Gulper (Giant Catfish): Bones 4 Dreadmere Figure

      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”.

     Next, I drybrushed the light areas with some Americana “Snow White”, and then highlighted the darker parts with a mix of the “Charcoal Grey” with the lighter Aleene’s “Dusty Khaki”  After that, I painted the dot pattern on his head with Ceramcoat “Black”, mixed with a little of the “Charcoal Grey”, and then painted the tail with Reaper MSP “Holly Berry”.   After that, I painted the inside of the mouth with Folk Art “Milkshake”, and then painted the eyes with the “Snow White” and added inner circles with the “Black”

     When the mouth was dry, I gave it a coat of Citadel “Nuln Oil” wash.  I then drybrushed the tail with some Crafter’s Acrylic “Pure Pumpkin”, and then used the “Pure Pumpkin” to paint the edges of the top and underside fins.   Next, I highlighted the fin edges, and parts of the tail with some Americana “Tangerine”, followed by some spot highlights with Crafter’s Acrylic “Bright Yellow”. 

      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.  

     I’m happy with how this turned out.   Doing creatures with irregular color patterns like this never look just right while I’m doing them, especially if in nature the dividing line is not sharp but made up of individual hairs or fur; but I think this doesn’t look too bad when viewed at table distance or in photos.

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Author: Chris Palmer

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