Sunday, March 5, 2017

'Characters/Scene from' ByronM: Steampunk Mary Poppins and Bert (A Gift for my Wife)

For this week's theme week entry I present to you a figure set that I have been waiting to get to and paint all of this years challenge.  That set is Mary Poppins and Bert in steam punk style from the Guild of Harmony, although they call them Maria Poppets and Albert for obvious licensing reasons!  This set is the original limited edition version where they are connected and taking off from the roof tops, which I am very happy to have picked up, as they now only sell them separately.




This figure is a gift for my wife, which is now kind of an annual tradition during the Challenge.  It came up a few years ago that I had never actually painted anything for her (mainly due to the fact that she is not a gamer) over the many years I have been playing games and painting.  So, I decided that in the interest of a happy marriage, I should probably rectify that and went looking for something she would like.  Since she is a huge Disney fan and loves the steampunk aesthetic, I searched out some figures that would relate to that, yet still be interesting to paint.  That is where I happened across the excellent small company Guild of Harmony and picked up several of their figures.




This figure was a bit of a challenge to work on as everything on it is resin and much of it small and thin enough that there is a lot of flex to it (his brush, her umbrella pole, and even his ankle and arm holding her).  Worse, they connect by the hands (well, his wrist) so it adds even more flex if painted together, and even separately there was no great way to hold her for painting.  I painted them separately which was easy enough for him, but had to drill a hole in her, under the dress and stick a metal rod up her dress (much to the amusement of the wife and my teenage boys) to mount her on to paint.


In the past I have just selected colours that I liked, but this time I handed that duty off to Kim as I wanted to make sure it matched her image of them in steampunk style.  So all the credit on the colour choices go to her, I had a different image in my head for colours, but these turned out better than what I had in mind!  Everything started out as a base coat of black and then I did the faces first to get a good expression to go from to stage the figure around, which is not something I normally do, but it helped here.  One thing that I really tried to do was get valid looking skin tones, and added a lot of colour to her, while it doesn't show well in the image, she does have pinkish / rosy cheeks, lipstick and a very pale complexion.  Albert on the other hand has a darker complexion and dirtier cheeks to fit the scene.  I find it really hard to get the flesh or light colours to balance properly against a black background though, so they dont show well.

All of the clothing was worked up from black as well.  I used completely separate methods for each as they are in very different outfits.  For her I glazed everything up using at least 30 thin layers of just one colour on her dress relying on the pre-shading I had done with white primer via airbrush.  It was my first real attempt to relearn proper glazing techniques after having just read Arsies's Painting Toolbox book and having discovered that I need to re-learn many of the things I have been doing wrong (well not wrong, but not in a manner to get better results and learn more over time).  For anyone that did not pick up his book on Kickstarter last year, it is well worth looking for a copy!  I really like the result and think that her dress came out with a really soft look to it and almost no hard edges, it did take a ton of time though.


Anyway, for Albert since his clothing is more work like, I went with a much harder, almost pure wargame/tabletop 3 colour approach.  I ended up using more than 3 colours to get the highs and lows as I wanted them, but as you can see it is a much different look, and I think very close to the style that Curt and Greg use to great effect on many of their figures (which I love, but have a hard time duplicating).

The only part I had any real issues with was the umbrella/helicopter contraption.  I had images of it being colourful and tried several paint schemes (I think I painted it no less than 6 times!) trying to work in purples, pinks, and whites.  In the end, after much "I told you so" from the wife, I went with the copper colour she had suggested to start with.  Damn, I guess once in a while she is right....  shhhh, don't tell her I said that!  Anyway, in the end I think it works better this way as it gives more steampunk look to the figure and helps convey the idea that it is a machine and is in fact strong enough to lift them (even though she shouldn't be able to hold him).



After finishing that off, it was time to connect them and base them.  Here I ran into one other issue, how to base them! I had images of doing a section of roof to put the chimney on, but the supplied chimney was not high enough to build up a V section of a roof peek around as it almost completely disappeared. All the model bricks I have around here are all different in style to the piece so I couldn't extend it with that either. By the time I realized this it was too late to build it up and extend it with green stuff as it wouldn't have time to cure to paint.  I was also not 100% sure that was the look I wanted.  So in the end, I just put a magnet in the chimney and in the base and attached it that way for now, until I figure out what I really want to do with it.

I hope you all like it as much as I do, it was a lot of fun to paint.

For those interested this is the Third Steampunk figure I have done from Guild of Harmony, all as presents for my wife Kim.  The other two were Tinkerbell and the Little Mermaid.

15 comments:

  1. Bloody hell Byron... it's brilliant..

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    1. Thanks Dave. Very happy with how they turned out, other than would have liked to figure out a better basing option, but I am sure it will come to me when I have time.

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  2. Absolutely stunning work Byron. What a triumph of the brush. Kim must be delighted.

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    1. Thanks Curt, yes she likes her growing little collection. Next year I have Alice to do, but need to find some more to keep growing the collection past that.

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    2. This is great work, and I look forward to seeing how your Alice piece comes along. Painted it years ago, and still love the sculpt! This one is also on my to-do list if I could ever find a resin version of it!

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  3. Brilliant - amazing brushwork.

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  4. Great work, it's looks lovely

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  5. Exquisite work. Well worth the time you put into it. Thanks for the protip on that book, BTW.

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    1. Thanks you, and No problem Michael, I had seen his work but never really knew about him until I stumbled onto his kickstarter last year. It turned out to be an amazing purchase, if you want to learn better techniques and improve, he has a lot to teach and does it very well. There is a bit of broken english in some of the spanish to english translation, but nothing that stops you from getting the idea. Well worth the $.

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  6. Wonderful work as always Byron :)

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  7. Fantastic work, really impressive!
    Best Iain

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  8. Amazing, beautiful, stunning work Byron! Top notch!

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