Monday, April 14, 2014

The Beetles! - Figures 87 & 88 of 265

Last week I painted the two big beetles from the Vermin set.  I prepped them in the usual way; soaking overnight in some water with a couple drops of dish soap added, and then giving a light scrub with a soft toothbrush and rinsing, then drying.  Unfortunately, I ran out of my usual Krylon Flat Black Camouflage with Fusion spray paint, and I was unable to find a replacement can of it. (I hope Krylon hasn't stopped making it!) So, I got a can of Krylon regular Flat Black Fusion, which I hoped would be the same as the Camouflage variety, but it turned out it wasn't.  I sprayed these guys with it, and it left them tacky, even after a few days of drying.  You can see they're still a bit shiny in the photo below.  Anyway, I've heard reports of folks having success going ahead and painting over the tacky primer paint, so I thought I would forge ahead, and give it a shot.  I glued the figures to 1 inch black-primed fender washers, and glued these to a tongue depressor for ease of handling during painting.
     I  decided I didn't want to paint theses just boring brown or black, so I thought I'd try a more vibrant color.  I figured green would be a nice icky color for a bug, so I did a quick Google image search for "green bug" to get some ideas.  With those images in my mind, I began by giving the front end of the beetles and their legs a heavy dry brushing with Folk Art "Hauser Green Medium".
I then went back and filled in the areas where the drybrushing hadn't quite gone on heavy enough.  I then added highlights to the body and legs with Americana "Olive Green" (which is actually more of a light lime green despite it's name.)  Next, I painted the back of the body with Folk Art "Metallic Emerald Green", and then did a little band of Ceramcoat "Metallic Copper" around the edges of the front segment of the beetle.
  Lastly, I painted the pincers and the eyes black, and then gave the pincers a light drybrushing with Folk Art "Medium Gray". I also added a tiny white highlight dot to each eye.  I painted all the textured surface of the figures' integral bases with Americana Mississippi Mud, and then let them dry overnight.  I then gave them a coat of Ceramcoat "Matte Varnish" and let them dry a few hours.  Finally, I flocked the bases.  The next day I sprayed them with Testor's "Dullcote" varnish.
  I'm pleased with how these turned out.  And, so far I'm happy to report there has been no return of the tackiness.  Due to family visiting for Easter, there will probably not be a write-up for Thursday.

Figures 87 & 88: Complete


  1. When I saw the title of this one I almost didn't click in to read it, and that would have been a real shame. These are tiny little works of art. Gross art, but still excellent stuff.

  2. Wow, thanks! I don't think my painting has ever been called art before; not even gross art. :)

  3. Awesome work! They kind of look like June bugs!

    I'm amazed at what you're able to achieve with craft paints. They've always been too troublesome and hard to use in my experience.

    1. Thank you!
      Perhaps because I began painting back in the '70s, and craft paints were my only easily obtainable option, I just learned and developed a technique for using them because that's all I had to work with.

  4. These are some nice beetles!

    Probably on my top 5 favorite so far!

    You really did a great job on this.

    I'm also a craft paint user since I refuse to pay the price that is asked for hobby paint. I agree that there is a learning curve to it but not that steep.

    1. Thanks! Glad to hear these make a top 5 rating. :)

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