View Full Version : Handmaiden Prototype...

02-19-2003, 04:07 PM
For a while now I've been tinkering with a Handmaiden custom. I kept stopping because I felt that it would never turn out the way I had envisioned.
Well, today, I decided to just finish it anyway to see how it would look. It's okay, I guess...
I need to do a lot of work still because some of the paint came off when I attached the hood (I'm working with enamel and acrylic paints and the enamel stays tacky even after it fully dries :frus: ). I have to reapply some of it, and I'm probably going to try to fix the color a bit. The orange just doesn't seem right to me.
There is also a bit of paint on her nose that I accidentally plopped there while painting, so I have to figure out how to get that off there... And I have to add the red sash, which I'm hoping will look the best.
I hope to completely finish this by the end of the week. I want to get good because I need at least two of these for my displays and Hasbro won't give us any :p.

Let me know what you think. Does this suck? :D


02-19-2003, 04:09 PM
Here's the back. You can see where the paint came off on the hood. It has found a home on my thumb :D.


Mr. JabbaJohnL
02-19-2003, 06:49 PM
Well . . . it's umm . . . yeah . . .:crazed:

02-19-2003, 07:14 PM
Okay, thing with enamels is to make sure you really really mix it up well before painting. I never use anything else on my figures and mostly the pots ae great but once in a while you get a bad batch that has too much thinners in the solution and not enough pigment, that's when you get the stay tacky finish. One thing i tried and had some success with is to use a matt paint mixed with a gloss to get a nice satin plastic like finish. Gloss in itself can take a few weeks to really dry. I painted one droid black and tthe paint took a whole month to set. Even after that it was still tacky if it got warm.
Mixing acrylics and enamels probably isn't such a hot idea.
Is that a Mon mothma you're using? with a Coruscant padawan anakin hood? One thing i learned about painting figures is that you can't just slap on the paint. Using a thinned down paint and building up the pain effect in very thin layers works best. With thinner paint you get less brush strokes. And more than one coat of paint will cover up every defect if you accidentally touch the wt paint.
As far as the colors blending goes, i think I'd mix a third color that's halfway between the red and yellow, then use it thinned down and without loading up your brush too much sort of dry brush the paint on to soften the edges of the two colors and blend them together. You'll get an effect like the colors bleeding into one another, same as the movie costume.
If you're happy with the customising work you did then that's fine. You don't need our approval. If it does what you want it to then that's good. only change it if you feel you aren't happy. It's all experience isn't it? I'm not an expert and don't profes to be but i do know that pushing yourself just that tiny bit further each time you do something creative makes a world of difference. If you don't experiment then you don't find answers to puzzles. If i hadn't experimented then I wouldn't know that gloss paint and matt paint mixed together dries twice as fast as gloss or matt on their own. Acrylics are a great invention but they never look right to me. Enamels have the same sort of quality as the paints used by hasbro. Just use them sparingly and make the coats of paint thin. If you still get the tacky feeling you can get a satin varnish in enamel paints that will take shinines away and dry quickly so you can handle the figure sooner. Make sure you get the paint all mixed up thoroughly before starting though. All paints settle in their cans and you need to double the mixing times reccomended on the tins. Use a two inch timber nail or something for the mixing, it really helps to break down any lumps that might form in the base of the paint tin. Never mix your paint with your paintbrush. Use a paintbrush that has long soft bristles. Real hair brushes give the best finish but also leave the most bristles I your paintwork. Nylon bristled brushes last longer but again long and soft brushes are the key to a good finish. the smaler the area to paint the smaller the brush you use. I have brushes ranging from size 8 down to size 00 for painting figures with and a load of old damaged brushes for doing rough paintwork on ships and stuff.
Does any of that make any sense or am I waffling again?

02-19-2003, 11:15 PM
Jeez, this is the third time I’ve had to do this post… I tried attaching a picture, but it said that I’ve already posted it someplace else – so, I lost the info. I just came back and tried it again, changing the name of the photo and I lost it again (I did copy what I wrote that time, but I accidentally copied something else right after). This is it, last time :crazed:

First, Mr. JabbaJohnL, I don’t know what your comment is about, but I’ll take it…um…under advisement :confused:.

