Wednesday, October 16, 2013

On Clothes and Malifaux

I've not posted in a bit because the last of my photos of Wolves are crap (may upload them anyway) and I've been stymied in my next project. I am painting a Malifaux crew of the Ten Thunders, and I have nearly every Ten Thunders model that isn't undead. The thing is, I am obsessing over making them look traditional Japanese/Chinese.

Wet Pallette: Saviour of detail painters. Also, rest of the crew in the background.

It is tough putting traditional Japanese/Chinese clothing patterns on 32mm models.

I've tried to make each cluster follow their theme. The Torakage are clearly ninjas, and despite what popular culture would have us believe, they didn't wear black. In all likelihood, they wore whatever clothes would best blend them in to their surroundings. As such, mine are all muted blues, browns, and greens, with only small elements of bright red as the 'crew colour'. (Misaki and her brother will feature lots of bright red, her mentor will likely have a darker shade of red, or black kimono highlighted with red; I haven't quite decided yet.)

The one thing they have, which I figure would be quickly removed once the job is done (or they're discovered) are their masks. While the Japanese did have hard masks, they were mostly carved into daemonic (or humanoid) shapes, and don't fit the flat, featureless masks of the Torakage. Luckily, since we know narrative-wise they're supposed to be a blend of Yakuza and Triads, I have borrowed Chinese style mask-making.

More detailed pics to come once I get them more finished off.
The Oiran, as would be appropriate for courtesans, are wearing very fanciful kimonos patterned and themed each one differently. I will have pics of them when they're more complete.

Finally, we have the archers. The style of archery they seem to be practicing (one sleeve off, full kimono) was traditionally meant more as meditation than killing, and every movement was carefully practiced. The practice continues to this day and you can find videos on youtube. While I still have absolutely no idea how I'm going to paint their helmets, most of the rest is at least roughed in. I figured I'd show folks a quick and simple way to do detailed patterns on a section of fabric though.

First, dots. For my guy, I started on the front, since it's where most people will see it. I did a vertical, spaced line of dots, then shifted over an amount that felt right, and put dots at about the midpoint of the first. Continuing around the model this way allowed me to tighten in where there was a significant fold, or, where the fabric swings at an angle, bend the line. Luckily the kimono is gapped at the front, so it won't matter too much if I haven't measured the distance too carefully.
When doing this, I wasn't concerned about making the dots heavy, solid, or of a certain size, knowing I'd be detailing them later. For now it was just spacing out the pattern. (At this point, the kimono itself is already highlighted.) - A note: Wash the brush frequently. The paint is going to dry out on the brush, and you'll want to ensure you don't ruin the brush, or have the tip widened from dry paint!
Wanting to do a generic lotus-type pattern, I did a single vertical line to get the pattern set, and work out distances. Again, fairly straightforward, just work around the body, careful to wash the brush often so it doesn't dry out.
Slightly blurry, but in this final pic for now I have done two side 'petals' to each. I will likely wash the cracks to ensure the petals don't jump out too much, but at this point I have settled where the pattern will sit, and roughly what it will look like. Now I just need to go back, fill in the petals, wash it down to look like the rest of the robe, and move on to the next pattern! (Yay thin tiny stripes...)

More soon, I hope. I am forcing myself to finish these up before I move on to any new models. I just had a lucky break with deciding how to do my Oiran today!

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