight Sons are now playable. Working on Moon Knight next and hopefully once Christmas hits I’ll be able to add Doctor Voodoo.

Still to be painted/released:

• Doctor Voodoo

Planned Repaints:

• Blade
• Doctor Strange
• Moon Knight
• Wong

"So, how many times do I have to put you in the ground?"

Tutoring 4
Skill 6
Idea 5
No Comments
BladeBlade

Real life has been consuming all my time, but I managed to finish Blade this week. Painting him was a real challenge what with all the black, metal and OSL. Probably the most I every worried about messing up a paint job in some time.

In retrospect I don’t think I should’ve went with red for the smoke. Originally I was planning on going with purple, but my wife suggested I go with red instead. I think it makes him too monochromatic and purple would’ve worked better.

Also, if I’m being honest I think the OSL probably could’ve been done much better. I suspect my desire to get done with my backlog is causing me to rush my paint jobs. I will be getting a second copy of him at some point, so I’ll have a chance to redo him.

"How many more jobs... How long will it take... I don't know if I can do it... Even if I could forgive myself... This is what I am now. And you'll never know who I was before."

Tutoring 6
Skill 9
Idea 9
No Comments
Black Widow, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.Black Widow, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Painting Black Widow was an interesting experience. I’ve learned so much about painting black, red, flesh, faces, hair and NMM since I last attempted this character that this painted up really quickly and was really fun, whereas the first time I painted the Core Black Widow it was a frustrating and fairly miserable experience and I think the difference in paint job shows. The only critique I can think of at time of writing is the NMM on the gauntlets doesn’t feel right to me. It was such a small space to work with that I’m not sure how I’d do it differently, but it doesn’t quite land for me. Other than that, I’m pretty thrilled with how it came out and it makes me excited to paint another version of the core model so I can really compare how far I’ve come. I got to see a little bit of that with my Red Skull repaint, but I think the Black Widow repaint will be even more telling.

EDIT: Took some better pics. I feel like I’ve finally found a lighting/photo setup that works. I think these pics capture the reality of the paint job (for better or for worse) far better than any other photos I’ve taken.

"We come into this world alone and we leave the same way. The time we spent in between - time spent alive, sharing, learning together... is all that makes life worth living."

Tutoring 6
Skill 8
Idea 6
No Comments
Jean GreyJean Grey

Jean Grey is ready for the table. Overall I’m really happy with how she turned out. I really like how the blue and yellow turned out and the hair recipe worked better than I expected. I’m not thrilled with the pink energy. I tried to experiment with some pink tones and I didn’t want to go all glittery like I did with Scarlet Witch, but it just doesn’t pop like I was hoping it would. However, I really like how the pink glow from the eyes came out. I’m trying to get better at faces and I feel like she’s a relative success in that department.

EDIT: Took some better pics. I feel like I’ve finally found a lighting/photo setup that works. I think these pics capture the reality of the paint job (for better or for worse) far better than any other photos I’ve taken.

"Marrying my sister didn't make you any more human than a digital watch!"

Tutoring 7
Skill 8
Idea 7
No Comments
QuicksilverQuicksilver

Finished up Quicksilver. Used Sorastro’s PDF guide on this one, with the exception of the explosion, where I just used the recipe I’ve been using that I really like. He was pretty fun to paint and painted up pretty quick. Only thing I skimped on was the OSL, which I kept to just the rock instead of putting any on him. If I were more invested in the character, I might’ve went the extra mile with the OSL, but I decided to keep it simple.

EDIT: Took some better pics. I feel like I’ve finally found a lighting/photo setup that works. I think these pics capture the reality of the paint job (for better or for worse) far better than any other photos I’ve taken.

"While I live... and until I die... I am an Avenger!"

Tutoring 7
Skill 9
Idea 8
No Comments
Scarlet WitchScarlet Witch

I used Sorastro’s pdf guide to paint Scarlet Witch. Honestly I really should’ve painted her separately from her energy and I urge anyone going into it to do the same. Also, I feel my reds on her are too toned down and not as bright as they should be. That being said, I think the pink energy offsets it nicely and I like the contrast it creates on the model.

My wife had recommended that I bring the face up higher and I’m really glad I did. It’s much more of a focal point of the model than it originally was. Overall I’m pretty happy with how it came out, although I suspect I’ve lost some detail on the model because throughout the process I changed philosophies on how I wanted to paint her several times and the end result was more base coats than normal.

With her completed, my Defenders are complete (for now). I’ve only got 10 models to go to be caught up on my backlog, which I should have plenty of time to do with all the shipping delays.

“Look, when you can do the things that I can, but you don’t, and then the bad things happen, they happen because of you.”

Tutoring 7
Skill 9
Idea 8
No Comments
Amazing Spider-Man (Peter Parker)Amazing Spider-Man (Peter Parker)

Finished up Amazing Spider-Man last week. I’m really loving the explosion recipe I’ve come up with and using inks to create the OSL glow is so much easier than traditional paints. This was especially vital with the metallics, where I think any attempt at doing the lighting with traditional paints would’ve been very difficult and would’ve neutered the metal feel of the paints.

The only thing I’m not thrilled about is the red. On one hand, I learned my lesson from Carnage and used a yellow under coat, which makes the red far more vibrant than what I got with Carnage. On the other hand, I feel like the Red doesn’t have a lot of depth. I think in the future I’m going to do the yellow under coat and then shade the red down with brown, having a bright red as the highest of the reds. Theoretically this should allow the red to both be bright AND have depth to it, giving me that “pop” I’m looking for whilst still having a bright red that doesn’t go into oranges/pinks.

