Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Tutorial: Quick and Easy Bronze Statues

It's Adepticon crunch time and that means repainting old terrain - one of which is this Deathwatch Marine I made years ago from an Inquisitor-scale Artemis and a plinth from an old Tamiya figure. I've done a lot of bronze statues over the years and people keep asking me about my methods so, along with the repaint comes a tutorial. I'll start out by saying that this statue is going to get the works, including heavy weathering. You can skip certain steps to make the statue look newer or less oxidized and I've denoted these steps by placing an asterisk before the number.

Materials needed:

  • A statue (if this is your first time, I recommend a scrap mini. If it turns out great, you've got a statue. If it doesn't, you didn't waste a great mini!)
  • A plinth (this is the stone or cement base the statue sits on. It can be anything from wood to plastic to old bitz. It should just look reasonably big enough to anchor your statue)
  • Black primer
  • 2 shades of Bronze paints (I use Tin Bitz for my dark base and Vallejo Bronze for my highlight)
  • Verdigris paint (I mix my own using mid-tones of green, blue and white but there are ready mixed colors on the market)
  • Vallejo Glaze Medium
  • Secret Weapon Cool Grey Wash
  • Off-White paint (for bird poop)
  • Black or VERY Dark Brown paint (for engraving text)
  • Colors for the plinth (I use Pewter Grey and Pure White)
  • Brushes (one for detail painting, one for washing, one for drybrushing)
  • Sponge

1. Prime your model black. Be sure to cover the model completely. All bronze statues have a black base color, so any bare metal or plastic will stick out if missed.

2. Heavily drybrush your dark Bronze color, covering all raised areas equally. It's OK to leave deep recesses a black color, for the reason I mentioned above.

3. Using your lighter Bronze color, lightly dryrush the higher areas and edges. It seems redundant but it will show through slightly, even with fairly heavy weathering.

4. Mix together your verdigris color and some of the glaze medium and cover the entire statue using the wash brush. You can vary the amount of weathering by varying the wetness of your brush - if the brush is fairly dry, weathering will be heavy; if it's wet, weathering will be lighter. Focus more weathering on the upper surfaces than lower, as rain causes more oxidation on upper surfaces.

5. Once the verdigris is thoroughly dry, wash the entire statue with SW Cool Grey Wash. 

6. While the wash dries, paint your plinth. Cover the entire plinth in your base color.

7. Using the sponge, stipple successively lighter shades unto the plinth. This is a quick and easy way to fool the viewer's eye into thinking its a stone effect. When finished, use a detail brush to highlight the edges with pure white.

*8. For a more heavy weathering effect, apply a second coat of verdigris glaze, applying it solely on upper surfaces. You can simulate drip stains by using the detail brush and applying the verdigris in vertical strokes, applying heavy pressure at the top of the "drip" and lightening the pressure towards the bottom "end".

*9. To simulate engraved text, apply horizontal squiggles of black paint for the text shadow. For the text highlight, apply horizontal squiggles of verdigris mixed with white immediately below the text shadow.

*10. To simulate bird (or other xenos avian) poop, dab off-white color in spots on the uppermost surfaces, applying drips in the same way as Step 8. You may add small lines of solid poop in some spots, but do so sparingly. Apply a glaze of off-white around each spot, especially in areas where spots are grouped together.

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