Dave Oliver tries his hand at scale model tattooing on Alternity Miniatures’ impressive Lyl Squat resin bust.


The late, great Sheperd Paine once summarised the major problem that figure painting can present… namely, that everyone is an expert on human beings. As a species, we are hardwired to spot any deficiency or irregularity; an evolutionary trait designed to avoid disease or illness, but it is also what makes achieving believable and lifelike human subjects so challenging. An error on an aircraft or armour model would be recognised only by an expert, but most human beings would instantly spot an inconsistency in a painted figure.

When the editor offered the chance to paint a large-scale bust, I had Shep’s timeless advice ringing in my ears, but I was determined to try it, armed with a wet palette and a basic understanding of how to paint flesh tones. I did have one major provision – if it ended up looking like a dog’s dinner, I’d simply strip the paint and start all over again.

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