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Hi folks,

I'm supposed to be building some other stuff over the next two months, but I couldn't resist putting this chap together this week:

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(click to embiggen)

As usual for the Games Workshop figures, the fit is great and the level of layered detail is bordering on the ridiculous - I'm not entirely sure how I'm going to paint him.

The kit builds three versions, I mixed the legs and left arm from "Durthu", the right arm and staff from "Ancient Treeman" and the left hand launching the triffid-like stingers is from "Treeman". I had to convert the provided right hand into a left hand by removing all the fingers and thumb and rebuilding it all the other way around! Managed to cut my own finger while slicing off one of his, ironically. All the official versions use the same left hand which is bigger and looks like a collection of knives, so I'm quite glad I opted for something different here.

I also shortened the beard and removed the plaited section to use as a pigtail, and built a head using the top half of Durthu's and the bottom of the ancient treeman's. I didn't really like the Princess Mononoke-style mask faces and I think what I ended up with looks better, though it's a bit clunky compared to the kit parts.

So I have a giant walking tree doing rather an anime-styled attack pose. Most of the paint jobs I've seen of this chap have been too clean (IMO) and I want something with more mess and texture. I already scratched up some of the bark, and I think I'm going to approach the paint by airbrushing inks on the inner "heartwood" areas and then block in the bark and drybrush it like mad.

Expect progress to be erratic, there's too many models on the go at the moment...

Cheers,

Will

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Hoom indeed! He is quite Entish and I suspect GW have had to work quite hard to create a figure which doesn't interfere with their Lord of the Rings license. The heads were very non-Ent, I suppose my change has pushed him a bit closer to the LotR version...

I spent a few minutes yesterday trying out some paint colours on his wee wooden bum. I airbrushed all the inner wood sections with old-school "Flesh Wash", basically chestnut ink. This should shade and provide warmth under the paint.

Then I highlighted the sapwood with flesh colours, washed it with thinned Vallejo Khaki, and drybrushed with pale flesh colours and greys. I think it looks OK, but a bit messy and hard to touch up owing to the layers.

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I also filled in a bit of the bark but I think I need to go with something lighter.

Will

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Looking good so far, how tall is the figure? It's not easy to get a sense of scale from the pictures.

Andrew

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Thanks! If the ruler on my cutting mat is to be trusted he's just under 14cm tall. The GW stuff almost always comes out smaller than I expect when I open the box :(

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  • 2 weeks later...

I hope so, the bit I'm looking forward to (and a bit scared of) is trying to blend the "mini painting" style with some scenery stuff - grass, moss, lichen etc. applied to the tree as opposed to the base.

Not spent much time on this until recently, when I put a couple of hours in yesterday night and again today. I'm mainly trying to get some base colours down and cover up all the white. I've left the leaves and the tendrils alone

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I thought the dark bark was a bit too dark (poetry!) so went for one of the new GW base paints - Steel Legion Drab - which is a little bit chocolaty but makes a nice basis for the bark bits. I gave it a heavy black wash after (which is still wet in these pics) to tone it down and shade the recesses.

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I did opt to keep the dark colour (Charadon Granite) for the feet, hands and face/mask. I like it on the feet, it's a bit too dark on the hands (but I think if I blend it into the lighter brown at the wrists, it'll be cool.) I don't know about the face yet.

The loincloth and hairband will probably end up red, but I like the red-brown as a base, I think it'll make for a richer, more subtle finish.

Cheers,

Will

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Wow thsnks, that's very kind of you. It's all a bit slapped on at the moment, but there's nice detail which the thin paint and washes are bringing out really well.

When I have a bit more time I'll add the greys to the rest of the sapwood so it looks like the bit I finished (his bottom) and then it should be safe to work on the bark.

W

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Done another couple of hours after work this evening. I added two or three highlights (Kislev Flesh, Ulthuan Grey and a mix of the two) to the sapwood, then drybrushed it with Baneblade Brown to tie it together and add texture.

