Rocket and Groot, two great characters and two quite different miniatures to paint. One was really simple whilst the other was small and much more of a challenge. Let’s take a look…
Starting with Groot, as he was the simple one (no reference to his actual IQ intended!). I had a good trawl through the Internet, looking at pictures from the comics, but didn’t quite find anything that set me alight. One difference between comic Groot and movie root was the glowing bits, which were apparent on the sculpt, and I wanted to see what they looked like.
In the end, I went with the card art, or more precisely the painted images on the box.
As usual, I started with a zenithal prime. I then did a test over one leg using Citadel’s Skeleton Horde Contrast paint. After one coat I could see it was exactly what I was looking for, it just needed to be built up.
So, I applied it to the whole mini, and then again and again, I think I did five or six coats, maybe more, building up the colour with each coat. I was surprised just how well this worked over the priming and it’s definitely something I need to keep in mind for future use.
Saying that, if I did it again, I’d look at adjusting the colours I used during the zenithal priming. Either, add a dark grey before spraying the mid-tone, spraying it from the horizontal leaving the black only in the deepest recesses, or I would swap in a Dark Brown, maybe Mahogany, for the Black. It might have given him a more all-over woody, look!
Anyway, I did go over him in places with Athonian Camoshade (yes, I’ve finally invested in some Citadel washes) trying to give him a more natural and, dare I say it, rooted look!
That just left the glowing thingy-ma-bobs. I used the same colours and techniques as I did on Ultron, basically a base of Blood Red (from Citadel’s old range) followed by various glazes made up of the Blood Red, Orange Fire, Medium Yellow, and Dead White (All Vallejo).
Base was completed in the same manner as the rest of the MCP minis and that was Groot.
Rocket is small and was a pain to assemble, especially trying to hold that lower jaw – Ping! off it went again – I was glad I have small fingers!
Painting Rocket was a much more complex procedure. I went with the box art, or more precisely the image on the Atomic Mass Website where they do a nice 360° rotating picture. I liked the orange outfit, to be honest, and that’s what drew me to it, but I couldn’t find many decent images from the comics with him wearing it, at least not within the 5-minutes I spent glancing at the net.
I had a few issues with the bit of Groot that Rocket is standing on and repainted it several times. I struggled to get it to match the colouring of Groot himself, even thought I was using the exact same colours and techniques. Still, in the end it’s close enough that nobody will notice – unless they’re standing right next to each other that is!
Once again, I zenithal Primed before starting.
I wanted to experiment by using more colours to build shade and highlights. I tend towards painting the mid-tone colour as a base and then adding shade and highlights over this, usually in a glaze, but I like trying new things. With Rocket I’ve tried to add more variance into my shade and highlighting by mixing in colours with the base.
I also went with a bit of wet blending on his fur, and for that I added a little retarder into the paint to slow the drying process.
Here’s a breakdown of the colours used for each part – all paints Vallejo unless otherwise noted.
Metal parts of the gun: Base of black Gloss Primer followed by a coat of Metal Colour Steel. Drybrush of Chainmail, then highlights of Silver, including a few scratches.
Gun Body: Heavy Ochre basecoat followed by a coat of Gold Yellow. The shade was taken from Yellow Ochre down to Heavy Goldbrown and the highlights were Sunburst Yellow (Citadel old range) finished with Dead White edge highlights.
Orange outfit: Base of Orange Fire then mixed in Orange Rust to provide the initial shade, taking it darker by adding Orange Brown to the Fire. For the highlights, Gold Yellow was added to the Fire in increasing amounts.
Black parts of outfit: Base of Black then layered up using German Grey, German Grey + Sombre Grey, then finally Sombre Grey.
Mouth: Base of Black. Tongue then based in Tan and highlighted with Heavy Orange. The teeth were base with Pale Grey Blue and highlighted with Dead White.
Fur, other than his face: This is where I wet-blended, using the following colours and various mixes of them – Earth, Beasty Brown, Charred Brown, and Heavy Sienna. I then used some of the colours as a glaze where needed, mostly to even out the blending. A wash of Agrax Earthshade (Citadel) was applied and then I started highlighting up using Light Brown, Heavy Skintone, then Elfic Flesh, glazing with charred brown after each.
A lot of different colours were used in the fur and it really wasn’t justified on such a small figure, but I thought that if I tried it here and it all went wrong, then it would be easier and quicker to put right than on a larger model. The images don’t really show the colour variation, but I’m really pleased with how he looks in the flesh and it’s given me confidence to use the same method on a larger figure.
Face: I based the facial area with Black to start with, then used Heavy Bluegrey to block in the parts I wanted white. I used a sharp, fine detail brush and used thin lines to build up the colour around the edge of the face. I didn’t want a hard edge between the colours to give a more natural look to the fur. I repeated this with Ghost Grey and then Dead White.
There were a few other little bits I added here and there, but that was the little fellow done and I really enjoyed painting him – I think the look in his face captures the Rocket from the movies, cheeky, a pain in the butt, but adorable in his own way!