Friday, 7 October 2016

Game of Thrones Bronn (WIP - House Lannister Heraldry) aka 54 mm Nocturna Models The Crusader

Bronn - not unlike the Nocturna Models 54 mm The Crusader figurine itself - can be pretty plain. What gives Bronn character is not fancy clothing but his semi-weather-beaten facial features. And this puts a lot of pressure on a painter to do a good job on the face or see the whole piece fail. To hedge my bets, so to speak, I decided to spread the 'wow factor' of this miniature to include a fairly detailed freehand painting of the House Lannister heraldry on Bronn's armour. As far as I know Bronn never wore armour with the lion symbol on it so this was a bit of artistic license on my part.

Game of Thrones - Bronn the Sellsword with House Lannister's heraldry on his armour

My search for a suitable tool to sketch initial outlines of freehand paintings is finally over. And the solution was right under my nose too. As part of my new journey into coloured pencil portraits, I had bought Faber Castell Polychromos as well as Primacolor Premiere professional artist grade coloured pencils. Polychromos pencils are highly pigmented with a hard oil-based core - a combination which makes it easier to sketch outlines on painted figurines. While Prismacolor pencils are also highly pigmented, they are wax based with a softer core. So I used a cream coloured Polychromos pencil to sketch the initial outline. Any excess pencil residue was carefully removed using a kneaded eraser.

Polychromos oil-based colour pencil (cream) and a kneaded eraser
Freehand Painting - Stage One: Initial outlines drawn using the Polychoromos colour pencil
A more detailed symbol was then drawn with any excess pencil residue removed using a kneaded eraser

My previous attempt at painting the House Lannister heraldry had ended up being too yellowish. So for this effort, I used less yellow and more of the dark orange hues. Any yellows used were mixed with light orange to effectively tone down the overall brightness of the freehand symbol.  

Freehand Painting - Stage Two: Basecoat with Amarantha Red
Dark basecoat colour makes it easier for the subsequent lighter colours to be layered on

I started with a basecoat of Vallejo Model Color Amarantha Red followed by a midtone comprising a mixture of Amarantha Red and Light Orange. The darker basecoat made layering on the lighter hue easier and allowed for a more consistently smooth coverage of the lighter hue.

Freehand Painting - Stage Three: Midtones with a mixture of Amarantha Red and Light Orange
Lion symbol begins to take shape as lighter hue contrasts better against the armour

From there on out, every subsequent layer of a lighter hue were painted with some of the earlier darker hue showing through. This was so that the symbol had more depth to it. In this case, it meant the Amrantha Red showing through the Amarantha Red/Light Orange layer which itself showed through the pure Light Orange layer. Effects were subtle to prevent a too 3D'ish looking symbol.

Freehand Painting - Stage Four: General highlights with pure Light Orange
Light orange was layered in thin layers with the midtone colour showing through

Then, I lightly layered the final highlight at the very edges of the lion symbol using a Light Orange/Flat Yellow mix. Again, the effects were kept subtle to prevent a too 3D'ish symbol that looks like an ironed on patch. Lastly, an eye was painted using the Amarantha Red/Light Orange mix.

Freehand Painting - Stage Five: Extreme highlights on edges with a Light Orange/Flat Yellow mix
Lastly, an eye was painted in with a darker hue - Amarantha Red/Light Orange mix

Dark creases on the armour were left untouched as a stylistic choice. Moreover, I felt that it avoided the patched on look the symbol would have took if I painted over the creases. An alternative would be to paint darker hues on the creases - perhaps a mix of Amarantha Red and either an orangey red or reddish brown. This is something I might still do, if only to reduce the width of the dark creases. 

Nocturna Models The Crusader 54 mm figurine aka Bronn proxy [work-in-progress back view]

My efforts at painting male skin tones still lags far behind female ones as I tend to paint more of the latter. As such I've decided to put any further progress on hold until I've sufficiently researched and experimented with a suitable skin tone for Bronn. I can only hope that this temporary halt will not drag on for an eternity as it seemingly has for my other Game of Thrones project i.e. House Martell Knight/Warhorse proxy using Games Workshop minis. Speaking of which, using the Polychromos pencil to outline a design for freehand painting has unstoppered the creative block that has been hindering the Martell proxy's progress. Just like that ... after so long! I'm excited to have finally found the inspiration to finish this long delayed project and hope to share the results with you ... soon.


  1. Oh wow, wow, wow! Fabulous work Sir.

  2. Excellent, truly excellent!

  3. Fantastic freehand! That's definitely something I need to try more often too.

    1. Thank you Moiterei. The Faber-Castell Polychromos pencil really helped with the outline making the whole freehand painting process a lot easier.

  4. Man, I didn't think this was even possible! :O
    A huge roar to your prowess!

    1. Thank you Suber! :) There are lots of historical miniature painters who do much much more amazing freehand work than I could ever do.

  5. Wow thats really clever and looks awesome! Great job dude!

    1. Thanks Simon! It helped that I did the Lannister symbol once before. :)

  6. Wow indeed! :)

    Stunning work, especially as it is free hand, and as simon says, it looks awesome! :)

    1. Thank you very much! ^_^ It's kind of a breakthrough moment for me as I feel that I can do much better freehand painting from here on out.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...