I have done a few of these Hero Forge commissions now, but each one is different and fun to work on. With this latest commission I got a chance to paint some models that were made with Hero Forge's newest material.
Like one of my past commissions I was provided with some illustrations to work from. My client had hired an illustrator to draw both of his characters.
This is really helpful since it lets me see exactly how they want the models painted. The best part about this is matching the paint colors to what's in the illustration.
This can also be a bit challenging though since it pretty much means every color I use is a mix since it's very rare for a color to match straight out of the pot. I do try and match as many of the details as I can though, for example, the tattoo on her arm, her rosy cheeks, and her green eyes. It's little touches like this that make it a unique person. It also helps when the illustrations are as nice as these are. Both of these were drawn by Olie Boldador whose Deviant Art you can find here.
The first thing I had to do was sculpt a belt on this guy to match the picture provided. It wasn't a huge issue and he actually already had a belt, it just goes under his armor. I just extended the belt that was already there over his armor and sculpted the belt buckle to match the other buckles on the model.
Compared to the other Hero Forge models I have painted, these two are a dream to paint. Previously the models were always a little grainy and rough. This was always a little hard to paint and I was afraid it was hurting my brushes a bit. I would try and hide the texture as best as I could with my paint job, but now I don't have to worry about that anymore. This new material is perfectly smooth and captures all of the detail. It definitely makes painting Hero Forge models a lot easier.
The shield was a lot of fun to paint. Even though the shield in the drawing was all metal, the model clearly had wooden planks sculpted onto it, so we decided to go ahead and embrace the wood part of it. I really like how the wood grain turned out and it adds a lot of detail as well as a point of interest. It's definitely more interesting looking than bare metal would have been.
His face took awhile to paint. My original paint job made him look a little too old, so I had to soften the shadows a bit. It's a delicate balancing act since you run the risk of everything just becoming flat. I like how it turned out in the end though. I also painted the slight scar on his eye like he had in the picture. It's subtle, but adds a bit of character. I was asked to paint the cloak in a reddish brown since it's not in the drawing. I think the color goes well with the model as a whole. It's a mix of Doombull Brown and a bit of Khorne Red, which is the color I used on his loin cloth thing.
The second model in the group was a little more challenging since her color palette consists mostly of muddy browns and greens. There was a very real risk of everything just becoming muddy all over and all of the detail becoming lost. I painted her main color with a mix of Gothor Brown and Dawnstone Grey to make it more of a grey brown. I made sure to pick out all of the shadows with Rhinox Hide so everything stood out.
The next main color was the green trim, which I made a little more brown by mixing in some Gothor Brown. The dark leather browns was the last color on her clothing. I shaded the Rhinox Hide with Nuln Oil to to really darken it down so it would stand out against the more mid tone colors of the rest of the model.
I painted her skin in the same way as the guy, but made sure to make the shadows even more shallow. With female characters it's really important to make the shadows very light so that their faces look smoother.
I also added some red into the skin tone to pick out her lower lip and her cheeks to match the drawing. I ended up scaling back the red in the cheeks, but made sure to keep a bit of it in there. I was really happy with how the hair turned out and how well the red stands out against the rest of the mini. The client also asked that I paint her eyebrows on since she had a distinctive cut in her eyebrow. This isn't something that I normally do, but I'm pleasantly surprised with how they turned out. He liked it so much that he asked me to go back and do it to the guy too. It's important to keep the eyebrows as thin as possible on models this small, otherwise they end up looking bushy and cartoonish.
The bases were both painted with the Stirland Battlemire texture paint, then drybrushed with Gothor Brown followed by Karak Stone. They were finished off with some rocks and grass tufts.
Overall I am really happy with how this pair turned out. I enjoy painting these Hero Forge models since each one is so unique. Besides the break it gives me from painting more standard models, there's just something about painting a model that was created specifically by my client for their games. The chances of another model out there looking just like the one I painted is extremely slim. With the increase in scale with AoS these guys are about the right size for that too. The style is definitely different being a little more cartoonish, but for a model here or there it wouldn't stand out too much. I already have another Hero Forge commission lined up in the future, and this one includes a guy riding a wolf!
Until next time,