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3D Print Painting Part 6

February 28, 2018

Scraping in at the end of the month, I’ve just barely finished and photographed another batch of 3D printed models… and this is only half of them!

In the post below I am featuring four models, and they were all designed by my friend, the very talented Jukka Seppänen (Kijai).

As part of a tiny restructure of my blog, previous 3D print painting posts have been organized into their very own category now, which you can hopefully spot on the menu bar at the top of this page. :)

I’ve also made a little video, discussing the materials I use to bring my 3D prints to life, which I am hoping will be of some use to people who want to start painting and embellishing their prints.

The first print that I would like to cover is very special to me. “Stu The Baby Dragon” was modeled after one of my first stylized baby dragon sketches that I created when I was about 19. (many moons ago)

I don’t know why, but that sketch remains the most popular thing I’ve ever posted in my Deviantart gallery and I’d always had the intention of making him into something 3 dimensional, but try as I might, (sewing, polymer clay, crochet) it never worked out. So when Kijai took up the challenge of sculpting him, I was very eager to see the result, and holding him in my hands for the first time was pretty surreal. Even with a few slight modifications made to ensure that he would print supportless, he is perfect. <3

From a painting perspective, this model is also a really fantastic template for customizing due to the character of the model as well as the textures!

The only thing that I did to modify him before painting was that I filed the bottoms of the ears a tiny bit to round them off where they were flat from the print bed. This is not a necessary step at all, I just wanted to do it.

Usually I will paint pieces separately before gluing them together, but with this model I needed to see him fully assembled before I could apply any paint. So I superglued all of his body parts together, but left the heart separate. Then I primed the dragon and the heart with a thin layer of brushed on grey acrylic paint, and let it all dry for about a day.

The first thing I did was to paint the eyes, because this is the way I draw my dragons, eyeballs first. They’re just simply painted in black and white, but making the light spots creates the illusion of the eyes being more complex than they actually are.

Next I mixed a metallic sort of burgundy color using red, copper and white acrylic paint and I applied it to the entire dragon. I let this all dry for another day.

Then it was time to work in some shadows, which were created with a violet wash in some places and a red wash in others. I sunk the wash into the grooves and crevices of the model, paying extra attention to all of the lovely scales and in between the toes, then allowed that to dry overnight.

Next I applied additional dark washes to the wings and horns to make them stand out more. Once that was all dry I lightened up the insides of the ears and the belly panels with a lighter shade of the mixed burgundy color by dry brushing in a few layers until I got it to the point I was happy with.

Lastly I dry brushed on some of that Reeves Iridescent Medium all over. There are multiple layers on the wings and horns.

That was most of the dragon painted. As a finishing touch I tidied up the eyes (always mind your edges!), added a slight pink wash to the white to give it a bit of shading, and after that dried I put some clear nail varnish over the eyes to give them a moist glossy look.

The heart is just painted silver (because I like pink and grey together) and as I didn’t like that I could see the print lines on front facet of the heart, I applied the silver paint extra thick and textured to mask it.

Click any of the photos in the gallery below to view more full size images of this model.

The next model I’ll cover is the “Doors Of Durin”

This was a really nice model to paint, but it was designed with lighting in mind and I have to admit that the effectiveness of lighting it up was a bit ruined with the application of paint… So… It looks cool, but no longer really works as a light up model… However, I’m good with that because I really wanted to paint it.

This was scaled down a bit from the intended print size, but still worked quite well with all of the details coming out in the door and it’s still effective as a jewelry stand. :D

I didn’t need to clean up this print at all with my diamond files, and there were just a few little plastic blips to snip off, so that was a 30 second job and best, and then it was time to prime it, which I did with a single layer of brushed on acrylic paint.

As usual, I underestimated the surface area of the model, so it took me longer than anticipated to get it primed! Then I let it dry for a day.

The next thing I did to the model was to apply my gloping technique to the stones at the back. This is when I apply big blobs of paint to the model and mix them together right on the model creating another layer of texture while laying down color as well. I swear I’m going to do a technique video on this… hopefully at the weekend… It’s a super useful trick to use on 3D prints. This needed a day to dry.

Once the model was dry enough to handle again I started laying down the base colors for the trees, steps and ground…. and (big surprise) I let it dry for another day! There was actually a great deal of touch-up between the stones and the trees and the door to ensure that all the edges were tidy.

Next it was time for shadows, which I created with a black wash for the stones and a dark brown wash everywhere else.

After that was dry I applied tan highlights to the trees and green highlights to the stones for a bit of moss. There were a few layers of highlights before it looked right.

I painted the door last and it was initially painted gold as I wanted the gold to get into all of the writing and symbols. When the gold was dry, I dry brushed silver over it so that the door shines silver with the gold remaining in all of the crevices. It ended up sort of bronzy, which was not my exact intention, but I liked it, so I left it at that.

