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4 - Accessorizing Caesar

Caesar Octavian
Product #
Suggested Retail Price
$4 USD


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Revision Log
20 October 2003page first published

3,102 hits since 20 Oct 2003
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Lee Olson of Pewter Illusions writes:

Greetings! In this, the third installment of Octavian's journey from white metal to warlord, I'll finish up what's left of his accessories, which means his boots, the little fiddly bits and trim, and the cloak which dominates the figure in the rear view.

When I left off last time, I had just finished his kilt and belt. Today, we'll start with his sheathed shortsword and scabbard. I started by basecoating everything black for the scabbard itself, bronze for the filigree on the scabbard, and brown for the belt thingy attached to the scabbard. I figured that a man of such stature as Caesar Octavian would have nothing less than a gold hilt on his sword, so I basecoated that...brown?

Scabbard is basecoated

Although other metallics don't necessarily behave this way, gold seems to go on much better over a solid basecoat of brown, in my experience. Don't ask me why, but it works, so I'm not complaining.

After getting everything basecoated, I went back and did my shading and highlighting. Dark gray highlights for the black scabbard, brown shading and more Antique Gold for highlighting the bronze. The brown belt/rope was highlighted with a lighter brown. After the brown basecoat, I gave the hilt a coat of Antique Gold, shaded with brown, and highlighted with "normal" gold.

Completed scabbard

STOP! The belt is shiny. It should not be shiny. WHY is it so shiny? Go ahead and say it. I know you're thinking it.

The belt - and other various spots on Octavian - is shiny because of the washes I use for shading and highlighting. I thin my washes with a mix of water and Future Floor Wax, which - because it's a floor wax - has a bit of a shine to it. Using the Future helps break down the surface tension of the water, which helps to prevent "ring around the collar" and helps the thinned paint flow more smoothly. The shine is an unwanted side effect, but will go away when I spray him down with Dullcote.

Next thing on our list are Octavian's boots, which look a bit like mittens. Once again, I opted to stray from the pre-selected color scheme a bit and went with Ral Partha's Dark Brown for his boots. Obviously, the focus of the figure is not his feet, so I don't want them attracting too much attention. The tops of his boots and the soles were painted black.

The boots are basecoated

The black trim and soles, like the rest of the black objects on this figure, were highlighted with a dark gray. The boots were shaded with straight black (thinned, of course), and were highlighted with Ral Partha African.

The completed boots

Next, I chose to take care of some of the smaller bits that generally won't get noticed unless they're not painted the buckles/medallions on his boots, the trim around his chest armor, and the medal on his chest, next to the eagle.

The medallions and the trim were painted in bronze, in keeping with the color scheme. I opted to go with gold for the medal, because I felt that painting it bronze would start to overload that area with bronze and begin to detract from the model. The gold fits well with the model without straying too far from the predetermined color scheme, and at the same time helps to break up all that bronze on the eagle and the trim. Like the hilt of his sword, I started with a basecoat of brown, then Antique Gold, shaded with brown, and highlighted with Glittering Gold.

The bronze trim is finished

Last, but certainly not least, is Caesar Octavian's cloak. With as much yellow as I'd already used on the model, there was little question in my mind that I wanted it to be purple. This time I went with, oddly enough, Ral Partha Purple for the basecoat.

The cloak is basecoated

As I usually do, after basecoating, I started with shading. Because purple is a sufficiently dark color, I was able to shade with straight black. I gave it several layers of the black, working my way down into the deep recesses.

The cloak has been shaded

The last step is highlighting. For this I used a mix of purple and white at about a 4:1 ratio. Again, because this is such a broad area, I applied several layers of highlights, building up a little bit each time. You can really see the effects of the Future Floor Wax here.

The final cloak

And now we've got a fully clothed Caesar Octavian, ready to lead his troops into battle. Stay tuned for the fourth and final installment: Basing!