You know, you should never take things for granted. Not so very long ago, May of this year to be exact, I was pluggin’ along crankin’ out the kits, pickin’ up lot’s of new skills and passin’ the good news on to you. Then I met Bane. Now, at first I had this kit all dialed up. I looked at it and I just knew what I was gonna’ do to get the skin effects right, and how I was going to get this kit up on the display shelf in record time. Man, I was at the top of my game and Bane was gonna’ be a slam dunk. All of that was right except for every thing I said after “you know”. Take a look below at this here picture of Bane, the Resin Model Kit. Seems simple enough right? Now, look next to it at this progress shot of MY Bane kit that I started back in May. If yer thinkin’, “Hey, the guy hasn’t done squat!” And you’d only be half right. The truth of the matter is I’ve started this kit THREE times, and each time ended up washing off the crappy work that I did and goin’ back to primer. So, you see, I’ve done squat AND I haven’t done squat. What I figgered out is, simply, I’m not as good as I thought I was. I’ve still got a load of learnin’ to do, and that, dear seeker, is good news for you. I’ve decided that his kit is gonna’ throw off some new tricks and that I owe it to myself, and to you, to document the painting of this kit. So, there is a balance to the universe after all. ain’t there?

I’ll just capsulize some of my failures so far. You notice from the finished kit picture above that Bane has a multitude of vein activity on and under his flesh. This is gonna’ require some techniques that make the veins appear as though they are at different levels beneath the skin. So far my limited capabilities have been stymied. At first I painted the skin area a pale Caucasian tone. My thinking was to layer in some veins and than wash over the veining with more light skin tone. I started by drawing the veins on with a pencil and then painting over them with a fine brush. Well, this all looked like crap, and I’m sorry I didn’t get any pictures of it. You’d have gotten a good laugh outta’ it. Then I tried painting the skin area a light green, followed by some dry brushing of light Caucasian skin color, and veining with a gel pen. Result: Suck times ten. So now we are back to square one together. We have a puttied and primed Bane kit waiting for our next artful assault. We will be victorious!!! Now let’s get going………….

PART II: Let’s Get That Skin…..Again, And Again!

First, we gotta’ establish the green tint. Now I’ve tried 2 other ways that have ended in failure, so I’m gun shy goin’ in. I mix up a lime/olive mix of Liquitex Titanium White, Hooker’s Green, and Cadmium Yellow and put a thin coat of it on ol’ Bane. At first, I’m shocked by the toxic color of the green. Right away I’m thinkin’ this is the beginnings of more heartbreak. See the two pictures above. But I have a plan so I forge ahead. Next I mix up a quick tan fleshtone with Liquitex Raw Sienna and Titanium White and drybrush it lightly over the entire green area. I want the green to show through, so I’m careful to apply the effect sporadically over the surface. The result gives me reason to sigh in relief, it actually looks pretty good. WHEW!! So far it looks like we’re on to somethin’! See below...

Right now I feel the old Cal comin’ back, the confidence is creepin’ back in. So now I continue trying to create the marbleized look by dry brushing on layers of lighter shades. I add some more Titanium White to my tan skin tone and apply it with dabbing motions rather than brushing. As I do this I soften some of the dabs by smoothing them out with my finger. Next I add some yellow to the mix and then finally, straight white. At this point I’m pretty pleased with the basic look and I decide its time for Dullcote!!

PART III: Tappin' The Veins

Yer not gonna’ believe this, but two minutes ago I thought I was gonna’ have to scrap everything again!! But sometimes in modeling you have what I like to refer to as “happy accidents”. And believe me, there a heck of a lot better than hysterical catastrophes! I decided after the dullcote dried that the skin had lost a bit too much of its green tint, which is a main component of the Bane fashion statement. So in order to soften the work I whipped up a wash of Liquitex Phthalocyanine Green (no……I’m NOT kidding. That’s what it’s called), Window Washer Fluid, and Dawn Liquid Detergent. Then I proceeded to do a light wash over the skin area. HORRORS!! Initially it appeared that the wash had all but obliterated my earlier work and I was gonna’ be forced to return to primer and start again for the fourth time!!! NO WAY!! YES, WAY!!!! NO…….NO WAY!!!! Fortunately, I had SEALED my work and was able to wash off the wash to soften it, and try again with a thinner wash still. Along the way I noticed that the wash I had made was actually simulating veins in really cool patterns, especially when I sped up the drying process with a hair dryer. Lucky me!! Not only was I NOT gonna’ have to start over, but I somehow stumbled upon a really cool technique for this kit. Quickly, I next mixed up another small batch of the tan skin tone I used in Step II, and re-marbleized the skin over the wash. Now I’m really tickled with the look. So, it more dullcote and on to applying the exterior veins!!

PART IV: Very Close Veins!

