Monday, November 26, 2012

Leorelex the Dragon Lion

Hi everyone, in november I working on another beautiful Reaper model.
Leorelex the Dragon Lion was sculpted by Geoff Valley and was released in 2004. I crafted the putty base so it would look like it's an eroded sea shore.

I reworked the base a little and looked for more informations about the way to contain Realistic Water while pouring it on an even base. The finding is I'll probably need to build a temporary formwork to hold the liquid until it's dry.

I retouched the rocks and patched the gaps between the wings and the Lion body.
I also cleaned the entire model with a toothbrush and soapy water to avoid dripping primer.

I primed the beast and it's now ready to be paint. I applied two thin layers of white primer to cover even the smallest corners. I'm using white primer the help the red color to seem as shiny as can be.

I'm done with the base color. I painted the reef rocks beige to match with the coral sand that I glued on the base. I'm now up for a faint dark brown wash both on the scales and the rocks. The mane is a little paler in reality.

As you can see on the next pics, a thick red wash over white primer will a basic shading and highlight feel.
I only added some charcoal shading on the left wing... Not a very good idea.

I highlighted the reef, trying to reach higher tones of the sand.
I couldn't resist having a try at the scales and the membrane before shading.

I covered the dark charcoal shading with red.

Then I applied a muddy brown shading, on the base and the model, except on the membranes.
I don't like doing this on the base, I hope it will help building some texture on the smooth surface.

I started building the stones color last night.
I applied a drybrush/glaze layer of yellow ochre color all over the reef.

Then, I applied a blend of yellow ochre and beige color.
Followed by a thin layer of pure beige so the tones will melt together.

And, a blend of beige and ivory color, completed by a thin layer of pure ivory. I'll do the the final touchup after I'm done with the red, patching the eventual red spots and adding the water reflection on the rocks before sealing.

I started highlighting the scales, first with a mix of flat red and orange.

Then, I added a thin layer of flat red, yellow ochre and silver mix on the top scales only.

 I also worked on the teeth and eyes. After staring at the head for a moment I realized it looks a lot like a wolf head. So, I think I'll paint the mane using chacal fur tones.

Starting to work on the highlights, I applied a green ochre all over the mane and furry spots. I also applied a black shading on the eyes which turned out as a black eye on the right side.

 Then I applied a yellow ochre highlight on the hair tips and the scales edges.
I think it's starting to look really nice now.

 Following the advice from a fellow painter on Reaper's forum I've found some good pictures of lion claws, here's a interesting one.

 I Changed my #4 brush for a 10/0 and started painting the details. I painted the distal phalanx with a dark pink color and completed the claws by adding beige highlight. I choose to paint the eyes green to complement the still to be water color. I also worked on the theet and scales to improve the highlights.

 I did some colored washes here and there on the wings underside and a thin layer of pink on some scales and along the wings. That's the result of the muddy wash and the two drybrushing I previously did. Since I did a flat red/orange and then a flat red/yellow ochre/silver (pink) drybrush, there is some places where the first blend is multicolor. There's also the natural shadings from the light. The same thing appen on the base, after many glazing the undercolor tone changes randomly.

  I added more highlights on the face and painted the fur spot on the wings.

For the base I've found very small seashells.
I didn't glue them yet as I may also add algae.

I went a little crazy on highlights. White highlight on the wings, the spine scales, the legs and the fur.
I like the way he stands shining at the sunrise from the shore, about to jump and fly hunting for his favorite fish.

I worked on the fur, added orange/brown and black spots on the mane and completed with a thin white highlight.
  Following the advice from another fellow painter on Reaper's forum I've also repainted the eyes, Green to yellow blend with white dots.

 I now need to focus on the water.
I was wondering if I should paint the sand this way and use transparent water.
I can paint something like this.

Or, would it be better to just dye the Realistic Water effect?
It could look like this.

 I had to make some tests, cuz I'm was not sure at all.

 Here’s two other pictures for the model. I painted the snail shell pink/red but I’m really not sure if I should add algae. I feel that the lichen I’m using is too big. Maybe I should cut it a little shorter.

 I prepared two tests, I just glued the sand in sample receptacles. When the glue will be dry I’ll paint the sand from one of the sample and pour transparent Realistic Water on it. The other sample will only receive dyed Realistic Water straight on the sand.

After completing my Realistic water tests and it's obvious now I'll use clear water.

On the first picture the product was still fresh.
It's dry on the two last pictures. The pictures talk for themselves.

See the results, I added too much paint in the first one.
As it was just a test, I also mixed white glue in it to see how it would react.

Personaly, I prefer the painted sand and clear water version.

 I think the only reason why my dyed water looks like a candy is because I added too much color pigments in the product. I'll do another test with just a sweat of a light green tone.

I painted the base now and glued the seashells and some lichen to act as coral/algae. I had to paint the lichen as it was very pale.

 I'll now make the temporary formwork to pour in the water effect and contain it while it dries. 
I just poured the first 1/8in layer. There's no leak on the framework so it should be good till it's dry.

I poured about 1/8 in of product but now that it's dry, it has shrunk and it's about 1/16 in thick. The seaweed has flattened during the curing process. I want to get around 1/4 in thick of water to cover all the sand. I'll be pouring another layer today.

On the first picture the product was not yet dry.

The two next pictures shows the result after the first layer is almost hard.

To build the framework, I used two overlapping scotch tape strips with their sticky side facing each other but shifted 1/4 in. Then, you have 1/4 sticky side of the tape at the bottom all around the base but the inside upper part is not sticky. So that, it wou'nt ruine the paint. Then the exterior upper part is sticky so I placed a transparent plastic board to see if I had a straight wall side.

It's a precarious installation. The product went all around the base and there were no leaks yet.

I will cut the tape and the water effect hemming when the product is completely dry. I may have to sand paper the sides and apply a thin layer of product to complete the effect. To tell the true it's the first time I use water effect this way. The first and only other time was a simple pour in the pond.

 There was a bug this time. As you'll see on the pictures, the product sank in the corners.
It didn't leak out but went all the way to the back of the reef. It also went up the front part of the shore.

I hope to be able to fix all that when it's dry. For now, I poured the third layer.

 Here, the third layer is dry.

And, that's the forth layer.

Here's the result after 4 layers of Realistic Water effect.
It's at 1/4 inch high now. I will remove the tape.

 I must say I'm happily surprised with the result. It was very easy to remove the tape. The product was hard enough and the tape went off with a crispy sound. The edges are still maleable and I need to trim them a little, but not too straight.

Ok, that's it! I trimmed the water edge a little with craft plier and sandpapered to rough parts.
I also added greenish highlights on the shore and painted white caps on top of the wave crashing on the rock column. Here are some close up.

So, it's a great pleasure for me to show you the model I've been working on since three week.
I'm sure I'll have more chance to experiment with Realistic water on a future project.
Thanks for watching. I hope you enjoyed and that it will inspire you to try your own water effect.