WIP: Thaddeus Steampunk Rider

Thaddeus & Kei

3rd June

Following on from Blaylock, I’m trying this companion piece I bought from MDP at the 2014 Euro Militaire. It’s a rider mounted on a mechanical horse and the label on the box says “Thaddeus and Kei” but whether those are the names of horse or rider, I don’t know. Nobody else seems to have built this kit and there are no pictures. I still haven’t worked out 100% where one of the pieces goes.

I’m going to use Alclad on the horse for a chrome finish and then try tinting areas – maybe with oil paints. The rider I’ll probably do with Mr Metal again and possibly try some NMM on the armour. The big decision is whether to make the rider human or a robot. The face is quite stylised with its big nose and curling moustachio – rather like a Japanese mask.


5 June

I sprayed the horse with Alclad Polished Aluminium and Chrome, then tried a bit of Pale Gold and Hot Violet over it but rather too timidly to really make a difference. The effect was nice but very bright. (I’m always worried about spoiling the finish with Alclad – it was easy to make it cloudy when I used it on the the Chrononaut).

All the crevasses and details needed picking out. I tried some dark ink washes first and they didn’t seem to affect the shine but weren’t that good at upping the contrast either. Then I got bolder and brushed on some Klear Floor Polish (same as the famous Future polish I believe). That seemed to give me a hard gloss finish.

I thought about using oils – and still may – but ended up instead using black & blue paint with a W&N Glazing medium. I found that if I worked on a small area at a time, I could slather it on and wipe it off before it tinted the smooth surfaces too much. I did it first with with a make up brush and then cotton buds (I’m getting through a lot of them!) Once I’d darkened the lines, I tried some subtler tints of blue, violet and yellow. I still think i may tint areas of the metal more and possibly pick out some of the cogs in pale yellow or gold. May wait until I’ve painted the rider first.


10th June

After a promising beginning with the horse, I’m finding the rider trickier. Cant decide about the colour scheme. I started off trying to paint the tunic an olive green but it’s too bright – as are the metal colours I’m using which are too reddish. Will probably try to mute it down.

The ‘robot face’ likewise isn’t working. I’m not skilled (talented?) enough to suggest it effectively. Might resort to making him human.

My method – which really is tinkering around until I make a lucky accidental choice – has the drawback of using a lot of energy. I’m feeling tired already and want to move on.


16th June

As before, I didn’t do many of the things I intended to do originally – like use oil paints – because I wanted to get it finished. It didn’t turn out too badly in the end. I made the mistake of using Ultra Matte Gel on the clothes and face to matte them down but found it ‘removed’ almost all of the shading and deadened the surface. Still – it was useful to discover that I can virtually control the matte and gloss properties on a figure by judicious use of varnishes and gels and it’s something I’ll add to my armoury.

I wasn’t sure whether to add the ‘dead dragon’ but did it in the end – slung from the saddle, as if it it had been hunted. This part of the kit really puzzled me because I thought it was a heraldic decoration but I think I put it to the correct use.

Haven’t seen pictures of this figure anywhere and MDP don’t seem to sell it any more so this must be one of very few build ups. I like building kits thats aren’t well known because you’re not intimidated by other people’s work. My planned next project, Western Doctor, is another rare kit.

(See completed figure here)