MAKE: custom action figure head paint job

Even when action-figure head sculpts are great, the paintjobs can be pretty indifferent, with eyelashes on foreheads. Ibentmyman-thing has, through trial-and-error, come up with a method for priming and painting heads, with gorgeous results.

With any head, either a cast or a factory head, it's a good idea to wash it off with some rubbing alcohol and let it dry thoroughly before you start to paint. That will get any mold releases, factory gunk, hand oils or whatever off and give you a clean surface that allows the paint to grip better.

First step for me is to give the head a first coat of Vallejo Game Tan. It's a deep, dark color that will cover all the skin tones of a factory head, or will provide a good base if you're using a cast of whatever color.

I do one of two things at this stage. If the head is a male head, I usually will let the Tan dry before proceeding to the next step. Usually I will go heavy into drybrushing at the next stage, which will allow the darker base coat to stand out amidst the lighter drybrushed coats I'll end up putting on. However, I go a different route with female heads, which is the method I'll be showing this time.

With a decent glob of Cadmium Skin, Pale Flesh, Heavy Skintone, and Rosy Flesh squirted out onto your makeshift palette, you want to dip your brush in a little bit of water, wipe it off, and while the Tan layer is still wet on the face, start working the other colors in. This is the least scientific method ever, so essentially you're going to be eyeballing the paint to get to the tone you want. I go from dark to light, so I'll get the Heavy Skintone and start mixing that — very very light amounts, just the tip of the brush — into the Tan base. This wet-brush effect will keep the Tan moist while facilitating the paints ability to mix together right on the head.

Custom Tutorial: Painting a Head
[Ibentmyman-thing/The Fwoosh]

(via Super Punch)