Last weekend I received a nifty little package from Germany. Inside was Forged Monkey’s Tribe Chief Morrow bust, a sweet little gorilla bust sculpted by Raffaele Picca, who is a great sculptor in addition to being one of my favorite painters. The cast was amazingly clean, with only one small bubble and almost no mold lines. Cleanup took only ~15 minutes, and I have very high standards for cleaning a cast before I start painting. I was so excited I started painting at once.
This is the first mini I’ve primed black in a long time, but given the black gorilla skin and many metal areas, it seemed convenient. I started with the face, as that’s the most important thing to get right on any figure, but especially a bust. I always like to find relevant reference material before I start painting, and for this bust, I was inspired by this adorable baby gorilla.
I originally went with red for the leathers, but wasn’t happy with how it looked and switched to yellow. It still looks a bit odd, but I think that once the metals are painted it will fit much better, and provide a nice warmth contrasted with the black. Of course, this was when I started kicking myself for priming black, but a few coats of menoth white highlight provided a good base for the yellow.
Zebra-skin provides striking patterns, and seemed appropriate for a gorilla chieftain. The larger stripes are how most of the body looks, and the finer stripes underneath are from the zebra’s head. No Zebras were harmed in the production of this blog post.
This guy is incredibly fun and quick to paint. I highly recommend picking up a copy for yourself!