The bark edges were then tidied up and it was all drybrushed with Steel Legion Drab, more Baneblade Brown, and then some spot work with Bleached Bone and Codex Grey for aging.

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It's all *really* messy but I'm finding it hard to be neat - the access is difficult and my hands were shaking quite a bit tonight. But I like the colours a lot, and all the different layers are showing through nicely.

Oh, and I gave the loincloth a red wash to see what it looked like - I quite like it. I think the flat bits around the weave are supposed to be leaves, but they look rather leather-like. It seems apt for an angry tree spirit to be wearing bits of dead animals, somehow!

W

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I just realised these photos are rather big! 1024 wide is fine, but 1024 tall looks ridiculous. I'll go back to 800px I think.

Few more bits done today - I blended the bark colour across the hands, added some simple highlights to the fingers, and highlighted and shaded the splintered timber on the left elbow. I also added some colour to one set of bracket fungus as an experiment - this is mainly Vomit Brown with a Kislev Flesh highlight. It's pretty accurate to real fungi, but it's also a bit close to the splintered stuff. I think I might add some more grey to the latter.

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Oh yes, and I've given all the bazillion leaves a couple of coats of green. I'm sure I've missed some - I keep finding white bits when I look from strange angles. But it does add an air of completeness which was missing before:

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I need to mix some more greens and vary the colours, plus I want to do the fronts a darker, glossier green than the backs. But that's a job for daylight, I think.

Cheers,

Will

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Thanks! I'm really enjoying this as you can probably tell...

My hands were a lot less shaky tonight so I was able to do some fiddly bits. I worked up the leaves, mushrooms and loincloth, all of which have had two or three highlights. Some of the leaves were picked out with different greens beforehand, and I gave most of them a tiny touch of green wash to bring them to life as well.

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For the loincloth, I highlighted the top edges of each weave (not every strand, I'm not mad) a couple of times and used a dark brown (Agrax Earthshade - ex Devlan Mud) wash to delineate the lower edges. I also added edge highlights to the "leather" patches and sponged on some browns to break them up a bit.

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After that the woven parts got a couple of red glazes to enrich them and distinguish them from the leather. I think there's a bit more to do here still.

Also made a start on the staff - going for a silver birch, which is what the moulded bark suggests I think. I'm not sure (and I'm not sure the GW designers are either) how to transition this into the giant death blossom thing, but I'm sure something will come to mind.

I started with Astronomican Grey, which is a light blue-grey, and then filled in the splits with Rakarth Flesh. After that it all had a dark brown wash so I can see the detail - most of this is going to get covered up again. The combination of the blue and the brown more-or-less cancel out to give a neutral-ish result - cunning eh?

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I need to think about basing soon so I don't leave it to the end and then forget it.

Cheers,

Will

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Thanks! I'm not sure if I can do the last bits with a brush though - twhe tendrils might benefit from an airbrushed blend.

Will

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Wiil,

That is outstanding mate! I've got one of these in sub assemblies and undercoated ready for the missus to have a go at painting. She keeps bottling it as she's only ever painted watercolours! Once I've shown her this I reckon she'll be up for having a crack at it!

Superb job!

Regards,

Steve

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Thanks Steve - I hope you post your wife's one when she gives it a a go. It's sort of fiddly to paint, but because it's organic there are lots of things which might be classed as mistakes which just fit into the overall picture if you don't get too fussy about it. And I found that thinned base coats over white primer worked really well for getting some free shading and highlights which I've tried to keep visible through the later layers.

I think subassemblies are a good idea - particularly with the way I've got mine set up there are a lot of access angles for the brush which are blocked by other parts of the model, or just difficult. Plus he's hard to hold with all the fragile bits. I sort of regret building him before painting, but it helped me make sure the pose was going to work.

How did you break it down? Legs/torso/head?

Will

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Spent an hour or so this afternoon on the staff, which I've attempted to make look like silver birch.

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I started with the results from the previous update, and sponged on Pallid Wych Flesh (a very very very pale pink) and a little bit of white and Codex Grey. I then touched up all the grooves and re-washed them.

