As has been proven in my last post, my language skills are rudimentary at best, so I chose not to utilise Google Translate (other programs are available) to render the post title into Spanish. However, the above sentiment is broadly correct – El Aguila, my entry for this year’s Forgotten Heroes event is now finished – bar some detail work that my failing eyesight and lack of strong enough glasses prevented me from accomplishing.
So, join me as we journey through the various stages that have led me to the finished article…
This was the starting point – a Heroclix figure of Stonewall, whose was removed from his Oreo ‘Clix base, re-based on a 2 pence piece and had his base textured.
Due to various issues with glue and things not drying the way they were supposed to, my first painting pass was to block paint El Aguila’s torso in GW Woodland Green, his legs in Docrafts Blanc and the base in GW Orc Brown. These are really old GW paints, like a good 10 or so years old, but they’re still going strong and to find the equivalent from GW now, I’d have to probably pay quadruple the price and they’d have a silly name…
Realising the base was a little TOO yellow, I repainted this with Docrafts Linen, which I also used to paint his hands, the bottom half of his face and his eyeholes, as I wanted the cowl to look as much like a Mexican wrestler’s mask as possible. His belt and wristlets were given a coat of Docrafts Burnt Umber and his boots a coat of Docrafts Cherry Red. His tights got a coat of Tamiya White X-2, which unlike the Docrafts Blanc, is more of a gloss paint, so it made them look more like lycra…
Now the main colours of the Mexican flag were on and he was looking kind of how I’d envisaged him, I had to work out what his chest symbol/icon should look like. I knew I wanted a stylised eagle, but was unsure exactly how to depict it.
Various supers have bird symbols on their chests – Phoenix, Nightwing…even Marvel’s Aguila, whose name I’ve appropriated for MY hero, who looks like this;
Brings new meaning to the expression “the gay blade…”
Anyway, I needed something a bit simpler and easy to paint…and then I remembered that there was another Marvel character with a stylised bird chest emblem… Thunderbird!
From Giant Size X-Men #1 (May 1975), Thunderbird made up the first change in roster since the introduction of the X-men back in 1963. He was the Native American representative in the new, more diverse line-up and was killed on his very next outing…probably because his powers were covered by Colossus, so why have two strong guys? Absolutely nothing to do with the fact that he was a Native American…
Blankets? what blankets? I see no blankets…
Anyway, I thought that his stylised “thunderbird” symbol would prove to be a reasonably easy one to replicate, so initially painted this in Docrafts Burnt Umber. i.e dark brown, as this is the colour of the eagle on the Mexican flag…
But it looked shite. Not enough contrast and not superhero-y enough. So, taking inspiration from the Aztecs, I repainted it in Docrafts Shining Gold. Much better.
I then attempted to paint the studs on his belt with the same colour…and failed, so repainted the belt and wristlets in Docrafts Shining Gold, then washed them in GW Brown Ink, then painted the buckle in Docrafts Bronze. The flesh parts were given a wash of GW (the label’s fallen off and I can’t remember what it’s called) Brown, to give him a Mexican skin tone.
I then tried to paint on a moustache using my thinnest brush and some more Brown Ink. Which would have worked if I could have seen what I was doing. New, stronger glasses are needed before I attempt any teeny, tiny detail work in future. I then had to repaint his face, to rectify the mess I’d made. Rather than continue and risk fucking it up, I wisely decided to stop.
And here he is…El Aguila, national hero of Mexico.
I’m my own worst critic, so I’m 90% happy with him, but he does embody the look I was going for and doesn’t look like a cheap Captain America knock-off. And he’s pretty beefy too, as can be seen in the following picture, with a Crooked Dice figure.
“No hablo ingles…”
And join me next time, when I’ll being doing a wrap-up of this year’s event.