Overall I’m pretty happy with him. I think he’s good practice for when the new core parker model come out as part of the rivalry set.

"Visionary. Savior. Madman. It doesn't matter. I am SINISTER."

Tutoring 8
Skill 10
Idea 9
4 Comments
Mister SinisterMister Sinister

I’m not sure I’ve ever had so much fun painting a model. From the NMM effect on his muscles to the OSL from the smoke to the little plasma coils on his cloning tank, everything about him was fun to work on despite it being a challenge. Not everything I tried to do with him worked out the way I intended. I wanted the little plasma coils to look like the coils on a plasma gun you see in 40k and I don’t think it quite looks right and the OSL is rough in some spots, but overall I’m really happy with how he turned out and I can’t wait to constantly fail to get enough genetic samples in game to clone Cable.

"I've shown you the worst things in the world, because that's what the world's made of. Everything is sick! Am I getting through to you? Everything is sick... and I LOVE IT! "

Tutoring 10
Skill 12
Idea 11
2 Comments
CarnageCarnage

Carnage is ready to go and with him completes my Spider Foes (for now). I tried to experiment with him and I’m honestly really not happy with it. I used blue as a shade for the red and it darkened it so much that no matter how much highlighting I did, it still just feels way too dark. In retrospect I should’ve used a yellow undercoat and a red wash to make him have a much more vibrant red.

He’s definitely a good candidate for a repaint in the future. Alas, need to continue working through my backlog.

The coward with the spicy chimichangas is ready to make people die.

Tutoring 6
Skill 11
Idea 8
2 Comments
Bob, Agent of HydraBob, Agent of Hydra

Finished up Bob this weekend. The rocket took some time, but I’ve noticed that since I just got done painting Omega Red in full chrome, the rocket wasn’t really all that intimidating, which is kinda cool.

Overall fairly happy with him. It’s quite a lot of work for a 2 drop, but whatever. I’ve got 4 villains left to paint to be 100% complete with all my baddies. Next up should be Carnage.

"First we live. Then we die. In between is just blood and noise."

Tutoring 10
Skill 13
Idea 12
No Comments
Omega RedOmega Red
Man, where to begin with Omega Red. Everything about this model was an exploration and a risk. Since switching over to Scalecolor paints I am no longer comfortable painting red or yellow. I don’t have a recipe down for either of those colors that I feel confident in. On top of that, I decided that I was going to try to do all his metal in chrome to 1.) challenge myself and 2.) because Omega Red has been a favorite character of mine for a long time.
Prior to painting Omega Red, the model that held the crown for the model I’ve spent the most time painting was Thanos. Omega Red has officially taken that crown and honestly I think it’ll be awhile until his throne gets challenged. I had to do him in steps and painted full other models in between those steps to prevent burn out. He’s easily the most ambitious piece I’ve painted so far.
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As far as how I feel about him; I’m generally thrilled. I think the chrome turned out so much better than I feared it would when I started. I think the coils are incredibly imperfect and there a millions of little missteps on them, but with how nuts it is to even try to chrome like 50 or so little trapezoidal metal panels (per coil), I’m more than willing to leave it alone and just take him in as a model and be fine with the imperfections. For my first attempt at highly reflective non-metallic metal, I really don’t think I could’ve expected this good of a performance, let alone expected more. I’m really glad I challenged myself in this way if for no other reason than that it fully demystified painting chrome for me. I no longer find the idea of chroming Cable’s gun or Deadpool’s sword to be even remotely intimidating. Even tackling an Ultron repaint seems very doable now. Can’t guarantee it’ll look great, but I no longer see the idea as some insane feat that only a madman would attempt. It’s weird because just typing that out and recognizing it is very empowering. That’s pretty cool.
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As far as the yellow goes, I’m pretty happy with the yellow recipe. I think it captures “dirty blonde” pretty well. I’m still not 100% on it, but I feel like I’ve got a better grasp on it than I did before going in, so it’s progress.
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As far as the red goes, it was almost as big a journey as the chrome was. In particular, I’m having a difficult time finding a level of highlighting and shading on red that doesn’t make it look orange or pink. I seem to constantly struggle finding a way to highlight it all the way to white without over highlighting it and making it look atrocious. This is the same issue I run into with black (look at my first Punisher for an example of that). I tried watching several YouTube videos on this exact topic and everything I found didn’t really tackle it. What I think I finally figured out with Omega Red was that just because I’m going all the way to white with my highlights doesn’t mean everything that gets highlighted has to go all the way to white. It’s okay to leave big panels at a brighter version of the base color and not have to get pure white in there somewhere. So when I went to do his highlights I used various red tones to highlight, but saved the very “pink” and “white” highlights for only certain small areas. Overall I feel like it works. I think especially since the model already has an insane amount of contrast thanks to the chrome, had I over-highlighted the red I think it might make the model very distracting and confused. This also makes me think that perhaps in the future when I do black, I should approach highlighting it from the same perspective and I might get similar results.
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I feel like this challenge might’ve helped me grow as a painter more than anything I’ve ever done before. Feels like I smashed through a threshold with him. Very cool feeling.

"I fight for nihilism -- and shall continue so until I, in turn, am cut down!"

Tutoring 6
Skill 10
Idea 7
No Comments

With Viper done I have 6 more “villains” left to paint before Dormammu drops. She was really fun to paint and I’m really happy with how her skin turned out. I wanted it to feel kind of pale and sickly and I feel like the recipe I experimented with worked really well.