This weekend, I managed to finish the first of my busts from the boardgame Relic (Fantasy Flight Games and GW – based on the Talisman system). Having never painted a ‘Smurf’ before, I was pretty happy with the result, but I have a few tips and a little info for people thinking about taking on these busts.
There is a big difference in painting Rubber to painting Plastic, Resin or Metal. If you thought Finecast presented problems, you’ll discover plenty of issues with these. The rubber moves a lot and the first issue I came across was the undercoat. My Chaos Black spray just did not hold and flaked pretty fast. I didn’t want to overdo it with that stuff because it has a habit of pooling in crevices and obscuring detail. I rubbed the first attempted undercoat off (just with my thumb – it was so easily removed) and painted on a layer of Abaddon Black with a brush. This held much better, but still rubbed off a little with handling.
That brings me to another point – If you’re going to be playing the relic game, use a sealant on these. I’m going to be investing in some ‘Ardcoat soon because the movement of the rubber and constantly being picked up and moved will make it extremely likely that this paint will come away.
You should also be aware that your brush moves very differently across larger pieces. Use a brush that tends not to leave brushstrokes as they’ll really show up here. Of course, you may think ‘tanks are bigger than those and that’s not been an issue’ but, because you’re painting something that’s usually at 28mm scale but is now a much larger scale, it really affects the way paint and details look. Both mistakes and well executed techniques pop out more and people expect to see more fine work. I’m not convinced I got it right with this but I’m pleased enough with the overall results.
Washes and Inks act a little differently too and, if you’re trying to achieve a smooth, glossy surface with them, they’ll give you some trouble. On the next one (which I’ll hopefully get up here soon) I’ve had to redo a lot of the areas after slathering the bust in wash. The rubber (presumably) draws out a lot of the gloss and leaves you with a slightly flakey, matt finish. Using some clear gloss could be a solution, or simply be a bit more cautious than I was by using the wash more conservatively.
Anyway, those caveats and warnings aside, I think this guy is good enough for the board game now. Pretty happy with the slight glow to those green lenses too. Got to get the rest of them done though!
Comments, questions and constructive criticisms welcome – just add them below.