This past week I painted the "Gulper" giant catfish figure from the Bones 4 Dreadmere Expansion set. The figure is designed with a flat spot on its underside so you can glue it directly on a base if you want, but I decided I wanted mine to be swimming, so I grabbed a reaper flight stand I had and drilled a matching hole into the Gulper's belly.
I then prepped the figure in the usual way, soaking it in a dish of water with a couple drops of dish-soap added, and then gave it a light scrub with a soft toothbrush, and then rinsed and dried it. Next, I stuck it onto the flight stand's peg, and put the peg in a pair of alligator clips for ease of holding.
When painting animals, I always like to look for real world inspiration, so I Googled images of "colorful catfish", and came upon the Redtail Catfish. I thought it would be a fun pattern to paint, so I looked through a bunch of photos to get a sense for the coloration on this type of catfish.
Because the figure has a bit of weight to it, I glued the base of the flight stand to a 2" fender washer with some Aleene's Tacky glue. When the glue was dry, I sprayed it brown.
To begin with, I painted the figure with Americana "Dove Grey". I then painted on the darker pattern with a mix of Americana "Charcoal" and Aleene's "Deep Khaki".
I then painted the eels affixed to the Gulper's sides with Apple Barrel "Apple Black Green". By this time the "Nuln Oil" wash was dry, so I highlighted the mouth with the base "Milkshake", and then a little of the "Milkshake with some Ceramcoat "White" added. I then painted the teeth with Crafter's Acrylic "Light Antique White", and highlighted them with the "Snow White". At this point I went back and painted the eels with the "Deep Khaki", leaving a thin edge of the "Apple Black Green" to serve as a shadow, and then highlighted with the "Dusty Khaki". Lastly, I aded some tiny "Black" dot eyes.
I let the figure dry overnight and the next day I gave it a coat of Americana "DuraClear Matte" varnish. I didn't shake the varnish a lot in hopes of getting more of a semi-gloss shine than a matte finish. I wasn't going to use my regular Dull Cote final spray on this, as I thought a slightly shiny fish would be better than a matte one. I then used some white glue to glue some course sand all over the base. When the sand was dry, I made a water and white glue mix and painted that over the sand to help it stay in place; since I wasn't going to paint it or spray it. Lastly, I added some tiny shells and plants.