The end bit is just lots of wobbly lines of flesh colours (Rakarth + Kislev Flesh) and Agrax Earthshade/Gryphonne Sepia washes. I gave the cankers a couple of fleshy highlights, I think they may need toning down a bit at the end.

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Once that was done I needed to touch up some leaves which had been got at by the sponge. Remaining big jobs are the head and hair, and the flowery tendril stuff.

Cheers,

Will

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Tidied up the office tonight and only had time for a little bit of painting. I've done the gem, which will be the only blue thing on the model, I think, and maybe signifies water. I'm not sure what to do with the bezel yet - maybe metallic gold, in which case that should happen at the very end.

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I also added a bit more contrast to the birch bark by painting in those dark slits you often see in it:

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and started highlighting the beard, as well as picking out the little leafy bits. I know this is quite a bit brighter than the rest of the figure, but I want to use bright colours on the tendrils and I think they need to appear elsewhere as well in order not to look odd.

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Cheers,

Will

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Thanks for the kind comments! The splash of colour is now (hopefully) balanced by the big colour element - the carnivorous-plant-on-a-stick end of the staff. I couldn't quite figure out how this was supposed to work, but my dad suggested it could be a graft, which is good enough for me.

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(click for bigger)

I wrapped the figure in clingfilm to airbrush the tendrils on the left hand, but the right hand ones are more isolated so I could just do them without masking. I used the Citadel paints thinned with water and a few drops of Golden airbrush medium. It worked well enough although cleaning the AB after spraying these was a bit of a pain - the nozzle got clogged. I was able to sort it out with trusty lacquer thinner though.

The tendrils are based on rhubarb of all things, with the red stuff being stronger on the underside and further from the tip - I assume it'd get less sun so there'd be less photosynthesis going on :D

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The staff tip was a bit more complicated. After I airbrushed the blend on the stamens/tendrils I filled in the petals with Pallid Wych Flesh (that very very light pink) and then painted lots of thin lines on the insides, starting with neat red and working my way back out to the Wych Flesh.

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The outside is more-or-less the same, but with green to white. Oddly, while the inside came out really smooth the outside looks quite ragged. I think varnish might smooth this out a bit.

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The ivy wrap is painted conventionally with some simple highlights and a green wash/glaze on the leaves.

The flower feels a bit untidy to me - I'm not sure if I should try and tidy it up, or figure out a way to make it look a bit careworn on purpose rather than by mistake! I also wondered about shrinking the green region and getting a tiny bit of yellow tone into the backs of the petals. I'll leave it for a bit and see how I feel.

The only white bit is now the rot inside his head, not sure what to do with this yet. Plain black seems a bit boring and there's some nice detail in there - it looks like a wasps nest or something.

Cheers,

Will

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Thanks Jörgen! He's 28mm scale, but thankfully not a 28mm human-sized figure :) Overall height is about 14cm, so plenty big enough to work on.

Will

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Thanks!

I finished the basic painting tonight:

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That mainly meant dealing with the hair and head. I added a gradient to the stalks using three or four mixes of thin paint working from Death World Forest through Vomit Brown to Bleached Bone. Aren't these paint names fun? I then highlighted the leaf edges using a mix from one step above the stalk at that point. I remembered to set up a wet palette for this, which is much better for keeping your mixes alive.

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The head is just a few highlights working up from Charadon Granite to Vomit Brown. I also shaded the hairline with a couple of washes mixed from Agrax Earthshade and Thraka Green. The interior of the head will end up looking like a wasp's nest, hopefully, but I need to wait for this first stage to dry before finishing this off.

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The pigtail was handled with the same paint as the head hair, and I also repainted the hand highlights from greys to the browns I used on the head since I thought they were a better fit. I left the feet in the greys though.

So nearly time for enamels and varnish and whatnot! I found the base (which is quite small) and I think I'll use that rather than build a bigger one. I can always move him if I want something more scenic later.

Cheers,

Will

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