Pirate Ship and Pirate
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Thread: Pirate Ship and Pirate

  1. #1

    Default Pirate Ship and Pirate

    Working on a pirate and hoping to get some feedback and suggestions.
    The pirate is coming along i need to do some clean up on the strips on his pants.
    I may need to do some more blending on dark greens to lighter greens on his skin. It looks okay to the naked eye but if i use a flash it looks kind of weird in the photos. Also not happy yet with my attempt at NMM for the sword.

    But what I'm really stuck on is the ship! I wanted to make it look like he was on the deck of a ship without building the entire ship. Here's what I have so far.

    Should I try to show the side of the ship as well as the deck? If i do, I was thinking about adding the shroud lines, but just have them rising up into the air without reaching a mast. Does that seem weird? Any thoughts about how to do the bow and stern of the ship, if it's just supposed to be part of the deck?

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    without the gunnel

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    with the gunnel

    Views of the pirate

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    trying to make his flask look like it is partly empty.

    This is one idea of how I was trying to follow

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    thanks for reading this far and for any suggestions you may have!

  2. #2


    I'm back in my home time zone and over the jet lag. Made some progress?
    Here is the latest. Going to think about if I want put some knees against the ship siding and how to handle the ends of the boat.
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    Here is the updated miniature. I made him a battered top hat. A note of whimsy. Some looted finery?
    It may be a touch big for his head but i guess he didn't get it in millinery store

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    Lastly - a detail from the mini. I tried to make his flask look like an old rum bottle.
    No longer completely full. I suppose he had a nip before boarding.

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    As always any comments or suggestions are welcome. I can certainly use the help!

  3. #3


    Oh and any can teach me the trick on getting pictures to load right side up I'd appreciate it.
    I tried turning this files before loading and they still loaded sideways

  4. #4


    well I may be just talking to myself here but I'll keep going.

    I think this is close to done. I need to take a bit of time away and then see what mistakes I see.
    Photos always highlight the issues so well see what pops with these shots.

    Should I add a grappling hook?

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  5. #5


    Well, I'll jump in here with ya!

    Let's start with the disclaimer that I don't know much about how to help you, as I am also new to painting miniatures. I will also start with saying that I really dig the vision you have for this guy. There's a lot of character and motion to what you've already put together. I like the decking, and attempting to model something as cool as a pirate ship in the scope that you are, is not something I can imagine is easy. The tips I have for you, actually come in the form of questions...so here we go.

    1:What paint are you using, and are you intending the surface of all your project to be glossy? Would adding a matte varnish help with adding texture to the different surfaces you are trying to depict?
    2here is something I'm currently focusing on myself) Wouldn't adding a greater variation of shadow vs. highlight create greater contrast, and therefore a more dramatic presentation of your character? The muscle tone would appear more defined with even a darker wash; and as far fetched as it sounds, a red/maroon wash would help tie the red of the pants into the character as a whole.
    3: What else are you planning to add to the display? Pirate ships are supposed to be weathered, with less than fantastic housekeeping, and littered with necessary provisions, right? Along with that, ropes, barrels, crates, buckets/mops, even a seagull's poop on the railing would add to the feeling that you are presenting to the viewer.

    Hope these questions help, and I look forward to seeing what you come up with.

    Keep it coming!

  6. #6


    Looking good, especially the sword and various bits of freehand. I can say that I find the glossy finish a little offputting in the photos. Other than that it looks good.

  7. #7


    Thanks everyone. Especially DaBeebs for the suggestions.
    I've been working on this in between travel and think I've made some progress.

    1) I tried to darken the shadows with some chestnut inks. Hopefully this is a step in the right directions
    2) I added some fallen shroads to the boat. Presumably a mast is down somewhere! My respect for people who build model boats has increased 10x.
    Just doing a little rigging is really hard!
    I need to eye ball the pictures a bit to see if the pirate still looks too glossy. I haven't tried the matte varnish, but maybe the wash has helped?

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  8. #8


    Looking better. The different lighting, coupled with the added chesnut wash help to define your character's muscle tone; it helps my old eyes differentiate what part is his shoulder vs the rest of his chest, etc. The rigging looks like it was a PITA to do, but it certainly helps to sell the visual of it being a ship. Hope you've enjoyed your project thus far, and can't wait to see what you've got around the corner!

    Keep it coming!

  9. #9


    I agree that these changes definately helped and he looks a lot less glossy too.

  10. #10


    If you are using acrylics, a coat of enamel matt (e.g. Humbrol matt clear) will give a very flat matt finish, but don't use it on the sword blade as the metallic pigments will be taken up by the enamel and give a weird 'laquered sparkle' look (great for hotrod cars, bad for swords). Really liking the rigging, how about really trashing the deck up with splintered wood fragments, torn/burnt sail shrouds, some battle damage plus all of the other debris that suggests a ship in the full throes of a 'to the death' struggle. I'm sure DaBeebs would be also add copious amounts of spilt blood as he did with his really atmospheric execution block piece. The figure has quite a dynamic pose, so I think a busier battle scene will help explain why he's switching his balance and wealding his sword to fend off attackers. However (diferences of artistic opinion asides) great progress, and I'm guessing it's good to reach the point where you can be considering the finer aesthetic touches.

  11. #11


    Regarding a matt coat - AK Interactives Ultra Matt Varnish is by far the best I have used, it will emphasise colours and give you an absolutely matt finish on most things....can be applied with brush or airbrush and is water soluble and quick drying. You can alos continue to paint over it easily afterwards should you need to.

    The scenes coming along nicely - nice to see an ambitious dio in the making.

  12. #12


    The wash you have put on seems to have knocked the gloss back to more of a satin and the piece looks better for it. Gloss is great for knocked around gaming pieces but not so much for a display. Gloss is hard to photograph too as you have probably found out. I don’t know if it’s just my crappy eyes but it also makes it harder to get a good read on depth of field.
    Another thing that would improve your Orc pirate is to give his skin one more wash, concentrating it in deeper shadows. On the face and especially around the eyes will help separate the eyes from the rest of the face. Or even just a dark wash around the eyeballs. Dirtying up his pants can help give that been away at sea and have poor personal hygiene look. Just a few stains here and there.
    Getting hold of a deck cannon mini and cannon balls can help set the scene. Treasure chests work well and not too hard to make.

  13. #13


    thanks for all the comments and feedback.
    I give him another wash to try to bring out the deepest shadows and will see what i can do on his face.
    I've gone back and forth on trying to create more damage to the ship. I'm partly intimidated by trying to figure out how to do it and partly I'm reluctant to clutter up the deck. I think it could distract from the main character.
    I will give him a matte coat after the wash to try to take the shine off him.

    I guess I'm going to have to rewatch Master and Commander in slow mo and see if I can get some additional ideas for ship damage!


  14. #14


    If you keep the details a similar colour to the ship you can add a decent amount of said details. Wood and dull metals will allow the miniature to really jump out at viewers. The eye will instantly be drawn to the green skin and striped pants. They will then travel around the background details.

  15. #15


    Ship building ? ship destroying continues.
    I added some downed lines and some splinters of wood.
    I like the rigging but not sure about the splinters.

    Also hit the pirate with some matte varnish and it definitely looks better. I think my dark stain has gotten a little sloppy and I'll see if I can blend it a bit better.
    Who thinks I should vote the splinters off the boat?

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