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The Torch from 100K: Freak Show

The Torch
Product #
Suggested Retail Price
$5.00 USD

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RobH writes:

Thanks for the comments guys.

The wash is very thin (read the full description in the Fictional Realty article), basically water density.

And as for painting in an oven, actually Yes. Where I live in Tenerife has summers that reach 50 degrees plus and very rarely falls below the low 20s through the winter. 2 or 3 minutes is long enough to fully dry the glaze. I tend to keep going at it until I get bored, then put the figure aside for a while.

The trouble I have is not getting things dry, it is keeping the paints moist!

Revision Log
20 December 2007page first published

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RobH of Displaced Miniatures: RobH and The Wargames Room writes:

First Impressions

Well, not too promising in all honesty - very scruffy and almost unfinished looking sculpt. Details such as the belts and the eye patch have not been properly smoothed and show noticeable variation in width, and the muscle detail is so deeply engraved as to look like totally separate chunks of flesh heaped on top of each other.

But the casting is good (everything present, no missing points or air bubbles) and an interesting concept (fantasy suicide bomber).


The figure came in three parts; body, legs, head, and upper arms; hands/forearms with torch; and the powder barrel. I started preparation by gluing the forearms to the torso. This took a lot of patience, as the point of contact is very small and impossible to pin. Once it was dry, I coated the join with a couple of thin layers of superglue dried with setting solution to reinforce the joint, and then filed it to match the rest of the arms. I left the barrel unattached, to make painting the figure easier.

I washed the figure in weak soap solution, and let it dry completely before brush-priming two thin coats of matt white enamel paint. I find enamel gives a much stronger and handling-resistant surface than acrylic primers.


This piece uses a similar technique to that which I covered in the Painters Workshop article in the last Fictional Reality using washes. It is very easy technique to use - please read that article (if you have not already done so), as it explains the technique in much more detail.

The basecoat is Tanned Flesh from the superb Rackham paints range. This was applied in two coats as a very thin wash, allowing the white base to lighten the tops of the muscles.


Once dry, the flesh areas were then given a wash consisting of a mix of GW Flesh Wash, distilled water (to which a drop of flow improver was added) and Rackham Beastly Flesh in a roughly 1:4:1 ratio. Apply the wash carefully rather than just "slopping it on," as you don't want the dark colour to pool on the lower parts of the detail.

Dark Wash

Building Up the Colour

Still using Tanned Flesh - which, like all the Rackham paints, is thinned on the palette and to which I add a tiny drop of flow improver (or Future wax). Paint in the muscles and the highlights on the face, arms and legs. This main colour will cover some of the shadow areas, especially on the face, but generally try to paint the entire surface (upper and lower) of the muscles fairly neatly.

The reason for covering some of the shadows on the face is to avoid the too-dark "cracked face" look seen on a lot of wargame models.
Main colour

I then painted in the eyes and teeth on the face, so that I could build up the highlights around them rather than trying to go in and paint them afterwards, as it makes it much easier to correct any errors!

Then mix a small amount of Rackham Elven Flesh with the Tanned Flesh to produce paler version of the main colour, and highlight areas on the upper surfaces of the muscles and the face to show the effect of light from above on the figure. These highlights should all be within the earlier main colour, leaving the main colour showing on the lower parts of muscles and underneath the legs. This highlight should (must) be brighter than the end result you desire - and, providing you have used the same base colour to make the highlight mix, can actually be very noticeably lighter. (Subtlety at this stage is not part of this technique.)

The figure was then matte-varnished to protect the paintwork done so far, and left to dry.


Blending Down the Colour

Despite what has gone before, I am actually aiming for a blended-looking finish. As I actually over-highlighted the figure, it is necessary to tone down the colours a little. To do this, we glaze the figure over with a mid-tone colour (same as the original base colour mixed earlier). This will serve to darken the top highlights and lighten the base shadows, effectively drawing the colours closer together…or blending them.

The most important thing about doing this is the consistency of the glaze. It must be so thin in colour depth that, painted onto white paper, it is pretty well invisible.

This glaze is applied over and over again until the colours look like they have been blended rather than layered. 30 or 40 times is good for a gaming figure such as this, but you would be looking at several hundred for a display finish. This is why the glaze needs to be kept so thin.

Tone Wash

For the first dozen or so times you will see no appreciable difference, but slowly the harsh top highlights disappear and the demarcation of the areas of shadows gets lost into the base colour. They both remain visible, just less well defined.


This figure does not really have a lot in the way of details. The various straps were painted as leather using Rackham Beastly Flesh, and the armour plates in Rackham Syhar Soil. These will end up being the same colour eventually, but the armour will be done using an ink wash, while the straps are painted. This is because the straps do not have enough detail/area for an ink wash to work. The trousers were basecoated in a mix of Rackham Beastly Flesh and Fusion Red.

Detail Start

Now at this point, I have to apologise that due to a PC problem (compounded by my somewhat lax attitude to data backups), I lost all but one of the pictures of the next couple of stages in the painting.

Detail Continues

But by way of a sort of replacement, here are the key points:

Highlighted by adding more Fusion Red to the previous Beastly Flesh and Fusion Red mix, and then finished in Fusion Red alone.
The Beastly Flesh was mixed 50/50 with Syhar Soil, and the various straps highlighted (concentrating on only the upper surfaces). Then a final thin line of pure Syhar Soil applied to the edges of the uppermost parts.
Armour plates/pads:
The Syhar Soil was given a single wash of thinned GW Chestnut Ink.
Boots and Eye Glass:
Rackham Accursed Black mixed with Eternal White to a dark grey colour, highlighted in two stages by adding a tiny drop more White to the mix each time. The dynamite sticks (at least, I think that is what they are...) were painted GW Fiery Orange, and highlighted by adding a small amount of the Rackham Eternal White.
Staff was Beastly Flesh mixed 50/50 with Syhar Soil, highlighted with only Syhar Soil, and then washed with thinned GW Chestnut Ink. Flames are Fusion Red, Fiery Orange and Rackham Lahn Yellow, remembering to place the hottest (yellow) parts of the fire on the inside and the cooler (red) on the outside. The smoky tip is Accursed Black.
From the same white enamel undercoat as the figure. I started with a wash of thinned Accursed Black to shade the planks, and then drybrushed Syhar Soil very lightly three or four times until the wood was a pale yellow/brown colour. This was then washed with thinned GW Chestnut Ink to make the timber look less yellow. The rings and detail were painted in Rackham Polished Silver mixed with a little Accursed Black, and highlighted with Silver alone.

The base surface was covered with PVA glue, and dipped into a sand/gutter dirt mix and left to dry. Then the whole base was painted in dark brown household paint (I had two litres mixed to computer-colour-match GW Bestial Brown) and drybrushed with a yellow-brown (strangely enough, a two-litre tin matching GW Vomit Brown). The base edge was stippled with the same yellow-brown, to make the base look like a single piece rather than a platform top and an edge.