Monthly archives: October, 2018

BustQuest #40: Jaina Proudmoore


Completion Date: 08/01/2018

Time: 62 hours including printing

PNP link:


I’m forgoing my usual concept/sculpt/paint summary sections because I tried something new on this one that involved all of the steps happening at once.

I wanted to sculpt, 3d print, and paint a bust from start to finish, all without using outside resources. Essentially as a proof of concept that I could produce a bust end-to-end. I had gotten close a year earlier with Ecocide, which I sculpted and painted, but the 3D printing was done by Shapeways. However, I purchased a 3D printer (Anycubic Photon) earlier this year, and felt that I had all the pieces I needed to produce a bust in-house.

In order to keep the process itself as simple as possible, I used a pre-exisitng IP for the concept art, Jaina Proudmoore from WoW, referencing several depictions of her, most notably this one:



I decided to cast Natalie Dormer (Margaery Tyrell from Game of Thrones) as Jaina. I hard-surface modeled the shoulderpads in C4D, and then started on the bust itself in Mudbox. When I felt I was getting somewhere, I printed it out and did a quick one hour sketch paint to see where I was:


…resulting in the ugliest thing that’s ever happened. I spent a lot more time on all aspects, reconfiguring as best I could despite my limited capabilities:



I was simultaneously learning how to effectively use my 3D printer as I was attempting to not suck at sculpting, and it took nine prints to finally get one that was artifact free and paintable. I didn’t document the painting process itself too extensively, as most of the time and effort was spent on the production of the model.



Good: I successfully took it from concept to sculpt to 3D print to finished painted miniature.

Bad: Both bad and ugly, see below.

Ugly: It’s very ugly. And boring (Ecocide was ugly, but at least it was interesting).I need to improve my sculpting skills. I find this piece embarrassing. 

BustQuest2018 #38: EXPLOSIONS IN THE SKY


Completion Date: 2018.06.16

Time: 50 hours

PNP link with more pictures:



After attending Banshee’s class at Adepticon, I went on a bust sketching journey which I documented on Facebook. Most of those busts were 90 – 180 minute sketches, but as I closed in on forty sketches, I wanted to spend more time to develop some of them into competition pieces.

My idea for Sorscha was that she was in a frozen wasteland, looking up to the sky as ordinance exploded above. Unlike my typical Photoshop-concept-first approach, I tried something totally different here…I did a bunch of sketches (stripping paint occasionally in between), to try different textures and techniques. The grid of sketches 1-8 on her may look very similar:

… and maybe they are, but what I got out of it was experimenting with different variations to the light direction and NMM effect. The color palette itself remained mostly the same, as I had that fairly settled from the beginning. Once I had a sketch I liked, I started to develop it…



Unlike previous projects, the painting approach was very very simple here. I just took my initial sketch, and continued to tighten it, dialing in details until it looked like something final. The fifty hours I spent on it is still a lot, but considering that my previous Privateer Press entry (Skarre) was a hundred and forty hours, the fifty hours spend here represented my fastest complete bust by a huge factor.

The only new technique I tried was doing an airbrush pass over my initial sketch. This was something I was introduced to by Sergio Calvo Rubio in his Adepticon class, and further encouraged to do by Aaron Lovejoy, as he has really taken to the technique. The idea is that after your initial sketch is in a complete but still rough stage, you airbrush some midtone color into the midtones and shadows, which smooths them out and basically gets a lot of the work done that you would usually do with glazes. I did this on Sorscha with a blue midtone from below, but also very very lightly airbrushed her from the key light direction with fluorescent orange in order to maximize the chroma contrast across the piece.

While I was airbrushing, there was a “happy accident”… there was a cloggy airbrush spurt that shot droplets everywhere. As I scrambled to clean them up with a wet brush, I saw that one landed perfectly on her face, creating a convincing birthmark. So, I kept that one, and basically didnt touch it after that.

I did spend a lot of time trying to crack the best approach to the metal armor reflections and how exactly it would work. I looked at actual reflected metal, as well as other painters approaches. What I ended up with was a textured metal look that included a magenta/green chroma displacement.



I did record the paints I used (minus fluos, which somehow didn’t make it into the pic), mostly just because I think it’s a good habit:



Good: This was a super simple and fun project without any complex moving parts. Very relaxing after Pharaoh’s Curse, which was a hot mess. It also won its category at the Privateer Press competition.

Bad: It was a fun exercise, but I think the end result is pretty boring.

Ugly: Nothing ever got ugly, at least.



Banshee and Sergio Calvo Rubio for blasting my brain with new ideas.

Aaron Lovejoy and Ben Komets for improvement ideas.

Dallas Kemp for his feedback / improvement ideas after the competition at GenCon.