Thursday, August 6, 2015

Ax Faction Cowgirl

So at the figureworld show prior to my holidays ( which were bloody hot! ) I picked up the soon to be put into general release Cowgirl from Ax Faction.

From Salute cause my phone died at Figureworld for photos... 

I have met Paul at a few shows over the years, but only since Salute do I think I have really had a chance to speak with him and chat it up a bit more. Probably cause I am less shy now to introduce myself? Maybe? No idea really, but let's go with the above, and continue on!

The piece is the Cowgirl, and honestly had I not asked if it were for sale, I probably would have missed out at the show.

The model in question in all her glory.. and in quite a few little fiddly pieces as well. Hats off to the sculptor for this, and for the caster to make it a reality as well. Cause this is amazing work considering that there is almost no mold lines. The pour points are easy to hide, or can be corrected well enough ( left arm and hat being the "worst" but took no time to remove ). It even comes with a cool little base.. which I opted not to use, but tried to replicate it.

I had not realized that the cowgirl was not wearing pants originally. And that she is basically in a bikini, with chaps, and a jacket of sorts. Changed how I was going to approach it that is for sure.

I could have gone with a very simple base, but I wanted to give it a bit more. And I really wanted to try out some sort of dirt ground without using first. If that makes sense? And honestly I am really happy how it came out in the end.

For this it was just the milliput laid down, and then some pieces of course sponge pressed repeatedly into it. I mean.. repeating that process over and over and over again until I had a really uneven, odd, textured base going for it.

Oh and some wooden slats to look like she is in front of a saloon or something. And some rocks thrown in cause well.. rocks exist in the desert don't they?

Some will notice that I also didn't use the flying bullet.. yes.. there is a flying bullet along with smoke discharge available on the cast. It is very fiddly, and I already had concerns of breaking off the arm, so the bullet was just not going to happen. Not cause it is not cool, but cause I am uber clumsy these days and didn't want to put effort into something that I know I will break off at some point :D

Primed Black, and it was here that I began to think of how I wanted to paint her up. I wanted something fun technique wise. Something that was a bit quick if possible. And something that I would make her a bit gritty as well.

So I settled on an idea that I saw from Scott Hockley from his blog of the Black Hand's Blog.

He had done an experiment where he started with a light color, and then just washed the model over and over again until he got what he wanted.

But he has more control on his painting, and can paint skin like a champ. As  you can see in the above model.

I thought.. "Heck.. that looks like fun! Let's give it a bash!" And so I did!

I started with a slightly darker color though, being Vallejo Brown Sand as a base. Mostly cause I had it on hand, and cause I thought it might be a cool base color to play with. yes in some ways, no in others :D

So I then pulled out all of my washes that I had, or thought I might like to try to play with on this piece.

Overall it was a fun little experiment, and you can see how far I got on just washes alone.

The problems of course with washes ( and some inks I tossed in later ) is that it does create a very dark model. As it dulls down and takes out the color from a lot of aspects on the model.

So it was at this point tat I came back with some more real colors to add in some color and tonal differences. And much about really.. as my experiment in washes was over, and I was really getting into the model at this point!

I added some red as a spot color to the bandanas poking out all around here. Metallics for the guns ( though now looking at the artwork I could have added more colors there ). With the washes, her skin came out quite dark and tanned. Not a bad thing considering she is out in the desert all the time and barely wearing anything as well. Though I did try to make her a bit off blonde for her hair as well. Inks for the leather chaps to give them a bit of shine. And the feathers.. not quite sold on them, but again giving a bit of color to the piece as well.

I then took the photos in my photobox, and made it very dark. Both to go with my thought of how it should be for the scene, but also cause it then hides a lot of the imperfections of my painting :D

Last night I then went and started to assemble some more projects to work on in the coming month. Yes. Month. I want to speed paint a lot. And then look at different styles for each on how to paint them up. Mostly cause I want to have fun painting again, and also cause I want to pass the time until the Wasteland Bust shows up! Which will then consume my time in packing and shipping out to everyone else!

Hope you enjoy this piece.. like it, love it, or hate it. No matter. Just so long as you know I had a lot of fun with it, and could be the spark I needed to get back into some serious painting mojo speed! :D


  1. I find that anytime you are primarily using washes (or glazes for tinting), you have to go WAY overboard (like wappel's shaded basecoat technique) to maintain some of the vibrancy the washes/glazes will take away.

    I think the photo booth is hurting the model a bit, as I'm sure it's a bit lighter then photo'd. Washing a model to an end point is my absolute favorite way to paint, as I find it very therapeutic. It just flows really nice, and the figures just soak it up.

    If you do another one, go about 4x brighter in your pre shades for the wash.

    This is a lovely model by the way, I just have something to contribute for once other then just ooooh's and aaaah's :)

    1. Thanks for the comments Greg. Indeed I need to go brighter on the undercoat, lesson learned there. But it was a really fun experiment at the very least ;) And good advice for the next one when I give it a shot... maybe take Scott's approach and use Deck Tan as the base ;)

  2. A nice limited palette, but the photos are a bit dark ;)

    1. Intentional there on the dark photos ;) Hides most of the mistakes :D

    2. Oh NO! You can't rip the curtain back like that! So it's all smoke and mirrors?! Just kidding. That's cool. I have never actually put paint on a mini myself - it's all just Photoshop o_O Don't tell anyone ;)

  3. An excellent piece from Ax Faction. I have always been a fan of their work.

    1. Paul has a ton of great pieces in his lineup there. Got a few more to paint up in the background here as well ;)

  4. A very interesting experiment and it is certainly clear to me that you've had a lot of fun with it.

    1. Cheers Michael. Am already on the next project, and having just as much fun there as well :D The painting mojo is back!!!


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