I’ve found a good balance to my painting at the moment. The Mansions figures are simplistic and quick to put out, giving me that happy feeling of getting something done. Meanwhile, I can be spending more time on the much better quality MCP minis without the nagging voice in my head telling me I’m too slow!
My output has certainly risen over the last few months, though I know I’m never going to win any competitions for speed painting, and because of it I think my painting has improved – practice makes perfect and all that – I’m certainly happy with how things are progressing anyway.
So, Loki. I love this mini. The pose is good and works really well in the game – some poses just look odd when they’re on the table, either very static or worse, doing something that looks totally ridiculous, Myles I’m looking at you (jumping over newspaper dispenser when he’s perched on top of a car!). I also like painting bright greens, so this was an enjoyable experience all round…ish, as we shall see.
There are quite a few things to talk about here, and I’ll begin with the choice of colours. He’s Loki, so there was going to be green, that bit was easy, but what was green and what wasn’t, and what about the rest of him? Scouring through the comic artwork produced a few pointers, but there were several iterations of the God of Mischief and in the end, I probably borrowed something from them all, including the MCU version.
The jacket was a no brainer, as it’s green no matter what version you look at, but the shirt varied, and here it is a mail shirt that is painted silver in the Atomic Mass Gallery (home of MCP). I went with green again, as that tended to match the majority of the comic versions. The greaves (shin guards) also varied a lot, from golds and yellows to blacks and browns – I went with brown, as I thought there was enough gold already. Talking of which, the AM version has the head of the sceptre the same gold as the handle, but whilst that did fit the majority of the Loki comic images, I preferred the version with a steel head. Finally, there was the magic bit at his feet. Loki’s magic spells tend to have a green aura about them, and I was toying with the idea of painting it that way, but I felt it was too much green. In the end, I went with blue, which seems to be how everyone else has painted him too – I did go with blue for the infinity stone in the sceptre, not the green that AM’s version has.
The bits of mail, such as the shirt, were a bit of an experiment. I base coated them with Gloss Black Primer onto which I applied a coat of Vallejo’s Metal Colour Steel. This was followed up with a drybrush of Gunmetal and then Chainmail Silver. Dark Green Ink over the top of this gave quite a good, coloured metal look, which was what I was after.
For his jacket I started with the mid-tone, Goblin Green (Ye old Citadel colour), using the Zenithal priming as a guide. I then painted in the shades and Highlights using Snot Green and Escorpena Green, respectively. I then used mixes of these to paint the intermediates – E.g., Goblin Green mixed with Escorpena Green to paint between the two respective colours – and blend everything together. Finally, I added a little white to Escorpena and added a few further highlights.
My stumbling block was all the metal. I originally wanted to paint it all using Non Metallic Metal’s but after several attempts at the sceptre I gave it up as a bad job. I’ve had some success with the technique before, but I’ve only ever painted small things such as daggers, and this was way beyond my skill level, I just didn’t know where to start and couldn’t figure out how light should be reflected on the many different surfaces (I have since been pointed in the direction of a superb video explaining this – see my post NMM in 10 Minutes!).
So, I resorted to metallic paints. The sceptre’s head was done in the same way as the mail without the ink finish, but I think the Gold is worth a bit more of an explanation.
I basecoated all the areas black and then painted two thin coats of Glorious Gold. Keeping it thin allows the black base to show through slightly, which I think gives a more realistic look. I also left the edges black to save lining in later. I added a shade using Glorious Gold mixed with Bright Bronze with a very small dot of black. Increasing the amount of black I then added a further shade, concentrating on the darkest recesses. I then Highlighted with Polished Gold, adding Silver to further the highlights.
The final thing worth talking about is the Magic thing at his feet and the Infinity Gem. Bothe were painted the same way. Using Blue Ink, White Ink, and a mix of equal parts of both, I wet blended them together. The good thing about wet blending using Inks is that they dry quite slowly, giving you time to experiment and find out what works.
In the pictures the white looks quite stark and it’s difficult to see the transition from Blue, but it looks much better under normal lighting in ‘real’ life… Honest!
I did add some Object Source Lighting, cast from the glow of the magic and Infinity Gem. Using a glaze of Blue Ink, it’s very subtle and I could have pushed it more. You can just see it in the pictures on the base, though I did apply it over the lower part of his body and around the Gem – more practice required!
Well, that’s Loki. Hela is next up but as I’ve yet to start her she won’t be putting in an appearance just yet, and anyway, there are more Mansions of Madness figures to pump out in the meantime 😁