Okay all that subsurface vein stuff is the easy part. Now comes the part that’ll separate the arteries from the capillaries! For adding on Mr. Banes topside veinage, I choose my handy dandy pack of Le Plume Markers. I use the two tip variety because it gives me more options. These lil’ things come in handy for a whole host of model detailing, and for now I’m gonna’ employ them for some vein work. Starting with the brush tip green marker, I begin veining up the skin surface, Now you gotta’ be careful here, too many veins and he’ll end up lookin’ like the Thing from Fantastic Four. Not enough, and the look won’t be right. I use the picture for some basic guidelines and my “artistic sensibilities” to bring the job to life. All those years paintin’ in the veiney eyes on Weird Oh and Ed Roth kits now pays off in spades!! After I get to a point with the brush tip to where I like the look, I go back over with the fine tip to add in some additional smaller viens and such. Oh, my Gosh!! I’m likin’ this. It now becomes apparent that attempt #3 at the Bane kit may be the keeper! I’m excited now, so I Dullcote the work and get prepared to start paintin’ up his outfit.

PART V: Movin’ On, Enough With The Skin Already!

Well, we can’t very well have our Bane runnin’ around nekkid, now can we kids? So we move past the skin portion of our program and shift gears to the comparatively mundane black coating of Banes wardrobd. Yep, that’s all there is to it for now, just paint the entire non-skin area black. I use Liquitex Basics Black, which is a little bit shinier than other blacks, and since Banes get up is supposed be leather, I figger this is the best foundation color for me! Now, in order to really get the perspective on the Banes big, leather jockstrap, we gotta’ get our dry brush goin’ on. First I later on a light touch of my personally mixed brown (left over from my Monster of the Movies Franky!) and dry brush all the leather strapping areas. Next, to keep bringin’ out those highlights I hit it with a light coat of Liquitex Raw Sienna. Oooooooooooh, that looks good! Oh, man, I’m startin’ to really get the groove on this kit now. Whew, ya’ know that feelin’ ya’ get when you really get in the zone with a kit? Where yer just huzzin’ along, almost on auto-pilot? I’m there now, and it’s almost like I’m showin’ off. To bring out the metallic look of the chest and back medallion and the hinges on the boots and gloves, I dry brush a coat of Tamiya X-12 Gold Leaf over all those areas. It’s lookin’ good, but the guide picture clearly shows that these areas need a copper tint as well, so I break out the Tamiya XF-6 Copper, and hit those areas again. Yeah, buddy! The Cal-man’s got his groove on again, and don’t it feel good!!

PART VI: The Devil IS In The Details!

If you really want to make yer kits look pro, you gotta take care of the little things. In this case, Bane’s gotta have his Mexican Wrasslin’ Mask painted up. So we do the outside area of the eyehole detail in Liquitex Titanium White, and carefully paint the inside ring with a mixture of Createx Red and just a drop of Createx Black, ‘cause we don’t want a primary red color, we need a blood red shade. Next, we have to take care of the 10,000 stud details that are all over the leather belt, jock, mask, wristbands and boots!! Whew! That’s one heck of a job. For this I return to the Tamiya XF-6 Copper color and carefully dot each stud with the thinnest brush I can find.

PART VII: The Devil IS In The Details!

Now we gotta’ move on to the details on the mask. First I paint in the eye holes with Liquitex Payne’s Gray, this makes them dark BUT different from the leather suit look. Next I have to hit the 4 dozen stud details on the eye holes, much like all the studs we just did on the chest plate and straps. But these need to be a different color because the copper just won’t look right on the mask. So for this detail I use a Le Plume No.12 Grey marker and painstakingly dot in ALL the studs. Now, Bane also has spikes EVERYWHERE. On his belt, on his wrist bands, on his doggy collar, EVERYWHERE. The ones they sent with this kit kinda suck, so I ask my wife if she has any wooden skewers, and amazingly, she does. I paint up the tips and stick ‘em all in a piece of Styrofoam until they dry. Once I cut ‘em down to the proper size, these things’ll make superior spikes for the Bane-Man!!

PART VIII: Finishing Touches

As fun as it’s been kids. We’ve gotta wrap this thing up. Remember those spikes we were workin’ on? Well. I finish the job by cutting the tips of to an appropriate length and gluing them in place. Then to perfect the look, I dry brush them with the Tamiya XF-6 Copper. Now this bad boy is almost history, I can already see him sittin’ big and proud with the rest of my Batman Movie Models!!

PART IV: Finishing Touches

Like the spikes that came with the kit, Banes headpiece tubing was made outta this kinda’ lame green plastic, so I had to get creative again. The main green tube that attaches his headpiece to his backplate was passable, so I just heated it up with a hair dryer and formed it into place. But the other headpiece tubes were MIA, the manufacturer forgot to include them, so I had to haul on out to that oasis of model builders, a little place I like to call Michael’s. I was able to find this cool stuff called Pony Bead Lacing, )I have no idea what else it’s used for but it is THE perfect Bane headpiece tubing. I couldn’t have wished for a better, or luckier, find!! Now that’s what I call a Venom pumping pile of piping!!

So, as sad as it is to wrap up our journey, Bane, for all his objections, is now a thing of beauty poised to take his rightful place among the rest of my Batman Movie Model Universe!! And comparing my finished shot with the picture of the finished kit that came from the manufacturer, I have to say that I NAILED this bad boy!!! Happy gluing, see ya’ next time when we go back to vinyl and build the Screamin’ ¼ scale Pinhead from Hellraiser!!

You can check out the finished Bane kit here.

Anybody try this stuff out? Got any better ideas? Email me and let me know!