20 August 2012

A Tale of 3 Painters… Mech Mess

The Mech Attendant – C3-PO with a gun

With the Mechanical Attendant's arms fixed mid-week I got the undercoat layer done on Saturday, ready for a day of painting on Sunday. I was really looking forward to it, but still wasn't sure what colour to paint this model.

The obvious choice was to go with red again, but I felt this would be a red overload on the table when the crew were all together. I could go with the scheme used by Wyrd, or go with Michael's treatment of The Hunter using all metallics. I decided that the Mechanical Attendant was like C3-PO with a gun and a power fist so thought I would head down that route, which would take me close to Wyrd's original scheme. I would add some black and red in there to tie it in with the rest of the crew.

C3-PO… my inspiration

I should have known that I hadn't learned a thing from painting The Guardian and not experiment with colours on a model you intend to sell for charity. Within half an hour I was getting myself into all sorts of trouble. I couldn't get close to the colour scheme I wanted, and as the day progressed things didn't improve much. Remembering my time with The Guardian I took a break for dinner.

You scratch my back…

I went back to the drawing board and started with Bestial Brown, highlighting up with a mix of Golden Yellow and White. At this point the highlights were too much so I went back in with Snakebite Leather and added shadow. I blended this up to the white with a thin layer of Golden Yellow and things were starting to look much better. I took the shadows deeper with a Bestial/Scorched Brown mix, using a brush with just water on it to blur any lines that formed and try and graduate the colour.

Once this was done there were still a large amount of White highlights so I went back in with a watered down wash of Yellow ink. This was supplemented with some Orange ink to deepen the colour in the shadows.

I decided to call it a day so I can sleep on it and look at it fresh next week.


He's looking more Bumblebee from Transformers than C3-PO (my wife's unbiased observation!) but if I can deepen the shadows and add some fresh white highlights we could be there – having said that I have managed to bleach out most of the shadows in these photos. In reality the colours are much more contrasty with some very dark browns in the shadows. Once the metallics go in I think it will look much better, but I'm pretty pleased so far. I certainly had fun trying to blend colours.

I had another 10 minutes this morning (Monday) and (re)discovered Gryphonne Sepia wash – absolutely superb. It provides the perfect link between the dark browns and the yellows and allowed me to smooth out some of the graduations. I added some Devlan Mud to the mix and applied it to the deep recesses and areas in heavy shadow. I will add some more yellow and a final white highlight then his armour is done!


As much as we are having fun with this project, it is for charity. If you enjoy reading about our progress please donate towards our final total – even if it's only £1 – via the donate button at the top of the page or on the Cancer Research UK website directly.

What's A Tale of 3 Painters all about?

Follow Andy's progress here
Follow Michael's progress here
Follow Mike's progress here

Thanks for your support!



  1. Look good mate. I know how you feel when you can' quite get what you see in your head. Looks good though so don't be disheartened.

    1. I must admit things seemed quite bleak at one point – I was clearly feeling rather dramatic – but I'm very confident of a quality result now.

  2. Looking fantastic mate, and that's a brave move going for yellow! I'm glad Gryphonne Sepia helped fix it for you - it's a miracle worker, and saved me on numerous occasions. I don't know what I'm going to do when I run out of the stuff...

    1. Had another couple of hours last night and he's looking much better. Got the first layer of metallic down this morning and we're all good. Very excited about the seeing the crew back together.

  3. That really is a difficult piece to paint and yellow was a bold choice. Fine job here.

    1. Yellow has always been tricky and with hindsight it was a ludicrous choice. However, with a bit of trial and error I have my yellow recipe working – he's looking so much better than these photos now.

  4. I have to confess that I run a mile with yellow, really difficult to do, but already you seem to have the better of it!