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Roman Aquilifer, a MPM painting guide -  2° parte
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English language     27.02.2022



The more I worked on it, the more it started to look like real fur. Sometimes I went back to a previously worked area and added or rectified some bit. It is the way it works, you move to a new area but keep on adding touches here and there on the previous work to balance the whole thing or get the final degree of contrast.



When I felt that the face was more or less finished I started working on the transitions between it and the darker mane.



And this was the head of the lion more or less finished. I detailed a few more the face and worked on the mane. In the lower area of the mane, I incorporated French Mirage Blue 70.900 in the highlights to make the hair look darker and colder. Even if I still kept adding touches here and there while painting the rest of the pelt, it was done.

Roman Aquilifer painting guide
I wanted to finish all the upper area before moving to the rest of the pelt, so I went for the inner hide of the pelt that would be at the sides of the head. First, I added several washes of Game Color Charred Brown and Black, insisting towards the deeper end.
Roman Aquilifer painting guide
After that, I brought back some highlights adding Basic Skintone really thinned, looking for the imperfections and saturating the color where I thought it would add more interest.
Roman Aquilifer painting guide
The final highlights and shadows enhanced the sensation of dirt, cuts and imperfections that build the perfect texture in that area. I paid special attention to the edges of the hide, that I highlighted precisely as a way to frame the mane around the head.
Roman Aquilifer painting guide
I finally glued the head in place (how satisfying!)
Roman Aquilifer painting guide
And I finished the work on the rest of the pelt, following the previous mixes and steps. Obviously, this part is way simpler than the head, so I had it done in no time. The leather belt was painted using the same tones but in different proportions. The soft part of the lion paws was painted in a dark tone and the highlighted directly with Pale Sand to make them look dusty and worn.
Roman Aquilifer painting guide
And that was all! As you might already have understood, painting this pelt means planning and observation of real references in the first place. After that, you need a good choice of colors and adding those small details and textures that are going to really catch the eye.
Roman Aquilifer painting guide
First of all, I painted the arm with the same colors I had previously used on the face. Also, I painted the standard pole with some of the colors used on the previous steps but mixed in a different way to make them less orange and a bit more ochre. I applied some subtle texture to simulate the grain of the wood and some wear
Roman Aquilifer painting guide
Next, I prepared to paint the “Aquila” itself. The colors used were Game Color Charred Brown 72.045, MC Gold 77.725, Game Color Skin Wash 72.093, Game Color Green Ink 72.089, Game Color Black Ink 72.094, MC Silver 77.724, MC Burnt Iron 77.721, and Periscopes 70.309
Roman Aquilifer painting guide

I had in mind a rich brass look, very well polished, so it would be really shiny, with tonal reflections in the shadow areas. I started with a basecoat of Game Color Charred Brown 72.045
Roman Aquilifer painting guide
Next, I airbrushed a coat of MC Gold 77.725 over the whole piece, to get a really consistent and smooth finish
Roman Aquilifer painting guide

I continued working with the airbrush, applying Game Color Skin Wash 72.093 in the shadow areas. Now the tone looked way richer.
Roman Aquilifer painting guide
And I also airbrushed Game Color Green Ink 72.089 to make the whole thing colder and get extra depth. The good thing about using inks with the airbrush is that you incorporate the tonality but without obscuring too much the underlying tone. As I wanted a rich brass appearance, that was quite useful.
Roman Aquilifer painting guide
I brought back the highlights a bit airbrushing some MC Gold 77.725
Roman Aquilifer painting guide

