Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Mengel Miniatures Masterclass Tutorial: Count Dooku

The Count of Serenno is no one to mess with. As leader of the Confederacy of Independent Systems, and disciple of Darth Sidious, Dooku is a formidable opponent. Hopefully with this article though I can make him a little less formidable to paint!

One of the things that I'm really enjoying with the Star Wars models is trying to emulate their counterparts from the movies as closely as I can. This includes the colors and overall look, but in the case of some of the heroes or anyone without a helmet really, their face too!

Count Dooku's outfit is pretty straight forward, being mostly various shades of brown and black, so this allowed me to focus even more time on the two areas your eyes go to most, his face and the lightsaber. As for the clothes themselves, I looked at quite a few different reference photos, from the movies, shows, and other depictions of him for reference. In some it appear his pants and shirt are black, some they are really dark brown, and in some they're a mix of the two. For mine, I decided to go with the black. He is a Sith after all.

One thing I would do differently if I were to paint him again would be to leave his cloak separate from his main body to make it easier to get to the inside of it. This would essentially make it so his arms and head are attached to the cloak portion, and then the rest of him would be attached to the base. I would glue them together as soon as I had painted the inside of his cloak and the back of his torso and legs.

The Inside of the Cloak

I started with the inside of the cloak since it would be the messiest part to base coat. I base coated it with Baneblade Brown. You want to make sure you get all of it, so really jam your brush back there if you glued him together entirely like I did. I followed this by painting a mix of Snakebite Leather and Contrast Medium over all of it. I then went back and cleaned up the midtone areas with a mix of Baneblade Brown and Snakebite Leather. From this point on I was trying to smooth out the blends, which meant mixing in more Snakebite towards the depths of the folds, and more Baneblade towards the tops of them. I don't have a number of steps I did here, I just did it until I was happy with the look. To be honest, this was the "messiest" part of the model. The highlights were done with pure Baneblade Brown, followed by a little bit of Karak Stone on the most prominent edges.

The Black Clothes

I did his shirt and pants next since it was the next largest area besides the back of the cloak. Since I knew he was going to have black boots as well I wanted to make sure I differentiated the two black colors a bit. For the clothes I went with a softer black and base coated them with Corvus Black. I then shaded this with thinned down Black Templar by painting it directly into the recesses and folds where I wanted it. You can build this up over a few layers to darken it down more. Next, tidy up with Corvus if you need to. The first highlight was done with a 50/50 mix of Corvus Black and Dawnstone. Pick out the tops of folds and edges and be slightly broad with it. This was followed by a more refined highlight of pure Dawnstone, and finally a little bit of Grey Seer in the most prominent areas. You want to get more and more refined with each highlight stage. 

The Boots

While I was on a roll with black colors, I decided to do the boots as well. These were base coated with Abaddon Black to make them darker than the clothes. The first highlight was done with pure Dawnstone, followed by a more refined highlight of Grey Seer. You want to keep all of these highlights pretty thin. I also painted on some reflection marks with these colors. By making the highlights so stark and defined, it gives the impression of shiny leather.

The Belt

His belt appears to just be brown leather, but I wanted to make sure it was a different shade than his cloak. I base coated it with Mournfang Brown and then gave it an all over wash of Agrax Earthshade. Once dry, I edge highlighted it with a mix of Mournfang Brown and a little bit of Screaming Skull, and then a second, more refined highlight by mixing in even more Screaming Skull.

The Outside of the Cloak

Next I moved onto the outside of the cloak. This seemed like a pretty warm brown, but also pretty dark. I base coated it with Rhinox Hide, and shaded it with a mix of Rhinox Hide and Abaddon Black by painting it only into the folds. To highlight it I started mixing in Skragg Brown into the Rhinox Hide, and built this up over a few layers. I want to say I probably did about 2-3 layers of this, mixing in more Skragg Brown each time, and finished it with a pure Skragg Brown highlight on the most prominent areas.

The Face

Now onto the real fun part! I looked at plenty of reference photos while working on this to make sure I got as close as I could to the real deal. His skin seemed on the lighter side, so I started with a base coat of Kislev Flesh. This was then shaded with thinned down Reikland Fleshshade. After this, I reapplied the Kislev Flesh, except I left the recesses darker. For the highlights I actually started mixing in Grey Seer to give the skin an older look. I did two layers of highlights, mixing in more Grey Seer for the second one. Focus this on the lines on his face. Looking at the photos he had a lot of red in his face, so I glazed his lower lip with Carroburg Crimson, then thinned it down and lightly glazed it on his cheeks, parts of his nose, and the tops of his ears. You're just looking for a hint of red. I also glazed the eyes and bags under his eyes with Druchii Violet. After this, I went back with the last highlight mix and redefined some of the highlights over the areas I just glazed. The liver spots on his head were just small dots of Reikland Fleshshade. I made sure to make some larger and some smaller. His eyes were picked out with White, and dotted with Black Templar. The eyebrows were carefully painted with Corvus Black mixed with a little bit of Dawnstone.

The Hair

I base coated the hair with Grey Seer. This was then washed with thinned down Nuln Oil. I then re-layered it with Grey Seer, picking out the strands of the hair. This was followed by a more refined highlight by mixing some White into the Grey Seer. For the mustache I did an extra wash of Nuln Oil, and then highlighted it with Dawnstone, followed by mixing in some Grey Seer, so that the mustache will be darker.

The Metals

The metals on the lightsaber, neck chain, and his belt were base coated with Leadbelcher. The lightsaber and chain were washed with Nuln Oil, while the belt was washed with Agrax Earthshade. Both were then highlighted with Stormhost Silver. On the lightsaber I picked out the designs with Black Templar to match Dooku's and then painted the button Mephiston Red.

The Blade

The blade of the lightsaber was base coated with Mephiston Red. I then mixed White in and made a gradient towards the hilt. This will take several layers and blending. For the highlight running down the blade I picked some angles that it will be seen from the most, the top, front, and back, and ran a line down the blade with a mix of Mephiston and White. I ended up having to go back and forth with the red and the white quite a few times to get a good blend. The trick is to make it still look mostly red instead of pink. Unfortunately there's no secret trick here, it's just blending back and forth between red and white.

With that all you need to do is base Dooku to match your army and you're done! If you have any questions about how I painted him let me know in the comments below.

Until next time,

Tyler M.

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