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Painting Frederick of Swabia

90mm figures seemed always to attract me a lot, despite obvious difficulties due to their bigger size. In 75mm and 90mm figures you’re not excused on any kind of fault like you could possibly be on 54mm! But this lovely figure sculpted by Andriano Laruccia some years ago, had always been an eye catcher for me, so I decided to do it.

The box art of the figure was not that attractive, at least for me. I decided to try an alternative painting scheme that would include “shaving off” the raised, cast cross on the chest of the figure. This alone cost me two evenings to do the proper work with a Dremel, scalpels and fine steel wool so no marks were left on the figure.

Hopefully it went ok. Then I had to pin all the parts of the figure, as it’s a pretty heavy piece I must confess! I used 2 parts epoxy for every piece that I had to build. I left the head out for separate paint work and also the hand with the sword, and the arm with the falcon.

The figure was pretty lightly primed with one layer of brush applied Vallejo primer on most parts except the chain mail. I have to admit at this point, that Laruccia’s sculpting of this chain mail is one of the finest I have ever seen (along with Serebriakov’s version on the Pegaso 54mm Irish Knight)

the face
I kicked off the painting of the face and hand flesh work with a mix of flesh, purple, carmine red, brown sand and English uniform. I did the highlights adding sunny skin tone, and on the high highlights some pinky flesh and ivory. On the shadow parts I used some English uniform and purple, and some burnt umber added to the basic coat. . After these had dried adequately, I ran several midtones and “filters” of transparent dirty water with drops of vermillion, golden ochre and purple.

the hair
The hair was done with a base of intense orange, red, ochre, golden yellow and burnt umber. The shadows were created with burnt umber and highlights with vermillion, intense orange, golden ochre and golden yellow. Midtones were made with mixes of all the above.

the chainmail
Chain mail was done with 2 base coats of titanium – black mix color, thinned enough. After it all covered I did careful and time consuming low speed drybrushing with steel color. I used some silver to accent the highlights. I used some washes of burnt umber – red mix of oils and used plain black oil paint for the deep shadows. Then I started sweeping and blending all these to get the final effects. Where the highlights disappeared, I used silver printer’s ink to make highlights brighter and faded their edges with wash of burnt umber.

the Tunic
The tunic that was split in two was painted like this:

Yellow: base with yellow, golden ochre, intense orange, vermillion Highlights with intense orange and ice yellow added to the base Shadows with orange brown and burnt umber added to the base

Black Part: Base with black, Prussian blue, sky gray, and burnt umber Highlights with sky gray and Prussian blue Shadows with highly diluted black washes

The heraldry on the chest was painted free hand with the same colors as before stated but also used some more intense highlights to add some volume.

the belts
Base of burnt umber, intense orange and black Highlights with orange and yellow to the base Washes of burnt umber Decoration with bronze and old gold mixes

the boots
Base with burnt umber, orange brown, and intense orange Highlights with orange and golden yellow added to base Shadows with burnt umber added to base Decorations with silver gray, golden brown and golden yellow mix

the Scabbard
Burnt umber base and decoration with emerald, dark green, purple, silver, old gold, bronze Prussian blue and ivory (mixes of all the above)

the Falcon
Internal Surface Base with burnt umber, golden ochre and sky gray Highlights with golden ochre and sky gray Shadows with burnt umber Midtones with mixes of all the above plus ivory

Back Base black and sky gray and dark Prussian blue Highlights Prussian blue and sky gray Shadows with burnt umber and black Mid tones with mixes of burnt umber and sky gray and black in different rates and dilutions

the Shield
Yellow and black parts as described on the clothes painting before and some details with intense orange on birds feet

Making the Base and Groundwork
The wood for the base is made from a piece of an olive oil tree. Surface sculpted in epoxy putty, with the addition of small pebbles and natural dried tiny flowers and grasses. The groundwork was painted in burnt umber then highlighted with buff and dark sand. Final touch dusted with dark brown and ochre pastels.
  • swm2
  • swm4
  • kef10
  • kef7
  • kef5
  • kef11
  • TUN6
  • TUN1
  • FRED10
  • FRED8
  • FRED7
  • FR3
  • FR4
  • FRED20
  • FRED17
  • FRED18
  • FRED12
  • FRED14
  • FRED15

About the Author

About Costas Rodopoulos (Major_Goose)

I started modelling 27 years ago with some 1/72 planes and military vehicles. Soon the diorama bug got into me and with Sheperd Paynes books I dug in. I loved to build dioramas and military vehicles till the Vietnam Era. I don't like modern stuff so much. 4 years ago I had a crush on figure painti...