I got a great secret Santa present recently: paint your own pirates!
Yarrr, get painting ye lubber!
First of all, time to free our wee nautical marauders from their bubblepack prison! They’re made of a very soft white plastic, so I gave them a quick coat of matt black spraypaint.
The black spraypaint gives a nice even finish for the paint to adhere to.
I like to paint miniatures from the “inside out”, starting with the skin areas and working out through the clothes to the details.
It's early days, so the pain just gets chucked on. We can fix any mistakes as we go.
One of the quickest ways to build up some highlight and shadow is to use washes. I love my flesh wash, it brings out so much detail in about five seconds flat.
Before and after. Enough said really.
And here's the lot of them all washed. Starting to come to life already!
To make them a bit easier to handle I chopped up some old corks and stuck them on with PVA.
Right, pirates are a colourful lot, let’s splash some colour on these boys!
Bright colours will sometimes take several coats to colour properly. Lots of thin coats are better than sloshing on a few thick coats.
The trouble is these colours look really flat. A good quick way to bring a lot of definition to flat areas is to drybrush. Using an old brush with almost all the paint wiped off we can whip it over the raised areas and build up some highlights.
The blue shirt and trousers are the same base colour, but you can see how a quick drybrush has brought out all the detail on the shirt.
Next up I painted the headscarves white and put some detail onto them with a light brown ink.
I painted chestnut ink straight into the folds of the headscarves to give them some definition
Now all we have to do is pick out all the details like sashes, jewelry and cutlasses. Last but certainly not least I used my tiniest brush to paint the eyes white, then give each one a tiny black dot to finish the eye. Normally I paint miniatures much smaller then these and this technique works fine. I think it’s left these guys looking a bit startled, but I can live with slightly startled pirates.
When painting in the pupils, it's a good idea to hold the brush exactly the same way for both. The last thing you want is eyes pointing in different directions.
Rear view. Notice the way the drybrushing has picked out the raised "China" on the butt. Whoops!
Yarrr! The final result!
OK, they’re not going to win any painting awards, but anything involving pirates is always going to be a fun way to spend a few hours.