Do you have figures in your un-painted lead collection that you were given as gifts, and even though you know it looks ungrateful you have never gotten around to painting them for one reason or another? I know I have, and that is what I hope to address (in part at least) with this week’s posting. These two (now out of production) miniatures from “Crooked Dice” were an extremely kind Christmas present from Simon Moore, a few years back after I made his painted version of one of them number one in my “top ten” list of his years output for 2015 (see link at the bottom of the page). And therein dear reader is my excuse, (sorry, I mean reason) for not having painted these ladies before, you see Simon had done such a fantastic job of his rendition of Doctor Who favorite “Sarah Jane Smith”, that I really didn’t know that I could match it with my stumpy fingers and a two inch brush approach to painting miniatures. Writing this now it does sound like a rather lame excuse, but it truly is the reason.
The Nineteen Seventies was truly a great time in the history of “Doctor Who” as we not only had (in my not so humble opinion) the two greatest Doctors, in the form of Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker, but also probably the two best companions as well, in the very pleasing shapes of “Jo Grant” and “Sarah Jane Smith”, ably portrayed by Katy Manning and Elisabeth Sladen respectively. Now these two figures are not “official” renditions of these characters (probably why they are no longer available 😉 )but they are by far and away the best versions in 28mm, so enough chatter, and on with the painting..
Both figures were first attached to “Slotta” bases (spit,spit!), as this is how all my other doctor who figures are based, and after a small amount of filler was spread over the top of the base around their feet to hide the slot, they were given a coat of matt black, then turning to the ladies in turn.
Sarah, after a search of the internet and some of my Dr Who year books, I managed to find a couple of pictures of SJS, in this very costume (the adventure was, “The planet of Evil” for all you Who’ficionado’s out there) and these along with the painted version on Simon’s blog gave me my reference as to my palette of colours. As her costume is predominately denim, I began by painting all of it in blue grey mixed with a tiny amount of royal blue to darken it slightly, this was then highlighted light blue and then her “turn ups” and the rough frill around the bottom of her waistcoat were added in a mix of light blue and coffee, with highlights of coffee added after this. I turned to her blouse next, and after laying down a base of coffee I added checks in orange and blue, though to get the right blue I ended up mixing porcelain blue, aquamarine and royal blue, until I got the shade I was after. Her shoes came next and as I couldn’t find a picture showing them, I went for chocolate brown with a butternut highlight, with the laces done in coffee and cream (I have now discovered that they should have been all dark blue, but too late now, doh!). The flesh on both ladies was carried out in the same fashion, European flesh forming the base, and then after the eyes were added, I added eye shadow (yes I really did!) in a mix of porcelain blue and aquamarine, to give a suitably seventies shade. Then the flesh was highlighted with a mix of European flesh mixed with a little pale flesh, and finally here, their lips were added with a little pink burgundy. That just left her hair to add, so I added a tiny amount of black to some chocolate brown to darken it and after this was dry highlighted with just chocolate brown.
Jo, was a bit more awkward as though I knew I’d seen that costume before, I could not remember from what story, and a search of the net and my yearbooks didn’t throw up any pictures with the garments in question of show, therefore I decided to take my vague recollections and “wing it”, so if this is completely wrong (Simon), then it is all down to me. So as I seemed to remember this costume being purple, I started by painting all of it in royal purple, then I highlighted this with plum mixed with a little lilac, next I painted her tights in lilac and highlighted these in lavender, the cuffs of her jacket (or the blouse underneath, I leave that up to you) I did in coffee with cream highlights. Her fleshy bits came next and these were done in exactly the same way as “Miss Smith” above, so I won’t go into details here. Her hair however was done in sand with highlights of lemon yellow, and to finish off, I used some shinning gold on the buttons of her coat to add a little bit of “bling”, and my two ladies of the seventies were ready for a night on the town, or a wander around the nightspots of “Skaro” more like!
Anyway what they got instead was a good slapping with a Quickshade loaded brush, and once this was dry there bases were painted to match the rest of my Doctor Who collection, that is to say a coat of musket brown (I never knew this was the name of this colour till I just checked!), followed by a heavy dry-brushing of scenic green, then some pasture green flock was glued over this, and the bases edges were re-painted black. A spray coat of matt varnish took the shine off of the Quickshade, and they were done.
It’s great to have these two figures finally finished, though the face on Simon’s Sarah is still so much prettier than the somewhat “pinched” look on mine, still at least I can now look Simon in the eye next time I see him. I hope to squeeze in one more post before “Forgotten Heroes” kicks off.
So till then Cheers Roger.