And I finished the brass using a mix of Game Color Black Ink 72.094 and Skin Wash to outline the volumes and define the darker spots, and a mix of Gold and MC Silver 77.724 to add some final highlights in certain spots and edges
Roman Aquilifer painting guide
The pedestal of the eagle was painted as steel, with a basecoat consisting of a mix of MC Burnt Iron 77.721, Periscopes 70.309 and GC Charred Brown. I highlighted it with small amounts of Silver.
Roman Aquilifer painting guide
The pedestal of the eagle was painted as steel, with a basecoat consisting of a mix of MC Burnt Iron 77.721, Periscopes 70.309 and GC Charred Brown. I highlighted it with small amounts of Silver.
Roman Aquilifer painting guide
The last remaining part was the shield. I always think that elaborated freehand designs are nothing but a composition of simpler forms put together. What I’m trying to say is that you always need to decompose the design into simpler bits that you can paint in an easier way. The colors used for the front of the shield were Periscopes 70.309, English Uniform 70.921, Goldbrown 70.877, Black 70.950, Game Color Charred Brown 72.045, and Pale Sand 70.837
Roman Aquilifer painting guide
First of all, I did the inner side of the shield. Nothing complicated, I simply used some of the previous brown tones, concentrating the work in the upper part of the surface, as it would be the section that would be seen the most after glueing the shield in place
Roman Aquilifer painting guide
The basecoat of the front is a mix of Periscopes 70.309 and English Uniform 70.921. As most of the design over it was going to have ochre tones, I decided to incorporate it already from the start. That way you have a much more natural appearance
Roman Aquilifer painting guide
Next, I added some basic highlights and shadows, adding Goldbrown 70.877 and a mix of Periscopes and Black 70.950 to the basecoat respectively.
Roman Aquilifer painting guide
Let’s start with the design. I painted the side decorations with a mix of Game Color Charred Brown 72.045 and a bit of Goldbrown.
Roman Aquilifer painting guide
Next, I did the vertical arrows, using the same mix but with much more Goldbrown. The trick is to maintain all the elements aligned, as you can see
Roman Aquilifer painting guide
More arrows, this time in diagonal. Keeping in mind that I would add later the wings between them and the vertical arrows, I painted them following a much more horizontal plane.
Roman Aquilifer painting guide
Now, I transformed one of the diagonal arrows in a lightning bolt, adding a perfectly defined U-shaped section to its upper side, like a handle.
Roman Aquilifer painting guide

Then, I removed the other section, painting with the basecoat over it. That formed a perfectly angled lightning bolt according to the usual style you see on Roman shields.
Roman Aquilifer painting guide
I did the same on the other 3 diagonal arrows. Even if it would seem easier to simply draw the lightning bolt from the beginning, that is not true, trust me. If you follow a well-planned method like the one I used, your reward is perfectly symmetrical and properly shaped forms, much harder to obtain if you eyeball the whole thing.
Roman Aquilifer painting guide

Next, I painted the basic shape of the wings. First, I painted one, and I copied the inverted shape beside it. Then I copied both at the other side of the shield boss.
Roman Aquilifer painting guide
Now, it was the right time to add some outlining for the design details, always following the design and style of Roman-era shield motifs. Using pure Charred Brown, I carefully outlined the arrows and the bolts
Roman Aquilifer painting guide
And I also did the wings, incorporating the “feathers” separations
Roman Aquilifer painting guide
With the background color, I sharpened and detached the tips of the wings. After that, I outlined them again.
Roman Aquilifer painting guide
I incorporated some rough “highlights” that were used to simulate a tri-dimensional effect in these designs. I didn’t try to add really soft transitions or anything, as they should look like something hand-painted by an artisan on the camp. The trick is to go for a “clean but not perfect” sensation. For the final edges, I added a bit of Pale Sand 70.837
Roman Aquilifer painting guide
I made the bolts and arrows a bit lighter adding some Goldbrown but kept them simple as these don’t have normally that tri-dimensional effect. Also, I added some volume to the side decorations (these have a particular name, but I cannot remember it right now, hehe), adding some Pale Sand to its basecoat and outlining them with Black. The design was finished!
Roman Aquilifer painting guide
The brass parts were done with the following colors, Game Color Charred Brown 72.045, English Uniform 70.921, MC Gold 77.725, and Periscopes 70.309.
Roman Aquilifer painting guide
The idea was to replicate the dull effect I got on the steel parts of the helmet, but this time in the brass fittings of the shield, simulating a much more worn surface with a cool patina. I painted a basecoat with Game Color Charred Brown 72.045.
Roman Aquilifer painting guide
Then, I started highlighting adding English Uniform 70.921 to it.
Roman Aquilifer painting guide
For the final highlights, I added a bit of MC Gold 77.725 too.
Roman Aquilifer painting guide
The shadows were done adding Periscopes 70.309 to the basecoat and applying it very thinned down in the lower parts
Roman Aquilifer painting guide
I did the shield’s edge in the same way.
Roman Aquilifer painting guide
Finally, I added some wear to the whole thing, including superficial scratches here and there, stains with tones of brown and ochre, and general washes with really thinned Charred Brown and Black towards the lower edge.
Roman Aquilifer painting guide

That’s all!
I hope you enjoyed and learned a few tricks. See you soon in a future MPM painting guide!
Roman Aquilifer painting guide
Roman Aquilifer painting guide
Roman Aquilifer painting guide
Roman Aquilifer painting guide
Roman Aquilifer painting guide
Roman Aquilifer painting guide

         

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Miniature Painting Masterclass
Sculpted by Ramón Martínez
painted by Fernando Ruiz

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