In Headlines three years ago, nearly to the week, I posted this Jeff Shiu Miniatures 120mm resin figure of a German Grenadier at Stalingrad; I was never happy with the painting. Since then, my figure painting skills have improved somewhat, and as I was “between projects” I decided to take the time and try to improve on my original efforts.
The base was masked and the figure primed with Tamiya primer, after which it was sprayed with Alclad 2 Gloss Black Base, to provide a sound finish and a little tonal depth.
I started with the head and worked down. Here, the face is being brought forward.
The coat is developed. I used Vallejo acrylics generally, for the coat German Grey, and for the uniform Gray Green 50/50 with German Grey. The challenge with this figure is the rather narrow colour palette – grey, grey-green, black, and white, although as can be seen I added a brighter flash of colour with the neckerchief (Fire Red, with highlights of Venetian Red Artists Oils).
The process continued with the other areas of uniform and equipment, finishing with a little Venetian Earth pigment judiciously brushed into the boots and along the lower areas of the coat and smock.
I think my approach to painting the smock is notably different this time. Previously, I tried to pick out the areas for light and shade singly and then blend – not too successful. This time I painted the smock with two coats of White acrylic. After it was dry I picked out the deeper folds with Lamp Black Artists Oils and later applied a spirit wash of LBAO overall. After it tacked I used a cotton bud dipped in spirit on one end and scrubbed over the surface, which removed any surplus wash, after which I used the dry end of the cotton bud to polish the surface to expose the brighter highlight of the White underneath, which was unaffected by the spirit. The result was more convincing.
I think that the relatively large area of the smock, unlike small sections of white as might be seen on other uniforms, presents certain problems, as the smock fabric is thin and accordingly the folds are not noticeably deep.
Here are a few photos of the upcycled version.
Finally, a comparison to the original (last photo).