“Companion Piece”

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.


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21 Responses to “Companion Piece”

  1. Dave Stone says:

    What fantastic painting of a great gift Roger, the sculpts look great, and are improved by your well researched and well executed painting. Gifts can sometimes sit there for quite a while until they fit in perfectly to our painting schedules

    • Ha ha! thanks Dave it appears you were commenting on my blog at the same time I was on yours! I was a great gift on Simons part, however it was fear that kept pushing them down the queue!

      Cheers Roger.

  2. Marvellous posting, Roger, and I had completely forgotten I had sent those minis to you so long ago. They fetch quite a pretty penny on Ebay these days, so can you send them back? LOL!!!

    Seriously terrific paint-work, and I was in awe of the ‘tartan’ quilt work you got on the shoulders of Sarah Jane. I don’t think pics of this mini do its diminutive size justice as its an incredibly delicate tiny sculpt, and well worth spending your time over.

    Embarrassingly, I haven’t touched my Jo Grant, nor her “Crooked Dice” silver-haired mentor myself, so I clearly need to correct that oversight at some point. Terrific work on her too, and I like the Dalek sneaking some screen time in the background of her picture.

    Definitely “Top Ten” material… and thanks for the huge shout-out. Always a pleasure meeting and greeting you 🙂

    • Thanks Simon, I do wish you would stop telling me how these figures are worth lots of money after I’ve painted the darn things!! 🙂
      I actually only did the tartan on the shoulder you can see in the photo, the other side is plain! (just joking, both these and the exposed collar are done, but I made you think for a moment there), I do wish her face had turned out better though, yours is so much cuter than mine ;-b
      I was sure you were going to tell me that Jo’s costume should be orange or green or something, strange that I couldn’t find any suitable pic’s of her, I guess I could have gone up to the loft and sorted through my old copies of DW weekly, but just haven’t got the time at the moment. There are actually two more Daleks (out of focus) at the front of the SJS photo too. But glad you liked the old plastic GW one in the Jo’s photo (I hope she doesn’t feel inclined to strip off to pose with it 😉 )

      You are of course most welcome for the shout out, I hadn’t realised it was so long ago, that I did that top ten’ I had to change this post as I originally put 2016 not 2015!

      Cheers Roger.

      P.S. got your text, yes I am still selling them.

      • Um… Actually Jo’s top should be brown as that’s her costume from “The Claws Of Axos”, Roger, but I wasn’t going to nit-pick such a tip-top paint-job 😉

        I’ll send you an email about the minis then, so we can arrange a price and date for me to pick ’em up!!

      • Ahhh, found it now that I had the title, yep her top should be pale brown and stripey, I was actually closer than I thought though (yay me!).

        Sounds good on the E-mail front.

        Cheers Roger.

  3. vampifan says:

    These are two beautiful minis and your paint jobs really enhance them. You should be immensely proud of them. Although I prefer the New Who series to the old ones, I still have a soft spot for these two companions.

  4. Fan – Bloody – tastic man. Your painting is phenomenal.
    I can’t say I’ve ever been gifted lead minis but plastics I have and yeah they’re in the pile somewhere haha

    • Thanks Impy, paint queue’s are the worst, most peoples stretch around the block like the queue for “Star Wars” on opening weekend! and people will insist on sending you stuff and adding to it! Some people are just selfish!! 😉

      Cheers Roger.

  5. Carrion Crow says:

    Oh my… As a fan of both Crooked Dice’s not-Who sculpts and this era of Who, this is a treat. Made even more so by the wonderful painting! They do look like they’re just about to step off the screen. I have to admit that Sarah Jane is my favourite of the two, as the detail work on her ‘lovely’ blouse is phenomenal.

    And I do recall the Katy Manning picture where she posed with a Dalek ‘au naturale’, although it’s only in recent years I was aware of this picture. At the time it was taken, we didn’t have the almost instant access to media that we have now.

    • Thanks Jez, this is actually one of Sarah’s better costumes in my opinion (she did have some truly terrible fashion malfunctions in the day, remember that awful thing she wore in the five Doctors). The tartan was a little tricky lucky I couldn’t find any pictures of Jo jacket (that looked like it would have been awful to try and re-create!). What were the costume department thinking back in the seventies, didn’t they realise that forty years later some wargamer would have to try and paint that in 28mm!!”!

      Ahh “nudie” Katy, that caused quite a stir back in the day I believe, I don’t remember it myself (I was only a kid at the time), but pretty racy for the time.

      Cheers Roger.

  6. Two stunning pieces Roger, beautiful done.

  7. John says:

    I’ve tried to comment on your blog before but I don’t think WordPress likes me but these two are so good I’m going to try again.
    Excellent painting on both figures but I especially like the first one, as everyone has commented you have made a fantastic job on the checked blouse but I think the boots have turned out really well as have the eyes and eyeshadow.
    I checked your link and it’s interesting that you both painted the same face and got a different but excellent rendition of a pretty face on a tremendous sculpt.

    • Many thanks John, sorry you haven’t been able to comment before, I have to approve the first comment, but I cant say I’ve ever seen one from you before, and I’ve never rejected a comment yet. Anyway you should be OK from here on (if you ever feel like commenting again that is).

      I glad you like the SJS figure, I was fairly pleased with how she came out, though I still think Simons has the prettier face. They are both really nice scupts though as you say, shame they are no longer available, as they knock the “Black tree” ones into a cocked hat in my opinion.

      Cheers Roger.

  8. Roger, I really think you nailed these. In a painting way, not in a way that would anger your spouse!

    But seriously, great work on these gifts, love them. Best, Mark

  9. angrypiper says:

    I’m unfamiliar with the source material, Roger; but I don’t need to be a Dr. Who fan to appreciate the paint jobs. Really great job on the denim…my “denim recipe”, when I use it, tends to be much more blue. I like yours better.
    I can certainly sympathize with “side pile” characters; miniatures you don’t get to for one reason or another. Often they collect paint bit by bit as a result of other painting…the old “oops, I mixed too much of this color, where can I put it?” routine. Sometimes finishing them off is just the thing to break up longer projects, or just bust up a period of inactivity!

    • Thanks Keith, I’m shocked that you are unfamiliar with Sarah and Jo, two of the classic “Who” stalwarts, but then I guess I’m in the same boat as far as “Game of thrones” goes, and in many circles that is akin to heresy!

      I think most painter who have been at it for a while have their own recipes for certain types of clothing that they are happy with and use again and again, I too used to do a lot of denim in a much “bluer” blue, but luckily Sarah’s costume in the show was much more faded and so closer to the shade I prefer now.

      “the old “oops, I mixed too much of this color, where can I put it?” routine.” Wow you are more organised than I am then, I usually just end up wasting it! To be honest I hate having half finished mini’s about (if one of my pet gripes, and I have a few!), so tend to try and start a figure and finish it, before I start something else. (sadly this doesn’t apply to projects as I have loads of half finished ones of those!!

      Cheers Roger.

  10. Pingback: “Blax the Kleric’s, top ten of 2018” | Rantings from under the Wargames table

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