Dwarfology -part IV-

Last days of Kickstarter campaign have been really tough, indeed, so what's better to relieve the stress than painting a new Dwarf?!

This tutorial is a bit weird because I had to face a strange color behavior that made me suffer a lot to fix, so I'd call it "how to face unknown setbacks while painting and try to survive to them".

After all: not all donuts come out of the hole.


One of the most scenic parts of our range, is for sure the cauldron of the Augu Nornir. Since the beginning, I wanted to paint it with a strong "The Black Cauldron" vibe: it was one of my favorite movie cartoons of my childhood, and I thought that the Augu Nornir had a great affinity with that style. So I decided for a green smoke, and I started to airbrush the first tones using two Kimera Kolors: Phtalo Green and Cold Yellow. Kimera Kolors is a new line that I've recently started to use, and I though they were perfect for my purposes because they match the pure brightness with a high coverage quality. I started with a basecoat of pure Phtalo Green (1), airbrushed to have a smooth and quick base. To build the first lights, I mixed Phtalo Green with Cold Yellow, approx. 50%/50%, using again the airbrush to highlight the mouth of the cauldron and, zenithally, the magic smoke at the base (2). Using almost pure Cold Yellow with airbrush, I painted the final lights, focusing more on the mouth of the cauldron (3). Arrived at this point, unfortunately, I noticed that a weird reaction occurred to the paint, and a weird super-rough finish appeared on the surface of the smoke!

oh gosh why.

I honestly don't know exactly what happened, but the only thing I can suppose is that the Kimera Kolors don't react very well if mixed with Vallejo Airbrush Thinner, or maybe they just don't work very well if airbrushed, or I've just done something wrong. As we say here in Italy when facing an unexplainable unknown: boh.

Upset, but not tamed, I decided to fix the situation instead of simply put the cauldron into ChanteClair to remove the paint and re-start from 0.

To have a more yellowish tone, I mixed Vallejo Transparent Green and Vallejo Transparent Yellow, and I give a subtle glaze on the whole smoke (4). Here, as you can see, the super rough surfaces reacted weirdly and darkened a lot: actually, it was like painting on blotting paper.

I realized that, without at least reducing a bit that powdery finish, I simply wouldn't be able to paint. In order to do it, I gave a gloss varnish glaze, using airbrush, to the whole smoke (5).

The gloss varnish smoothed a lot the rough finish, allowed me to paint. Finally.

With lights and mid tones already done, even if painfully, I then adjusted the shadow with glazes of black and the lights with pure Cold Yellow: I insisted a lot on the back of the smoke with black glazes, to make it almost pure black (6). It's not a difficult task, but take your time to properly smooth the black glazes: this step is important to add definition and restore the deepest shadows. Painting glazes on a gloss surfaces isn't properly comfortable: the diluted color slides on the surfaces so I had to insist a lot with more and more subtle glazes, before seeing something worthy to be called "paint".

When I decided that the shadows were fine, or at least decent, I airbrushed a layer of Matt Varnish to reduce the "candy smoke" effect (7).