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Painting Mannequins (By Request!)
Old 09-29-2006, 08:07 PM   #1
NZMark
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Default Painting Mannequins (By Request!)

Hi Guys.
Well, after repeated emails, I've put together a small demo' of painting flesh tones for anyone who wants to give it a shot.
Practice. That's the key. If you make (what you consider) a stuff up, clean it all off and start again. Nothing lost, and a bit more experience gained.
So, the starting point. In this case I've used a Webster Displays head I gained in a trade. I'd advise anyone who wants a well detailed, well made display head with great features to try these out. There is a fair range, (including Asiatic faces and jointed mannequins to match), available at -
www.websterdisplays.com
The one I'm going to use has a sized 56cm nut, so your average lid, cap etc will fly on with no forcing at all.
Here is the head as I received it.
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Mannequin Painting -
http://www.wehrmacht-awards.com/foru...d.php?t=180061
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Old 09-29-2006, 08:12 PM   #2
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The next step is to figure out HOW you want the guy to look. Weathered, tired, sun-burned etc.
I opted for the 'middle of the road, experienced in combat' look. Try out a few caps, lids on it to get a feel for the finished look.
I'll be placing this head on a mannequin body at some point, so I kept that in mind.
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Old 09-29-2006, 08:13 PM   #3
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Hmmm...Glasses??
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Old 09-29-2006, 08:20 PM   #4
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OK, maybe not.
To add to the character of the 'person' I was trying to create, I decided a scowl with gritted teeth would add some implied impression of tension.
So I needed to add more pronounced brows, and carve away the lips and add the teeth in the background.
Here's a couple of shots for that process.
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Old 09-29-2006, 08:21 PM   #5
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I use car-body filler quite a lot, but in this case I used kneadite two part epoxy.
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Old 09-29-2006, 08:23 PM   #6
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The 'teeth'.
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Old 09-29-2006, 08:25 PM   #7
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After sanding and sculpting, it was time to hit the paint. I use Humbrol enamels - yep, modellers paints.
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Old 09-29-2006, 08:34 PM   #8
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By now you should be completely happy with all sculpting and modifications - you don't want to have to sand off the paint to repair poor sanding joins etc.
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Last edited by NZMark; 09-29-2006 at 09:36 PM.
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Old 09-29-2006, 08:36 PM   #9
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Here's the Humbrol colour numbers -
white 34
black 33
blue 25
red 132
brown 62
So now we come to the eyes.
I paint the eyes in first. This adds to the overall impression, gives me a focus for the 'guys' character.
Paint in the whites - plain ol' white. Leave that to dry, then do another coat, this time adding just a touch of red to each corner, then blend that in. Don't go too far, or your guy will look like he's been on the distilled glycol. Just come into the white about 10mm. By then it should be fully merged and blended.
After leaving the eyes to dry, I go over the whites with acrylic laquer so that my next layer doesn't interact, and bleed through.
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http://www.wehrmacht-awards.com/foru...d.php?t=180061

Last edited by NZMark; 09-29-2006 at 09:32 PM.
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Old 09-29-2006, 09:29 PM   #10
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How about getting rid of that Luftwaffe tropical overseas cap? It's doing an injustice to your handiwork!
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Old 09-29-2006, 09:56 PM   #11
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OK - Cap Gone!
Now the pupils and iris.
Lightly sketch where you want your guy to be looking - unless you want him cross-eyed, that is These have to be in sinc. Stand back and see if your guy 'focuses' on you from some distance. Remember, he's looking off into the distance, not lovingly at you from up close...
If you're happy with the position of the pupils, start by working out what colour you want them to be - brown, green, blue, pink - whatever.
Mix up the darkest colour you'll need to re-create the pupil (let's say blue).
Carefully paint in the pupil's border with dark blue. Once you have the 'disc' the right size, (and in the position that you wanted), take a finer brush (about a size 1) and using a light blue mix, brush in the light streaks that project from the iris outwards. These will blend with the base blue - just add more white and vary the colours. Just keep looking in the mirror at the real thing - it's the only way to get it as close as possible. In the centre of the pupil add the lightest streaks flaring outwards, perhaps two to three milimetres long.
Repeat the other pupil using the same mixes you've already used on eye 'A' (again unless you're doing a Bowie)
Once these are totally dry, add the iris. What can I tell you, except practise on a piece of plastic first to get the hang of painting disc's. The iris, of couse, is plain old black.
By the way, all my paints are Matt. Don't worry - that's taken care of later.
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File Type: jpg Manny 002.jpg (100.7 KB, 6215 views)
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Old 09-29-2006, 09:59 PM   #12
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An in process shot of the left eye - I tend to go over areas again once the paint is dry and clean up those little 'went over the edge' screw-ups.
This hasn't been done at this stage, so it looks pretty sh*te.
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Old 09-29-2006, 10:02 PM   #13
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While I was at it I also painted the lips interior. Once the 'teeth' are added this would be tricky.
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Old 09-29-2006, 10:10 PM   #14
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The fangs are just 'blue-tacked' in at this stage so I can keep the illusion in my head.
Note that I'd also painted around the eye's lids using an orange/white mix. Easier now than later.
Right - now to the flesh.
After cleaning the surface to be painted I mixed up enough base colour to cover the head at least twice. The mix is simply a matter of red/white/blue and a touch of brown. As for ratios, hell, I don't know! It's a matter of adding blue first to the white to make a VERY light sky blue, then the red to make a light mauve, then the brown to darken the whole solution to a base skin tone. Keep testing the mix by dabbing a drop on your inner wrist until it looks similar in tone to the LIGHTEST part of your skin.
I start by painting the head with one coat completely in this colour. Believe me - it looks WRONG to start with.
I don't have a shot of the overall base colour applied for this head, but here's one I did awhile back.
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Old 09-29-2006, 10:21 PM   #15
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Right.
Once the undercoat was completely dry (two days at least) I then did the fun part of the job. I paint the skin tones in sections as the paint dries more quickly on undercoated areas - that leaves less time to 'play'.
I start with the nose and eye area - it's the focus after the eyes and sets the 'tone' for the rest of the face. Apply another coat of the base colour, then add a tiny paint-brush tip of base red to the highlight areas - nose bridge, nostrils, eye-lids. brows etc.
Paint and blend each part before starting on any other large sections such as the cheeks, neck because you cannot blend once the base coat is turning 'leathery'. Work from one area to the next, always working outwards from the nose. Just my technique - but it works for me.
Remember - you are adding base red to the HIGHLIGHTS not the low areas. This is not modelling miniatures where areas are accentuated by depth.
Blend the colours together, adding more red to the most prominant areas such as the tip of the nose, ears and cheeks.
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