Jargo, I’m working with a limited selection of paint here. Most of my money is tied up in figures themselves, so I go for the 96 cent Testor paint bottles at Wal*Mart (in the models section). It’s okay, I guess, but the only problem is that all their enamel paints come in gloss finishes. That’s why I am also using the acrylics – they’re all in flat. The only problem with the acrylics, though (and that’s why I don’t use them solely) is that their shades aren’t regular. The acrylic yellow that I bought was some kind of neon version, so I had to mix with the enamel yellow, which is a normal version. The end result, however, came out beautifully, as I got the best of both worlds. I got the flat, non-tacky elements of the acrylic, and I got the proper color from the enamel.
The same thing with the orange coloring. I had only gloss enamel orange, but I had to mix in red, anyway, and that was acrylic. I had had the orange perfect once, very accurate to the costume. But that had been one of those times that I stopped and I forgot the “formula” for getting that specific color. This time, like I said, I added some red to the orange, but when it got too dark, I added some yellow. It’s better than what I originally had earlier today, but I still need to work with it, I guess. Also, to me, it seems there’s a transitional area on the costume where the yellow fades into the orange. I have NO way of doing this as my skills are quite limited… Maybe someone should do this for me :p.
You were right about the figures I used for this. I had originally wanted to use an All New Likeness Leia for it, but I realized the Mon Mothma would work better. And it does…or will, once I fix the problems.
EJ, you’re right about experimenting with this. I just need to keep trying, I guess. But the only reason I asked if it “sucks” or not is because I’m looking for some constructive criticism and some help. I’ve only made two customs, and both were just swapping of legs and then painting them. I made a Captain Tarpals and a Gungan Warrior that can ride Kaadu’s. Again, I had some problem with coloring (only on the feet, though) and I experienced the same tackiness on the legs of the Gungan Warrior. But there too, I used a lot of enamel paint. That’s why I like the acrylic…
The construction of this figure wasn’t hard and it doesn’t look too bad. I just need to fix the position of the hood and work with that “over-cloak”, maybe remove a bit from it. And like I said, I’ll add a sash (I have the material for it) and then I don’t think it will be such an eye sore :p. Like I said, I just can’t get colors right for the life of me and I usually don’t have the patience to keep trying. I must learn patience J. And I’ll update with more pictures as I fix this monstrosity. Unless of course, JabbaJohnL keeps makin’ fun of me :p.


(and if that thing happens with the picture again, I quit). :D

02-20-2003, 06:32 AM
That's really odd that they only do gloss. Testors is the same stuff that we have over here called Humbrol. I tend to use mostly the matt finishes and only buy a gloss when I need to mix. hmmm, nice work on the gungans BTW, I think the thing is to mix your third color that'll blend the two others, use whatever you clean your brush with to thin it down. not too much so it's like water but just so it glides and doesn't drag. Then where the two main colors meet paint a band across the join just a bit at a time. Then clean your brush and use the clean brush to pull the paint down in a sort of feathered way. Just gently move the paint down from the center band, this is a sort of reverse dry brush thing. It should in theory give you a blending effect. keep cleaning and drying your brush so it doesn't fill with paint. And be conservative about the lenth of the brush strokes. Yo can also do this with your finger if you thin the paint down further to start with, just smear the paint downwards making sure to sort of flick your finger off at the end of a smear so you don't get a finger mark at the end of the stroke. Doing this with quite thinned paint means you can do more than one coat and build up the effect. Like in said building up thin layers works better than one coat only.
For a second custom it's a nice job. I wouldn't have thought of using Mon Mothma as a base myself. But then i did a very simple custom using her cloak. I took a spare Ody mandrell figure minus the helmet, used the soft goods skirt from a commtech leia and added the cloak from mon mothma. I now have a really nice small senator. I'm deciding whether or not to color the skirt with dye and paint the cloak to match. Looks very nice without that and very simple to do. sometimes the best solutions come from the oddest places. Don't give up, keep at it. Perhaps this one might not work the way you want it too but carying on will mean you learn from your customs. I'll post a pic later of my first Gungan which is a bit poor to be honest but it helped me learn about boil and pop. It's all a learning curve no matter how advanced you are or aren't.
If you take each figure you do as a valuable lesson then there are no bad customs. :)

02-21-2003, 03:22 PM
Back again, i hunted through my folder of saved pics ofcustoms that I like and found this handmaiden pic. i can't for the life of me remember which site i got it from or whose it is and I'm sorry if you're reading this and its yours, let me know and i'll add a credit, but this demonstrates perfectly the paint effect i was describing before. Admittedly this has been done by someone who's done a fair bit of customising and I don't want you to think i'm posting this pic as an unfair comparison, I'm not. I just wanted to show you how a simple blend can work. If I remember right this was done using acrylics only. Looks like the orange has been dragged over the top of the yellow here. Just a downward brushstroke repeated to drag the paint until it thins completely.
My advice would be to experiment with the technique on a piece of card first to see how the paint moves. before trying it on a figure. I do that myself with new paint effects like trying a stippled look or a speckley spattered finish. It helps save you time and also from possibly messing up a figure.

Mr. JabbaJohnL
02-23-2003, 12:07 PM
I was just saying, well, it looked odd. The handmaiden looked to be about 50 years old instead of 20. It still looks better than that last one EJ posted . . . BEHOLD THE WRATH OF RABÉ!!!!!!!!!!:crazed:

02-24-2003, 12:59 PM
Originally posted by Mr. JabbaJohnL
I was just saying, well, it looked odd. The handmaiden looked to be about 50 years old instead of 20. It still looks better than that last one EJ posted . . . BEHOLD THE WRATH OF RABÉ!!!!!!!!!!:crazed:

That's because it's Mon Mothma... I know that some people find her really scary :D.