When all of the paint was dry, I was able to embellish. The first thing I covered the base at the front in fine chipped slate pieces. This is a new little finishing supply that I bought recently from Serious Play and I’m completely in love with it! I bought some pebbles from them at the same time too and I used those to finish off the base. I also put a bit of slate at the back on some of the rocks for additional texture.

Next I used nail flocking powder to lay in a bit of moss in the mossy places on the stones, as well as on the dead trees. Lastly I added some static grass (2mm and 6mm). All of the embellishments were added in with PVA glue.

Click the photos in the gallery below to view more full size images of this model.

And that brings me to the “Old Tree Spirit”, which was a really simple paint job, and the model made the painting part incredibly easy because it’s covered in delightful texture :D

First I primed him with a thin layer of brushed on acrylic paint. After that dried for a day I painted the whole thing dark brown and let it dry for another day. Next, shadows were put in with a black wash and allowed to dry for a third day… then more shadows went down, because shadows are important when there are so many crevices :D

When all of the shadows were dried, I started dry brushing in the highlights in a few layers of light brown and raw sienna and to finish it off, some green moss was dry brushed on in random places.

See? Super simple :D

Then I went over most of the green places with nail flocking powder and PVA to make the moss fuzzy…. then I glued in some clump foliage, lichen and some stray pieces of actual moss that seem to have been accidentally preserved with the clump foliage… but in all seriousness, I would totally buy more of this stuff if I could find it for sale! I’ve also looked into preserving it in glycerin myself… but that’s a pretty strong commitment… I’d have to find some amazing moss first.

Click the photos in the gallery below to view more full size images of this model.

The last model that I’m going to cover is the “Sky Island”, which is a paid model available on Cults.

This model prints in three pieces and there are options as well. We went for the top loop hanging option :D It is also made for lighting up, which is awesome, but I don’t have any lights for it at the moment, so unfortunately that feature isn’t very clearly demonstrated here.

Our printer had a few problems when we were trying to print this due to mechanical issues on our end, so it’s not a perfect print, and some of the really tiny roots that were on the base broke off and then I lost them before I could glue them back on, but I think it still looks excellent!

I went with an autumnal theme and originally I had planned to use clump foliage to cover the canopy, but when I actually saw it printed, I lost my enthusiasm for that, because it already has a lot of texture and it would take a LOT of clump foliage… plus, with that large an area of clump foliage, I’d still need to paint over it if I wanted to achieve any sort of shading.

So plan B, after priming (OMG THE SURFACE AREA!) and drying for a day, was to glop the hell out of the canopy. There are at least four colors (2 yellows, green and brown) worked into the leaves of the tree, in about four layers of mixing before I got it right.

The middle portion (trunk and city) was blocked in with tan on the tree and the same mixed metallic burgundy that I used on Stu The Dragon (as I’d already had it mixed) and I painted the ground dark brown with the intention of applying static grass later.

The bottom (dirt and roots) portion of the model received another gloping treatment with a mix of dark brown and raw sienna to give it some additional texture. I painted the roots the same color as the tree.

After that was all dried, I applied a dark brown wash to the middle section and the bottom section in a couple of layers, which added a great deal of character to the paintjob overall.

Then it was time for highlights. The buildings are highlighted (always dry brush) in copper and a bit of bright yellow and gold, so that the model catches the light in a variety of ways.

The bottom is highlighted with a couple layers of raw sienna and a couple layers of tan on top of that, so there are a lot of colors in there giving it extra dimension. The roots got some tan highlights to cover up any accidental excessive shadows.

And finally, embellishments! I have this 2mm static grass that is a mix of dark green, brown and red which I used all over the ground. Then I glued in some brown lichen to the bottom as it looks a bit rooty and that was pretty much it. I could have done more to it, but it just looked right, so I stopped.

This of course means that I’ll probably print and embellish another at some point :D

Click any of the photos in the gallery below to view more full size images of this model.

So that’s all for this installment. If you’d like to read more posts like this one my previous 3D print painting posts can be found HERE and you can also subscribe to this blog for email notifications of future posts. Alternatively, if you prefer more visual and less reading, I’ve set up a YouTube channel where I chat about how I’ve finished individual models, however I’ve still got a wee backlog of models to cover before I’m current.

I’m still working my way through a whole model painting video tutorial, Just have some lighting to sort out to be able to do that comfortably.

I’ve also got six fresh Catan tiles printed so that I can work through a series of individual video tutorials of all of them. Wish I could actually give a projected release time for that stuff, but unfortunately I just have to grab time whenever I can find it right now!

But first… FIRST I will do the gloping tutorial, that no one is asking for, but I’m sure that someone will find it useful!

As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to leave them in the comments. :)

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